Connecting With Her

Renna's story

University of Washington Youth & Teen Programs offers year-round learning through camps and courses, providing students in grades 4-12, like Renna Orr, a chance to get a taste of topics they may want to learn more about and make new friends.

A middle school student with a desire to learn, Renna Orr has been attending the University of Washington’s Youth & Teen Programs’ summer camps for more than four years. She comes back every year due to her mother’s encouragement and the opportunity to learn about engaging topics in a fun setting. Through UW Youth & Teen Programs’ courses, Renna’s been able to explore everything from the tiny world of microorganisms to scenes and songs from musical theater.

For students trying to make friends, this kind of camp is the best. 

 — Renna Orr , Alumna, UW Youth & Teen Programs

Renna gets excited when she talks about the camps offered through UW Youth & Teen Programs. She attended eight camps during the summer, but the UW Youth & Teen Programs Exploring Microbiology camp was one of her favorites.

“Everyone in the camp was laid-back, and parts of microbiology are fun,” says Renna. “We hunted for tardigrades, those bear-shaped microorganisms that survive in space. We collected samples from various places, examined them and showed what we found to our peers.”

Renna also mentions she enjoyed that the camp didn’t feel like a month of hardcore microbiology while teaching her enough new things to offer her a chance to have a leg up when she takes eighth-grade science classes.

However, the biggest highlight for Renna may be the chance to connect with her peers and create long-term friendships. “I've made a lot of friends, and I am still friends with some of the people to this day,” she says. “For students trying to make friends, this kind of camp is the best. The instructors encourage you to talk to the other students in class and get to know people.”