Wednesday afternoon, elementary-aged girls from area schools were invited to Mercy Hospital Ardmore for a presentation from area female doctors. This week the girls are attending a week-long day camp hosted by Girls on the Run. Council Director, Erica Gay, described the organizations’ goals.
“Girls on the Run is an empowerment program for girls from third through eighth grade that helps them grow physically, emotionally, and mentally,” Gay said. She said, “What they are working on all week is emotions, how they handle emotions, and how that helps us be true to ourselves.”
The campers, who range in age from third to fifth grade, will participate in a variety of activities throughout the week. During the mornings the girls do physical activities and art projects, while the afternoons are focused on mental growth. Part of that mental growth is learning about career options.
Valerie Jolly,  MD, a general surgeon at Mercy Clinic, was one of the doctors who spoke to the girls. Before the girls arrived she described her presentation.
“Today I’ll be talking to the girls about being a woman in medicine,” Jolly said. “There’s another physician who’ll be speaking as well and we’ll just be giving them an idea of what we do.”
During the presentations, the girls were engaged and asked the doctors lots of questions. Examples included, “what’s your typical day like?,” and “did you want to be a surgeon when you were little?”
In addition to visiting the doctors at the hospital, the girls have also visited a female chiropractor and a  female dentist so far this week. They’ll also be speaking to women who work at the courthouse as well as having a female architect come talk to them.
Another field trip was an afternoon spent playing games with the veterans living at the Veterans Center.
The camp will conclude Friday evening when the girls have a “gallery walk” with friends and family to show off art they created as part of the camp.