June 9 was a magical day at the 190th Air Refueling Wing in Topeka. The Kansas Department of Transportation held a week-long MAGIC Camp (Mentoring A Girl In Construction) for high school girls wanting to explore nontraditional career fields and the 190th was one of their stops.
“Our goal in conducting MAGIC Camp was to show the girls that they can do anything that they want to do if they are willing to work to attain it,” said Precious Howard, MAGIC Camp coordinator. “This includes being in the field of construction or transportation.”
Ten campers were greeted by Chief Master Sgt. Sherry Willard, 190th ARW command chief, who gave a brief overview of the wing, its capabilities and various career paths available in the Air National Guard. Following the briefing, the girls toured a KC-135 air refueling tanker, learning first-hand about the duties and responsibilities of pilots and boom operators. Later, 190th firefighters let the campers try on firefighting gear and clothing to get a feel for what the job entails.
The Civil Engineering Squadron was the final stop for the campers, which included a hands-on demonstration with welding and woodworking tools. “Engineering is a hands-on career, so providing safe but real experiences to interested future engineers was our top priority,” said Lt. Col. Noah Diehl, 190th ARW Civil Engineer Squadron commander. “We wanted to demonstrate to the campers that they can pursue anything they are passionate about.” “The girls thoroughly enjoyed visiting the refueling wing,” said Howard.