Summer CampCordelia Bella was just ten years old the first time she attended summer camp at Saint Mary’s College. As an only child, she was “in complete awe” of her surroundings and experiences—eating, playing, and living with so many other girls for two entire weeks. “I remember thinking it was so cool that they could fit all those showers into one bathroom,” says Cordelia with a laugh.

Now, three years and six Saint Mary’s summer camps later, her ideas about what’s “cool” are a bit more sophisticated. “Earlier this week, I was talking with my mom on the phone about how nice this campus is, and how beautiful Holy Cross Hall is,” says Cordelia. “I told her I could see myself here.”

Cordelia attended tennis and volleyball camp for the first two years. This year, it was volleyball and the Summer Academy’s Math and Science Exploration, a pre-college experience for academically motivated young women entering grades 8–12. “We did a bunch of experiments in microbiology and got to see things growing under a microscope, like yeast,” says Cordelia of her experience. “We also did a ‘swamp stomp.’ They wanted us to understand what a wetland was, so they had us walk through one!”

Cordelia begins 8th grade this fall at St. Josaphat School in Chicago, which has many former students—as well as teachers and parents—who went on to attend Saint Mary’s College.

She may follow them. Cordelia Bella, class of 2016. It has a nice ring to it.