“What I did last summer” is often considered a cliché essay topic in school settings. At Bodin, we see it as an opportunity to help direct the search for an appropriate summer setting for both our continuing clients as well as for new clients.
Summer usually lasts upwards of 12 weeks and parents of children as young as eight or nine begin to think about “sleep away camp” along with the myriad of day camp or day school offerings. A carefully selected summer experience can provide a positive contribution to a student’s emotional, social, and academic development.
Traditional Summer Schools
The most common summer school programs we deal with are often part affiliated with college preparatory boarding schools. Most of them are on the east coast although there are a few excellent options in the western states. Sometimes students choose a summer school experience at a boarding school in order to take a year’s worth of work in one particular course so that the load at the home school can be lightened. Other times, a student needs to make up a semester or even a year’s work in a particular course. Sometimes, parents who are not interested in (or can’t afford) sending their child to boarding school for the full academic year recognize the value of a boarding school experience for the summer months, and youngsters also enjoy this opportunity.
Alternative Summer Schools
Other kinds of summer school take place on college campuses or even at international colleges. These opportunities are for the student who seeks the college experience of living in dorms, is mature enough to handle this level of independence, and who wants the stimulation of taking college level work though he/she may only be a rising junior or senior.
These are the traditional programs throughout the United States which consider themselves providers of self-esteem development, personal development, athletic and physical development as well as offering a smorgasbord of camping activities. These are most often the camps where the children under age 14 will attend. Some of them are in such demand that parents sign up a year ahead of time to get a spot for their child.
Special Focus Summer Camps
Some summer camps specialize in certain activities or interests. For example there are skateboarding camps, theater camps and computer camps. There is even a camp that specializes in teaching circus skills such as juggling and trapeze work. Many of our children want to concentrate on computer technology or music experience or a specific sport. There are also weight loss camps which incorporate most of the offerings of a traditional camp. Special focus camps devoted to the enhancement of social skills also exist.
There are a wide variety of programs available throughout the United States and Canada which feature wilderness treks and outdoor experiential activities. These programs have grown in popularity and there are many offerings lasting 2 to 8 weeks. Some of them feature a combination of adventure, outdoor skills building and even community service. They usually serve youngsters who are about 14-19. The most well established are often fully subscribed a year in advance. Some of them use the oceans, lakes or rivers as the vehicle for adventure-based activities. Others are in the mountains and forests. They provide extraordinary opportunities for personal growth, team building and independence.opportunities often feature homestays, travel and academic opportunities. These programs are plentiful, longstanding and available on many continents. Students should be sturdy enough emotionally to handle living in a new culture, in a new family and clearly with new and different expectations.
These opportunities often feature homestays, travel and academic opportunities. These programs are plentiful, longstanding and available on many continents. Students should be sturdy enough emotionally to handle living in a new culture, in a new family and clearly with new and different expectations.
Volunteer programs throughout the United States and abroad that offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for participants to learn and share in a variety of cultures. The focus in the programs is to help others. Such programs have coordinated and assisted in the building of sanitation projects in Central America, playgrounds on Indian reservations, and homes in Mexico. Young people come back from these 4-6 week experiences feeling very positive about contributing something to others and their view of how other folks live broadens considerably.