Across the world, there are millions of summer opportunities for middle school and high school students. From community service trips in Peru to backpacking through Yosemite, the opportunities are endless. Marlborough girls participate in a variety of different trips over the summer.
One such trip is Outward Bound, an international, non-profit, independent outdoor-education organization with approximately 40 schools around the world and 200,000 participants per year. Ellie ’18 participated in an Outward Bound program the summer before 11th Grade. Ellie hiked along the South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee borders.
“I’m always trying to use the summer to independently explore something new, and this was completely foreign from anything I had done before. Honestly, the physical aspects were fine. I was fit enough to feel challenged but not overly exhausted,” Ellie said. Her trip consisted of six miles of hiking a day.
Outward Bound offers 21 different trips across the globe. They have a Southwest rafting trip for teens 16 and up. This week-long trip for high schoolers, is in the Colorado Rockies and includes backcountry skiing and snowboarding. Another trip they offer is “Boundary Waters Dog Sledding and Cross Country Skiing.” This trip is a little over two weeks.
Apogee is another popular summer program. Apogee offers exciting youth summer adventure, service and education programs to students. They have programs in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe. Apogee groups are never more than twelve participants, balanced by gender and age, and they always have two leaders. Liv ’18 went on an Apogee biking trip from Eugene, Oregon to San Francisco.
“I think that it’s really easy to fall into a routine and most of us do. During the school year I wake up at the same time, 6:37, go to school, come home, and do work. It’s very comfortable and basically never changes. I was just really excited to do something completely new that would give me an entirely different outlook on the world,” Liv said.
“By the end of the trip, my group of 12 felt like a giant family.” Liv had friends from North Carolina, New York, and California.
There are some free summer programs as well. Elena ’18 applied for a summer program in China called NSLI-Y. The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students and recent high school graduates to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs.
Elena stayed with a host family who didn’t speak a word of English and took four hours of Chinese classes everyday. Elena strongly recommends this type of immersion program.
“By forcing myself to take risks and become fully immersed in the culture, I learned so much more about Chinese language and society, and also about myself,” Elena said. When she was not in the classroom, she explored neighborhoods and find local enclaves.
There are more service-oriented programs for summer activities. Habitat for Humanity has service projects all over the country. Also, UCLA offers summer classes for high school students, this is an option for girls seeking topics that Marlborough does not offer.