A number of boarding schools offer summer programs. Summer boarding school can be a time to catch up on academics, participate in traditional summer camp activities, or get a feel for boarding school life. This article provides a more information.
Different Uses of Summer Boarding School Programs
Providing summer programs obviously offers an opportunity for increased revenue with year-round-use of facilities for schools, boarding schools included. While some programs are only for students enrolled in the boarding school, others are open to the general population. And while there are programs set up for different purposes—some focusing more on school-type experience, some more on camp-type experience, and some more like a sports camp—as a parent, you can view them through your own lens. For example, you can provide an alternative to your local summer camp experiences, provide a contrast to your child’s school year experience with a single gender experience, or “try out” a certain type of boarding school through a brief stay. Here are some ways that you can use a summer school program offered by a boarding school.
• Help Your Child Catch Up—Summer is traditionally a time for extra academic help in core courses like English and Mathematics given over an extended period. Summer boarding schools may focus exclusively on this goal or integrate it with other goals. An example of the latter is Cardigan Mountain School in New Hampshire
• Introduce Your Child to the Away-From-Home Experience—If your children are homeschooled or you are looking for a camp that all your young children can attend, Summer Programs at The Bement School in Deerfield, Massachusetts have a Preschool Program for ages 15 months to 4 years, as well as an Adventure Day Camp for ages 5 to 15. http://www.bement.org/summer.html
• Acclimate Your Child to His/Her New School—If your child is going to attend a boarding school in the fall, having a chance to be there in a more relaxed time and become acclimated can be valuable. At Hargrave Military Academy, for example, students wear a “relaxed uniform” while experiencing a combined academic and outdoor program. http://www.hargrave.edu/summerschool/
• Give Your Child a Chance to Focus on an Area of Talent or Academic Strength Some summer boarding school experiences give students an opportunity for enrichment over and above the basic academic program. This could include a focus on one or more of the arts, foreign languages, or subjects that are not customarily part of the standard K–12 school curriculum. For example, the STEM (Summer Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Program offered by the United States Naval Academy introduces students in grades 7–9 and gifted in these areas to new technology and career possibilities in the Armed Forces. http://www.usna.edu/admissions/stem.html
• Provide a First International Experience in a Controlled Environment—Boarding schools in other countries with a summer program can add a flare of adventure to the summer camp experience. For example, Stanstead College in Quebec, Canada, near the US/Vermont border, offers both a Language Adventure program that focuses on English, French, and Spanish, as well as an International Girls Hockey Camp and Tournament for girls 12–18. http://www.stansteadcollege.com/summer_camps.php