In one of his best-known sonnets, Shakespeare observes poignantly that, “summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Perhaps no one experiences this season’s ephemerality more acutely than students, who embrace those fleeting days of release—of sun and fun—with exceptional ardor.
Summer affords young people a wonderful and much needed opportunity to step away from their usual routine—to travel, work a job, spend time with family and friends, and just veg out. Summer is also a time when students are at liberty to unreservedly pursue their passions, or to try something entirely new, or even to lay the foundations for the coming year in a low-stress setting.
As I reflect upon my own youth, I can say emphatically that many of my most formative and memorable summertime experiences came in the context of the enrichment programs—above all the zoology and art camps—that my parents encouraged and at times gently nudged me to participate in.
While I ultimately focused my studies on history in college and graduate school, I spent a spellbinding two weeks as a middle schooler exploring—and in several cases dissecting—all manner of fauna, discovering along the way how fish use an air bladder to regulate their buoyancy, as well as the remarkable fact that worms have five—5!—hearts. Likewise, art was one of those pursuits for which there never seemed to be enough time during the school year, and as such I reveled in the opportunity to paint and sculpt with total abandon. Along the way I learned about form and content, representation and abstraction; and by summer’s end the walls and shelves in my room were fully adorned with the fruits of my labor, a few of which still reside in my parent’s “permanent collection.”
Both camps broadened my horizons by introducing me to new ideas and skills, not to mention the teachers and peers with whom I shared these experiences. They sparked my imagination, and though I learned a ton, I also had tremendous fun.
Such is our goal at St. Luke’s, where our summer camps and workshops combine stimulating experiences and academic rigor that extend learning and development beyond the school year in the inclusive environment that defines our community culture. This story about our writing workshops highlights student feedback.
We invite you to explore Summer on the Hilltop, where you will find a diverse array of innovative offerings. We are thrilled that nearly all of our homegrown programs from the past several years are back on the books again in 2019, and are excited to offer a number of new camps and workshops for ages 4 through adult—many of which are open to the public.
If the Bard is right, and summer is indeed the most transitory of seasons, then how better to spend it than in the company of teachers and community who want nothing more than to help young people squeeze every last drop out of the experience?
St. Luke’s is a private, secular (non-religious) independent school in New Canaan, CT serving grades 5-12. St. Luke’s mission: An exceptional education that inspires a deep love of learning, a strong moral compass, the commitment to serve, and the confidence to lead.
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