9 Amazing Summer Experiences to Learn, Grow, and Thrive

Should You Get an Edge or Catch a Break?

It's almost the end of the school year, and that means it's time for that age-old dilemma: should I spend the summer productively, or should I enjoy it? 

Depending on where you are in your academic journey, total abandonment of academic tasks might be out of the question. 

If college is on the horizon, you’re probably spending some time over the summer preparing for the SAT, ACT, or writing your application essay.

Or, you might find that summer is the only chance you have to take an academic course that really interests you but that isn’t available at your school. You might even be attending an amazing academic camp that will help you develop your serious interest in coding, calculus, or cryptography.

Maybe you’re spending your summer re-taking a class to improve your grade, or getting ahead so you can clear up your schedule for next year.

Don't feel stuck thinking you have to choose one or the othereither becoming a super genius or vegging on the couch until you sprout potato buds. 

Some of the best learning happens when you get up and do stuff! [Tweet that.]

You Can Do Both!

If you already have plans to make the most of your summer through a class, workshop, or study program, make sure to leave some time for hands-on, enriching experiences. That might mean your take a fun trip with your family, or that you spend time growing a garden or making movies.

That fun you're having when you get up and do stuff (rather than just hearing about it or seeing it on a screen) is actually giving you important skills!  A 2013 academic study of students participating in summer programs found that getting active helps students learn important skills: 

…hands-on, experiential summer programs had significant positive effects on a variety of student outcomes. Primarily…on social and emotional learning and the development of 21st century skills including problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.
— The effects of experiential, service-learning summer learning programs on youth outcomes, Adam Greenman, Northeastern University

Camps With Purpose

If you're not sure how the get hands-on experience that will jumpstart your meta-learning skills, consider a camp that challenges and teaches while also providing fun and new opportunity. You can make friends, see the world, and stretch your legsand your brain. Check out these camp experience designed to provide a memorable and meaningful summer experience.

 Adventures in Nature

Get outdoors and breathe the air, smell the tree bark, and explore your world.

Skill-Building and Fun for ADHD or LD Campers

Tech and Design

Leadership and Volunteering

Even if you've got important goals this summer, like getting ready for college, leave time for getting up and getting outside. Explore your passions, develop your talents, and have fun! You'll not only be making memories, you'll also be investing in your future by exercising your brain.

What are you most looking forward to about summer? Share in the comments below!