When school’s out for summer, many teens may be holding down a summer job or heading off on vacation with their families. But summer’s also a great time for teenagers to gain some skills that will help them succeed in high school, college and beyond. And there are lots of summer camps and programs in the D.C. area to assist them with just that.
Take Georgetown Day School’s high school organizational and study skills camp. Offered July 30-Aug. 10 for rising ninth- through 12th-graders, the afternoon-only program ($630) features three units that strengthen participants’ English, math and project skills. Students learn study and test-taking strategies such as annotating text, note taking, summarizing information and managing their time.
“We’re seeing such an increase in test anxiety,” says Vinita Ahuja, director of extended learning and auxiliary programs at Georgetown Day School. “This is teaching kids to self-advocate, to say, ‘Here’s what I need to do to be successful.’ ”
The Potomac School in McLean, Va., offers a variety of summer programs that help both its own students and teens from other local schools prepare for the rigors of high school and college. Its analytical writing skills program for rising ninth-graders ($395) is offered Aug. 20-24 so they can kick off the new school year on the right foot.
“It helps them hone how to read something and be able to translate it into a viable paragraph,” says Mimsy Stirn, director of auxiliary programs at the Potomac School. “It’s very popular with our student body and students from outside it.”
The Potomac School also offers a study skills camp for rising seventh- and eighth-graders ($395) that same week. Students learn how to use binders, planners and other tools to get organized, manage their time and study effectively.
“They’re bombarded with so many things during the day that I think it’s wonderful for them to get some time to focus on how you organize yourself,” Stirn says. “For those kids who want to get ready and get themselves focused on what’s going to happen in the school year, it’s a wonderful way to center themselves and get ready to go.”
The Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center in Rockville tackles similar topics in its summer programs designed for middle and high schoolers diagnosed with dyslexia or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or who otherwise benefit from multisensory learning methods. Its middle and high school writing and study skills camp ($1,100) takes place July 9-20. In a small group setting, students receive guidance on topics like note taking, test prep, grammar and essay writing.
For students already looking beyond high school, plenty of colleges and universities in the D.C. area offer summer camps and programs that help students prepare to apply to college, get a taste of college life or explore different career paths. George Mason University, for example, offers a nursing camp July 9-13 ($300) that teaches high schoolers basic nursing skills (treating wounds, infection control, etc.) and introduces them to different career opportunities in the nursing field.
Georgetown University offers a college prep program July 22-Aug. 10 ($6,199 for tuition, housing and meals; commuter options are available). High school participants get tips for studying for the SAT and ACT, work with instructors on writing personal statements for college applications, beef up their math skills and connect with admissions advisors during tours of D.C.-area colleges. Schools like Georgetown and George Washington University also offer high schoolers the opportunity to earn college credits through their pre-college summer programs.
With campuses in Rockville, Germantown and Takoma Park, Md., Montgomery College offers a variety of programs over the summer that help kids with their pre- and post-college plans. That includes its career development program ($225) for high school students who will be entering 10th through 12th grade, which takes place July 9-13. Participants learn how to write a résumé, develop a career plan and practice interview skills.
Camps focusing on architecture (June 25-29, $220) and interior design (June 18-22, price TBD) help high schoolers learn more about specific careers and the training needed for them. Montgomery College also offers study skills camps and summer courses to help with SAT and ACT test preparation and the college admission process.
“We’ve deliberately expanded as much of this stuff as we can,” says Dorothy Umans, dean of community education and extended learning at Montgomery College. “Because we recognize that this is what parents are looking for.”
More camps in the D.C. area: