Summertime for CCHS students is a mixed bag of travel, work and play

By Felicity Zhang CCHS ‘25
August 3, 2023

Summer: two and a half months of (mostly) homework-free bliss for high school students. 

Many are spending their summer traveling, visiting family and sightseeing in places from Hong Kong and Italy. Earlier in the summer, groups of Concord-Carlisle High School students and faculty took trips to London and Iceland to explore various wonders. A few students are currently participating in exchange programs abroad. Others are exploring stateside locales like New York and Virginia.

One student is glad to spend more time with family, traveling to Bermuda to snorkel and to Vermont for camping. “I also get to spend time with my friends, like going to the movies,” they said.

Many students are using the plethora of summer camps and programs available to explore their passions.

One student will participate in a sleep-away music camp; another is attending PROMYS, a prestigious and intensive six-week number theory summer program at Boston University. Despite most of the day being unstructured beyond a morning lecture and daily problem set, the student said, “The problem set is hard enough that I’m still sleeping late.” After PROMYS ends, they said, “I’m also going to Iceland for a week with my family.” 

One student lauded the virtual debate camp they attended. Another – after sailing for three weeks on the Charles River – attended a debate workshop camp at Harvard, followed by a research camp at Tufts. “I will then [be a] counselor at my church for a vacation Bible study camp, followed by a vacation to the Caribbean,” the student said. 

Other students have become counselors at camps they previously attended. One is a counselor-in-training in their second year at a sleepaway camp: “We plate meals, organize seating, do the dishes, make sure kids get medications and get sleep and [participate in] activities.”

Others are enjoying the free time and summer weather by devoting themselves to hobbies like karate, volleyball, golf and video games. F-Word, CCHS’s student punk band, is working on a demo tape.

In addition to working at Bagels Plus in Acton, one student said they are “hiking with my mom and brother, [practicing] driving more, reading, and watching movies.” On a trip to Washington State to visit family, they’re excited to “visit museums, libraries, shop, and also do more hiking.” 

Others are similarly enthusiastic about trips to amusement parks like Six Flags with friends and family. 

Many students work and volunteer at places like Newbury Court, a senior living development, providing a source of fulfillment and a more profound connection with the town. 

A student who works at the Joy Street boutique in West Concord says the work “brings me exactly what’s in the name – joy,” saying that owner Jen McGonigal, “is the kindest person in the world” and has a “motherly connection” with members of the community. “Working for her has made me understand why you shop local: A person can come in looking for last-minute birthday candles and will leave twenty minutes later with a life-long friend,” they said. 

The same student will be traveling to New Hampshire later in the summer. “I usually enjoy New Hampshire, though not being able to work for quite a few weeks makes me loathe the idea of leaving Concord,” they said.

One student concluded, “It’s been fun to get away from the rigid structure of the school day and plan out my activities to my liking – whether I’m studying for standardized tests, preparing for music auditions or seeing the Barbie movie, I’ve definitely been taking advantage of the extra time while keeping a balance between work and fun.”