After last summer, when most summer plans were cancelled due to the pandemic, this year Ramaz students are finding ways to create their own, unique summer. Even though some plans were cancelled, more programs arose and students were able to find the right path for themselves. Some students decided to be a counselor in a sleepaway or day-camp. Others decided to pursue an internship or take online courses. Even some travel programs are taking place! Others will be spending time studying for standardized tests or working on their college applications. Furthermore, the Summer Mentorship program will be taking place again for the second summer. Certainly, this won’t be a summer of let downs as students are more prepared to take a risk and try something new.
Sleepaway-camps are prepared to stay open for a full seven weeks this summer. Last summer, these camps were only open for a few weeks due to the fear of a Covid-19 outbreak. Camps are now prepared and have learned from their experiences last summer. Izzie Ottensoser ’22 will be working as a camp counselor at Camp Seneca Lake. She said, “Working at Seneca last summer, even during the pandemic, was one of the best summers of my life. I was able to step away from the Covid world for a few weeks and just hang out with my friends.” Camp Seneca Lake set up a “bubble”, so campers and staff were able to remove their masks after the first few days. Ottenssoser will be returning to be a counselor again and she can’t wait to once again step away from the busy city and spend the summer outside.
Kol Hanearim, a program that connects American teenagers to Israeli youth who live in at-risk homes, was cancelled for the second summer. Even though the staff and alumni from Kol Hanearim were optimistic about this summer’s program, the situation in Israel and the uniqueness of their program forced them to cancel this summer’s plans. Students who were scheduled to participate in Kol Hanearim needed to find new plans, which included working at a summer camp or taking an online course. Sarah Ginsberg ’22 was planning on traveling to Israel for her first time this summer as a part of the Kol Hanearim program. Her hopes were let down when the program was cancelled. However, she discovered that she was still able to make her summer meaningful by interning with a dentist. Although Kol Hanearim was cancelled, other travel programs are still happening. Ramah is still hoping to bring their campers to Israel as part of their Seminar program. Students have already purchased plane tickets and are very optimistic that this program will not fall through, as Israel’s guidelines are beginning to ease up.
There are also many summer programs available for students who are interested in journalism. Columbia University offers two-week courses in their Summer Immersion program with a wide range of courses from Entrepreneurship to Creative Writing. On the subject of Journalism, they offer Creative Writing: Advanced Workshop, Creative Writing: Introductory Workshop, Journalism and Nonfiction, Master Class in Fiction, Introduction to Creative Writing, and Introduction to Journalism and Nonfiction. Furthermore, Boston University’s College of Communications offers their Summer Journalism Academy and New York University offers Summer Journalism at NYU.
This summer presents an opportunity for students to try something new and explore outside of their comfort zone. Many programs exist and although some may be virtual, they are informative and engaging. As the world steps in the right direction with Covid-19, students hope that their in-person plans remain plausible and that their return to school after the summer will look more “normal” than this past year.