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Taft Today

Taft Today

Taft Summer Activities

Cassie Nowik
Summer Opportunities taken from signs in Taft cafeteria

Summer break is right around the corner; seniors are soon to be graduating, and many of the underclassmen are looking forward to their break before returning for the next school year. Taft and other programs in the community offer plenty of opportunities for students to spend their summers having fun or being productive. 

At Taft, there are available summer camp programs fit for all students with a variety of hobbies and interests. Some examples include boys basketball, girls volleyball, ceramics, vocal training, and more. Each of these programs lasts about a week or so during the summer, and times may vary depending on the activity you are applying for.

To attend these camps, the application can be found on the Taft website. The location and cost of these camps also vary. On average, the cost to attend is between 25 and 75 dollars, depending on the camp you are applying to. Student availability for certain camps is limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Certain things may also be required, such as a physical form, if you are interested in attending a sports camp. Matthew Kestler, Athletic Director at Taft, helps out at the Taft Summer Camp program. “I’ve been a part of the team that organizes the summer camps for the past two years. We coordinate all the logistics, promotional materials, registration, and any equipment that is needed,” said Kestler.

Kestler said, “In total, we have around 50 camps. About half are athletic camps and half are other types of activities (photography, cafe relaxation, etc.) so there is something for everyone! All of the information on our camps and instructions on how to register can be found on our school website.”

Kestler went on to share how he recommends the opportunity to students. “It’s a lot of fun at an affordable price, and it’s a great way to keep busy over the summer,” he said.

Taft also holds programs to help students, especially those transferring from different schools or campuses. A couple examples are  the Freshman Connection and the Sophomore Connection. These are student-led programs that allow older students to introduce incoming freshmen or sophomores to the school and give them a rundown on Taft and how to navigate through the campus.

Taft Freshman Alexis Siavelis is attending Sophomore Connection during the week of August in the summer. “I think it’s smart that Taft has a Sophomore and Freshman Connection because it makes it easier for students to understand the layout of the building and make friends prior to the first day of school,” said Siavelis.

“I’m expecting it to be something similar to Freshman Connection in the sense that it’ll have a tour, activities, videos, and discussions based on the videos. I am looking forward to being a sophomore,” said Siavelis. 

Siavelis also went on to share how she enjoys that this program only lasts a few days because it allows students to still enjoy the rest of their summer while preparing to return to school. 

Even if students don’t want to be a part of school programs, they can choose to be productive and spend their summer working and trying new experiences. Taft senior Emily Szara works at a summer camp for the Chicago Park District of Shabbona. “I take care of 17 to 20 kids a day; normally eight to nine-year-olds but ages vary, and the job lasts the whole summer, June through August,” said Szara. 

Szara continued to share her experience of making new friends and making good memories, such as when the kids she worked with made her gifts. It’s also impactful to the community as a whole because it gives younger students a chance to enjoy their summer and try new things while having positive role models while their guardians might be working.

Szara said, “I recommend juniors or seniors get a job over the summer not only for the money but to try new things and get hands-on experience because once you start college you might not have the same time and energy to do so.”

No matter how you spend your summer, whether it’s preparing for school, working, attending camp or hanging out with friends, it’s worthwhile. Summer is the time to relax and recharge up. As it can help with character development and growth. Making the most of the summer can set you up for success.

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About the Contributor
Cassie Nowik
Cassie Nowik, Reporter