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Summer Camp vs. Summer Internship: what's right for you?

You decide: summer camp or summer internship?

Summer camps are often thought of as fun, casual experiences where campers engage in arts and crafts, sports, and outdoor activities. While that’s often true, there are also summer camps that can provide some wonderful academic experiences and actually be similar to a summer internship. If you’re trying to figure out what to do this summer, think about what your goals are for your experience.


Pick the right summer camp, and you could find yourself immersed in a world of engineering or architecture, arts or athletics, each designed to expand your skill base and improve your mastery over the subject matter. You will likely find yourself meeting new people with similar interests, and hopefully making good friends. The experience tends to be more casual, which can provide a relaxing summer experience. On the flip side, if you don’t do your research on the program, you could find yourself involved in activities that, while fun, don’t help you get the field experience you had hoped to gain.

A summer internship could also give you a great learning experience, but won’t be structured quite the same way. You could be the only intern or one of several interns, each having pros and cons, like lots of personal attention or very little personal attention. When it comes to an internship, you might have a ton of responsibility and a hefty workload that provides a wealth of valuable experience. Or, you could find yourself in a situation with less hands-on opportunities, not getting the full immersive experience you wanted. The right summer internship can be a perfect stepping stone to a future career, but the wrong summer internship can leave you feeling stressed or unfulfilled.

When you compare a summer camp to a summer internship, what matters is what you want to get out of the experience. Think about your goals and do your research on the programs that interest you. Make sure that whatever you choose to do, you get an experience that will help you to grow and learn in the areas that matter most.

Cheshire Academy’s Sustainable Earth program provides a little of each: summer camp and summer internship. Designed to get students working on hands-on projects, you get to choose from two tracks that both give you the best of both worlds:

The Cultural Time Travel track offers two sessions that focus on aspects of the Earth and environment. The first session, Past and Present Earth, looks at the impact humans have had on our planet and how technology has played a role in our lives. Explore evolution, research alternative energy solutions, and the civilizations of tomorrow as part of the second session, Future Earth.

Discover the mysteries that lay beneath the waves and reveal the far reaches of space in the Exploration track. Study microscopic marine life and the dynamics of shipbuilding and navigation in Oceans, the first session of Exploration. The two-week track culminates with students launching their team-engineered tethered submersible to explore several bodies of water, including Long Island Sound. While space might not be the final frontier, it may truly be the most difficult to reach and explore. From researching the potential for colonization on other planets to launching rockets and weather balloons, students can satisfy their curiosities about what lays beyond.

Stacy Jagodowski

Written by Stacy Jagodowski

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