Looking ahead to summer


Photo by Inlet Sea Doos

Learning specialist Brett Kugler and his family parasailing.

Elliot Bramson, Reporter

As freshman Dalya Brickman sits in class for the final two weeks of the school year, her mind is racing with excitement for her summer trip to Kenya

Summer vacation is almost here, and students like Brickman are excited for camp, family trips or other unique plans with family and friends. Namely, Brickman will be traveling to Africa with her family this summer. There, she will be volunteering at a hospital with a program called the Nanyuki Furaha Foundation.

“All the kids there suffer from abuse and other issues at home or their parents can’t take care of them. They live there, and when you volunteer, you just play games with them and keep them busy,” Brickman said. “I feel like it would be a really good experience because I could learn a lot by working with these kids who have gone through a lot, and it’s nice to help them.”

While leaving the country with your family can be fun, not everyone does it. Some people prefer to take trips within the United States with or without their families. One such person is sophomore Josie Cohen.

Cohen will be spending a few weeks of the summer on a teen tour traveling the West Coast. After going to sleepaway camp for so many years, she thinks it will be beneficial to experience something different. 

“We’re going to a lot of parts of California, Las Vegas and more states in that area. We’re going to national parks, the beach and other places for sightseeing,” Cohen said.

Another good experience within the country is to play summer sports to improve your game. Junior Zackary Shpilman is participating in a summer travel baseball team called the Elite Baseball 17U National Academic team. In order to make the team, students must show both baseball skills and a high level of academic integrity. The head coach of the team is the lead recruiter for Brown University. 

Shpilman will be going to many different states in order to compete with other teams in competitive tournaments and to show off his skills to college scouts. This is a good opportunity to get his name out there in order to receive offers from colleges.

“I have a tournament in Atlanta, a couple in Philadelphia, a couple in New Jersey, one in Boston, and a few in other places,” Shpilman said. “I can’t wait for the opportunity, and I also plan to visit colleges while traveling for these tournaments.”

Some people prefer to stay home and not travel anywhere. They plan on simply relaxing over the summer by meeting with friends and enjoying local activities. Learning specialist Brett Kugler is one such person.

“My wife and I are both teachers, so we’re both off, and so typically we go together and do different things… I also try to find friends who can take a personal day and scatter them throughout the summer,” Kugler said. “I’ve gone with friends to do white water rafting, indoor rock climbing, kayaking, fishing, laser tag, a lot of outdoor stuff.”

Kugler likes to think of himself as a “staycations aficionado.” Around 12 years ago, Kugler started a blog to keep track of what his family was doing over the summer in order to stay organized. Over the years, the list grew heavily, with a range of activities for kids and adults.

“As I put more and more activities, I noticed that random people started finding the blog and people were saying that they appreciated that I did it and it helped them explore the area,” Kugler said. “291,000 people have visited my blog and the places range from chill simple things like a museum or park to places to ski or do other activities.” 

Kugler is glad that his blog that he originally started just for his family is now able to benefit so many people. Many people still look forward to the additions that are put into the blog.

“Some places invite me to go out for free just to write a review for them on my blog, so I’ve gotten to go to some theme parks and ropes courses which have been really cool,” Kugler said. “I’ve been asked to advertise, but I rejected it because this isn’t about the money for me; it’s about the community.”