Reforming Summer Program High School Students

Reforming Summer Programs for High School Students

It’s the first day of summer and that means… Summer Vacation! Students yearn for it, and yet so often they drift, slip backwards in their educational competencies in something researchers call the “summer slide;” and sometimes even get into serious trouble. For many youth, summer programs for high school students are the lifeline that keeps them trying new experiences and stretching their skills.

But summer programs can offer an even more powerful and rewarding experience for high school students. Whether a camper or a counselor, a high school student in camp can forge a deeper connection to their values and dreams.

As the summer season gets underway, we want to encourage organizations, camp directors and parents to look at camp programs and ask…

  • Is this summer camp the best it can be for the teens who need it most?
  • Is your summer camp program doing justice to the high school students who signed up?
  • Are you navigating the challenges of cultural diversity or using the same camp curriculum without thought or care?
  • Are the campers exercising independence in a new context?
  • Are they growing as individuals and learning how to be a catalyst for positive change?

Many camps neglect to ask the campers themselves about their experiences beyond a low bar such as “fun.” But we all know camp can offer so much more. Especially when spending extended time away from home, and building skills around different interests, summer programs for high school students can and should offer meaningful and inspirational opportunities for change in a child’s life. We are talking about comprehensive change, a move to become a better person in the context of the camp community and in life going forward.

At CoolSpeak, we have a proud track record working with school districts, organizations such as GEAR UP, and independent camps and schools. We put together a custom camp program for your organization, on short notice or with extraordinary care for next year’s season. Schedule us for a week or just a couple of days. There are plenty of options to fit your needs, timeline, and budget.

We also shift the course of your current camp summer program. Our experienced, skilled CoolSpeak speakers can come in now to offer a presentation to campers and counselors alike that will motivate all the participants to develop skills to shape the future they want to see. Campers will come away with life strategies to cultivate internal motivation, improve emotional intelligence, and enhance critical thinking skills that will serve them in any situation.

Take action! Reach out to us to learn more about how to take your summer programs for high school students to the next level with CoolSpeak Programs and CoolSpeak Events. Let’s bring high school campers the powerful confidence and engagement we all know summer camp can deliver.

CoolSpeak – We put the Motivation back into Education. CoolSpeak is the nation’s leading youth engagement company. Since 2009, we deliver unique speakers, programs, events, books and products designed to keep students inspired, parents involved, and teachers engaged.


How to #ThankATeacher – Best Tips & Suggestions from CoolSpeak

This week is National Teachers Appreciation Week. We polled the CoolSpeak team and they were full of great suggestions on how you can honor and celebrate your appreciation for your teachers.  Try any of these suggestions by our CoolSpeak Speakers.  And remember, we can thank our teachers all year round. So if you didn’t get to #ThankATeacher this week, you still have time before the end of the school year!


Joaquín ZihuatanejoVisit Joaquin’s page

  1. Write an acrostic poem that spells out the word teacher down the left-hand side of the page.
  2. Write a letter of appreciation to your teacher using at least five recent vocabulary words.
  3. Make a collage of images and words that state how much you appreciate that teacher and write a paragraph on the back of the collage that explains what the work of art means and what that teacher means to yo

Ernesto Mejia – Visit Ernesto’s page

  1. Write a thank you note letting your teacher know why you appreciate them. Maybe give them a Starbucks gift card or candy with the note.
  2. Have every student write 3 (positive) words that describe a teacher and leave all of the post it notes on the teacher’s desk for him/her to read later.
  3. Wash the teacher’s car and give a gas gift card. (Let another adult know that you’re doing this).
  4. Write a poem or a speech about how that teacher has influenced their class.
  5. Have alumni reach out to their past teachers to show their respect, appreciation, and admiration for what they did for them when they had them as teachers.
  6. Post a picture of the teacher on social media and have students post why the admire the teacher.
  7. Send the teacher flowers with a nice note from the entire class.

Joey Negron – Visit Joey’s page

  1. Say thank you. A simple thank you goes a long way.
  2. Be a good classmate.
  3. Volunteer in class.
  4. Leave a quick/happy/fun note or write on the board (chalk/white) to make your teacher laugh or smile.
  5. Give a small little gift, if possible

Justin Colon – Learn more About CoolSpeak’s Services

  1. Write an appreciation letter or make a video
  2. Volunteer time to help clean the classroom
  3. The class makes a thank-you book
  4. Former students can visit or send a card
  5. The parent of a student could send an appreciation letter


Plan Ahead!  Contact us to schedule a CoolSpeak Program, Event, or Speaker.


**Thank you Teachers, Staff, and Administration! Much love, CoolSpeak**