When summer comes around, various thoughts come to mind: laying on a beach with the sun bathing our faces, splashing in the pool with friends, eating ice cream in the driveway, going to baseball games and sleeping whenever the urge comes along.
From June to August, obligations for students decreases substantially. While there may still be jobs to go to, chores to complete for parents or promises to fulfill, there aren’t any papers to turn in.
There are no tests to study for. There’s no race to please teachers and there’s no stress over grades and what parents’ reactions might be towards them.
Summer means freedom, and what students choose to do with this eight-week period of glory days spans over a wide variety of activities.
For Sophomore Rachel Trout, summer is going to be all about traveling.
“I’m going on a trip with EF Tours with Mrs. Scheurman and Miss Weed and we’re going to Ireland, Whales, Paris and London,” said Trout.
Trout said she’s most excited to see everything in Paris, “Although, we’re staying in a bed and breakfast, so that’s going to be really cute too.”
Even though Trout said she gets to go Europe with a lot of her friends, including Adam Houghton, Madison Wilkins, Hillary Heizman and Connor Lotz, she said she is going on the Europe trip more for the experience than the social aspect.
To fill that role, Trout said she is going to a Jewish camp called JCCC Ranch Camp in Colorado.
This will be Trout’s seventh year participating at the camp.
“The last three years we’ve gone on trips where we go hiking and camping, but this year I’m going to be a staff trainee,” said Trout. “So I stay at the camp working with eighth graders, so that will be fun.”
Trout said she is equally excited for both trips this summer and could not choose one as her favorite over the other.
“They’re both different types of experiences,” said Trout. “Europe is more for the experience but at camp I’ll get to see my friends again, which is always a good time.”
Sophomore Zach Miller is staying in Kansas for the summer, but his schedule will be no less full than Trout’s. Miller has decided to focus on his theatre skills over the hot months off of school through Southwest’s summer theatre program, led by Southwest theatre teacher Mr. Schmidt.
“I am doing ‘The Tempest’ by William Shakespeare this summer,” said Miller. “I am playing Stefano.”
Rehearsals for the show start July seventh and last through the 27th and rehearsals are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every single day.
“We will be working on Iambic pentameter, a lot of character work, obviously, putting the show together – just stuff like that.” said Miller.
Miller gave no specific reason as to why he was not keeping up his theatre practice through a Blue Valley High School activity instead of Southwest.
Southwest’s production of “The Tempest” will premier on July 28th and continue on the 29th.
When school wraps up at the end of May, Junior Molly Johnson will already be packed and ready to get out of Kansas – or rather, to go home.
“I used to live in Texas,” said Johnson. “I lived there for 11 years, I think. So all my friends live there.”
Johnson will be leaving at the very beginning of the summer for Houston, Texas to visit her old friends for around five weeks.
“I’m driving with my cousin, and she’s going to go visit her friends who live down there and then she’s going to fly back and I’m going to stay down in Texas,” said Johnson. “My mom is going to come down for the last week so she can see her friends too, and then I’ll be driving back up to Kansas with her.”
Johnson will stay mostly with one of her family friends who she said is friends with her mom. “We’re really close,” said Johnson. “But then sometimes I’ll spend the night at other friends’ houses as well.”
Johnson said she plans on mostly chilling out with her friends just like any other summer, although she does hope to participate in some annual activities as well.
“I’m going to do swim team down there,” said Johnson. “It will be with a team that I’ve been with since I was around three; I think this will be my fourteenth year on the team.”
Not everything Johnson does in Texas will be an old experience, however.
“I’m going to Warped Tour with my best friend,” said Johnson. “It’s going to be very fun. I’ve never been before, but she really likes all of the bands that are going and she’s gone before. I don’t really know any of the bands but it will still be fun because it’s a big concert.”
Johnson said she loves going back to Texas and would like to do so as much as possible.
“I’ve only lived in Kansas for two years but I went back to Texas last summer and I’m going again this summer, so I think it’s going to be kind of a tradition,” she said. “I plan on going again next summer, and I guess we’ll see from there.”
Although not imperative for the success of an enjoyable summer, traveling is something many look forward to between June and August.
This does not exclude Sophomore Hannah Judy, whose grandparents will be taking her and her sister on a Europe trip for about two weeks this summer.
“We’re visiting France, Italy, Great Britain… it is just going to be a sort of tour all over Europe,” said Judy.
She said she is most looking forward to seeing the Eiffel tower and hopes to be able to climb the iconic building.
Judy said she is looking forward to the trip because she is excited to be trying something new.
“I have never been to Europe before,” said Judy. “This will actually be my first time out of the country, but I’ve been all over the United States – almost all fifty states.”
Abandoning extravagance, Sophomore Joe Nicol said he will be happy to be staying in Kansas for his summer time activities. However, this does not mean he does not plan on being productive.
As a former Boy Scout and current successful Eagle Scout, Nicol is obligated to continue his service for the troop.
“I’m working at a Boy Scout camp in Bonner Springs, Kansas, called Camp Nash,” said Nicol. “I’ve been working there for three years – working on a climbing tower.”
Nicol said he enjoys working at the camp, but there are other ways he would like to spend his time off of school as well.
“I’m also going to live in Lawrence with my brother,” said Nicol. “I have friends there who are in a sorority so I will probably try to hang out with them as well.”
Nicol said he wants to party and have a good time but also get plenty of rest during his break.
“Whether it’s a lazy day or a productive day, I’m just looking to have a lot of fun this summer.”