So you’re coming to Champlain College. What now? Roommate assignments, packing, getting your parents to stop crying as you leave, mentally preparing yourself for Orientation, right? Well, before all that, you should really do one more thing. Sign up for a Champlain Summer Launch Program.
As a current student, I can say with no doubt in my mind that attending a Summer Launch Program was one of most important decisions I made before coming here in the fall. Here’s why.
Summer Launch Programs are two-to three-day activities designed by the school to enable you to see a bit of Burlington over the summer (amazing), meet other students from your class before Orientation (genius), and have a blast doing it (accurate). By going on any one of the four programs the school offers you are ensuring that when you get to Orientation in the fall, you already know people. You know people who work here, you know upperclassmen, and, most importantly, you know a bunch of other people in your grade. You have people to sit with during the opening talks, you have people to eat with at the dining hall, and you have people in other dorms with air conditioning to mooch off of if the first week of school is unbearably hot. Trust me on this one, there’s not much better than getting to college and already having friends.
As for the actual programs, you have options! So, now that you know what it is, let’s figure out which program is for you!
Do you like amusement parks?
If the answer is yes, check out Roller Coaster Extravaganza. As a student who went on this program I will unabashedly claim that it is the best (but I’ve heard that about each and every one of them from students in those). Roller Coaster Extravaganza is a weekend trip where we all begin by meeting at the Champlain campus. Together we take a bus ride to Six Flags where we spend the day riding rides, eating food and getting to know each other. After that we set up camp nearby and get some ice cream while enjoying a jazz band under the stars. There is no better way to get to know people than roasting marshmallows and swapping stories around a bonfire. The adventure wraps up with some activities and goodbyes at the Champlain campus.
The dates for this program are Friday, June 21 to Sunday, June 23.
Do you like the outdoors?
Then the Outdoor Adventure Program is your best option! This program gives you a chance to spend a few days out in a wilderness lodge spending time getting to know a bunch of other students. There is a beginner/intermediate level hike, games, and fun. The students who attend this program rave about the time that they had in the lodge and how they are still so close with the people that they met there.
The dates for this program are Monday, July 1 to Wednesday, July 3.
Do you just want a head start on college?
If you want to get to Champlain early, or think you might need a little extra time to transition into a college student, The Ultimate Transition Experience is probably the best opportunity for you. There is absolutely nothing better than summer in Burlington, and you can get a chance to see it. Spend a few days checking out what college life is like and get a glimpse of the full residential, academic and social experience. The days will be a mix of skill-building classes, checking out the resources on campus, fun activities and meeting people you will get to know even better in the fall. Last summer a number of students, some with diagnosed learning challenges and some without, found this session very helpful.
The dates for this program are Wednesday, July 17 to Friday, July 19.
Do you like community service?
Want to get involved with Champlain and community service right off the bat? Spend a couple days volunteering with a local non-profit in Montreal (Don’t forget you need a passport!). Meet other students who also like getting involved with the community and get to see the awesome city of Montreal, which is super close to Burlington! Give back while also gaining new friends and new memories before school even starts.
The dates for this program are Tuesday, July 16 to Thursday, July 18.
Each program is $200 but well worth the price. Meals, transportation, activities and housing are all included in the cost.
In case you are still not convinced, here is what some current (and graduated!) students have to say about their experiences with summer launch.
“Summer Launch was a fantastic opportunity to make friends with other incoming freshmen without the stress of trying to get to know people during orientation. I’m now a senior and I’m still friends with the people I met there.” –David Pictor ‘14
“Summer launch at Champlain was a great experience because I got to make friendships with other students from my class before I got to Champlain. I met my roommate for my freshman year at the summer launch program that I did! I would recommend that every incoming student do a summer launch program before they get to Champlain.” –Ethan Farmer ‘16
“Summer Launch Transitions is a great way to get to know other incoming students and where each building is on campus, while having a great time. It alleviates a lot of stress from your first day when you already have friends and know how to get to your classes.” –Jared Donohue ‘14
“Going to Outdoor Adventure Program was a great experience as I came to college knowing classmates and was confident in my choice of where to study.” –Jay Hall ‘12
“It was great to be able to meet other incoming freshmen before Orientation. By the time classes started I already had a few friends and it made the transition period so much easier.” –Olivia Pratt ‘14
Meeting new people can be terrifying. Personally, making the choice to go 14 hours from home and spend some time with complete strangers before school even started was not my idea of a fun time. However, I cannot stress enough how happy I was with the decision to go on a Summer Launch Program. I got involved and got to know both upperclassmen and faculty who have and will always be valuable personal and professional connections. The friendships I made from those few days have lasted throughout my time at Champlain and will last well beyond it.
-Kate Young ’14
Sign up for your Champlain Summer Launch Program here!