“Whadja do over break?” (translation: “What did you do over summer break?”) is a frequently asked question when school starts in August at St. Lawrence Seminary.
This year, we've rounded up some our favorite answers. Here are ten frequently cited summer activities. How many did you also do?
#10: Do your homework:
All of the seniors shared one activity: they all read The Odyssey of Homer and wrote reports and essays reflecting on what they read. A lively e-mail exchange continued throughout the summer.
#9: Play some games:
But their English class summer assignment wasn’t what seniors were telling their classmates about. They had a variety of things to tell their classmates about, of course. Some responses are what might be expected from teen-age boys describing their summer. “I played a lot of Fortnite” one student said.
#8: Work at a fast-food franchise:
Others got a little work experience at such teen-friendly franchise fast-food outlets as McDonalds or Subway, while another worked at a Vietnamese restaurant.
#7: Other summer work:
The Wisconsin State Fair provided an employment opportunity for one senior, and others worked in housekeeping in hotels and caddying at a golf course. Travel was involved in some of the jobs. For one, it was travel to various small fairs working in a concession stand, while the trip was to Germany to work at a corrugated cardboard company in the south of that country.
#6: Work with dad:
Some who worked summer jobs were also getting some father/son time in while getting work experience, working with fathers in such disparate enterprises as farming, farmers’ markets, construction, replacing car windows, restaurants, and learning the intricacies of running a junkyard.
#5: Helping at home:
Many helped their families with babysitting and home improvements, while others got into the moving business, one helping his sister move into her first apartment, while another helped to move his entire family from Indiana to Wisconsin.
#4: Joining a group:
Some participated in various group activates with others their age. One sang a part in the musical Little Mermaid for a community production. Others participated in soccer and football leagues. One student played Pokémon in a tournament with over 1,000 assembled players. Another trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (martial arts).
#3: Travel with the family:
The various family odysseys that the seniors took included a variety of places, some close to home, some not. Door County, Wisconsin is not too far from St. Lawrence, and Mackinaw Island, Michigan is still in the Midwest. But other travel destinations included places like Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Maryland, Minnesota, Louisiana, North and South Dakota, Florida, and the big cities of Chicago, Las Vegas, and New York City. Foreign travel included Mexico (one student read his Odyssey assignment on the beach at Cancun while another discovered his roots in a small Mexican village), the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Vietnam, and Germany.
Several students were looking ahead to life after high school, so there were visits to colleges both near and far with the whole family. Some students even took college classes over the summer.
#2: Develop Leadership Skills:
Some students learned more about leadership. Two were a part of the “Badger Boys State” at Ripon College, while another attended Hmong-American Catholic Leadership training in Wausau, Wisconsin.
One student really took his leadership skills to a new level: literally. He led a group of Boy Scouts on a ten-day backpack trip that successfully reached a 13,271 feet summit in Colorado.
Seniors at St. Lawrence Seminary didn’t forget about helping others over the summer. Besides helping out their families, they also went on mission trips and volunteered for work around the parish, like painting the parish garage, helping the church choir on Sundays, and joining the church cleaning crew once a week. One student organized a youth group picnic, while another helped to lead a youth retreat. Several seniors volunteered to lead sixth, seventh, and eighth grade boys in activities at the “Summer Action Retreat” held at St. Lawrence during June.
All in all, the answers to “Whadja do over break?” varied from the expected to the unexpected. The one thing in common, however, was that, while everyone enjoyed his vacation, each student seemed happy to reunite with his classmates when August finally arrived.
St. Lawrence Seminary is an all boys Catholic boarding school located in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin. We welcome students from Minnesota, Illinois and across the United States. Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the example of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Lawrence Seminary provides a residential college preparatory education in a living Catholic community nurturing mature, well-rounded men of faith. See if St. Lawrence is right for you and your son.