Kraylee Ledger spent part of her summer at the UMass Amherst - Sport Management and Leadership Academy.
Why did you choose to participate in a summer program?
I chose to participate in an overnight summer program because of all of the opportunities it provides me. Attending a program like this sets you apart from other kids who are just sitting at home during their summer break. Programs like this allow me to have a hands-on learning experience in and out of the classroom.
How did you decide which program or camp was right for you?
I studied with the Sports Management branch of the UMass Summer programs. I have a passion for sports and business, and the program is right up my alley. While I was looking at different camps, the things that set this apart from others were college credit, learning experiences, and the campus. I’ve gone to other camps for other programs of study, but I knew that UMass was right for me with the vigorous learning experience that included daily group presentations, and outstanding faculty and guest speakers.
What was a typical day in your summer program or at camp?
A typical day in the life of a sports management student starts by waking up on a schedule with my suitemates so we could all get ready. Then, my suitemates and I would all head to either Hamp or Frank for breakfast early enough to allow us time to walk and wake up for the day. After eating, I would start to walk to Isenberg. Each day has its own theme of the sports management branch, so your day of learning would begin with a speaker based on the topic. Lunch eventually rolls around and I would decide to go to Blue Wall, Frank, Hamp, etc. Lunch was about an hour and a half, then I would return to Isenberg and the afternoon would be devoted to working on the group presentations that were graded on a scale out of 5, and add up over each week as part of a competition. Then, I might have some homework for the next day, but would have the rest of the afternoon to spend with my suite – whether going to a dining hall and then watching Netflix or ordering pizza and watching Netflix.
What was the most memorable moment of your summer?
The most memorable moment of my summer experience was definitely spending time with my suitemates. I was fortunate enough to be in Elm where I had a roommate, then another room attached to our living space. My suitemates were amazing, we were all from different programs and places, including Puerto Rico. We are now best friends and are planning to visit each other over our breaks. Then, my other suitemates were from Connecticut and Pennsylvania. We all became such a tight-knit suite and the most memorable moment of my summer was being able to spend every night with them - binge watching Netflix originals, going for walks around campus, spending time at the pond, and being able to form an unbreakable bond.
What advice do you have for teens looking at summer programs or camps?
My advice for anyone looking at summer programs is to do your research. You need to know where you are going and what you are getting yourself into. For example, are scholarships available to help assist in paying for the experience? So many important questions can be answered just by contacting someone. Also, in deciding to attend UMass, I jumped out of my comfort zone. Find a place that offers something you love in a place that will bring you out of your comfort zone. The experience you will have will be incredible and well worth your time.