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Summer Conferences

Does your dream summer include meeting living writers, discovering the ecosystems in your own community, exploring the world through technology, or investigating history beyond the printed word? If so, you have come to the right place!

 

Know what you are looking for?    

Chose the Summer Program topic that interests you! Our Summer Conferences are open to students entering their sophomore, junior, and senior year of high school.     

Hosted by faculty and staff at the Center for Environment & Society.
Presented by faculty and staff at the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.
Programming by the faculty and staff that support the Rose O’Neill Literary House and nationally renowned guest authors.
Hosted by faculty and staff at the Center for Environment & Society.

Led by staff at the Washington College Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program.

Hosted by faculty and staff at the Center for Environment & Society.

Please note: all attendees must provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination at time of registration, and agree to abide by the wc covid policies in place during the time of the conference. all schedules are subject to change due to covid. 

This Year's Programs

Learn more about each of our week long summer programs, below!

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Cherry Tree Young Writers’ Conference

Program Dates: July 12-15, 2022

Scholarship Application Deadline: June 15, 2022

Registration Closes: June 15, 2022

Cost: $795

Our motto is “Write Your Truth.” Creative writing workshops at the Cherry Tree Young Writers’ Conference are designed to help you discover answers to questions like: What is your truth? What voice will you use to tell it? The Cherry Tree Young Writers' Conference is a vibrant literary gathering that helps rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors build both their skills and their identity as writers. 

The world has never been in more urgent need of young people who are willing and able to bear witness. Washington College—home to the famous Sophie Kerr Prize, the world’s largest undergraduate writing award, worth nearly $70,000—is a thriving community where aspiring poets, novelists, and journalists study with prize-winning authors to hone their craft. Writing is often a solitary art, but it needn't be a lonely one.  

At the Young Writers’ Conference, students take intensive creative writing workshops with nationally renowned authors in one of 3 genres (poetry, fiction, or journalism), discuss literature with English faculty, and attend professional readings and craft panels. They explore the world of literary internships and grants in publishing, writing, and editing. And they learn what it’s like to work at college publications such as Cherry Tree, Washington College’s national literary journal. We introduce students to the literary life.

This summer, our 7th annual literary extravaganza takes place July 12-15. The cost is $795 per participant, which covers all costs—including our "Writing a Successful College Admissions Essay" workshop and letterpress printing demonstration. We have a limited number of full-ride merit and regional scholarships available that cover the full cost of tuition. 

You can find more information here.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Students performing field research at RAFC.

Avian Conservation and Ecology Program 

Program Dates: July 12-15, 2022

Scholarship Application Deadline: June 1, 2022

Registration Closes: June 20, 2022

Cost: $750

Have you wondered what that red bird is in your yard? Do you know the birds at your feeders, but want to learn more about them? Do you wonder if you're the only teen around who likes nature? We have just the program for you. Washington College's Center for Environment & Society is pleased to announce the Avian Conservation and Ecology Summer Program for 2022. You will join a group of rising 10th-12th graders to explore regional habitats from marshes to grasslands to forests. We will discover the birds that call these habitats home, consider the threats to each ecosystem, and discuss with biologists and professional researchers how to best conserve them. Our guest lecturers will also discuss career options relating to birds and wildlife. 

The Avian Ecology & Conservation Program will be an intensive educational experience. It's a great way to expand your knowledge about birds, and is open to anyone with an interest in nature and the outdoors. It might be hard to get on the road by 6 am, but when you hear the birds' dawn chorus and see a forest come to life, you'll be glad you got up.  

click here to register

GIS

Geospatial Discoveries Conference

Program Dates: July 12-15, 2022

Scholarship Application Deadline: June 1, 2022

Registration Closes: June 30, 2022

Cost: $750

The Geospatial Discoveries Conference is an interactive and dynamic in-person experience with a wide range of out-of-the-box activities and technology used to explore the world. Led by staff at the Washington College Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program, this four- day conference gives participants a practical introduction to the systems that connect satellites, drones, data analysts, mobile apps, and websites in modern life. Take part in a college classroom experience and participate in experiential learning activities designed to take you outdoors. Faculty and staff will guide lessons on imagery and how drones and satellites take those concepts in different dimensions. Experience the power of remote sensing through a presentation of a 46-foot research vessel and see how sunk shipwrecks can be detected even when completely buried in mud. Learn to create your own spatial data using mobile applications. Build out your experience using cutting-edge data visualization tools to embed maps, applications and multimedia data into an online story! You will see GIS technology used in environmental research, historical and cultural discoveries, crime analysis and mapping. Spend time in our GIS Lab working beside our undergraduate interns and see them put their skills in action to tackle real world problems. Discover the adventure of geospatial technologies at work outdoors, in the classroom, and in your life!

Click here to register

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Young Environmental Stewards' Conference

Welcome to the 5th Annual Young Environmental Stewards' Conference!

Program Dates: July 12-15, 2022

Scholarship Application Deadline: June 1, 2022

Registration Closes: June 20, 2022

Cost: $750 

The Young Environmental Stewards' Conference is designed to introduce you to the magic of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Led by staff at the Center for Environment & Society (CES), this four-day conference includes kayaking, wildlife habitat conservation efforts, underwater exploration and more  all while living on our beautiful campus! The Chester River is a tributary of our beloved Chesapeake Bay and is one of Chestertown's most important resources. At the Young Environmental Stewards' Conference, you'll have the opportunity to get on the Chester River and explore the unique local environment with other like-minded students. 

Field Work & Outdoor Exploration

You'll spend the week delving into the connections between land and water. At Washington College's River and Field Campus (RAFC), our 4,700-acre living laboratory, you'll sample some of RAFC's varied ecosystems, including some that are geographically exclusive to the area. You'll also have the chance to get to know the Chester River in our research vessel, Callinectes and from the river's edge. Additionally, you'll have a chance to put your stewardship to action on some environmental projects.

It's not all research and hard work! We know how to have fun at CES and the Chester River provides a great opportunity for leisure time on the water and on campus with evening activities hosted by Admissions. We are excited to empower you to be a steward and to see yourself on the campus of Washington College! 

More Questions?

We have had terrific success with past summer conferences and we're confident that you'll find this both a lot of fun and very useful. We hope you'll join us! Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. For more information on the conference, please contact Jemima Clark at jclark5@washcoll.edu. With questions about registration, please contact Coleen Beddick at cbeddick3@washcoll.edu.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Person bird-watching on a sunny day at RAFC.

Virtual Young Environmental Stewards' Conference

Program Dates: July 25-29, 2022

Scholarship Application Deadline:  June 1, 2022

Registration Closes: June 20, 2022 

Cost: $250

The 3rd Annual Young Environmental Stewards' Conference: Virtual Edition will challenge you to discover the place you call home: "who" shares the outdoor space with you, how eco-healthy is your "neighborhood", what can you do to become an #environmentalinfluencer? 

Online, Together...

Using ArcGIS StoryMaps & Google Suite as our platform, we will combine real-time with on-your-own-time learning and doing online, together, exploring your unique local environment with other like-minded people. We will meet synchronously each morning to explore the topic of the day and again each afternoon to share your outdoor experience via your StoryMap, creating a virtual context to communicate your unique watershed story. We are excited to empower you to be a steward and to see yourself on the campus of Washington College as we share our Chester River watershed story with you. 

Field Work & Outdoor Exploration...

Spend the week exploring the connections between you and your place. Each morning session will prepare you for an outdoor connection. You will still have an opportunity to "get in the field" with this conference, but instead of exploring George Washington's backyard and the Chester River, you'll explore your own! This experience will take you beyond your computer screen and into your neighborhood to practice data collection, observe local trees and birds, explore the concept of environmental justice, and put stewardship into action. 

How will you do all this? Included in the $250.00 cost of the conference, you will receive a materials kit and a journal to facilitate your experience a few weeks before the conference begins. 

More Questions?

We have had terrific success with past summer conferences and we're confident that you'll find this both a lot of fun and very useful. We hope you'll join us! Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. For more information on the conference, please contact Jemima Clark at jclark5@washcoll.edu. With questions about registration, please contact Coleen Beddick at cbeddick3@washcoll.edu.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Young Historians in DC

Young Historians’ Conference 

History Off the Page: Making the Past Present 

Program Dates: July 26-29, 2022

Registration Closes: May 31, 2022

Cost: $200 (one or more scholarships available) 

Number of Young Historians: Space is limited - only 14 spots this year! 

The Young Historians’ Conference gives high school students a backstage look into the many ways we make history — and a chance to make history themselves. This year’s theme, History Off the Page: Making the Past Present, is an introduction to the many ways we can investigate history beyond the printed page. (But don’t get us wrong — we still love books, too!)

Together with Washington College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, you’ll do hands-on work with original centuries-old archival documents and artifacts, conduct oral history interviews with civil rights activists, explore historic buildings and neighborhoods, and view the Chesapeake landscape from the deck of a boat. We’ll travel to Washington, D.C., for behind-the-scenes tours of some of your favorite museums. Check out these photos from the 2021 Young Historians' Conference.

You’ll have unique opportunities to learn from Washington College faculty mentors and nationally acclaimed authors, as well as history undergrads following their intellectual passions on an array of historical topics.  Throughout the program, you’ll be living on the campus of the first American college established after the Revolutionary War, under the personal patronage of George Washington himself.

The Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience is housed in the original, colonial-era riverfront Custom House of Chestertown and features a Public Humanities Lab filled with state-of-the-art technology to create digital archives and exhibitions. Our interest in history goes far beyond our college’s namesake. From Frederick Douglass to the Freedom Riders, Maryland’s Eastern Shore is an ideal place to study four centuries of African American history, a topic of special focus at the Starr Center. No matter what your interest in history is, you will find a place in our community of young scholars. 

Registration Information:

  • Registrations are accepted on a rolling basis. Registration will close as soon as the program is full or on May 31, 2022.
  • Please submit a 250-500 word statement describing your interest in the “History Off the Page” program. It doesn’t need to be a formal essay — just tell us why you’d be excited to join!
  • If you wish to be considered for one of the scholarships, you or your parent/s or guardian/s may also include a short statement describing any relevant circumstances. (Requesting a scholarship will not affect your chances of being admitted to the program.) We would ask you not to apply for a scholarship if you do not have financial need, so that we can help all those students who would not be able to participate without a scholarship.
    click here to register