Summer programming at MFS offers ‘transformative’ experience for students

This summer saw MFS students learning about new subjects, spending time in the workplace and even traveling internationally.

School may be out for summer, but at Moorestown Friends School, the halls have been anything but empty. The school’s six weeks of programs came to an end on Friday, Aug. 10, and this summer saw students learning about new subjects, spending time in the workplace and even traveling internationally.

Martha Cameron, director of auxiliary programs, said the majority of students attending the school’s programs are not MFS students. Approximately, 66 percent of students enrolled in the programs come from schools in the surrounding area.

The school’s summer program encompass a variety of activities with more than 120 week-long offerings. Through the school’s summer scholars programs students of all ages took interactive classes on a wide array of subjects. Students can sign up for a new class each week or take the same class all six weeks depending on their preferences. Offerings include the likes of coding and robotics, swimming and field games, basics of woodworking and more.

Students in the “Rocketry and Launching Things” camp, for instance, spent the week exploring the science behind launching objects. Eleven-year-old Marcelo Moreno spent Wednesday, Aug. 8, building catapults to launch marshmallows into bowls down the hall.

For 10-year-old Grace Graefen, who attends MFS during the school year, the programs have taught her about subjects she might not have learned about otherwise.

“All the programs teach you so much and when you leave, you’re smarter than you came; you know a lot more,” Graefen said.

This is the second summer at MFS for Moreno, who attends Our Lady of Good Counsel in Moorestown. He said the camp has allowed him to be creative while also learning about physics, but his favorite part of any MFS program is connecting with his fellow students and teachers.

“It’s just a really fun way to meet new people,” Moreno said.

While a full array of programs took place in Moorestown, this summer marked the first time MFS students travelled abroad through the International Scholars programs. Twelve students in eighth through 11th grade embarked on a journey to Salamanca, Spain, where they spent their mornings learning Spanish and their afternoons exploring the local culture. Cameron said the program was such a hit they plan on expanding it next year by offering trips to both Spain and France.

MFS also had its rising juniors and seniors out of school and into the workplace this summer through the Summer Co-op program, which places students into a workplace for four weeks.

Cameron said seven students spent four weeks at companies such as Tabula Rasa Healthcare and ARI Fleet Management Corporation. She said in years past, students have made such an impression that they’ve been offered paid internships the subsequent year.

“It’s a transformative experience for them,” Cameron said. “The maturity that’s gained over these four weeks is amazing.”

While the school currently has more than 100 ways to spend the summer, Cameron said she’s always open to suggestions for new offerings. In August, she sends out an email to all who attended to see what new classes they’d like to see next summer. She said that’s usually where she gets her best ideas.

Cameron said while the goal is for students to potentially learn something new, her hope is students leave having had a good time at MFS.

“I want them to walk away feeling confident that their child had an exceptional experience here,” Cameron said.