By Kim Uslin
Senior Staff Writer

After the graduation caps have been thrown and the last key has been turned in to Public Safety, Washington College may seem pretty empty. However, for many students, life at WC doesn’t end when the summer begins.

Each summer, between 40-50 students live at WC for a variety of different reasons such as seminars, internships, or work in various departments. Whether making maps at GIS, giving tours to prospective students, or tracking turtles with Dr. Aaron Krochmal, student employees keep WC active between semesters.

While many of the students live on campus during the summer in Chester, however, many WC facilities are not available to them. The JFC and a majority of campus offices are open, but most other buildings have limited or no access, requiring adaptation on the part of summer residents. Without the benefit of the dining hall, for example, summer employees must rely on their own culinary abilities or frequent downtown establishments such as Play It Again, Sam’s or The Fish Whistle.

Beyond their need for basic sustenance, students count on Chestertown for fun and entertainment. Though Resident Life and the summer RAs provide some programming and activities such as movie nights and cookouts, students are largely left to their own devices after the workday ends. Without the slew of campus activities, parties, and homework keeping them busy, however, summer residents are able to fully explore Chestertown and the surrounding area.

“Summer is a great time for students in the area to discover the hidden charms of Chestertown,” said WC Web Developer and Chestertown enthusiast Shane Brill. “Musical and cultural events downtown resound with a vibrant welcome for everyone to join the festivities. The waterfront is open for kayaking, and summer is the best time to see wildlife on the river and creeks. There’s hiking on Eastern Neck Island, cooling off with iced coffee or ice cream in Rock Hall, swimming at Betterton Beach, diving into the antique madness of the Crumpton Auction, and meandering around Cliff City. To top it off, fresh berry and fruit picking at local farms cannot be beat.”

College Relations student employee Grace Arenas, a veteran of WC summer employment, offered her own opinion of the off-season experience:

“Last summer, we really got to know Chestertown and other nearby towns,” she said. “It was great to be able to see places and things we just don’t have time for during the school year.”

In addition to the off-campus benefits, Area Director David Stuebing commented on the value of staying at Washington College in the summer months.

“One of the greatest reasons to work at WC over the summer is the connections students can make with staff members,” he said. “Most staff tend to be around over the summer, giving students the chance to build more personal relationships with them. Normal schedules and workloads during the school year may prohibit the amount of interaction students have with senior staff members, but that is not the case in the summer months. I think it’s a really great opportunity to gain a better understanding of what it takes to run Washington College.”

The Elm

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