E.X.P.L.O.R.E. - Educational Xperiences through Play, Learning, Opportunity, and Rambunctious Energy - is a 2-week summer program offered to incoming 7th and 8th graders.
This program was co-founded in 2005 by Ms. Heather Kelsey and Mr. Aaron Gerstenmaier in order to provide safe, summer activities to challenge our students to grow in knowledge and leadership, as well as to introduce our students to different experiences outside of their neighborhood.
Every year E.X.P.L.O.R.E. focuses on a particular theme, studying everything from human rights to food, to photography, to immigration, and this past summer the topic was the Olympics and architecture, which included a trip to the IL Holocaust Museum to visit the Berlin 1936 Olympics exhibit, an Architecture Boat Tour on the Chicago River, and our very own St. Gall Olympic Games. Each year the students go canoeing, ice skating, and go to a White Sox game, but the student (and staff!) favorite, however is always the Downtown photo scavenger hunt! What speaks so strongly to the program is the number of alumni who have come back to volunteer as junior counselors and counselors--they want to continue to be part of something so fantastic for kids. E.X.P.L.O.R.E. brings out the best in everyone, and gives our students experiences that they will remember for years to come!