Sliding Into Summer Plans


Freshman Emily Willhite and her family are visiting Navarre Beach this summer. Pictured is one of her favorite attractions in Navarre. Photo by Emily Willhite.

With school ending in less than a month, students are ready to take back their free time this summer. Some students prefer to stay home and relax. Others already have plans for traveling this summer.


Some students explore places and experiences unknown to them. Junior Claire Cozad is going on “a two-week trip through Europe.” Cozad said she is “most excited about Paris.” She will also be attending “Lee Universities’ summer honors program for an additional two weeks to get college hours going into [her] senior year.” Cozad added she will be attending “Woodlands camp for one week in late July.”


Junior Griffin Vanderlinde said he is “going on an eight or nine-day cruise out of Miami.” He explained the ship would be docking at “Aruba, Bonaire and Grand Cayman,” where they “will be going to different beaches” and “renting out a catamaran in Aruba to [themselves] and taking it around the island to different snorkeling spots, swimming spots and beaches.” Vanderlinde mentioned, “in Grand Cayman, I’m going to swim and feed wild stingrays in Stingray City.”


Other students prefer to stick with tradition, going on annual trips with their families. Sophomore Taylar Chenkus is going to Holden Beach for “a family trip [they] do every year with [her] mom’s whole side of the family.” 


Freshman Emily Willhite is going to Navarre Beach, where her family will be staying at “a penthouse with an immaculate view.” Willhite mentioned her family visits this beach almost every year. She noted, “Navarre is like an island,” and she loves “going to a coffee shack that has a bunch of stickers all over it” and “a doughnut food truck.” She said she loves going to the zoo because “there is a room filled with birds.” Willhite also said, “We spend most of the day on the beach, and at least once a day, we eat at a place called Scooters.” Willhite’s family rents a pontoon for one whole day to “explore the hangouts with restaurant boats, little islands and souvenir boats.” She said, “We go to a place called Crab Island that is waist-deep with BBQ boats, ice cream boats, hot dog boats and souvenir boats. There are hermit crabs and fish in the water.” Willhite mentioned, “My brother is nonverbal and autistic, so he doesn’t like the water since there are living creatures, but he loves being on the boat. He loves listening to music, chilling in the sun and watching YouTube or playing Angry Birds.” Willhite explained these days are special to her because “Me, my brother, my parents and my grandparents are all enjoying each other’s company and the peace of the ocean.”


Traveling is a great way to spend time off of school, whether with family in familiar places or meeting new people and exploring new ones.