Electronic Version Summer Sojourn Brochure


Summer Sojourn

At Franklin Academy


Session I June 30 - July 13

Session II July 14 - July 27

Join Us!

Have Fun

Make Friends

Create Memories

Summer Sojourn

at Franklin Academy Overview

Founded in 2001, Franklin Academy is the first boarding school in the nation to bring together a group of bright

students with unique learning styles (including NLD, ASD, and Asperger’s) using a college-prep and competency-based

curriculum. Franklin led the way to a better understanding of this population of young people and

continues to innovate in our dynamic program.

Summer Sojourn is Franklin Academy’s renowned college-prep program in summer mode!

Summer Sojourn provides a tranquil yet stirring camp-like experience where students can have fun, make friends,

and create memories! Similar to our academic program, Summer Sojourn creates a community where students

are celebrated for their gifts and have the freedom to be themselves while they learn and grow. Our community

offers a nurturing environment designed to foster in each student the self-confidence to take positive risks, build

friendships, and practice skills necessary to navigate life successfully. Our goal is that each student experiences a

sense of belonging and safety, allowing them to embrace new opportunities and learning.

Path Classes

The Path classes bring together students of similar interests and talents so friendships can easily and naturally

form. Paths are designed to develop skills in the given discipline, as well as offering practice to improve social and

executive functioning skills necessary for independence and learning in other aspects of life.

Social and Executive Functioning Skills Programming

The Summer Sojourn program provides support for social and executive functioning skills across the program,

from wake-up through Path class to activities and self-care. While a few weeks is not likely to create a total organizational

transformation, the support and coaching help students to be able to relax and enjoy their summer.

Parents are offered a weekly phone update and a written report summarizing their child’s experience. Typically,

students make lasting friendships and admit that they have even learned a thing or two during their Summer

Sojourn adventure!

Our Staff

A highly trained staff of teachers, counselors, learning specialists, and residential life experts from Franklin

Academy provides a better than 2-to-1 student to staff ratio, giving ample individual attention in a safe environment.

This ensures that each student has opportunities to practice independence and collaboration – important

to the development of lifelong leadership skills and a successful adult life.

A distinctive feature of Summer Sojourn is our Intern Program, which brings back to campus mature, successful

Franklin Academy alumni along with other college students to serve as mentors and coaches for Sojourn students.

Our alumni have walked in the shoes of our Sojourners, and they are a great source of inspiration to students

and adults alike. Indeed, the high interest of alumni to give back to Franklin Academy in such a meaningful

way is a testament to their own transformative experiences on our campus.

Join Us!

Summer Sojourn Paths

We Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends: Community Service - Session 1

The Community Service Path is designed for students to experience first-hand the joy of volunteering

and how it can lead to future employment or philanthropic opportunities. During this Path, students

will help several local non-profit groups, such as Ray of Light Farm (an animal rescue farm), Goodspeed

Musicals, and the East Haddam Land Trust. While students provide much-needed assistance, they will

learn about the world of non-profits, including how they are organized and funded. Participants can use

their altruistic experience as part of the college application essay and résumé as well as to fulfill community

services requirements. If this is not enough, students will most certainly have some fun as they

serve others! This Path is open to students who are rising juniors, seniors, and postgraduates.

Worst Case Scenario Survival - Offered Both Sessions

Have you ever wondered how to survive being lost at sea or how to land an airplane in an emergency?

How do you survive a shark attack? Or perhaps worse – how do you manage an awkward conversation

or deal with a terrible roommate? In this Path, we will use the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook

series and our creativity to explore solutions to mind-boggling puzzles and situations to verify or refine

our best-case solutions to worst-case scenarios. Students will gain insight into problem-solving and

learn valuable survival skills, such as fire building and plant identification. Much of our time in this

Path will be spent outside, so pack up your sunscreen and bring your imagination!

Summer Sojourn Paths

Forensic Science - Offered Both Sessions

Have you ever wondered how the “bad guys” get caught? Or, how do you really find a suspect from just

a partial fingerprint or a muddy shoe? In this hands-on, science-based Path, students will learn about

different methods that crime scene investigators use to catch criminals. Fingerprinting, DNA, blood

splatter, toxicology, ballistics, trace evidence, and properly collecting, logging, and analyzing evidence

will be taught. Students will also watch crime shows such as CSI, NCIS, Bones, and Forensic Files to

compare how these methods are actually used to how they are portrayed on television. Lastly, students

will use their new forensic skills to investigate a staged crime scene on campus. Think you can solve it?

If so, sign up for the Forensic Science Path and see if you can catch the bad guys!

STEM: The Science of Motion - Session 1

How hard is it to build a rocket? Why do tennis balls bounce when dropped from the roof, but eggs

shatter? How come I can only fly when I’m on a plane? Why are airbags and seatbelts so crucial in

keeping us safe? In this Path, students will use their intuition, with some help from physics, to uncover

what makes things go. Students will construct, and sometimes destruct, creative experiments to put

Newton’s Laws of Motion to the test. Most of this Path will be spent moving around, so no lazy-bones


Summer Sojourn Paths

Taking the Reins: Animals and Humans - Session 1

Partnering with our neighbor, Ray of Light Farm, and other local facilities, we will seek to understand

animal-human connections and how we can learn about ourselves and our place in the world by interacting

with animals. Students will spend mornings at Ray of Light Farm working with horses to explore

many topics, including how humans and horses communicate, being truly present, how our feelings

are felt by animals, creating trust, developing empathy, understanding and managing stress, and how

to convey intention. Students will have an opportunity each day to work hands-on with the horses

through riding, ground work, and grooming. During the afternoons, students will explore the relationships

between humans and other animals through reading, film, and visiting other facilities, such as A

Place Called Hope and the Connecticut Humane Society.

Theater - Session 2

Calling all shower singers, musical theater lovers, actors, performers, and other theater-loving folks!

Franklin Academy is collaborating with the world-famous Goodspeed Musicals (right here in East

Haddam!) to offer this amazing opportunity. Students will work with Franklin Academy faculty and

the staff from the Goodspeed to design, create, and perform in a production at the end of the Summer

Sojourn session. This summer’s production will include tapping into improv skills as the path creates

a murder mystery dinner theater experience! In addition, students will have an exclusive behind-thescenes

tour of the Goodspeed Opera House and tickets to attend a show at the theater.

Summer Sojourn Paths

College Survival - Session 2

This Path is designed for rising seniors and postgraduates who are college-bound or who want to experience

student life to see if college is right for them. Students will engage in daily lessons on topics

such as interview skills, social skills, emotional regulation, executive functioning, choosing a major,

and more. Spending time on nearby college campuses, we will tour various departments, such as the

Office of Financial Aid, Student Services, the Library, and Registrar’s Office and learn why and how to

access them. Students will manage downtime by utilizing social and recreational resources on campus

and will be required to budget their own money. Each student will develop a PowerPoint presentation

on an aspect of college living that they will present to the class and family on the last day of the Path.

Meteorology - Session 2

Have you ever wondered why some clouds look so fluffy, but others look wispy? Have you ever wondered

how a storm forms, or how those people on the News are able to make predictions about wind

speed and rain? Do you want to learn how to decipher the chaos and insanity of weather systems and

become a meteorology master? In this Path, we will learn the intricacies and mysteries of the weather

we experience every day. We will dive deep into the thermodynamics and climate science that cause the

rapid changes and variety in our world’s weather, and together, we shall become expert weather people!

If becoming a scientist and being able to predict the future appeal to you, take the Meteorology Path!

Summer Sojourn Activities

Interested in Magic the Gathering or Dungeons and Dragons? Waiting to be a star discovered at a local

open mic event? Ever gone swimming in a quarry or ridden a zip-line? How about playing a part in a

campus-wide murder mystery experience? Activities during Summer Sojourn are many and varied and

are intentionally designed for students to have fun and engage with one another in a social learning

environment that is developmentally appropriate for bright teens. Similar to Path classes, activities

provide a positive challenge and are created to support student’s self-confidence.

Here are a few examples of what’s in store for this summer: live music events, swimming,

Open Mic Nite at a local cafe, Brownstone Quarry exploration, local fairs, kayaking, and the infamous

Book Barn! Additionally, a favorite of Sojourners is attendance at ConnectiCON, an animé and cosplay

convention, and the ever popular Connecticut Renaissance Faire.

Summer Sojourn Setting

There are few places as beautiful as the scenic Connecticut River Valley!

Located in East Haddam, Connecticut, Summer Sojourn takes place on the picturesque 75-acre campus

of Franklin Academy. Our neighborhood (which borders the Connecticut River) includes the Nature

Conservancy’s Chapman Pond Preserve and Gillette Castle State Park. This rural setting is ideal

for students to relax and enjoy the camaraderie of peers. Our small New England town is home to

the world-renowned Goodspeed Musicals, providing the opportunity for students to attend Broadway-quality

performances or be taught acting and theater techniques by professional artists. The Long

Island Sound is a short 25-minute drive, and urban attractions are within 45 minutes of campus. We

enjoy our surroundings and take advantage of local and regional resources to enhance our students’

holistic summer experience. Technology is also an important aspect of campus life. We have a modern

computer science center with 3-D printing capabilities, and our campus is completely wireless.

Summer Sojourn

Application Process

The following steps are required to complete the application process:

1. Submit most recent (within the last 2 years) psychoeducational or neuropsychological evaluation.

2. Complete Summer Sojourn Application, including the Parent Questionnaire and Student Questionnaire,

and mail with application fee of $50.00.

3. Call the Admissions Office at (860) 873-2700 ext. 1114 to arrange for a SKYPE or to register for one

of the Summer Sojourn Open Houses held March 23 or May 4.

Please send all application materials to:

Franklin Academy

Attention: Admission’s Office/Summer Sojourn

140 River Road

East Haddam, CT 06423

Or email materials to:


Telephone: 860-873-2700

Fax: 860-873-9345

Summer Sojourn

Path Choices per Session

Session I June 30 - July 13

• We Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends: Community Service

• Worst Case Scenario Survival

• Forensic Science

• STEM: The Science of Motion

• Taking the Reins: Animals and Humans

Session II July 14 - July 27

• Theater

• Worst Case Scenario Survival

• Forensic Science

• College Survival

• Meteorology

Summer Sojourn

At Franklin Academy

140 River Road

East Haddam, CT 06423



Franklin Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin in its educational programs, admission and hiring practices, or any of its school activities.

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