The Cross Summer Academy: “Open Minds Change the World!”

What’s happening this summer?

The Cross Summer Academy is an intense seven week program that is best described as a learning adventure experience. Everything that happens during the camp is tied together thematically from the start of the first week to the end of the sixth. The overall theme of “Open Minds Change the World” runs through each day, week, activity, event, topic of learning, location, challenge, and interaction. From the first moment of the first day of camp, participants sense immediately they are about to embark on something exciting, and they are!

For us, open-mindedness is the ability to understand the world’s social, cultural, linguistic, physical, conceptual, and technical dynamics, with the ability, flexibility, and aptitude to engage in those dynamics in different social and cultural contexts. In this spirit, each of the six weeks of the Cross Summer Academy is sub-themed accordingly: Eco-Environmental Studies, Technology & Engineering, Online Media & Design, Photography, Videography, & Production, International Dynamics, Remote, Virtual, & Real Flight, Communication and Social Awareness.

While each week introduces the camp participants to it’s particular sub theme through different sets of activities and experiences, the purpose of the entire Academy experience is to help participants learn how every individual activity they engage in is influenced by all of the weekly sub-themes simultaneously. Our approach is always interdisciplinary.

Take, for instance, learning to fly:

  • learning to fly requires technical and sensory-motor skills
  • flight enables new perspectives & ideas
  • new ideas are important to share
  • media and technology enables sharing and communication
  • communication has social and linguistic implications
  • socially and linguistically appropriate communication has presentational needs and requirements
  • presentation is highly dependent on form and structure
  • form and structure leads to design and ways and modes of communication
  • the ability to fly impacts, improves, and diversifies both action & behavior.

While each week of Camp introduces participants to subset themes, participants are constantly challenged to consider and apply those skills while taking into account the interconnectedness of all of the Academy’s sub themes and the overall intent of the Academy: to teach children how to use what they know to impact the world in positive ways, and to understand how their actions impact those around them, in whichever context they may find themselves.  

So, while the first week may focus on International Dynamics and Awareness, the learning challenges and activities participants engage in during that week will be framed by awareness of the Academy’s overall goal: to help them understand what Open-Mindedness means, and the positive impact it has in any social, cultural, and communicative context.

We’ll also teach them what a disrupter is… since change at a large scale is accomplished by those whose open-mindedness ultimately leads them to impact the world with ideas they believe will improve it for everyone!