Summer 2022 Update


We’re back and – after two summers of virtual programming – we are excited to resume in-person programs for Summer 2022. We are currently planning on programming only at Dartmouth College and in Costa Rica.

Here’s what you can expect on a program with us this summer:

A positive learning environment

We are living through a time of extraordinary stress. Although the public health crisis that is the COVID-19 pandemic dominates our day-to-day experience, multiple other crises are occurring simultaneously, including a mental health crisis, racial justice crisis, and a climate and biodiversity loss crisis. Our programs directly engage with the latter subject, but within the context of environmental justice. We are a community that values inclusivity, a diversity of perspectives and lived experiences, and expects all participants to genuinely demonstrate respect for all of Earth’s human and non-human inhabitants. We know too that many young people are hurting today; from two years of isolation and dislocation; from anticipation of a climate future clouded by uncertainty; from the pressure and stress of being a teenager, which was never easy, but has become ever more so. We are a community that recognizes and values the need for supporting teens social and mental health, in addition to the obvious imperative to guard against risks to our community’s physical health.

Enhanced health and safety measures

The specific measures we and our program partners use to navigate student health and safety during the pandemic are based on guidance from health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These are in a state of flux, however a baseline expectation is that all participants will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Please contact us regarding requests for medical or religious exemption. Participants may be subject to additional requirements imposed by government or our program partners. Specific actions students will take before, during and after a program will be communicated to families well in advance of participation.

A culture of risk awareness

The health and well-being of our students and staff is a collective responsibility. These is no way to reduce to zero the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the same way that is not possible to eliminate other risks that are inherent to our program environment. It is the responsibility of every member of our program community to be aware of and help manage risk to minimize the likelihood of a serious incident.

A fair refund policy

In light of the uncertainty around the covid-19 pandemic, we have modified our regular cancellation and refund policies. Typically, the $500 enrollment deposit is made as a non-refundable commitment to participate in the program. For Summer 2022, all tuition – including the $500 enrollment deposit – will be fully refundable for any reason prior to March 1st. After March 1st, the $500 deposit becomes non-refundable although any additional tuition payments are fully refundable up to April 1st. Tuition payments less the non-refundable enrollment deposit and a $500 cancellation fee are refundable up to May 1st. There are no refunds after May 1st except as follows:

In the unlikely event we are unable to run a session due to covid (for example, a government imposed shutdown) than families will be refunded their full tuition. If a session is cancelled mid-program, the amount refunded will be prorated based on the number of days remaining in the session.

Sustainable Summer will not be responsible for non-program costs (such as airfare) associated with cancellation. We recommend considering a travel insurance policy to cover this unlikely contingency. Similarly, in the event that a student tests positive for covid before participation and is unable to attend a program, we are not able to provide a refund. This policy is consistent with other reasons that a student might otherwise unexpectedly not participate for a medical reason. We strongly recommend that families purchase travel insurance that includes covid-19 and Cancel for Any Reason coverages to protect your investment in the program.

I personally welcome an opportunity to speak with anyone – student, parent, or educator – about our work. You can start an application here or sign up to receive an email notification here.