Daily Life

Summer Session students during morning break

Students take five academic class periods each morning, Monday through Friday. We offer a wide variety of courses that are either one or two periods per day for three weeks, including courses in English, math, science, arts, essential academic skills, world languages, and ESL. For the complete list of classes available, please see the Course Catalog.

At the end of each three week session, students receive effort grades and comments detailing their individual progress in each of their courses. We believe that eliminating achievement grades allows students to focus on enjoying learning.

Afternoon Activities

  • Arts & Crafts
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Canoeing
  • Flag Football
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Improvisational Theater
  • Kayaking
  • Lacrosse
  • Rock Climbing
  • Sailing
  • Soccer
  • Street Hockey
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Mountain Biking
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Athletic Conditioning
  • Yoga
  • Photography
  • Bubble Soccer
  • Whiffleball
  • Foam Archery Attack
  • Disc Golf
  • Kickball
  • Badminton
  • Paddle-boarding
  • Yearbook
  • Kickball
  • Neighborhood Games

Daily Schedule


  • 6:30 a.m. Early-riser activities (optional)
  • 6:45 a.m. Polar Bear Club (optional, but awesome)
  • 7:15 a.m. Rising
  • 7:50 a.m. Room check/dorm jobs
  • 8:00 a.m. Breakfast
  • 8:40 a.m. Classroom period 1
  • 9:25 a.m. Classroom period 2
  • 10:10 a.m. Classroom period 3
  • 10:50 a.m. Snack break
  • 11:05 a.m. Classroom period 4
  • 11:50 a.m. Classroom period 5
  • 12.40 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:30 p.m. Reading and rest
  • 2:15 p.m. Dorm activity
  • 3:15 p.m. Activity period 1
  • 4:30 p.m. Activity period 2
  • 6:10 p.m. Dinner
  • 6:40 p.m. Free time!
  • 7:30 p.m. Evening programming (guest performers, camp fires, campus events, etc.)
  • 9:00 p.m. Dorm debrief
  • 9:30 p.m. Lights out


  • 7:15 a.m. Rising
  • 7:50 a.m. Room check/dorm jobs
  • 8:00 a.m. Breakfast
  • 8:35 a.m. Free time
  • 9:00 a.m. Elective period 1
  • 10:30 a.m. Snack break
  • 11:00 a.m. Elective period 2
  • 12:40 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:30 p.m. Reading and rest
  • 3:15 p.m. Selected activity period 1/optional off-campus trip
  • 4:30 p.m. Selected activity period 2
  • 6:00 p.m. Dinner
  • 7:30 p.m. Free time (bonfire, dance, movie, evening performers)
  • 9:00 p.m. Dorm debrief
  • 9:30 p.m. Lights out


Sundays are dedicated to the all-school trips. Directly after breakfast, we all go off-campus for a full-day fun event. Here are some examples of Sunday trips we’ve taken in the past:

  • Cardigan Mountain Climb
  • New Hampshire Adventure Day
  • Whale's Tale Water Park
  • Canobie Lake Park
  • Fishercats Professional Baseball Game

Swimming and Boating

Students are given the opportunity to swim in the lake that abuts our campus, but at no time are students allowed to swim without adult supervision. Every student in our Summer Session takes a swim test. Students who do not pass our swim test are enrolled in the Cardigan Mountain School Swim Program until he/she achieves basic water safety skills. In addition, students are given the opportunity to go out on boats, canoes, kayaks, and the like (both on and off campus) under the supervision of a Cardigan faculty member.

Theme Dinners

Twice a session we hold theme dinners. This is an opportunity for the students and teachers to dress up in costume. Cardigan will provide some items for students to use, and students are encouraged to bring items for their costumes. Here are some examples of theme dinners:

Session One
Red, White, and Blue (Fourth of July) 
Movie characters or athletes

Session Two
International Cultures (wear traditional clothing or national team uniform)
Green and White

Optional Camping Trips

Take a day and explore the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Each camping trip starts with a cookout and sleepover in our C.O.R.E. Base Camp. Up with the sunrise, the group packs up and heads out for a day of exploration.

Secondary School Visits

Interested in boarding school? Each week we provide optional trips to New Hampshire's top Secondary Schools, such as St. Paul's, Phillips Exeter, New Hampton, Holderness, Proctor Academy, and Tilton. Each trip provides a campus tour and meetings with the Admissions Office.