The lazy days of summer are upon us, but while barbeques and cool dips in a swimming pool might be foremost on the minds of some of Saugerties’ teenagers, others have different plans, like doing complex aerial maneuvers at the Saugerties Skate Park or working a job like baling hay to earn some pocket change.
When randomly polled by the Saugerties Times about their summer plans, local teenagers’ responses were predictably and sometimes literally all over the map. For some, work beckons, whether it’s a last few months at a prior job before heading off to college, a summer gig in the hot sun, or an apprenticeship with a clear path toward a future career. For others, travel is in the cards, both within the area and well beyond.
Darren Lareau is heading to SUNY Ulster in the fall to study graphic design, but not before a summer in the great outdoors, both in Saugerties and perhaps quite a ways away.
“I’m doing a lot of baseball, going on family vacations and seeing my sister in Texas,” he said. “ I love baseball and I want to see my sister; I haven’t seen her in almost a year.”
But while the Great State of Texas beckons, so too does the Emerald Isle.
“I’m supposed to go to Ireland with one of my best friends,” Lareau said. “That was planned back when we were freshmen.”
Like Lareau, Abbey Osborn is also planning to spend some of her summer with a mitt on her hand; before heading to SUNY Delhi to study veterinary medicine, she’ll play ball as a member of the Lady Cruisers, a travel softball team.
“Softball has always been a hobby of mine, and there is nothing I would rather spend my summer doing,” she said. “There is a travel softball World Series down in South Carolina that my team will be playing in,” she said, adding that it won’t all be strictly business on the visit. “While we’re there we’ll visit Myrtle Beach and the boardwalk.”
Nick Gruccio’s summer plans are in effect, too, with a post-commencement group trip a distinct possibility.
“Actually, a bunch of us seniors might go somewhere this weekend,” he said. “Not sure where, but definitely somewhere.”
Gruccio is staying local for his first year of college, matriculating at SUNY Ulster with an eye on transferring to another college the following year to play football. While Ulster doesn’t have its own football team, it does have a student basketball team and Gruccio is planning to try out. Before then, though, he’s hoping to work in a few vacations while saving up enough money to buy a car.
“The most important thing is, I’m trying to keep busy playing basketball to keep my skills up,” he said.
Becca Curley is headed for Siena College in the fall, but she’s not ready to give up on her steady job just because summer is here.
“I’ve been working at Lox of Bagels for a year, so I’ll continue working there until I leave for college,” she said.
Curley is also hoping to coordinate some quality time with fellow SHS classmates before going to college and meeting a whole new group of people.
“A group of us are planning a few trips here and there, like camping and Six Flags and things of that sort,” she said. “It should be a lot of fun.”
It’s hard to imagine any senior having a more ideal summer job than Sam Peterson.
“This summer, I will be lifeguarding at the Saugerties Beach and generally just chilling out with my friends,” she said. “I need money for college and lifeguards get pretty good pay.”
Before heading off to the College of Saint Rose in the fall, Peterson will join fellow members of the Saugerties High French Club on a trip to France.
“I’m really excited to visit Europe with my friends,” Peterson said.
While lifeguarding might smack of summer, Nick Parr’s plans before beginning his college career at SUNY Ulster are decidedly different.
“I’ll be playing in two bagpipe bands,” said the drummer. “City of Albany Pipe Band and the Amerscot Highland Pipe Band.”
Parr has been playing the drums since the age of four, and will travel all over the state this summer competing in bagpipe competitions.
“I’ll be pretty busy,” he said.
Summer at the end of senior year doesn’t just signify a beginning of something new; it’s also the end of high school, and for some the daily interaction with friends made as far back as kindergarten. Even those graduates excited about what the future holds are decidedly mixed in their feelings about leaving high school behind.
Lareau said he didn’t expect to miss high school, at least not right away.
“Not over the summer I won’t miss it,” he said. “Maybe when it’s supposed to start up again.”
Curley is anticipating mixed emotions, with the possibility of missing some things while not missing others.
“I don’t necessarily think that I’m going to miss school,” she said. “I’m going to miss all the memories that happened in it though. Not going back next year hasn’t really hit me that hard yet. I’m going to miss my friends and family and dogs the most when I’m at college. But college is going to be fun, which will help me not miss high school.”
Gruccio, on the other hand, isn’t as eager to say goodbye.
“I love high school,” he said. “Not having to worry about anything and just seeing my friends every day.”
Osborn will also find it difficult to say goodbye to Saugerties High.
“Of course I’m going to miss school,” she said. “I’ll miss my amazing friends the most and some teachers.”
Part of what’s making leaving high school bittersweet for Osborn is how much she enjoyed her senior year.
“The Class of 2011 made some irreplaceable memories for me,” she said. “The senior prom and senior picnic were some of the best times of my life so far, and everyone contributed to making this year unforgettable.”