Christendom welcomed a record attendance for its Best Week Ever high school summer program this year, with more than 311 rising high school seniors coming to campus to participate in one of the five week-long sessions. Immersing students in the academics, spiritual life, and Catholic culture offered at the college, the Best Week Ever transformed so many lives this year, giving high school students the unique experience of a truly Catholic culture and education.
“Christendom’s Best Week Ever changed my life. I mean that, honestly and truly,” says Liana Winans of Massachusetts. “I’d reached a tipping point about a week before coming to camp. I was getting dragged into the secular culture at an astonishing rate, and my head was going under. For the first time in my life, I was questioning the truth of my faith, morality, the Catholic Church, and God Himself. Christendom saved me. The people there unknowingly pulled me up out of the muck and sent me off with even stronger convictions and a will to live faithfully, to dare to be great, than ever before.”
The Best Week Ever has drawn huge interest from high school students during its 23-year history, making it the most popular, well-attended, and highly ranked program of its kind. Previously, 288 students had been the highest attendance, but the Best Week Ever 2021 surpassed it, and even had a waiting list of more than 100 students.
The demand in 2021 was unparalleled, according to Director of Admission Sam Phillips.
“We were blown away by the response this year. We had to put people on a waiting list in February,” says Phillips. “We were so happy to welcome all of the participants and give them a glimpse into our unique educational experience, and we are gratified to learn of the effect that this event has on the students. Truly remarkable and a grace from God.”
The Best Week Ever was led by ten counselors — all current Christendom students who were eager to show visiting students what life is like at Christendom. Over the course of the five sessions, students experienced the academic, spiritual, athletic, and recreational life of the college, getting an idea of what life as a student at Christendom could be like if they enrolled.
Nora Ross of Oklahoma thought that the authentically Catholic culture she experienced while on campus was something so rare in today’s world.
“I particularly enjoyed the atmosphere in the classrooms,” she says. “I was taught by professors who truly cared about the material they were teaching, and they cared about the students they were teaching.”
In addition to the vibrant educational and spiritual aspects of the program, students also experienced a rich Catholic cultural experience over the course of the five sessions. In just a few short days each week, participants had the chance to canoe on the Shenandoah River, attend a barn dance and Irish sing-along, perform in a talent show, participate in a parliamentary-style debate, compete in dodgeball games, hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains, learn how to swing dance, and attend a semi-formal dance. These activities gave participants a taste of the joyful and fully immersive Catholic culture that Christendom offers, leaving participants excited to return for a campus visit this fall.
After attending the most-popular, highly-ranked, and well-attended pre-college summer program of its kind, many of the students are now deeply considering Christendom for their college choice, with an expectation that close to 40% of them will enroll in the fall of 2022. When asked to rank their satisfaction level with the program, the average for the summer was an impressive 4.77/5.0 — the highest ranking in the past three years. Close to 70% of the incoming freshman class this fall are alumni of The Best Week Ever — a great tribute to the value of the summer program for the students.
The dates for next year’s Best Week Ever have already been chosen as well. Next summer, students will have the opportunity to apply for one of the five sessions:
- Session 1: June 12-18
- Session 2: June 19-25
- Session 3: June 26-July 2
- Session 4: July 10-16
- Session 5: July 17-23
Applications will open for the 2022 Best Week Ever on December 1, 2021, at thebestweekever.com.
To read testimonies from previous Best Week Ever participants, visit here.
To view photos from past Best Week Ever sessions, visit here.
For more information about making a visit to campus, please visit here.