Student Reflections: Geiger Scholarship

Robin Chernow
Posted 2019-11-21

Are you a Maine island student interested in going to a camp or educational program? Do you want to travel, meet new people, and experience something new?

If so, the Geiger Scholarship for students may be for you! Not a student? Please share with island students you know!

Middle school, high school, and post secondary students are eligible to apply, and annual deadlines are November 30 and February 28. Find a program of interest to you, and submit our online application. Learn more on our website and apply here.

This past summer, over 15 island students enjoyed off-island summer camps or academic programs with the support of the Geiger scholarship. Additionally, two post-secondary students are using the funds to support their current college semester programs. Experiences ranged from sports camps to journalism school to sea turtle camp to sailing programs in Maine, New York, North Carolina, and beyond.

Learn more from the students themselves—see below for photos they submitted and read excerpts from their reflections:

Connor, a middle school student on Islesboro went to Connecticut for the Tilton School Summer Institute:

Tilton School Summer Institute was a great experience for me, I had an amazing time building a greenhouse for the Tilton Victory Garden, I also had an absolutely wonderful time just interacting with people from other countries like Spain, Peru, and China. Those are just some of the countries people were coming from. We had a total of 10 different countries people were coming from just to experience this and in my opinion TSSI did not let even the people with the highest expectations down…

My team, 10 people and my teacher Mr. Berard, built an off the grid greenhouse next to the tiny house that was built last year in Tilton’s victory garden. We worked down to our last minute but it still turned out great…

This essay doesn’t even begin to describe how unbelievably amazing this summer camp is and I encourage anyone who can to go there because it teaches you more about others and yourself.


Savannah, a Swans Island middle school student went to Space Camp:

Thanks to the Geiger scholarship, I was able to have a wonderful time at Space Camp in Alabama. Thank you! I did a lot during my time at camp. Some of the highlights were; the missions, the people, and the rewards.

The missions were really cool. They were simulators of the ISS and Mission control. We were given missions to accomplish in the simulator: one of a crew exchange and one of a lunar landing.

Also, I got to shake hands with the astronaut that (technically) ended the cold war, Robert L. Gibson. All in all, Space Camp was amazing!






Sofie from Great Cranberry, a high school senior, attended a summer course at College of the Atlantic:

I attended a summer course at College of the Atlantic during the summer between my Junior and Senior years of High school. During the program, I met some wonderful people, and I got to learn about a place very familiar to me through fresh and inquisitive eyes. One of my favorite things that I discovered during the course was how much viewpoints, experiences, and passions influence conversations and perceptions. As I explored my home with a group of people from all over America I myself gained a new respect and fascination with it, not to mention invaluable knowledge of native plants, geology, history, and wildlife, along with many wonderful memories.

I have always loved making friends, and though my childhood of Great Cranberry Island was rich and marvelous, I was isolated not only from other children but from people with diverse life experiences. This made being able to build friendships with those diverse people through my Island heritage all the more incredible. I have always been a cautious person, quick to doubt my ability, so taking this “rigorous” three-week class was certainly a daunting prospect. However, over my time at CoA I realized a potential I did not know I had, and have used the leadership and time management skills I learned there to help me survive senior year so far. If anyone is doubting whether they should apply for a Geiger Grant that will help you attain a goal or stretch your ability, do so. Perhaps the most valuable thing I learned from my experience was that I am capable of more than I believe.


Nicholas Leong, a Peaks Island student, enrolled at Maine Maritime Academy:

It took us two weeks at sea to cross the North Atlantic.  We started in Castine, Maine and sailed to our first port, Vigo, Spain.  Next we went through the Straits of Gibraltar to Barcelona, then to Southampton, England.  After going through the Kiel Canal in Germany, we went to Tullin, Estonia, and Oslo, Norway.  My favorite port was Tullin, Estonia because of the medieval architecture and good food.  After leaving Norway we spent 16 days at sea crossing the North Sea back to the US.

I enjoyed this trip because it ensured me that I wanted to stay at Maine Maritime Academy for a career in engineering.  It was a good experience because I traveled the world and learned what ship life is like and gained one more step closer to getting my Coast Guard license.

Where they went in 2019

Middle School students

High School Students

Post-Secondary/College Students