Welcome to Putney’s 67th season!
It was the summer of 1951, and in a world still reeling from the aftershocks of the Second World War, our parents — devoted educators and dreamers — led 18 brave high school students on the first Putney trip to Europe, making the 10-day journey by steamer. Our dad’s world view was deeply shaped by his wartime service; our mom’s by a childhood in occupied Holland where her Jewish friends were dragged off by German troops. They shared what many believed, especially in a time before air travel, was a naive and unusual mission: To harness “summer vacation” to change the lives of young people by ushering them out of their comfort zones and empowering them to travel off the beaten track, connect meaningfully with people of different cultures, and embrace what is new and different in a supportive group of peers and leaders who challenge them, love them, and keep them safe. By doing so, our parents believed they could help contribute to a more peaceful world.
Our world has changed radically in the 67 summers since, but Putney’s mission has not. We remain passionately devoted to being much more than just another summer experience. Instead, we provide innovative programs that foster maturity, self-confidence, and personal discovery while deepening global awareness and cultural understanding.
The best part of this work we do with our 24 creative colleagues here in the Putney Barn is exactly what our parents loved the most, too: the transformative enthusiasm of our returning students — filled with tears and tales — and witnessing the lives changed as they hug their fellow students and leaders goodbye. Ultimately it is that joy and growth that all parents seek for their kids before they head off to blaze impressive paths for themselves in college and beyond; it’s what we at Putney work tirelessly year after year to create and deliver.
The descriptions in this catalog can only scratch the surface of what a summer with Putney means. Please visit our website for more complete descriptions and details. We also urge you to call us about any programs that interest you so that we can get to know you better.
We hope you will join us!
Governor Peter Shumlin & Jeffrey Shumlin, Directors