The June 2022 Keeping Up With the Coal Crew blog illustration shows the team enjoying the outdoors, doing things like biking, swimming and playing in the sand.

The sun is shining and classrooms are sitting empty. The 1972 Alice Cooper hit “School’s Out” is bouncing around my head. It must be summer! 

We asked the Coal Crew to share their favorite summer activities. Based on the results of this poll, I can state unequivocally that marketing agency employees like the sun, the occasional cold beverage and lots and lots of water.

We also got a lot of great answers about specific summer sports and activities. Read on to find out which one of us you’ll want to avoid on the badminton court.

Salutations for the Sun

Our CEO Holly K. Pilcavage kicked off the trend of not being able to settle on just one answer. 

“I have a lot of favorite summer activities because I love being outside and getting that much needed Vitamin D (while applying and reapplying SPF of course),” Holly said. “If I have to choose just one, I think I’ll go with frolicking. I think it’s a verb that covers a decent amount of ground (quite literally) and sums up what you’ll find me doing all summer long.”

Content Writer Adam Roberts also alluded to a few different activities and then provided a snazzy word that boils down to hanging out in the sun.

“My favorite summertime activity is basking in the sun. The sun heats my pool and my cheeks. She hangs around longer this time of year, making my days fuller and more fun,” Adam said.

Summer Fun in the Water

We said there would be water, and boy is there. 

The majority of this team is doing their darnedest to get near some body of water this summer. 

But take note: every wet basin is not equal, and each on the Crew clearly has their own favorite way to appreciate water. Here are there picks, rapid-fire style:

Jesse Macko, Social Media Specialist  

“My favorite summer activity is sitting poolside, listening to music, and enjoying a cold adult beverage. There’s just something relaxing about sipping a delicious fruity drink out in the warm sun.”

Travis Antoniello, Web Developer and Technology Specialist

“It’s so hard to pick just a single summer activity, but I think I have to pick swimming. It’s such a refreshing feeling to get in the water, and I love basking in the sun to dry off. I could probably float in the ocean and bob with the waves for hours.”

Alex Manganella, Production Manager  

“Without a doubt, my favorite summer activity is being on a boat. If I ever have enough money to own a boat, you’ll never see me again. Unless you’re a passenger on my boat, in which case you’ll have to refer to me as captain. And you’ll have no control over the music. It’s my boat.”

Samantha Bucher, Content Director

“I love the sound and presence of the ocean, but Lake St. Catherine in Vermont will always take the No. 1 spot in my heart. From boating to just sitting lakeside enjoying a good book, spending time there is my favorite thing to do in the summer.​​”

Matt Simoncavage, Lead Web Developer and Lead Designer

“My favorite summer activity has always been going to the beach, particularly for my family’s annual vacation. I love being in the ocean, riding the waves, taking my dog for long walks near the water or just sitting in a chair under the sun with a good book and a good drink.”

Sam O’Connell, Chief Creative Officer 

“My favorite summer activity is going to any of the various swimming holes across NEPA. Pro Tip: If you’re local, check out the Slumber Valley Campground swimming holes in Meshoppen. You will not be disappointed.”

If You Don’t Swim in Summer, Can You Even Still Have Fun? 

You better believe it. 

Now let’s get one thing straight. All of us are swimming, and doing it as often as we can, but maybe a few of us realized just how popular swimming might be based on this month’s writing prompt and opted to, you know, diversify. 

Director of Strategic Communications Jon O’Connell is pushing his limits as an urban farmer for the first time. 

“I’m obsessed with growing things at the moment. I’ve planted more vegetables than I’ve ever tried and also wildflowers,” he said. “So this summer you’ll find me watering, weeding and whispering sweet nothings to my little garden patch.”

Camaryn Lokuta, Operations and Business Development Manager, plans to experience her summer on two wheels. If anything good came out of COVID, it’s that so many of us tried new things — or got back into really wholesome, healthful old things.

“My favorite summer activity is biking. During the pandemic I got a bike, like many people did, and I really loved it! I bike on local trails with my family and, my favorite, at the beach while on vacation. I find it to be so relaxing.” 

Now, given how competitive the team gets (remind me to tell you about ’Brella Ball or the office NERF wars), it’s a wonder that Video Specialist Jay Nguyen is first to bring up “dominating at sports” as a favorite pastime. 

“Each summer, I look forward to crushing my uncles and cousins in badminton!” Jay shouted. “Nothing like seeing the defeat in their eyes when I slam that birdie down.”

Likewise, the spirit competition lives in Will McHale, Post Production Manager, who (at the risk of offending some) might be the most accomplished at this sport on the Crew — at least he presents that way and actually owns a pair of appropriate shoes.

“My favorite way to enjoy the summer months is on the golf course. It’s a great way to get some sunshine, fresh air and some exercise (or just have some snacks and drive the golf cart),” Will said. “It’s also a really neat incentive to travel and explore as you find new courses around our area, or around the world.”

For anyone who complains about the long winters and short summers, I like to remind them that they choose to live here. Maybe we all appreciate the summer more because we know how precious it is. 

So on that note, get out there and soak up some of that sweet, warm sunshine, and remember … stay Coal!

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