The Amazon Adventure Experience

The Amazon Adventure is one of the many programs that set Academy at the Lakes apart from the rest.

Our students and their families not only get to experience the environmental science that they learn about, but they create bonds and memories that will last them a lifetime.

Andrey Chee, Katie Erin McCormick, and Jordan Witt are just a few Academy students who got to be a part of this amazing opportunity.

Here is what they had to say about the trip:

“I first went to the Amazon in 8th Grade and experienced many aspects of the jungle. From ziplining to swamp hiking, I enjoyed the trip so much I knew that I had to return. The Amazon internship not only met my goal to go back, but it offered me a chance to participate in real, world-changing research.

The internship itself is really valued at the lodge. All of the staff naturally converse and hang out with residents like family. Being an intern is no different. Talking to previous interns, it seems that there are different levels of difficulty depending on which internship one has.

Interning with the Saki Monkeys and Pygmy Marmosets, for example, was very difficult because of the mental endurance required for it. Specifically, it involved 15-hour periods, 3PM-6AM, of little sleep while studying Marmosets. The Saki Monkey research involved hiking for 5-6 hours straight searching for Saki movement. Of course, there was a lot more than this, but these aspects of the internship made it more difficult.

Even though it was hard, I took away many life experiences and field research experiences.

The people I met, and the challenges I faced, helped shape who I was after the trip, and the internship offered me a perspective of what it is like to be an environmental scientist or a person working in the field. I am glad that I took this trip because it was vital for self-reflection and career aspirations.”

-Andrey Chee ’20 – Amazon Intern 2019

“The summer before my Freshman year, I was given the opportunity to travel to Peru as a tourist. This trip was filled with such amazing wildlife, food, and people that I jumped at the opportunity to go back. Even though I do not want to major in science, I have had a love for the field my whole life and have taken every opportunity that Academy has presented to me.

When I heard about the chance to spend a month in the Amazon I could not pass up this experience.

My time in Peru was truly life-changing, being able to be apart of pink dolphin research and sending the data that I helped to collect to a real researcher was mind-blowing.

Being part of such research really challenged me to be extremely focused and accurate in my measurements, so that I wouldn’t mess up the researcher’s data.

Additionally, as an intern, I was able to help release four different types of turtles back into their environments, spend time with the local people of Chino village, and make lifelong connections with people around the world.

There is truly nothing more eye-opening than being immersed in the jungle for a month.”

-Katie Erin McCormick ’20 – Amazon Intern 2018

“The Amazon jungle has given me amazing experiences throughout my years at Academy at the Lakes.

My first trip was in my summer of 7th Grade, and then again after my 8th Grade year. During my summer of Junior year, I was selected to go to the Amazon as an intern. My internship in the Amazon jungle in Peru was one of the best experiences of my life.

During this experience, I was not only able to research the respiration rates of an endangered species pink dolphins, but I was able to witness how Mrs. Beaver and Dr. Beaver help the communities of the Amazon river basin through continued humanitarian efforts.

I will never forget this experience and it has forever changed my life.”

-Jordan Witt ’20 – Amazon Intern 2018

The Amazon Expedition is a student and family trip to the Peruvian Rainforest that will take place from Saturday, June 20 – Tuesday, June 30. Students and families will travel to the lodge and research center for a 10-day adventure that includes ziplining through the rainforest canopy, canoeing through flooded forests, hiking, searching for poison dart frogs, swimming with pink dolphins, fishing for piranha, feeding Amazonian manatees, and observing monkeys and other vast variety of wildlife.

For more information on the trip, please email Colleen McCormick at

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