While talking with a few other homeschool mom’s at Field Day, I discovered the LACK of Summer activities for kids over 12 years of age in my geographic area. There are plenty of art camps, nature camps, VBS, day camp opportunities for children ages 4-12, but hardly anything for older kids.
Not really sure what the reasoning is besides that fact that public school kids have Football, Cheer, or Band Camp. But what if your child has no interest in those things? What will your teen do all Summer? Summer activities for teens are pretty hard to find in our area unless you have money or send them away to camp. With that being said I racked my brain for some frugal ideas that I list below. I also wrote a post entirely dedicated to Ways Teens Can Earn Money. Be sure to check that out as well!
Volunteering- becoming a volunteer is a great thing for resumes and college applications. If your teen has a special interest in the areas of elderly, children or animals then finding a local organization to volunteer with should be right up their alley. Maybe they are more interested in Art, History, or Science and should seek a docent position at a local museum.
Jr. Camp Counselor- Week long camps still seem to be very popular for 4-H, scouts, and churches. Often times these camp programs need Junior Camp Counselors to help keep things running smoothly. Some may even offer a small stipend to students who attend a training program or a discounted camp rate in exchange for their leadership help.
VBS Leader- My children sometimes participate in 2-3 VBS programs per Summer depending on what other activities are scheduled. I like to choose churches similar to our religious belief as well as ones we know some of the adults or teen helpers. If you are apart of a church that hosts a VBS then you know full well the need for volunteers. Some churches allow teens and older elementary students help with craft prep, registration, and activity coordination. If your teen has skills that would be helpful for VBS then I would seek out the Children’s Minister or Youth Leader in your local church. Teens who are musically inclined or have a talent for improv are highly sought in our community for skits during VBS as well.
Living History Reenactor- The major metro area south of us have an awesome metropark. One of the parks offers visitor’s the chance to experience life on the farm in the 1880’s. One super cool fact is the need for volunteer’s to “play the part” of one of the family member’s on the Farm by dressing in period costumes! Adults can be trained to do blacksmithing, farming, canning, etc. Older students are allowed to “host” an activity like old fashioned games, rope making, candle dipping, or wool felting. Another great opportunity to showcase your student’s skills on a resume or college application.
Summer Reading Club– I think we must be very blessed to live under 20 minutes from 4 different libraries each with their own programs! Half of these have Summer Reading Club for teens but all of them offer some sort of teen programming throughout the year. If you aren’t so lucky, then my suggestion is to ask. Some libraries (mostly bigger metro) even offer a TAB (teen advisory board).
How about audiobooks delivered right to your inbox? SYNC offers 2 FREE audiobooks each week May 21 – Aug 13, 2015 a classic and a new novel. Sign up for email or text alerts that invite you to download the new titles as they become available. Available in the US, Philippines, UK and the British Commonwealth ONLY
Writing and Art Contests– Summer is the perfect time to work on entries for scholarship contests. Do a quick Google search for writing contest or art contest and you should find plenty of options to keep your teen busy all YEAR long. Here are a few links to get you started:
Cheap Movies-How about watching on of the Summer Movie Express movies at Regal theaters for $1 per person? Showcase Cinema’s offers Bookworm Wednesdays in July, where reading a book earns a free movie.This could be a great way to beat the heat. Cinemark has their Summer Movie Clubhouse for 10 weeks. Most movies start between 9am-10am for $1 each!