I think you should check out Visions for their teen summer volunteer programs. I think that as a teen I was so bored throughout the summer and had nothing to do so got into more trouble then if I had somewhere to go, volunteer, work something anything to keep me amused. Visions mixes many elements together to help keep the attention of your teen over the summer while having them secretly learn hehe. VISIONS groups live in community buildings and typically work in the public eye. Our home bases often are surrounded by local neighbors’ homes. Appropriate behavior, language, dress, sometimes even the kind of music we listen to will be a consideration at many program sites, what more can a parent ask for, your child is safe, learning and kept in check all while enjoying summer and being able to have a blast with other people their age. Sometimes the longest standing friendships come from programs such as these because the others generally have the same values as your child.
Visions is a combination of hands-on service, intercultural living, active exploration and close camaraderie. The groups are generally about 16 to 25 students and have four to six leaders. Service is the reason your children are there but they are also given lots of time for play and wind down in the days and weeks, so it will not feel like work.
While each location differs distinctly from another, all VISIONS programs share firm underpinnings.
- Long-standing ties at program sites and daily immersion in local life
- A natural sense of place and deeper understanding of the culture attained by living in a community throughout the program
- Careful on-site preparation – our leaders arrive well before participants, ensuring smooth transition into a functioning program environment
- Considered year-round planning underpins an intentionally well-rounded experience that blends work, cultural exchange and broad-based, challenging exploration
- Immersion in community life, and leaders who are fluent in the language, increases foreign language conversational skills
- The teaching of technical skills applied successfully to ambitious, collaborative projects
- High caliber, diverse leaders who return year after year
I think that if you have a teen this is something that you should seriously consider looking into, I know once my kids are old enough to attend we will discuss the possibilities with them.