Summer service opportunities

<p>My 16 y.o. junior daughter and a friend would like to do a trip this summer that involves 2-3 weeks of service. Obviously, they could do plenty of service in local settings, but there is an appeal (and some learning advantage I think) to also being "away from home." I have scoured the internet and found lots of very expensive trips and many that seem to be mostly "touring" for advantaged teens with minimal genuine "service" (An afternoon in a homeless shelter is more of an experience than true service I think). There are also "mission" trips but you seem to need to already belong to a given denomination or sign on to evangelize which isn't exactly what they had in mind. (working in an orphanage is the idea that got them going on this so it is direct service to kids in need that they most want.)
It seems very hard to find a program with real work opportunities that also has some organized adult supervision/oversight. I think liability concerns mean many organizations just don't offer the kind of thing I'm looking for--except in exotic places like India or Fiji? The kids are ecumenically minded and so could join up with some kind of youth group, I suppose, but there doesn't seem to be any clearinghouse for that except with very evangelical groups. Does anyone have links to organizations nationally or regionally, that would welcome two responsible, hardworking kids for 2-3 weeks or service in July? Thanks.</p>

<p>Many of the religious sponsored programs are going to be more reasonably priced, and are not evangelizing "mission" trips. The ones I'm familiar with are sponsored by the North American Federation of Temple Youth (Reform Jewish affiliation)...although they aren't that reasonably priced from my point of view!</p>

<p>Mitzvah</a> Corps ? Reform Jewish Teens Social Action - Home</p>

<p>Maybe if you post some of the programs you've found that looked could get comments.</p>

<p>Also try the Summer Programs forum on CC.</p>

<p>Student Conservation Corps offers high school students real service opportunities in national parks. You can find it via Google. It's not that expensive either.</p>

<p>Northstarmom - I looked at SCC but unfortunately the dateline was March 14.</p>

<p>Landmark Volunteers - my daughter did this program several years ago and had a great experience.</p>

<p>Landmark programs are kind of pricey.
The tax-deductible payment for the two-week summer program is $1,300 for those applications postmarked on or before March 15th and $1,400 for those postmarked after that date. The payment for one-week spring programs is $750. Landmark Volunteers is a tax-exempt organization and payments to it are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. $100 of the payment is due as a deposit with the application. Volunteer</a> work for teens - Landmark Volunteers.</p>

<p>I'd never heard of the student conservation corps before reading this post. I just spent some time on the website. Sounds perfect for my son. Does anyone here have any experience with it? I'd love to hear your stories. An earlier post made mention that it wasn't too expensive. I didn't see anything about cost other than the application fee. What other costs are there?</p>


<p>Someone I know participated in Student Conservation Corps after her soph or junior year in high school. She was very much into environmental issues and the outdoors, and had a wonderful time. I think it also was her first time being away from her family for an extended time. She was a rather sheltered only child.</p>

<p>Ds1, a sophomore, is thinking of majoring in environmental scienes, so this sounds up his alley. For the past three summers, he's been to a three-week academic camp, so homesickness shouldn't be a prob. And he's starting work on his Eagle project, so camping is no biggie. I would love for him to have a low-cost way to see another part of the country and do good and support his passion (environmentalism).</p>

<p>We were just having a discussion today over lunch about recycling and why people aren't more concerned about the environment. :)</p>

<p>I know several families whose chrn have participated in both Landmark (thumbs down) and SCA - Student Conserv. Assn. (big thumbs up). The SCA staff are famously slow to retund calls during registration -- and this leads parents to doubt the supervision. My friends insist, however, that the on-site programing and supervision is top-notch. One family's D was injured last summer (unavoidable accident) and the parents RAVED about the crew leaders' attentiveness. Thier D will be joining another crew this summer.</p>

<p>Deadline - - yes the deadline has passed. And SCA is so popular it can be difficult, if not impossible, to join a crew if one (1) submits a late app or (2) isn't available for at least 5weeks (the printed lit indicates shorter crews are available, but short crews are uncommon).</p>

<p>Youthworks is an excellent organization that offers youths very meaningful service activities at an affordable price. However, kids need to attend with a group that provides chaperones (in addition to the site workers). It might be possible for the girls to hook up with a youth group in your area. You could contact Youthworks (info is online) and ask. They are wonderful to work with.</p>

<p>S worked at a National Monument where they used SCA kids (he wasn't one). Most of the kids involved got quick lessons in hard work and getting dirty, but you do get to work in some pretty awesome places.</p>

<p>nyc is correct in the info on SCA -- I talked to them earlier in the year and they indicated that only about 50% of the kids are placed on crews, they have so many applicants. The kids who are most successful being placed are those who have some experience (trail-building, community service, camping, etc) and those who have the time to volunteer (4-5 weeks at a time).</p>

<p>My son applied and was told he will find out in early April if he gets on a crew -- but everything I have read and been told about the program has been very good.</p>

<p>Sorry to hijack your post mmaah!!!</p>

<p>I might PM a couple of y'all later with more specific questions, especially you hsmomstef, if your son gets in. In fact, I think I'll PM you now anyway to ask generic questions.</p>