Teens Could Volunteer This Summer

Call this a rant, but it’s slim pickings for high schoolers this summer break.  Forget the typical seasonal jobs, because college kids will likely beat ’em out.  With your Montclarion kids at home, you’re probably scratching your head about what they will do over this recessionary summer.

Teen Texting

Some Volunteering Ideas: As a work alternative, teens could be encouraged to volunteer near home – and here are a few ideas to get them going.

  • Helping The Elderly – Teens might help the elderly complete tasks around their homes, such as cooking, cleaning and gardening.  It’s usually not easy for some seniors to ask for help, and teens would feel good about pitching in.
  • Electronics For Dummies – Many locals don’t have technically-literate kids at their beck and call.  Teens could get the word out on their blocks, and offer in-home visits to set up or teach computer, camera or phone applications.
  • Library Work – Why not head to the library?  Usually librarians welcome teens to shelve books, read to kids, help with tutoring, or other activities.  Our Montclair branch re-opens on July 5th for business and needs volunteers then.
  • Ecosystems 101 While back-breaking work, teens might clear invasive brush for a green experience.  Volunteers are needed on Saturdays, for projects shown on the Friends of Sausal Creek calendar.  The Oakland Zoo also asks for help clearing Arroyo Viejo Creek once/month.

Other Fun Ideas: Local teens could also be persuaded to try new activities with friends.  Here are some suggestions they might accept, especially if presented by a cool adult.

  • Sound Of Music – It’s no surprise that music is central to teenager existence.  A talented teen might join forces with their more musical buddies in jam sessions – and make recordings suitable for MySpace or other venues.
  • Steven Spielbergs – Along the same lines, teens could be encouraged to create short documentaries or movies about virtually anything that catches their fancies.  Assuming they already have the gear, it would be great to unleash kids this way.
  • The Biggest Health Nut – Enterprising teens could use Facebook to announce a local  contest, complete with Montclair Park or Redwood Regional Park training meet-ups.  The winners would be crowned as most fit, zen, organic, or hopeless.
  • Journalism Chops – Teens might actively blog about a specific subject or hobby they do in real life  – it’s fun to have a following online beyond social nets.  (Or apply for a coveted full-year spot at Inside Bay Area’s education blog – by emailing kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.)

Maybe these are pipe dreams, though.  I haven’t met a teenager yet who isn’t happy sleeping until noon, wiling away the hours with friends, or just…texting away.