Do you know any teenagers craving rural summer activities?
Rural summer activities may seem few and far between. Is this your community? How can you invent more opportunities for teens?
There is good news. The beauty of strong rural communities is the ability to think outside the box and create new opportunities.
Communities do this by exploring needs and finding ways to meet them. Inviting teenagers to help meet those needs is a great idea. After all, teenagers are the future of small communities all over the world. Don’t forget about their abilities.
Involving teenagers now in positive ways that will help them grow into successful and nurturing leaders is a great idea. Here are some opportunities and activities for teens to learn skills and stay busy during the long season of rural summer fun.
Leadership Building Workshops
The teenage years is the time youth start to shine. It’s a time where natural leadership and creativity start to show.
Leadership building workshops can offer teens training to refine leadership skills. Different types of activities such as:
- Team Building
- Confidence Building
Teens discover their strengths and weaknesses. They gain confidence. Teens learn what they can work on and learn about opportunities that will make them better leaders.
And with practice, good leaders can emerge and take on major projects that will make a difference.
Trained leaders can begin taking on more responsibility in their community. And there are many opportunities in strong rural communities to practice taking charge.
Why should teens be involved in the community as a leader?
Well, the number one reason is that they learn at a young age they can make a difference. They can practice working with other people and meeting challenges.
More importantly, they learn to appreciate the dynamics of rural communities. Much different than any other type of community. They learn how much they are needed and how their ideas are desired.
After seeing the way they have made a difference in their community, teens can gain the experience and confidence they need to improve their future.
All parents need time away from the kids sometimes. So, trained or experienced babysitters are needed. Host a babysitting clinic at the beginning of summer for the teens to be trained in all aspects of babysitting.
Some topics to include in this training include:
- First Aid
- Ages & Stages
- Activities for Youth
Trained professionals could come in, speak to the youth and answer their questions. Another idea is to bring actual children and babies in to have one-on-one practice.
Some tasks to practice include:
- Changing a diaper
- Dealing with proper discipline
- Setting limits
- Play at different ages
Many parents won’t leave their children with just anyone. So, it’s nice to have the option of trained babysitters at their fingertips. This will give the parents a solid peace of mind. But the training will also give the teens the confidence they need to shine and be confident leaders and role models for their younger peers.
Entrepreneurship Camp Participant
Teens have intuitive minds when they are challenged and used in positive ways. It’s amazing to see what they can invent and become.
It’s apparent that rural communities are always in need of businesses that meet a need. So, why not hold an entrepreneurship camp that will yield solid new business owners?
Great rural summer activities include those as part of an entrepreneurship camp.
Even if they don’t have an idea yet for their business, they will begin the camp by brainstorming needs and interests. They will learn how to find the needs of their community.
They will create different parts of their business:
- Business Plan
- Business Budget & Funding
- Business Resources
- Managing Employees
- Marketing the Business
Just to name a few. Typical entrepreneurship camps last a week or longer. This timetable allowing plenty of time to shape their new business. An incentive for the end of camp is a presentation in front of the whole group.
By the end of the week, they should be feeling like they confidently and truly own their own business. Their fires have been lit and they are ready to ignite their business plans. After a successful entrepreneurship camp, teens should feel empowered to start up their business.
Local Summer Camp Counselor
There are numerous short and long summer camps available through rural communities and organizations such as 4-H and churches. Why not volunteer to lead a group as a camp counselor?
As a camp counselor, teens will not only be group leaders. They will be positive role models for the younger kids they are leading. They will assist in activities and step up to the challenge of engaging the entire group.
Helping to lead these rural summer activities provide great leadership opportunities for teens for the summer.
Library Summer Reading Program Volunteer
Rural libraries are an essential part of the life of any rural community. Little do many people appreciate the access to books, educational resources and great reading programs for children.
Good rural libraries provide summer reading programs for the kids who are out of school. They often need volunteers to help out. Here is another way teens can be helpful and practice volunteerism.
Summer reading program volunteers may help the librarians plan the program. The teens may be allowed to read to the kids or act out the books in some way. Volunteering with the summer reading program can help teens step out of their comfort zones. The chance to experience speaking in front of a group is great practice no matter who the audience is.
I’ve provided just a few summer activities for teens. It’s important to remember teens when planning rural summer activities. They are capable of volunteering, helping or attending local camps where they can learn and grow skills.
The teen years are the years of much exploration, experimenting and trials. Why not provide ways to involve teens in rural summer activities that will benefit both them as well as the small community they live?
How does your community engage it’s teens?
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