Camp Schmamp

Are there teenagers in your home (or circle of friends) looking for summer plans? If you’ve got camp lanyards and wallets enough to last a lifetime, and the staff at Camp OkieFanokie defers to your judgment because you’ve been around longer than any of them…seek an alternative that can really make a difference for the teen, and the rest of us.

Earthwatch (one of my very favorite volunteer vacation organizations with amazing service trips for adults, teens, and families) still has some slots open for their brilliant, summertime Teen Expeditions. From their website: Join an Earthwatch teen expedition and you’ll work alongside experienced scientists at the cutting edge of conservation research, gaining first-hand knowledge of and trying to find real and achievable solutions to some of today’s most pressing environmental challenges.

You’ll connect with other young people who share your passion and energy for conservation, immerse yourself in new cultures, see some of the world’s most spectacular places, and help to conserve them.

How about options like: Studying pink river dolphins, monkeys, and other wildlife in the Peruvian Amazon; an archaeological dig in Britain discovering Roman ruins; working with rare carnivores in Madagascar; studying climate change on habitats near the Arctic Circle; working with scientists and coffee farmers in Costa Rica; monitoring mammal populations in Nova Scotia; Caribbean sea life study in Belize; biodiversity work in Kenya; protecting Grey Whales in British Columbia, and more. The work is true and productive, with leaders in the scientific field. It is usually a commitment of less than 2 weeks (trips vary) and is super-professionally managed and catered to the age of the participants with education and exploration, and experiences that just don’t happen at the run-of-the-mill swimming hole…and CERTAINLY offers more than a summertime of facebook and Wii.

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