Posts Tagged ‘teen volunteer’

Teens Committed to Giving Back This Summer Eligible for Scholarships

Photo: Adventures Cross-Country

Photo: Adventures Cross-Country

Now is the time when families are making summer plans for vacations, camps, visits to family, and hopefully some meaningful volunteering. For teens who are looking for a giveback element to their summer blended with amazing travel and cultural experiences, Adventures Cross-Country is offering $1,000 scholarships toward the travel costs for volunteer trips.

For more than three decades, the company has been creating meaningful travel experiences for youth ages 13-19, and some highlights making me wish I was age-appropriate include: Thailand Elephant Service (volunteer in a hill tribe village, overnight at a monastery with Buddhist monks, learn Thai cooking, scuba dive, white water raft, and teach English), Costa Rica Service Ultimate (community service work with school children and rural farmers, white water raft, surf, patrol turtle nests, and build a community shelter), and Hawaii Service (help preserve natural and cultural environments, work with Boys & Girls club, surf, swim, hike).

Overall, they offer community service and immersion trips in 21 countries across six continents. That is SO much more life-altering and purpose-driven than the summers I spent working the drive through window at Carl’s Jr!

Ricky’s Revolution: Monkeys Saving Us



My camp name at Champ Camp is “Monkey” and for most of my interactions with people there and on facebook and texts throughout the year, that is the only name several people know. It’s a pretty good camp name–it allows for lots of accessorizing with monkey t-shirts, banana themes, monkey toys for the cabin, etc. Because of it, my eyes are always peeled for monkey things…so it is not a huge surprise that I would be so enamored of Ricky’s Revolution, a charitable organization that is helping runaway and homeless youth…with Ricky…a monkey.

Ricky is a stuffed monkey that has life saving emergency phone numbers embroidered on his arms. These numbers are for Rape Crisis; National Organization of Rape, Incest and Abuse; Domestic Violence Hotline; Runaway Hotline; and Emergency Shelter Hotlines. Volunteers across the country form “shelter teams” and go to homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, etc to deliver these little bundles of comfort and love (and there is a big need for volunteers, so find out more!). For a kid living on the street or on the run from someone and staying in a shelter…the teddy bear-like comfort of a stuffed animal friend is a big deal, and the fact that Ricky also gives you tangible access to resources if you need them, makes him function as a double whammy of compassion.

The founder of the organization was a runaway teen, and she carried a stuffed monkey she’d named Ricky when she was on the streets. The comfort of her friend in the face of a brutal abduction and rape, and the ensuing spiral into despair, led her, as an adult, to recognize how one small token can mean the world to an individual. Get on board with Ricky’s Revolution, support, donate, volunteer–help make young people fighting against the odds know they’re not in it alone.

Monkeys will save the world if you let us!

Global Action Programs for Teens

Photo: ARCC

As the family gathers for holiday season and much deserved time off (I hope you get some–you’ve earned it), it doesn’t take long for teenagers to move from the celebration of being out of school, to “I’m bored…”

There are new teen hands-on travel action experiences launched by Adventures Cross-Country, giving students in 9th to 12th grades opportunities to travel to places like the Galapagos Islands and Tanzania to participate in a series of studies on interactions between humans and ecosystems, public health, sustainable development, and cultural preservation in the age of globalization. The kids volunteer with community and environmental programs, work with science teams, and have life-altering experiences like working at an elephant and giraffe orphanage, helping lion protection efforts, discovering land use needs and controversies with Maasai warriors, participate in shark research, create video programming, and more.

They are amazing opportunities to gain a global perspective…and they make me wish I was 15 again.