The Joys of Summer

The days are growing longer. Pretty soon the crickets will be chirping late into the evening. I can actually smell the Dining Hall, taste the foil packs, and feel the rocky roads on my tanned feet. I recall the smell of the Lake of the Ozarks on a 105 degree day and it makes me smile. Summer is coming. For me, as a sixteen year veteran of Camp Sabra, the coming summer makes me  dream of those gorgeous, hot days, the sweat dripping off me at Land Sports (my favorite activity as a camper) and my board shorts sticking to my legs after an early morning wake board expedition (a skill I developed as a staff member). 

Whatever your summer pleasure is, those long summer days are quickly approaching. You have less than three months of school left! I realize, overnight camp isn’t for everyone but it is time to start thinking about what you plan to do this summer.

Summer can mean boredom for some teens.  Boredom can lead to excessive sleep, excessive gaming, fighting with family, and unhappiness. This is the time to make your plan! Talk to your parents about their plans, expectations and budget and work out your next steps.

Ideas for Summer 2012:

  1. Explore a passion– Always wanted to hike? Summer is the perfect opportunity to give it a try. Wanting to learn to play a musical instrument or speak Mandarin? Take some steps to make it happen.
  2. Get a job– And make some money 🙂 Think about your future goals and if there is a summer job that might be a great fit for you. And if it isn’t the “dream” job, remember it is only one short summer.
  3. Interested in College? Check a few out this summer. Just remember that college campuses look and feel a bit different in the summer than during the regular school year. If you love one, plan to go back once school is in session.
  4. Camp– I cannot think of a better way to spend a summer, but I’m biased in this area. Camps throughout the country accept CITs on a volunteer basis. Some of the programs cost money. Call the Jewish Federation and get a list of local camps.
  5. Knock out a few High School courses – Summer School- Yep! It can make your schedule a lot easier during the regular school year so consider it as an option.
  6. Knock out a few college courses at a local community college– Students often do this the summer before beginning college. It is a great transition to college course work and can make the first semester or year of school much easier by allowing you to take fewer hours that first year. And, you may find you wind up in class with lots of your old high school buddies.
  7. Check out local landmarks– You probably don’t have much time during the school year to see all of the beautiful neighborhoods in St. Louis. See what you’ve been missing…
  8. Volunteer– There are hundreds of volunteer opportunities in the St. Louis area. Not sure if a local agency or camp takes volunteers? Call the Director and ask. The worst you hear is “no.”
  9. Get in shape– Check out Parkway North’s Strength and Speed Camp (hardest and best workout of my life) or go for a walk! It is free and in the summer you have many hours of daylight to get it done.
  10. Have a laugh and take a break! Be sure to make time for yourself and have fun. It is summer after all!

Did I leave something off the summer plans ideas list? Email me at:

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