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Summer Opportunities for Teens
updated: Mar 25, 2014, 7:46 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

What opportunities do our 13 and 14 year old kids have in Santa Barbara in the summer? In the past we have let them pick a favorite camp each summer for a week but otherwise have put together our own adventures around our flexible summer schedules. This year we are both working full time and have found that the kids are on the edge of too old for camps and too young to be CIT's. We leave them alone for 4-5 hours at a time on occasion but neither of us think it's a good plan for the whole summer (or even big chunks of it). They like music, cooking, art and animals. Volunteering is an idea that we are considering, but most organizations that we have contacted want an adult present if they are under 15 and transportation would be an issue. Plus, we don't want anyone to feel like they are more work then what it's worth. Any ideas?

I can't stand the thought of them playing video games/texting/watching TV and movies all summer. It nauseates me.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 505755 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 07:50 AM

Join the SB Rock Gym climbing team.


 COMMENT 505757P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 07:53 AM

They are at the age to do their community service for HS graduation. Zoo camp is always in need of junior counselors!


 COMMENT 505759 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 07:58 AM

YMCA has some really great programs that are geared towards young teenagers that include overnight camping trips, etc. Could be worth looking in to.


 COMMENT 505760 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 07:59 AM

Definitely not too young for CITs. Safety Town is one camp that uses young teens, they are trained and given a fair amount of responsibility. Spots fill up fast though check their website for info.

UCSB Surf and Kayak camp is well suited for this age group and if they are so inclined Jr Lifeguards.


 COMMENT 505762 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 08:06 AM

Another vote for Junior life guards.. It is an awesome program.. They run, swim and have fun in the sun all summer.


 COMMENT 505764 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 08:13 AM

sail, bike, scuba, hike, camp, fish, boy scouts, ymca, junior lifeguard, sports, science camp...etc. There are probably another ten to consider as well.


 COMMENT 505768 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 08:20 AM

Surf happens surf camp because let's be honest, kids don't wanna be anywhere but at the beach this summer!


 COMMENT 505770 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 08:22 AM

Here we land again, Sierra Summer.
Holding hands again, sky so blue.
Oh, yeah, we made it,
No longer separated,
From all our closest friendships,
and starting some anew…

Gold Arrow Camp
Whadda, whadda, whadda, wa,
My favorite camp,
Whadda, whadda, whadda, wa,
No other camp,
Whadda, whadda, whadda, wa,
Will ever do, whoa.
I hike and sail and water-ski,
and breathe air that is good for me.
There’s no place that I’d rather be,
than good old GAC!


 COMMENT 505774 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 08:30 AM

Safety Town is cool but only half days and hard to get into. Zoo camp is great and they can be CIT's at any of the Parks & Rec camps, contact them NOW!


 COMMENT 505778 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 08:41 AM

Beach and mountains- swim, bike, lounge on sand and be oh so grateful you live here! I grew up near malibu and all it took was a summer visit to my cousins on the east coast (humidity, sticky rain, mosquitos) to be ecstatic to spnd my summers here in So Cal. As for teenage angst and the pervasive feeling of discontent- nothing but age cures that! Enjoy!!!!


 COMMENT 505785 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 09:10 AM

Teach them to be productive and learn value of money and work... Have them get summer jobs. Odd jobs for friends neighbors, house, pet or baby sitting, washing cars, walking dogs, mowing lawns... Maybe a friend coud use help at a store,office, restaurant... Great life lessons and teaches kids not ro be lazy.


 COMMENT 505787 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 09:12 AM

Summer camps! They can get in hours by volunteering (or get paid) Jr. Lifeguards too.


 COMMENT 505797 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 09:34 AM

It is a great age to learn how to work and become an entrepreneur. As someone else suggested there are lots of jobs they could do working on their own. It is never to early to learn the value of work. I commend you for not wanting them to sit around playing games.


 COMMENT 505807 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 10:02 AM

Have them paint your house. If they do it right they can probably find other houses to paint. Try washing the windows of your house. nearly every house on the block needs windows washed. Is it a safe enough neighborhood that kids are allowed outside alone?


 COMMENT 505818 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 10:52 AM

Above All Aviation is holding their 4th Annual Youth Aviation Academy. 805-683-7575


 COMMENT 505824P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 11:24 AM

Bummer...SB Zoo teen/CIT programs start at 13 years old but the application deadline was March 20th.


 COMMENT 505829 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 11:30 AM

Definitely old enough to get jobs - I started working as a bag-boy at a grocery store at 14 (at the time, state law was 8 hours a week max). Odd jobs are a good way go as well, and will teach them the value of work and money.


 COMMENT 505831P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 12:01 PM

Junior Lifeguards is fantastic!!!


 COMMENT 505862 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 02:12 PM

UCSB day camp could work for CITs.

Our kid did it his first year as a CIT, got all of his H.S. community service hours out of the way, and then the other summers in H.S. he got paid for it because he was well liked and asked to come back.

But like others said, it could already be too late to get in. Put the names in anyway and keep checking back.

It's a tough age - too old for most camps, too young to leave on their own all day or have all day jobs.


 COMMENT 505872 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 03:05 PM

SBYC Youth Foundation...they can learn how to sail.


 MISTA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 05:55 PM

Ride your bike- we have miles & miles of bike riding roads,
Beach activities- Learn to surf, paddleboard or kayak- They can ride their bike to the Jr Lifeguard Program at East beach (vs. having mommy DRIVE to drop off and pick up everyday)
Summer school? Second Language? Yard work for $, Dog walking for $, Picking up dog doo for $....


 COMMENT 505924 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 06:55 PM

_1_, why not send them to the salt mines? That's honest pay. . . .


 COMMENT 505944P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 07:58 PM

well there's always pot smoking and spray painting local business property.


 COMMENT 505948 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-25 08:02 PM

UCSB Surf camp.


 KEUKASMALLIE agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-26 06:43 AM

Whatever you decide, keep them away from State Street without supervision.


 COMMENT 505975 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-26 07:15 AM

It's a shame teens can't have fun and be safe with friends on State Street because it's been taken over by vagrants, drug addicts, and alcoholics.


 COMMENT 505982 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-26 07:45 AM



 COMMENT 505983 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-26 07:47 AM

CIT? What's that? Glad I was a kid in the 60's. Just went out and played. Miles of empty fields.
In my later years and no kids.


 COMMENT 506004 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-26 09:30 AM

Goleta Valley Historical Society is always looking for volunteers, especially with our summer concert series. Contact www.goletahistory.org.


 COMMENT 506009 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-26 10:14 AM

there's also WYP -- Wilderness Youth Project -- gets kids outdoors into NATURE!


 COMMENT 506022 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-26 12:16 PM

I got work permits and worked in food service as a cashier during off school times at age14 and never stopped working I liked it so much, got pt. time after school. Also became a full time babysitter and cleaned houses while I did it because I was bored when children slept, they paid me to straighten up and clean the house after I did it on my own initiative, the mom was very appreciative and dad happy that wife was happy, cool money!~ I also took classes at the local Tech School for business and got way ahead of everyone in school with extra credits too. It's good for the moral, independent feeling and confidence builder. Also builds the school credits and bank account prepping for college and life. Give your kids some ambition and something to look forward to in the future, not boring time wasted sitting at home. Have them learn crafts or art that's productive. Start a garden, grow vegies!


 COMMENT 506691P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 11:54 AM

If the 14 year old will be done with 8th grade, taking dual-enrollment SBCC classes is possible. My kid took biology last summer to free up a slot for an elective in 9th grade.


 COMMENT 510567 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-12 11:39 AM

The adderley school for performing arts is great.


21% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.


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