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Summer Volunteer Programs For Teens

Updated on September 5, 2012

Volunteer summer programs, sometimes called volunteer vacations, can give teens the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people in need, protect and improve the environment or even study and observe animals with a research team. This summer, have a positive effect on the world around you, learn valuable new skills and make new friends along the way. In addition to nurturing your passion for changing communities for the better, students personally benefit from these fulfilling and challenging trips.

This article looks at volunteer vacations and opportunities specifically for teens. See the links and resources at the end for more information about family volunteer trips.

What path will you take this summer?
What path will you take this summer?
Help the neglected.
Help the neglected.

Finding The Right Program

There are many summer programs available for students wishing to travel and volunteer. Research each company carefully and be sure you clearly understand what work will be required of you when you are there. International trips take far more preparation and planning, so begin the process early. Below you will find 2 major organizations and their programs highlighted. Check the links and resources section for more opportunities that may better fit your needs and utilize your talents.

Landmark Volunteers provides high school students ages 14.5 and older with a vast array of opportunities to improve the world around them by partnering with more than 50 organizations nationwide. Highly motivated students work in teams of 12 to build homes for the needy, clear and restore scenic trails, help children with disabilities and more, affecting a positive change in communities across the country and sharing the experience with peers with a common sense of purpose.

Students can choose a program that fits their strengths, talents and interests, as well as their comfort level. They can venture far from home or stay in close range. They can sleep under the stars, or choose indoor lodging.

Summer programs generally run for 2 weeks and Spring programs for 1 week. Each of the organizations Landmark works with are committed to high values and dedicated to improving society. There are also opportunities for parent ambassadors.

Help the environment.
Help the environment.

Global Works Travel is one of the many organizations that provides high school and college students with international opportunities for volunteer service. Their cultural exchange and community service programs will take your teen to incredible destinations. They can choose to work on reforestation projects in Peru or build homes for the needy in a small village in Ecuador. There are destinations around the world to from which to choose.

Tuition prices will vary by destination. Prices start at $3,300, with the most expensive trips costing around $5,600. Students can earn community service credits for college.

Habitat for Humanity Youth Programs are designed to give kids, teens and young adults to make a difference in the lives of people right here in the United States. This well known and trusted organizations offers a variety of way for teens to volunteer their time, including leadership conferences, advocacy groups and short term "build trips" (located in the US and world wide) and volunteer vacation trips. See their website for more information.

The Benefits of Volunteering

The main goal of volunteering is obviously to help others, but the majority of people who volunteer their time experience various personal benefits. Here is a list of benefits and advantages that volunteers report to have gained through their service to their community.

  • Developed better interpersonal skills, such as understanding people and motivating others.
  • Learned to deal with difficult situations.
  • Developed better communication skills
  • Increased knowledge about issues related to that particular field of work.
  • Acquired valuable job skills that could later be used in their career
  • Attained a sense of purpose and achievement.
  • Personally rewarding.
  • Increased confidence.
  • Helped develop future career plans
  • Positive effect on mental health (diminished feeling of depression, increased self worth)
  • Enjoyed being a part of a group with a common positive goal.

Spending a summer or even just a week helping others can truly be a life changing experience for teens and young adults. Keep searching to find an organization that offers a program that is right for you and enjoy the benefits of volunteering!


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    • htodd profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      Hi Amy it's awesome ,I like it very much

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      would like to know how I can volunteer within this country-usa.

      email me

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you Carl - I agree. This is a terrific way for teens to spend their summer, help others through volunteer-ism and learn a great deal about themselves in the process! Thanks for reading. :)

    • profile image

      Carl Madison 

      9 years ago

      This sounds like a great opportunity for teens who have nothing to do during the summer. I hope more people do this!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Yasar, thanks for reading. I encourage you to look into opportunities on a more local level, where there wouldn't be extensive travel involved. No matter where you are located, there are always worthy volunteer opportunities! Best of luck!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      hi amy even i wana be volunteer but dnt have money for my expenditue..if u know any organisations which pay the expenditure..plzzzz mail me at me 17 yrs old frm india

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      11 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Alifahru. Volunteer programs for teens are beneficial to everyone involved!

    • profile image


      11 years ago from Purwokerto

      for teens you can voluntee your power to get others find their happiness.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      11 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you Volunteer Durham!

    • profile image

      Volunteer Durham 

      11 years ago

      Excellent article on volunteering, thanks for your insights!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      11 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you both for reading, glad you enjoyed it!

    • manoharv2001 profile image


      11 years ago from Bangalore - 560097, Karnataka, India

      great hub and writings do visit pls


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