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When Your Son Is Too Old For Summer Camp #VoicesForOursons

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Summer is fast approaching. Now that your tween is older or you have a young teen, you face another challenge. What do you do when your child is too old for Summer Camp? This is a challenge especially for working parents. You don’t want your young teen to be home alone and utilize the electronics as the babysitter. Below are a few suggestions.

too old for summer camp, too young to work, boys,, middle school, tween, young teen

photo credit: Frerieke via photopin cc

1. Volunteer

I didn’t think there were volunteer opportunities for  twelve and
thirteen year olds, but I found Volunteer Nation. Volunteer Nation is a national database of volunteer opportunities for youth. As young as twelve, there are opportunities to keep your tween or young teen engaged while he gives back.

2. College Summer Programs

There are plenty of academic and sports programs that are sponsored by the local colleges in our area for middle schoolers. If you have a community college or university in your area, check out their website for more information.

Here’s an example of programs at our local community college. I always hear great things about these classes.  I googled the following term and got this result. Click the link to see more.

St. Louis Community College Summer Programs For Kids

3. Pick Up A Summer Job (Mowing Lawns, Checking In on Elderly)

Tweens and young teens are always looking for ways to earn some extra cash. If volunteering does not motivate your young teen, consider helping him establish his entrepreneurial skills by starting a business. Mowing lawns or  dog walking are just a couple of examples of ways to keep the youngster occupied.

4. Become A Day Camp Counselor In Training (CIT)

The Summer Day Camp that my sons attend have CITs. These are kids from 13 – 15 who assist the actual counselors at the camp. I don’t think you have to pay their camp fees, but there is an interview process. The kids are treated as counselors  but without pay. This is a great way to prepare your young teen on how to handle an actual job. And it could also lead to a Summer job once they are eligible to work.

5. Look Into Enrichment Camps

Does your child have a particular interest? Look into enrichment camps This kind of goes in line with #2 on the list, but is not sponsored by a college or university. Performing Arts Centers, churches and even your child’s middle school may have some great enrichment camps already scheduled and age appropriate.


Here are some additional resources I found.

From the NY Times


Do you have any other suggestions for parents in this spot? Leave a comment below. Or if you already have a blog post on this subject, use the linky button below to link up with us and join in on the conversation.

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Mama Harris
Mama Harris

These are some wonderful ideas, thankfully now I do stay home but there are still valuable resources out there for moms like me whose kids get bored. Thanks for the list!


These are great ideas, Val! I'd encourage parents to start as early as possible to help their child get a summer job. Parents could even ask at their employer if a summer internship or work study type thing is available. If there is a library near, ask if your child can support as a volunteer. Libraries often have tons of work that middle and high school aged students can do!

Rachée Fagg
Rachée Fagg

My daughter is right on the cusp. She will be doing girl scout camp but I am going to have her volunteering her time as well.

Arelis Cintron
Arelis Cintron

Val these are all great tips! I've never attended a summer camp but I've been in years of enrichment programs! Most of them were through my school.

Another great resource to find programs for your tweens is to ask the other parents in their class. Sometimes there are private groups that are taking kids in the summer and since they are small they might not advertise on large sites. You might also get ideas as to what your kid's classmates are doing that you didn't even think of.


Thaks Arelis. Didn't think about that. Appreciate your comment.


  1. […] over at Children of The Old School shared some great resources for summer enrichment programs.  As a blended family, a portion of the summer is covered as my son will spend some much-needed […]

  2. […] mentioned this wonderful organization in another post and they are worth mentioning again. This site has scholarship and volunteer opportunities […]

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