If you read the headline I’m sure you’ll guess it’s that time again! Summer is here and if you’re in Vancouver or the surrounding area perhaps you got a healthy dose of it this last weekend!
A goal of this blog is supporting people who support youth. One thing we’ve learned along the way is as youth have less things to do and more free time the more likely they are to get pushed or pulled into unhealthy activities or behavior. Our job as supportive adults is to boost them up and keep them engaged while also helping them do what brings them the most joy.
Last year, I can’t believe it’s already been a year, I offered ten things to do over summer break for youth. I double checked and almost all these activities are still relevant! Feel free to refer to this first list.
Today’s post will build upon it as a starting point for planning out some summer adventure.
To spice things up a bit, the theme of this post is identity. Recently the Clark County Youth House hosted an art show about identity and the pieces really spoke to me. I thought I’d keep the momentum going with relating all the activities in this post to the theme.
Without further ado:
My recommendation for your youth is to first and foremost have fun at camp but afterwards reflect on what they learned about themselves during the process. Ask them to consider: What did you do that you didn’t think you could? What moments brought you a sense of wonder? What parts of yourself did you hide and what parts of your identity were new to you?
A quick thank you to the Columbian for conveniently compiling this list of camps available in Clark County this summer! http://www2.columbian.com/summercamps/
Additionally consider vising one of our SCTF partners who are currently offering registration for summer programming, don’t delay.
Police Activities League: http://vancouverpal.org/summer-camp-with-pal/
Boys and Girls Club: http://mybgc.org/summer-programs/
How can animals help us discover our identity? Think about what animals they’re most drawn to and what this says about who they are. If they were an animal, which would they be and where would they be found? What type of home would they build and what other animals would they interact with, if any?
Getting certified with a food handlers card can make people more hirable. Summer jobs seem daunting but are a great way to be financially independent and grow as a person. I’m not suggesting all young people by default work in food/customer service; however it’s a viable option I myself participated in for many years.
As they do this, ask them to consider what businesses call to them most. Which brand matches their personal brand? What parts of their identity can be expanded on or explored by the organization they have in mind?
Visit Partners in Careers for more career exploration opportunities.
Refer to my blog challenge pages for a complete list. Yes, I did just shamelessly plug my own writing. These challenges are the most viewed, requested and shared on our website so I couldn’t help myself!
More importantly though, feeling valued, visible and attached to your community are all aspects of the 40 Developmental Assets, which basically are a bunch of factors that boost your ability to grow, be happy and resilient.
Receive and offer support for issues specific to the LGBTQIA+ community: https://www.qyrcvancouverwa.org/emotional-support/
Experience what it means to be a modern young person and offer love to your community: https://www.instagram.com/flash_love/ or https://www.facebook.com/WeAreFlashLove
Surround yourself with culture:
Feel free to share any number of the resources in this post with youth in your lives. This list is just a starting point. Tell me in the comments section what I missed!
Sending my best,
Christopher Belisle at SCTF.