Drugs Make You Un-Smarter
There's Nothing To Do
Youth Outdoor Activities Rob Sayers—Owner and Editor
Volunteer Ideas Jill Vanderwood
Jobs 4 Teens Jill Vanderwood
Ideas for Teens/Fun Dates Used with permission from
Questions for Kids
Youth Outdoor Activities
by Rob Sayers
Owner and Editor
The aim of Active Outdoors is to present young people with ideas of what they could do. The media talks about kids hanging around on street corners, up to no good, but if they were given ideas of positive things that they could do that were fun, then it may well be different. Active Outdoors fills that gap where they don't know what opportunities are available to them. We want to directly encourage young people to get outside and enjoy spending time in the world around them. Hopefully in time this will lead to an appreciation of an activity or two, and then to appreciate their environment.
- Assault Courses and Obstacle Courses
- Astronomy Study the stars through telescopes, books and online sites.
- Battle Reenactments
- Body Boarding
- Bungee Jumping
- Clay Pigeon Shooting
- Concerts in the Park
- Drive In Movie
- Fruit Picking
- Grow Your Own Vegetables
- Helicopter Rides
- Hot Air Ballooning
- Ice Hockey
- Ice Skating
- Indoor Skydiving
- Jet Skiing
- Jogging and running
- Kite Boarding
- Kite flying
- Landscape Painting and Drawing
- Laser Tag
- Martial Arts
- Mini Golf
- Model Airplanes and Helicopters
- Open Air Theatre—summer plays in the park
- Para Sailing
- Parks - Chess, Ping Pong, picnics, football, sunbathing...
- Piggy Back Fights
- Remote Control Cars
- Rock Climbing
- Roller Coasters and Theme Parks
- Roller Skating and Roller Bladeing
- Rope Swings
- Scavenger Hunts
- Scuba Diving
- Martial Arts
- Sphering or Zorbing is when you strap yourself inside a huge ball and roll down a hill.
- Street Hockey
- Treasure Hunting and Metal Detectors
- Tree Climbing
- Ultimate Frisbee
- Walk the dog
- Wash the car
- Watch the sunrise or sunset
- Water fights
For a full list of activities with a full description, visit the website at: http://www.activeoutdoors.info/activeoutdoors/Article35.html
Another organization you may want to get in touch with is Big City Mountaineers. They support young people from cities by taking them on wilderness adventures.
Big City Mountaineers
by Jill Vanderwood
Volunteering can help a teenager build job skills, self confidence and look very good on a resume. While other kids are just beginning their working experience, you will already have training and experience which can give you the upper hand in the job market.
When looking for volunteer jobs, either for required community service hours, or for something to do, there are many opportunities available. If you are a teen who likes animals, you could volunteer to work at an animal shelter or offer to walk someone's dog. Are you interested in art? How about face painting at a neighborhood event or making posters or flyers for a cause. Doris Keeler, Suite 101
Teens with computer skills could volunteer to help children with homework, or teach a computer class to senior citizens. If your skill is in math, there are always kids who need help understanding their math assignments.
Literacy is another issue of great importance. There are adults who can't read well enough to read to their children, read the labels on medication or read the instructions from a boss at work. Kids can volunteer as tutors for adult learners, read to kids, or to elderly people who can't see. Two teens I know have volunteered for the Humane Society. They started out by taking cans of cat food to the shelters, and now they take their family cats so children can read to their pet.
Have you considered the Special Olympics? This is an opportunity to help a disabled person feel important. These events are usually in spring or summer months. You can call the organization or look for posters in McDonald's restaurants.
If you have someone in your family with an illness such as cancer, diabetes, or MS, you might wish to raise money for a cause. Doris Keeler, Suite 101
If you know a large family in your neighborhood, you might raise money to help them buy shoes or holiday gifts. You can start by recycling cans for your causes. This not only brings in money, but helps save cans from the landfill.
Junior high kids can become members of the Kiwanis Builders Club. You can find information about the clubs in your area by visiting kiwanis.org. Their projects range from fundraising for HIV/AIDS prevention in Africa to recycling drives, to cleaning up parks. Kiwanis Builders home page
High school age kids can join the Kiwanis Key Club. From building bridges, to collecting over six tons of food, thousands of dollars raised for cancer research, helping eliminate iodine deficiency disorder, Key Club International plays a vital role in serving the children of the world. Search Kiwanis Key Club to find a club in your area.
Doris Keeler, from Suite 101 suggests, “If a teen is still having difficulty coming up with the right opportunity, there are numerous websites set up to match interests with activities in their own communities. Network for Good is one place to start the search. Click on the "I want to volunteer" tab on the page, and fill in their state and zip code. There you will find a list of opportunities, and search out those suitable for teens.” Some Ideas come from: Suite 101 Teen Volunteering and Where to Start: Finding Volunteer Opportunities in Your Own Community Mar 1, 2009 Doris Keeler
List of Jobs 4 Kids
by Jill Vanderwood
Since I am a busy writer, I hired my granddaughter Savanna to clean my house. One time she is paid for her work and the next time she works for her cell phone payment. Hiring young people gives them job experience, helps build confidence and starts building their resume, so they can get a better paying job.
- Offer to set up e-mail accounts; teach how to send and receive emails; how to copy and paste and add attachments to an email; how to send pictures from a computer file to the email attachment
- Teach adults how to make PowerPoint presentations—Sixth graders are using PowerPoint to make book reports, but many adults don't have a clue. I paid for two PowerPoint classes
- Set up Facebook; Twitter; Linked In or MySpace profiles—make a business card or flyer to pass out to local writers groups, or small businesses. Many people know how to do this, but don't have time to set up their pages or keep them updated.
You're an expert, and you don't know it:Make a business card and pass them out, outside Verizon stores. Offer:
Programming for a customer's new phone; adding phone #'s; teach text messaging; teach people how to take and download pictures to their profile or their computers. Do you think this is silly? I would pay someone for this service.
Have you taken photography classes? Offer to teach people how to use their new digital cameras; download pictures to a disc or to their computers. Or, go into homes and take family pictures.
- Teach Spanish, French or German lessons
- Teach younger girls how to do their hair and makeup
- Offer to paint fingernails/toenails
- Fix younger girls hair for church or picture days at school
- Is your talent in art? Make a portfolio of your work. Pass out flyers or >cards to writer's groups in your area, or look up SCBWI on the internet—The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. I have hired teenagers to illustrate my books in the past.
- Be a reading tutor for a struggling reader. Visit an elementary teacher from your past to inquire about a struggling reader. Perhaps the teacher will pass along your info to a parent.
- Do you like the outdoors? Offer to plant and care for gardens or flowers. This includes weeding.
You can be a teacher
- Have you taken years of dance, music or sports training?
- Be sure to make a resume of the classes you have taken, competitions, awards etc. also include references from your teachers.
- Are you good at the guitar, violin or piano? Teach lessons to beginners.
- Do you sing in a choir at school or church? Teach voice lessons. Perhaps a teacher can point out talented students.
- Have you spent years taking dance classes? Offer your services as a paid teaching assistant, or begin teaching your own classes.
- Have you played softball, soccer, football, or basketball? Visit a game where kids are playing. Keep your eye on kids who need help or need to build up confidence. Offer to coach them, privately.
Today mother's are very busy with young children. They often have to work outside their homes, and when they come home the children are tired and hungry. Mom is tired as well. Be sure to charge by the hour.
- Offer to spend an hour a daywith the kids, so mom's can fix dinner, load the wash and do dishes. The kids will be happier and so will the mom.
- Offer to help kids with homework when a busy mom gets home from work.
- Listen to kids read or practice spelling words.
- Or, offer to do dishes for a busy mom, while she reads with the kids and puts them to bed.
If you have a driver's license, you could offer your services as a shopper. Be sure to charge and hourly wage, plus mileage.
- You could offer to go grocery shopping or busy moms or elderly people may need someone to run to the store for bread and milk. Be sure to have a written list.
- Offer to do Christmas/Holiday shopping, or watch the kids while a mom is shopping. Make sure to have a detailed list of sizes, colors and possibly the store where the item can be found.
- In some cases a busy parent might have you go from store to store searching for a popular toy. Keep track of mileage.
- Rather than babysitting, offer your services as a traveling childcare provider. You can go along with a family on their family vacation. In this way you may find yourself playing with children on a sunny beach, or even going along on a cruise.
Start a club for kids:
- With a group of friends—start a summer day camp. This can include field trips, planting gardens, cooking projects and even a campout in a backyard tent.
- Do you have a scientific mind? Start an afterschool science club for kids.
- Charge a fee for your time and project supplies. Help with science fair projects.
- Saturday morning fun club. Offer to keep neighborhood kids busy on Saturdays while parents sleep in, clean house or go food shopping. Plan fun activities, charging a fee for your time, but add extra's if you take kids to the zoo, or a movie.
Ideas for Teens
With permission from Dollar Stretcher.
Video and camera ideas
- Camera capers. Ask a member of your group who doesn't know the plan to write down about 10 random objects or ideas. Then take pictures of the items on the list. The first group to finish the list wins. Polaroid cameras make this activity even funnier. +
- Go on a video date. Record everything you do that night, like making dinner, playing games, or visiting friends, and then come back and watch with a bowl of popcorn. +
- Have your own game show. Family Feud, The Price is Right, Jeopardy, etc. Buy silly little prizes from the dollar store for winners. (Of course you should video record this!) +
Have Karaoke night and make music videos. *
- Have your own dance in your parents' basement, back yard, barn—wherever you would like! It's more fun with only a few couples, maybe 4 or 5. Make your own decorations and set up a stereo with pre-recorded tapes or CD's. +
- Make dinner. Try a theme: Italian, 50's style with burgers and fries, ethnic, etc. +
- Go on a change date. Have everyone collect their spare change and put it all together. This will be the only money spent on dinner, entertainment, games, etc… +
- Have a letter of the alphabet date. Pick one letter and then everything you do on the date should somehow correspond with that letter. Example: a "P" date. Make "pizza," "play Picasso" (finger painting), and "play at the park"
- Take some salsa or hip-hop dance lessons. Or sign up for guitar lessons.
- Plan an outdoor party in any weather. In summer, it can be a barbeque. In winter, go sledding or have a neighborhood snowball fight. *
- Go camping or plan a backyard campout complete with S'mores. *
- Go up the canyon and make hobo dinners or make them outside in a fire pit. *
- Go for a bike ride and take your lunch along. +
- Boat races. Do you live near a small stream or creek? Make boats out of available materials and race them downstream. +
- Go to a sporting event. It's better than a movie because you can still see each other and have a conversation. Pick something inexpensive that will interest everyone. +
- In the summer, you can attend a softball game or Little League game for free. *
- Go bowling at home with the Nintendo Wii. *
- Go buy coloring books and crayons and color. Then send the pictures in the mail to a niece, nephew or any young child. They will love getting mail! +
- Play Pictionary. Either draw the pictures or sculpt the item out of Play-Doh. +
+ DollarStretcher/Living Better for Less: Marcie L. in W. Jordan, UT
* Add by Jill Vanderwood
Questions for Teens:
Do you have a plan in case you are approached with drugs?
Has anyone approached you with drugs, alcohol, or tobacco?
What did/will you do?
Can you avoid drug use, or have you tried drugs/alcohol or tobacco?
What would you tell others who are in the same situation?
Do the kids you hang out with smoke?
Do they drink on weekends?
Do you ever feel uncomfortable around kids you grew up with who are making different choices?
Can you tell them no?
Can you avoid them?
Will they tease you, confuse you, or pressure you to try something you really don't want to try?
Is there someone you can talk to about this?
Please find someone to talk to if you are having a hard time saying no.
Helpful Resources for Teens
from Jennifer Storm
I think I may have a drinking or drug problem.
This is a very common thought, and maybe you do or maybe you don't have a problem. It isn't my job, or anyone else's, for that matter, to tell you whether or not you are an alcoholic or an addict. You must decide that on your own. If you are asking, obviously things have led you to this very important question.
This admission is a very personal one, and the road to recovery which hopefully follows the admission is yours and yours alone. But here is the best part: you don't have to travel it alone. There are so many resources and places to get help, and they are all at your fingertips. Here are but a few of them:
Try Alcoholics Anonymous. Hey, it won't kill ya. Check out the "Is AA for you" section—it will answer every question you may have. Maybe Narcotics Anonymous http://www.na.org/ is more your speed—pun intended! Look in the yellow pages of your phone book for local phone numbers for AA and NA. People are there waiting to listen to you, help you, and even pick you up and take you to a meeting.
If you choose to go to a rehabilitation center, try Hazelden http://www.hazelden.org. Since 1949, they have helped people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction using a variety of therapeutic approaches. They are a wonderful, comprehensive center, and if they aren't right for you, they can steer you to the right place.
Think you may have an eating disorder?
Just like any other disease, an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia is an addiction, and if left untreated, it can lead to all kinds of problems, like liver damage, throat damage, and possibly death.
The National Eating Disorder Association http://www.edap.org has great resources. Visit their Web site or call their toll free helpline to talk to someone confidentially at (800) 931-2237 or (800) 931-2237
Are you or a friend having suicidal thoughts?
My book, Blackout Girl, dealt with not only my own battle with suicidal thoughts and attempts, but my best friend taking her own life when I was only fifteen. I only wish there had been hotlines and resources then like there are today. Maybe I would have picked up the phone and called someone. Suicide is no joke, and if you are having these thoughts or you have a friend or loved one who has expressed these thoughts, call the number listed below and talk to someone who is trained to help. Sometimes it's hard and scary to think about reaching out to someone who knows us or the people in our lives—that's why hotlines like these are available. They are free and confidential. You don't have to suffer in silence—there is help.
1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Are you a victim of crime?
Do you know that as a crime victim, you have many rights under the law?
- You have the right to be heard in the criminal justice process
- The right to restitution with dignity, compassion and respect
- The right to compensation
- The right to protection
- The right to a speedy trial
- The right to be informed of the status of your case
- The right to be present at your trial or hearing, and many more
To learn more about your rights as a crime victim, check out these amazing resources:
National Center for Victims of Crime http://www.ncvc.org
Office for Victims of Crime http://www.ovc.gov
Rape Abuse & Incest National Network http://www.rainn.org
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1.800.656.HOPE
These sources are free, confidential, and open 24/7.
I'm not sure if I am gay or not.
Whether you are just questioning your sexuality, or you know for certain, it's helpful to reach out and find support. There is so much fear, discrimination, and hatred in this world. The goal is to keep you safe and to help you find an environment that will foster healthy questioning and development.
Here are some amazing places to look for help:
Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network http://www.glsen.org
Human Rights Campaign http://www.hrc.org
I don't know what to do to help my adolescent child.
While all the above resources can help you as a parent, "ByParents-ForParents.com" is a great resource just for you.