Teens’ sched­ules fill up fast when sum­mer comes so it can be dif­fi­cult, if not im­pos­si­ble, to fit in a month for camp, not to men­tion that a tra­di­tional camp for­mat may no longer be ap­peal­ing. So an ad­ven­ture or ser­vice trip may be just the thing to spark their in­ter­est. Whether a vol­un­teer trip to Costa Rica or an out­door ad­ven­ture in Utah, break­ing free of the walls of a cus­tom­ary camp set­ting is the per­fect way for teens to gain in­de­pen­dence and learn more about them­selves in the process.


Out­ward Bound: From Maine to Wy­oming to the Caribbean, go rock climb­ing or sea kayak­ing on trips matched to your teen’s in­ter­ests and skill level. Starts at age 12, op­tions can be grouped into mid­dle and high school cat­e­gories. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit out­ward­

Nols (Na­tional Out­door Lead­er­ship School): Wilder­ness education is the key to all of their trips. Stu­dents are taken on re­mote wilder­ness ex­pe­di­tions and taught out­door skills, lead­er­ship and en­vi­ron­men­tal ethics. Try the Adiron­dack Back­pack­ing Ad­ven­ture or Alaska Back­pack­ing and Sea Kayak­ing cour­ses among dozens of other of­fer­ings. Ages 14 and up. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit Global Lead­er­ship Ad­ven­tures: High school vol­un­teers are placed in non-tourist com­mu­ni­ties to work on ser­vice projects, de­velop re­la­tion­ships with lo­cal res­i­dents and, in the process, learn to ex­plore and be lead­ers. For those 14 and older pro­grams are avail­able in places such as China, Cen­tral and South Amer­ica. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit ex­pe­ri­

Rein Teen Tours: Of­fer­ing both Teen Travel trips (Cal­i­for­nia Caper, Hawai­ian Caper and Euro­pean Ad­ven­ture) as well as Com­mu­nity Ser­vice pro­grams (Project Costa Rica, Gala­pa­gos Is­lands among oth­ers), there are lots of do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional op­tions. Pro­grams start in sev­enth grade. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit rein­teen­ West Coast Con­nec­tion: Pick a pro­gram type (base­ball tour, fash­ion, lan­guage) and you may end up in Florence, Costa Rica or Mon­treal. This is for sev­enth grade through high school. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit west­coast­con­nec­

Amer­i­can Trails West: With the flex­i­bil­ity of their two, three, four or five-week tours teens can visit the Pa­cific North­west, go to Alaska and Hawaii or head to Europe on a trip that in­cludes a lux­ury Mediter­ranean cruise. While pricey (Five Star Camp­ing is avail­able), these tours are ac­tion packed. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit atwteen­ Bold Earth Teen Ad­ven­tures: Based in Den­ver, these ad­ven­ture trips fo­cus on lead­er­ship and teamwork. Bike, hike and raft in Colorado and Utah, ex­plore the Grand Canyon from above and be­low or hit the Alps in France, Italy and Switzer­land for two weeks. Trips start at age 13. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit bold­

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