Soft skills were often overlooked in our pursuit for excellence. Grades, test scores, and "getting ahead" for the next school year is all parents and teens were told to focus on for a bright future. But as time goes on, colleges are emphasizing balance and well-rounded students. Universities want a unique narrative and something that makes the student stand out beyond good grades and perfect scores.
What are some soft skills that now have more value than ever?
- Ability to tackle conflict (internal and external)
- Self-determination and tenacity
- Ability to form meaningful bonds with those around them
One of the best places to learn these is from a summer program. Whether it's exploring the wilderness and backpacking for two weeks or enjoying team-building exercises at camp, there are so many different types of programs out there that can help the next generation develop the skills they need to be the leaders of tomorrow.
Out of the many opportunities out there, how do you know what is the right program for you? Our 2021 Guide to Summer Programs is here and ready to show you all of the latest and unique programs available for different interests and ages.
Our guide lists more than 50 teen summer programs – STEM and humanities pre-college programs on college campuses; group travel; community service adventures; and traditional camps and outdoor programs – that are dedicated to teaching teenagers those important soft skills, as well as some other things.
How Can I Find the Right Summer Program?
Pre-college programs on university campuses offer a chance to explore a major or new academic interest while experiencing dorm life. Volunteer programs are a way to foster empathy and explore different communities and cultures.
Outdoor camps offer the thrill of sleeping under the stars or other new adventures under the watchful eye of trained staff. Specialty programs are a chance to explore the performing arts, mindfulness or any number of interests. All these are avenues for teens to learn something about the world and themselves. And, oh yes, to have fun.
Our summer program guide also has tips on how to get college credit in a summer program; how to make time for community service; and, the best way to really learn a language (spoiler alert: immersion). And we have tips about how to prepare your teen for going off on an overnight summer program for the first (or even the third) time.
The 50 summer programs in our guide are eager to recruit teens, and our website, TeenLife.com, lists hundreds more. These programs come in all different session lengths and cost levels. Some take place around the world, others are just around the corner. You can be sure to find a match.
Let us help!