Summer camp is a priceless experience for teenagers, but sometimes it can get pretty pricey. Here are 7 summer jobs that will allow your teen to pay their own way to camp this year. You may just want to try some of the out yourself.
I remember my first camp experience. It was the summer before sixth grade. I ate ice cream sandwiches, drank Martinelli’s and hung out by the pool listening to my friend talk about how hot some guy named Jonathan was. It was great.
But the most important part is that I met God there. So many people can trace their first personal encounters with God back to summer camp. It’s almost become cliche, but sometimes it takes a camp experience, removed from the busyness and noise of our modern world, for a young person to truly recognize God’s presence in their life.
Most parents see the value in camp and want their children to attend. It’s the price that gets to them. When I went to camp, there was a pool and nature. That’s about it. Nowadays, the camp that my church goes to has zip lines, go-carts, climbing walls, and even a skate park. Several days of summer camp can easily cost several hundred dollars.
While a lot of churches do fundraisers, that’s usually not enough to foot the whole bill. Parents, teach your teens responsibility and put them to work this year. Here are some ways that your teen can earn enough money to pay their way to camp aside from the traditional babysitting or burger-flipping jobs.
1. Pressure Washing
Three years ago, a 13-year-old neighbor boy showed up at my doorstep offering to pressure wash my driveway. Of course, I hired him! The driveway needed it, but more importantly, I was impressed by his initiative and wanted to reward him for it. He did a great job. Last year when he showed up again, I hired him without hesitation.
Any healthy teenager has the physical capacity to pressure wash driveways and sidewalks. It helps if they pay attention to details as well. The one big hang up is the equipment. If you don’t have a pressure washer, find a neighbor who does. Have your teen offer to pressure wash their driveway in exchange for the right to use it during the summer. Pressure washing can earn your kid up to $100 or more per house, and it will get them off the couch and their cell phone as well! (You might want to remind them that their phone isn’t waterproof.)
2. Mother’s Helper
This is a great option for teens too young to get a real job. A mother’s helper is basically a babysitter that works while a parent is home. Younger kids can do it because, with an adult in the home, they don’t take on as much risk and responsibility.
I have a teenager who comes over from time to time while I work in my home office. It’s great. I can get work done, and if she needs me, I’m there. It doesn’t even have to be for someone with an outside job. A lot of moms would gladly pay just to be able to take a hot bath uninterrupted!
3. Pool Cleaning
Summer brings warm weather, which means pools are getting used again. And anyone who has ever owned a pool knows that they require maintenance and upkeep. One option is for your teen to find neighbors with pools and offer to care for them over the summer.
Another option is to find someone with their own pool maintenance business and have them hire your teen over the summer. Summer is their busy time and they often hire seasonal help. I spent a summer cleaning pools and anyone can do it. Vacuuming a commercial pool is the same as vacuuming at home, only much bigger and better for your tan.
If your teen is a good student or musician, they can hire themselves out as a tutor. Without the credentials of a professional tutor, they won’t be able to charge as much, but that also opens them up to more potential customers.
A lot of parents want their kids to continue learning over the summer but aren’t willing to pay $30-$40 an hour for a professional tutor. However, they would gladly pay $10 an hour to help their child catch up, get ahead, or try something new.
5. Party Princess/Superhero
Does your teen look like Elsa or Belle? Or have a superhero costume that still fits? If they like children, they could earn up to $50 an hour for making birthday party appearances. And they might even get cake, too! Announce it on Facebook with a picture of them all dressed up and spread the word in the kids’ Sunday school classes.
6. Yard Sale Organizer
Summer is yard sale season. A lot of people have junk that they would love to get rid of but don’t have the time or energy to put on a sale. If your teen is organized and has good people skills, yard sale organizing is the perfect summer job. They could charge $100 or more to organize and price items before the sale, run the sale and clean up afterward. This would be a great service to sell to busy professionals.
7. Cell Phone Coach
Chances are your teen believes that a cell phone is a natural extension of the human body. And they know how to use one as if it was their thumb. Many older people have the exact opposite experience. In fact, my mom was just telling me the other day that she would love to go back to the 60’s before there were cell phones, email, and voicemail.
Your teen could make a lot of money setting up half hour sessions to teach Baby Boomers how to use their cell phones and other electronics. If this is something your teen would be interested in, start spreading the word among your friends and at church, or advertise on neighborhood social media like nextdoor.com.
Summer camp can be an invaluable experience. Don’t let finances keep your teen from attending. Put them to work so that they can pay their own way this summer!