Summer outdoor jobs for teenagers

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of March 19-25, 1998
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Summer outdoor jobs for teenagers
Question: How can my teenage kids get summer jobs doing outside adventure-type stuff?

Thomas Cates
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Send your kids on an Outward
Bound course this summer

Adventure Adviser: There are a few ways to go about the process, depending on how old your kids are and how little they're willing to get paid. If your kids are in college, most campuses offer a summer job fair, where a lot of the job offered are by summer camps or ranches scattered across the United States. In some instances, the camps will offer on the job training, so your kids don't even need experience. In general, most of these jobs are on the East Coast, the Midwest, or in the Rocky Mountains. A word of warning: For a summer's worth of hard work your kids will likely walk away netting about $1,000. Plus, most camps don't hire anyone younger than 16.

Another option is to shell out some bucks to send your kids on a National Outdoor Leadership School or Outward Bound course. These courses run anywhere from on to three months and provide training in virtually any area of outdoor expertise your teenager is looking for. After your kids have successfully completed one of these courses, they'll be eligible to take courses that gear them toward becoming instructors. Call NOLS at 307-332-6973 or Outward Bound at 800-676-2018.

Finally, check with the National Park Service in Santa Fe (505-988-6076). If the Santa Fe office doesn't have any jobs available, it should be able to refer you to a national park concessionaire. Park concessionaires do all the hiring for service jobs within a national park, which usually consist of such unglamorous positions as hotel maids, park maintenance, tree planters, and restaurant workers.

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