Posted by: Walk.Build.Proclaim | May 23, 2013

There are 104 Days of summer vacation….

What do Phineas and Ferb and Summer have in common? They are both recipies for disaster if not attended too.

That’s right, summer break is nearly here…In the West Bend area we have anywhere from a week to two weeks  of school left. Do you know what your kids are doing this summer, or are you more like me and still trying to come up with activities that are interesting and age appropriate and engaging?  That’s a tough combination unless your kids are Phineas and Ferb fans and want to load up the summer with everything Phineas and Ferb have tried to do or mention in their theme song!

Last summer our family created a Summer “Bucket List”, which included a variety of activities and places we wanted to visit. We did really well last summer. We managed to do almost everything on our bucket list, including kayaking on a full-moon evening; that was probably one of our favorite events of the summer.  As we were reminiscing about last summer and talking about what we would like to do this summer, we decided that we needed to ad the aspect of volunteering over the summer.

Volunteering is such a wonderful way to Walk, Build and Proclaim with your kids. Many places that rely on volunteers find themselves short on help over the summer. Summer is a great time to get a little taste of an organization your kids might be interested in volunteering with year round. Volunteering may also deter your kids (at least for part of a day) from trying to give a monkey a shower.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Your local Humane Society; they are always looking for dog walkers and people to play with and socialize with the animals (check your kids backpacks for something with a tail before they leave.)
  • We have volunteered with Meals on Wheels; great local organization (usually run by your county).
  • Our Family has also been involved with Family Promise in Washington County. We look forward to making and sharing a meal and playing games with the families-kids in the programs.
  • If your church has a Vacation Bible School program, what a great way to engage kids in a variety of activities that keep their attention and give them a sense of being a role model.
  • Interfaith is always looking for slightly older kids to mow-lawns, weed gardens etc…’
  • Its also Relay for Life Season. Form a team, get hooked up with a local organization and have a great time. (our family is doing this for the first time this summer)
  • Your local library. Ours has student volunteers running the booth, which signs kids up and hands out prizes.

The key to involving your kids in any sort of volunteer experience over the summer is to find an organization this is age appropriate. Don’t plan on working with Habitat for Humanity if if you have a 6 or 8 year old. Habitat’s youngest volunteers tend to be around 16-18. Remember that many places have valid reasons for their age limits.

Find something that your kids are interested in! Whether it’s gardening, mowing lawns, playing cards or bingo with seniors at a care facility etc…CALL before you show-up!!

Volunteering can be a really fun and great way to let your kids explore their gifts and talents. You do need to talk to the appropriate people and arrange the appropriate times and then follow through.  There is nothing more disappointing to an agency than when they’ve planned for an event and the volunteers don’t show up ;-/

Beth and I will be blogging this summer. We’d love to hear from you. Share with us some of your favorite family activities and places to volunteer. The first ten families to share with us their experiences of volunteering this summer will get a Walk. Build. Proclaim wristband.

We hope that you and your families have a great Phineas and Ferb kind of summer full of adventure and memories.

Family Activity Suggestions: 

Wingra boats in Madison has a variety of canoe-kayak events over the summer, including Full Moon Paddles, check the out. http://www.wingraboats.com/Activities.html#anchor_177

State Parks are great places to engage your kids with the world around them, State Parks host a lot of different events over the summer. My kids fell in love with the naturalist at Mirror Lake. Marty does Kayak-Canoe tripson Mirror Lake once a month from June–Oct.  great time!   http://dnr.wi.gov/org/caer/ce/eek/nature/season/events.htm  Check with you favorite state park for events not listed on this webpage.http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/

Check with your church regarding Vacation Bible School Volunteers.

Interfaith, Waukesha (county) http://interfaithwaukesha.org/  (there is a Milwaukee County office as well).

Google Meals on Wheels for your County to get more information.

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Responses

  1. Great ideas for family activities! We also like the Volunteer Center of Washington County as a resource for family-friendly volunteer opportunities.

    When the kids get older and the schedules get crazier, we enjoy something as simple as walking the dog around the neighborhood – all five of us! Another favorite is Cookie Time, which seems to happen later and later in the evening these days, as we wait for the last stray teenager to return to the nest before we all assemble around the kitchen table for cookies and milk.

    Looking forward to sharing the Relay for Life 2013 experience here in West Bend!


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Gary Neal Hansen

Theology. It's good for you.

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