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Teenager- Ideas for Summer Fun

Original post made by Susan, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2012

I have a teenage boy who will turn 16 in a few weeks.
He is looking for a job but hasn't found one yet, and can't start 'til after his birthday anyway.
He doesn't like organized sports.
His friends are away for most of the summer.
Any suggestions?- he wants to have some fun this summer and we have no plans to go away.

Comments (21)

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Posted by Mimi
a resident of California Reflections
on Jun 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm

City parks and rec will hire before they are 16 for the day camps but they may have all the help they need at this point.
Too bad the water slides are not open this year, it was always a great summer job.
The churches need volunteers for the summer camps.

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Posted by Lee
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2012 at 8:32 am

There are plenty of places that need volunteers for summer. The Humane Society, the Red Cross etc. Try looking up the East Bay Volunteer Society. They coordinate help for many agencies.

Churches also need volunteers. Good luck!

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Posted by Tennessee Jed
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Jun 21, 2012 at 9:16 am

Put a golf club in his hands, and see what happens. This was done to me when I was 12, and life has never been the same. Pleasanton has a strong program for junior golfers [The 1st Tee].

Web Link

We have all seen the commercials regarding the merits of 1st Tee programs, and I can't agree more with their message.

All of the local courses have special rates for junior golfers.

Grip 'em, and rip 'em

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Posted by Diane
a resident of Valencia
on Jun 21, 2012 at 9:51 am


My son (who also did not enjoy organized sports) really enjoyed being involved with the Tri-Valley YMCA summer day-camps, and the YMCA week-long stay-away camps at Loma Mar (on the coast between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay). At that age, your son could be part of their Leadership training day camps, where he would assist the counselors in the activities with the younger kids. And, they also have (or used to anyway) certain weeks at the Loma Mar camps where teenagers can become assistant leaders (not sure if that's the official title). It looks like the Leadership day camps run $129/week, and you can pick and choose the weeks if he doesn't want to do it all summer. My son loved it so much, he worked for a summer in college as a full-blown counselor at the Loma Mar camp. Here is a link to the YMCA website: Web Link

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Posted by In the same boat
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2012 at 9:55 am

I know Open Heart Kitchen always needs help. You can try the Pleasanton City webpage for various ideas. If your son has a specific interest or talent Google that with volunteer...will look good on a resume for next year. My 17 year old is volunteering at 2 different places this summer, in leiu of a job.

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Posted by Fair Friend
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2012 at 10:01 am

All of my kids have had great summer jobs at the Fair. Typically after the opening weekend, the Fair's food booths hire more local young people.

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Posted by Paula
a resident of Walnut Hills
on Jun 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm

He might want to consider volunteer opportunities that he would enjoy. I know they were looking for volunteers for the Fair.

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Posted by kim
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Heaven help you if you are still looking for ways to 'entertain' your 16 year old.

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Posted by Tango
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Jun 21, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I am part of a group that does Therapy Riding for Children and adults that have special needs. If he love kids and horses' we need teen volunteers . Look on the web sight . Reins in Motion. org. It is out in Livermore on Tesla rd. I know that some high schools give community serves credits towards graduation. This would be the perfect place to get these credits.

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Posted by Staycee
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I am a 49 year old lady that just got laid off-I have been looking for any job for a while--nothing. even the fair turned me down

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Posted by Mr. Geeneyuss
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm

...A 17 year old girl with a good car and an understanding daddy.

No brainer.

Go get em kid!

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Posted by Vintage Hills parent of 3
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 21, 2012 at 7:47 pm

To fend off boredom today we tried to go to the Pleasanton Aquatic center at noon, only to be told open swim is only from 1:30-4:30 M-F! Swim lessons take up the entire day. How ridiculous is that? There is no place for these kids (ages 10-16) to go and have fun. The parks and rec department has offered the same boring programs for 10 years. Look at the variety of offerings in Livermore, Dublin, or San Ramon.

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Posted by Mimi
a resident of California Reflections
on Jun 22, 2012 at 7:31 am

Vintage Hills parent of 3,
You may want to help save the water slides.

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Posted by Don
a resident of Ironwood
on Jun 22, 2012 at 8:48 am

I know I am talking a long time ago and times have changed a lot, however this is a good example of people taking over the jobs that youngsters used to do, to earn money. Now, everyone, who can afford it, hire professional gardeners to mow the lawns and pull weeds. I rarely see a young boy out cutting the lawn these days. When I was young I took care of many lawns in my neighborhood thus giving me extra money. I learned to have an appreciation of gardening and keeping a well maintained landscape. Many of my customers were elderly that could not do the work themselves nor afford a professional gardener. My own daughters used to do a lot of childcare for working mothers during the summer. My, how times have changed!!!

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Posted by Leland
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 22, 2012 at 8:49 am

When I was 16 I lived near a golf course. I'd muck up the ponds alongside the fairways so that golfers couldn't see the balls they'd hit into them. Then later in the day I'd wade into each of the ponds and retrieve the balls. I'd put them in buckets and sell them the next day to the same suckers who hit them into the pond the day before!

Later in the summer I realized that I could maximize my efforts and profits by hiding behind trees along dogleg fairways, running and scooping up the balls hit into the fairways. It was funny watching the golfers walk into view and puzzle over the location of their 'perfectly' hit drives. I made a lot of money that summer, though I didn't need it because my Daddy had already earned his millions with the Savings and Loan scandel. Nevertheless, my father was proud of me for showing such ambition and initiative.

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Posted by Swimming hours
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2012 at 10:37 am

To the Vintage Hills parent regarding the lack of swimming hours at the Pleasanton swimming pool because it is closed for either some sort of paid lessons or swim team practice.

That has been a complaint for years. Typically if you complain via email, you'll get some sort of written email from our esteemed mayor, Jennifer Hosterman, suggesting that if you are unhappy about the limited hours of the Pleasanton pool you should move out of Pleasanton. :) Isn't she quite the responsive public official?

The routine of her asking her constituents to complain to "move out of town" is quite legendary such as this:

Web Link

"Included in the handouts being distributed by Stop Pleasanton Gridlock are copies of an email purported to be from Mayor Jennifer Hosterman sent to an unidentified constituent who had complained about truck noise on Valley Avenue near her home.

"I don't know what to tell you," Hosterman wrote. "Either the traffic has increased such that you are so bothered that you need to consider a move, or not. In either case, the city of Pleasanton has bent over backwards to accommodate your ongoing questions.""

So everyone should send a quick email to asking why the Pool hours are so limited in Pleasanton compared to Dublin and San Ramon and Livermore, ask them to fix them immediately, and just WAIT for the responses back. Let's see our 'responsive' public officials in action.

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Posted by Susan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2012 at 10:52 am

We are pursuing many of these ideas, thank you so much, it feels great to hear from nice, helpful people in Pleasanton.

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Tenessee Jed, the poster specifically said her son does not care for organized sports.

Some people just don't care for it. These people do exist, although it may be hard for you to understand.

Susan, if fishing still exists at Shadow Cliffs, maybe that could interest him? I used to go there as a teen, bring fish home, clean it and give my mom to fix for dinner. Maybe he can even learn to cook the fish himself?

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Posted by Another parent of two
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 22, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I would recommend checking with the Alameda County fair as well. You never know, they may have some additional openings. Our daughter is working there this year.

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Posted by Tango
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Jun 22, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Yes I remember kids doing yard work for money in the summer. The will to have them do it is not gone , It's just the laws that have screwed things up. If a child under 16-18? works on your yard and injures him or herself than you may be sued for a lot of money and may not need a Gardner.

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Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 24, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Susan, does your son like animals? Valley Humane Society is actively seeking new volunteers to care for cats and dogs over the next several weeks. He could do a shift of 1-4 hours per week. Young volunteers learn to report for work on time and complete tasks as instructed, but they also enjoy connections with other volunteers, including other teens.

Teens who are interested in marketing or want to improve their front-office customer service skills can volunteer for other tasks that don't require animal care.

Contact Melissa Bonnel through the information on the volunteer web page:
Web Link

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