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Summer jobs ‘Cap’ off best experience

With this week’s weather, I know it’s hard to believe summer will soon be here – but it will. There are only about eight weeks of school left then the 2012-2013 school year will be behind us – so start making plans. Summer is an excellent time to stay busy working and learning and there are a wide variety of opportunities in our area.
Summer jobs are great, but with our economy they are also hard to come by. Since experience is good whether you’re getting paid or not, why not line up Capstone credit jobs? The Unicoi County Animal Shelter, Erwin Health Care, and the Center for Aging are always in need of volunteers.
The Unicoi County Library also uses teens during the summer months to help with the summer reading program. Several students have completed their entire 100 hours during one summer. Be sure to check the Capstone calendar to see what’s available, then contact those in need of help and set up a schedule.
Even if you’re doing Capstone credit during the summer, you still have time for enrichment activities. If you’re sports minded, there are a wide variety of camps that will help you develop your skills. You can find week-long camps that focus on basketball, volleyball, baseball, tennis and golf. Check out the sports camps offered by UCHS, Johnson City Parks and Recreation, Milligan College and ETSU. You can find more information on their websites.
Not a sports nut? That’s okay. There are other options. Art and performing arts camps are offered by several different organizations and they’re available for all ages. Once again, check out Johnson City Parks and Recreation for art and performing arts plus Milligan College offers an Arts Academy. You may also want to investigate the programs offered at Jonesborough Repertory Theatre. They have classes in both theatre and playwriting. Their websites have additional information.
There is something for everyone in the summer. JC Parks and Recreation also has a program in geology. ETSU offers activities in forensics, engineering, digital media and computers. The Southeast Culinary College in Bristol offers classes in cooking and kitchen skills. Southeast Culinary also offers fun Thursday evening classes during other parts of the year. I think I may check out an upcoming class on baking the perfect cupcake. Yum!
For even more ideas, look at the websites of our area colleges. If you’re willing to travel, you can even look at the University of Tennessee, Appalachian State and others. The variety of activities they have available is amazing.
We all want to spend time camping, hiking, swimming and hanging with our friends during summer vacation but there’s time for so much more. Motivational speaker Wayne Dyer says, “Life is never boring but some people choose to be bored.” This summer make the choice to be busy. Have fun but also try to learn something new and maybe get some Capstone hours in the process. You’ll find the summer will fly past before you know it.