Looking for activities for a young person for the summer?
You’re not alone! We have heard from quite a few families who are looking for summer options.
Based on the needs we heard, we focused on sharing:
- Free or lower-cost activities/programs for older kids and youth
- Stipended/paid opportunities for youth and young adults that include training and support
- Supportive environments or activities for youth who need things to do over the summer and are not quite ready to work or be a counselor-in-training
At the bottom, we have also reposted information on summer camps that still have space and activities for younger children and people of a variety of ages.
Each program has its own COVID protocols, so it’s a good idea to check with each individual program if you have questions.
Classes, Youth Camps, and Workshops
The Art Garden Teen Clay & Art program
When: July 5 – 8, 10:30am – 4pm
Where: 49 Conway St and 14 Depot Street, Shelburne Falls. Participants will be escorted from one site to the other.
Who can participate: youth ages 13 – 18, with some flexibility about the age range
Cost: $340, financial aid is available upon request.
About: Molly Cantor Pottery (at The Handle Factory) and The Art Garden are collaborating to offer morning clay and mixed media art-making in the afternoons! Molly is an experienced teacher and beloved local potter.
Register here and email Molly with questions.
Also, stay tuned for info about The Art Garden’s Teen Community Art week in August!
Clay for Kids at The Handle Factory
When: July 11-15, 11:30am-1pm.
Where: 49 Conway St. Shelburne Falls
Who can participate: Kids/youth ages 8-12
Cost: $150, including materials
About: Led by Alyssa Robb, an arts educator based in Greenfield. Classes take a student-led learning approach and encourage the exploration of materials, motor skills, hand-eye coordination, observation, collaboration, active play, and self discovery.
Register and learn more here.
Summer Programming at The Brick House
When: Beginning June 21, 12:30 – 4:30PM
Where: 24 3rd St, Turners Falls
Who can participate: Youth ages 12-19.
- Mondays – 12:30 -1:30 Free time/open space; 1:30 – 3 Creative Writing; 3 – 4:30 Open Music Space
- Tuesdays – 12:30 -1:30 Free time/open space: 1:30 – 4 Field Day at Unity Park/Sports
- Wednesdays – 12:30 -1:30 Free time/open space; 1:30 – 4:30 Outdoor Education/Community Engagement/ Life Skills
- Thursdays – 12:30 -1:30 Free time/open space; 1:30 – 4:30 Dungeons & Dragons
Also in the works: Field trip days with longer hours when youth can go to the lake, to museums, and to other summer events in the area!
To learn more, check The Brick House Facebook page. You can also email Megan or call 413-800-5705.
Hilltown Youth Performing Arts Programs – Summer Workshop & Recovery Theatre
Hilltown Youth Theatre Summer Workshop – “Much Ado About Nothing”
When: July 11 – August 4, M-F, 9-4pm with a few evening/weekend rehearsals; performances July 31- August 3
Where: Rehearsals: Heath School, 18 Jacobs Rd. Heath; Performances: Berkshire East Mountain Resort, Charlemont
Cost: $900 (for the nearly 4 week workshop) but scholarships are available! Email Jonathan about scholarships/financial assistance
Who can participate: children and youth, ages 10 – 18
About: A performing arts circus experience for aspiring actors, musicians, dancers and choreographers, and set designers.
Learn more and register here.
Recovery Theatre Summer Camp
Cost: Inquire with the program. Scholarships available! Email Mizsilversman@gmail.com and Jonathan@crocker.com about scholarships and financial assistance.
Where: Heath School, 18 Jacobs Rd. Heath
When: July 5- 9, connect directly for hours.
Who can participate: youth and young adults ages 12 – 18 and 19 – 24
About: A performing arts experience for young people overcoming trauma, addiction, anxiety, depression and other behavioral health challenges. Their programs are a space where youth struggling with mental health issues are valued as artists not patients.
Learn more and register here.
Youth Job Training and Supported Job Placements
YouthWorks job readiness training and on site job placements. Learn and Earn!
When: July 5 – August 26
Where: Varies, depending on placement
Pay and hours: $15 per hour, 15 hours a week. There is also an opportunity for youth to apply to be a Peer Leader, paid $17 per hour.
Who can participate: youth ages 16-21 in Franklin, Hampshire and the North Quabbin regions.
About: YouthWorks is a state-funded youth employment program that helps teens and young adults get the skills and experience needed to find and keep jobs. Participants take part in paid short-term work placements during the summer at public, private and nonprofit worksites. Participants also receive training in core soft skills so they can practice skills and learn how to relate to supervisors and co-workers, and they learn how to take the next steps in their education and career pathways.
Learn more and apply here.
Camp Kee-wanee Leaders in Training (LIT) Program
When: Session 1 is July 5-23 and Session 2 is July 25-August 12, plus training time.
Where: Camp Kee-wanee, 1 Health Camp Rd, Greenfield. Free transportation with bus stops throughout Franklin County
Cost: $625 per 3 week session, sliding scale available. Free breakfast and lunch.
About: The Leaders in Training program offers 14-15 year-old campers an opportunity to focus for half of each day on learning skills needed to potentially become a counselor in the future. Future employment is not guaranteed, but skills are transferable and useful for this age group!
The camp also employs junior counselors (ages 16-17) and senior counselors.
Learn more and apply/register here.
Youth Groups, Clubs, and Leadership Projects
The Kreative Korner Teen Group at Valuing Our Children
When: Weekly on Wednesdays, 3:45 to 4:45
Where: The Family Center, 217 Walnut St. in Athol.
About: Teens have the opportunity to socialize while playing board games, cards, and lawn games, as well as enjoying activities including arts and crafts, science experiments, and gardening.
Valuing Our Children has expanded the backyard to include a small basketball court, four square, hopscotch and a vegetable garden.
Parents can register their teens by calling Charlene at 978-249-8467.
HEROES Leadership Project
When: June 27-August 21
Where: Based in Greenfield, various locations
Who can participate: youth and young adults 14-24 yrs old in Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties with lived experience in foster care, kinship care, or adoption.
About: Participants will build leadership and advocacy skills, participate in local community service, experience the outdoors through nature walks and camping trips, practice wellness through herbalism workshops, attend recreational activities, engage in expressive arts projects, have access to one-on-one educational support if needed, and build community with people of different ages. Older participants will have the opportunity to serve as peer mentors.
Learn more by checking out their ad on the Hilltown Families site.
Register for the program here.
Community Action Youth & Workforce Development Programs
Youth Council, Youth/Young Adult Action Board (YAB), and Generation Q are active over the summer!
When and where: Depends on program
Cost/Pay: FREE or stipended depending on the program
Who can participate: Depends on the program – many are for youth and young adults ages 14-24, with some middle school age options. Fill out a general interest form talk with Merrow to learn about eligibility for individual programs.
About: Check out their newsletter for info on each of their programs! These can be great options for youth and young adults ages who can use some extra support or who want to gain leadership or job skills. Summer hours differ from during the school year for some of the programs – it’s worth being in touch to see what is available.
To learn more and register, visit their webpage or fill out the general interest form and get set up to meet with Merrow, Outreach and Enrollment Specialist.
More about Generation Q:
– Free social & support group for LGBTQIA+ youth 14-24.
– Franklin County – Tuesdays, 4-7 PM (6-7 pm open for participants 18+ only)
– (Hybrid) Zoom and at 154 Federal street in Greenfield
Intergenerational programming available for ages 10-13 once a month!
Looking for summer camps and activities that still have space?
As of early June, the camps and recreation departments listed below still have space for at least some of their sessions, and some have sliding scales or reduced fees for residents.
- The Franklin County YMCA’s camps, which include Camp Apex, Gymnastics Camp, and Sports Camp.
- Camp Kee-wanee offers transportation.
- Camp Lion Knoll offers transportation.
- The Greenfield Recreation Department Facebook page and website has info on their camp, summer activities, and the Green River Swimming and Recreation Area.
- The Montague Park and Recreation Department has info on summer camp here.
- The Athol Area YMCA’s website has info about their summer camps.
- Also, The Hilltown Families 2022 directory of Summer Camps has many (but not all) local options. At this point, some are full – individual websites usually say whether they have space left.