santa cruz summer activities
July 2019

The Answer to "I'm Bored"

By Mary Gaukel

Opportunities for career exploration are abundant in our county and summer is a perfect time to connect your young person with some career exploration.  In this month’s article, and in next month’s,  I will share examples, from throughout the county,  of short-term and ongoing activities with related jobs.   Connecting students with experiences that are linked to specific careers help youth become self-aware and real-world aware. 

Teen Kitchen Project - Culinary, Dietician

The Teen Kitchen program offers an excellent opportunity for growth & team building while developing valuable hands-on skills. Together youth prepare meals that are delivered to those in the community who are living with life-threatening illness. People receiving the meals benefit from the support and love provided by nutritious meals.

santa cruz summer activities

Community Television of Santa Cruz County - Videographer

Studio Camera Class: Learn how to use CTV’s Studio camera equipment. Develop the basic skills necessary to work on studio productions. An introduction to how CTV’s studio works for Public Access.

Field Camera Class-Learn how to use CTV’s HD Field cameras. Covers the basics of the operation of the Panasonic AG-AC7p HD video camera and tripod usage. General instruction in video and audio techniques and video formats.

Red Cross: Babysitting and Childcare - Early Childhood Education/Teaching/ Entrepreneur

Designed primarily for youth ages 11 and older, this online course will prepare students to be better babysitters. Topics include how to provide care for infants and children; how to stay safe; what to do in an emergency; how to choose age-appropriate activities; and how to recognize and handle a variety of behaviors. Students will also learn the basics of starting a babysitting business. The course consists of six interactive modules featuring video, activities, games and tools babysitters can use to build their knowledge and skills and manage their babysitting business. This course, which includes a final exam at the end, takes about 4 hours to complete. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a printable certificate.—online-course/02074912.html?cgid=babysitting-child-care&isCourse=true&storedistance=undefined#c

Civil Air Patrol - Pilot, Aerospace Careers

CAP is a volunteer, non-profit organization that also serves as the civilian auxiliary to the U.S. Air Force.  Our three missions are to develop youth through a cadet program, educate Americans on the importance of aviation and space, and perform life-saving humanitarian missions.The program accepts new cadets who are at least 12 years old and not yet 19 years old.   It is a year-round program with weekly meetings at Watsonville Airport with additional activities on weekends or during the summer.  Opportunities for learning to fly.

Cabrillo College Summer Camps/Cybersecurity Camp - Coding, Cybersecurity

For middle or high school students with an interest in cybersecurity and computers who would like to learn more about securing networks and hardening Operating Systems.   This Cybersecurity Camp is the perfect first step towards learning more about cybersecurity.

Santa Cruz Teen Public Safety Academy - Police, Fire, Emergency Responder, 911 Dispatch

The summer Teen Academy courses developed by the Santa Cruz Police Department provide a phenomenal opportunity to Santa Cruz teenagers who are considering serving their community in careers in either law enforcement or public safety, and those who are interested in learning public safety skills and more about their community from the public servant perspective. 

santa cruz summer activities

In the one-week* course participants gain an understanding of what it takes to become a law enforcement officer, firefighter, 911 dispatcher, and emergency responder through direct observation and participation.

More to come next month…

Career questions have been a part of Mary’s life since she was first asked what she wanted to be when she grew up.  She began teaching elementary school, had her own children, taught in middle school and high school, became a high school principal, finally a grandparent, and currently the executive director for the non-profit organization, Your Future Is Our Business.  Mary now focuses on fulfilling the mission of “providing all youth in our county with career explorations”.  Your Future Is Our Business is  funded by the County Office of Education in partnership  with University of Santa Cruz, Cabrillo College, and Cal State University Monterey Bay.   

Reach Mary at

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