Outstanding summer programs for teens since 1982

7 of our Best Volunteer Programs for 2024

7 of our Best Volunteer Programs for 2024

Participating in a community service program is a valuable way for any teen to spend their summer. Combining the transformative experience of volunteering with the incredible benefits of travel? Now that’s something you’ll remember forever.

Looking forward to summer 2024, are you wondering how to choose the right volunteer program? To get you started we’ve gone through our full list of amazing community service programs and hand-picked 7 that will transport you to exciting destinations. Some focus on environmental sustainability, some are volunteer abroad programs, and they all share one common characteristic: they’re all incredible.

First let’s take a moment to recognize the positive outcomes of joining one of these experiences. Volunteer programs give teens the opportunity to broaden their perspectives at a critical point in their personal development. They’ll gain leadership, teamwork, social, and problem-solving skills while working on a variety of community service projects with their peers. What’s more; the friendships forged while volunteering can last a lifetime.

7 of our best volunteer programs for teens in 2024

Costa Rica Service and Adventure
Costa Rica Service and Adventure

Duration: 21 days
Service Hours: 60
Completing Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Service Projects: Community Welfare, Wildlife Conservation & Infrastructure
Adventure Highlights: Zip-line over the canopy in Rincon de la Vieja National Park, surf the Pacific at Tamarindo Beach, and make a splash while whitewater rafting, canyoning and snorkeling!
Overview: Known for its stunning beaches and vibrant culture, Costa Rica is a perfect volunteering destination for teens. You’ll improve the quality of life for underprivileged locals through infrastructure and beautification projects. Put a smile on the faces of the locals, whether you’re distributing meals, planting community gardens, or helping to build a home. And the best part? You’ll be taking part in these meaningful initiatives all while exploring the different regions of Costa Rica alongside your new friends! With the perfect balance of service and adventure, this teen volunteer program is truly unforgettable. Find out more about this program

Florida Keys: Marine & Wildlife Conservation

Florida Keys: Marine & Wildlife Conservation

Duration: 16 days
Service Hours: 30
Completing Grades: 8, 9, 10
Service Projects: Environmental Sustainability & Wildlife Conservation
Adventure Highlights: Snorkel the crystal clear John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and enjoy a splash and swim experience with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.
Overview: Looking for a chance to reconnect with nature? This string of tropical islands stretches off the southern tip of Florida, and is home to some of the most incredible marine and wildlife in the U.S! On this Florida Keys program, you will help restore coral nurseries, preserve the marine environment, learn about proper dolphin care, and much more. You’ll also learn how to protect biodiversity and ocean life through partnerships with the scientific community. Laid-back island vibes and golden sunsets are just a bonus on this community service program. Find out more about this program!

Hawaii Community Service
Hawaii Service and Adventure

Duration: 10 days
Service Hours: 25
Completing Grades: 8, 9, 10
Service Projects: Environmental Sustainability
Adventure Highlights: Master the waves with professional surf lessons on the beaches of Kihei, Maui, sail and snorkel among 250 species of tropical fish, dance your way through a traditional Hula lesson and then compare your moves to the real thing at an authentic luau.
Overview: Wake up in paradise on the tropical island of Maui. While you are there, you will help preserve the coral reefs and marine ecosystems. You’ll also learn about Hawaiian culture and gain an appreciation of the Hawaiian people and their way of life. Beautiful beaches, radical surfing and breathtaking scenery make Hawaii a dream destination for this community service program. Find out more about this program

Costa Rica Children's Camp
Costa Rica: Children’s Camp Leadership

Duration: 17 days
Service Hours: 55
Completing Grades: 9, 10, 11
Service Projects: Youth Leadership
Adventure Highlights: Enjoy a thrilling whitewater rafting adventure, relax in thermal hot springs, hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and get set for surf lessons!
Overview: Immerse yourself in the community and authentic culture of a small rainforest town in Costa Rica as you plan and run a day camp for local children in Arenal. This Costa Rica Community Service trip for teens focuses on opportunities to develop and execute your leadership skills while working with children in a formalized role. As a counselor-in-training, you will act as both a camp counselor and activity specialist. You will also explore more of Costa Rica, zip-lining high above the forest canopy, whitewater rafting, surfing, relaxing in natural hot springs and much more! An experience with purpose, connection, fun and adventure; it’s the very definition of ‘La Pura Vida”! Find out more about this program

Thailand Service & Adventure
Thailand Service and Adventure

Duration: 25 days
Service Hours: 50
Completing Grades: 9, 10, 11
Service Projects: Youth Leadership, Community Welfare & Wildlife Conservation
Adventure Highlights:  Embark on a food walking tour of Bangkok, visit Wat Rong Khun (white temple), have a well deserved Thai massage, enjoy a short hike to a beautiful waterfall in the Ban Huaymaesai countryside, float down the Mae Kok River on bamboo rafts, enjoy a feast at our very own Thai cooking class, and go snorkeling at Chicken Island.
Overview: You’ll experience it all on this student trip to Thailand! Volunteer your time in a variety of rewarding projects, ranging from caring for elephants at a sanctuary, to teaching English to Thai children and organizing activities for them. Thrilling adventures across Thailand are also included to make the summer experience even more memorable! Explore the bustling canals of Bangkok and nearby floating markets, marvel at the magnificent stone ruins and temples in Ayutthaya and chill on the beach in Railay Bay. Meaningful service, amazing adventures, and new friends? Sounds like the summer of a lifetime! Find out more about this program

Ecuador & the Galapagos Community Service
Ecuador & the Galapagos Service and Adventure

Duration: 21 days
Service Hours: 35
Completing Grades: 9, 10, 11
Service Projects: Environmental Sustainability & Infrastructure
Adventure Highlights:  Snorkel, kayak and hike by the beautiful beaches in the Galapagos Islands, whitewater raft the thrilling Pastaza River, and visit Otavalo Market to discover all its colorful fabrics, crafts and local food.
Overview: Experience the natural beauty and cultural richness of South America on this summer volunteer program. Work on diverse community service projects alongside locals in Quito, Riobamba and the Amazon Rainforest. When not volunteering, explore Quito – the first city to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO –, where you’ll straddle the Northern and Southern Hemispheres at the same time. You’ll be one of the privileged travelers to visit the Galapagos Islands where we explore the home of Darwin’s theory of evolution and observe many species of animals, including the giant tortoise. This program will also awaken your sense of adventure as we whitewater raft and snorkel crystal blue waters and more! Find out more about this program

7 of our Best Volunteer Abroad Programs for 2020 1
Costa Rica: Sea Turtle Conservation

Duration: 14 days
Service Hours: 25
Completing Grades: 9, 10, 11
Service Projects: Wildlife Conservation
Adventure Highlights: Snorkel and discover ocean wildlife on a sunset catamaran cruise, enjoy a thrilling whitewater rafting adventure, surf with professional instructors, & learn how to salsa at a Latin dance class.
Overview: This is the perfect summer program for teens who want to learn about and support wildlife conservation efforts! You will travel to both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Costa Rica while working with like-minded peers in an effort to protect the country’s sea turtle population. Every day will be different as you help with various conservation tasks such as scientific research, egg incubation and mangrove preservation. Afternoons and evenings will be just as hands-on and unique with harbor patrol, hatchling rescue and collecting and re-burying sea turtle eggs. There is so much to be done as you help to protect this endangered species. Outside your volunteering time, you will experience amazing adventures, from whitewater rafting to a sunset catamaran snorkel cruise. Find out more about this program

Interested in checking out our other teen volunteer programs?