Finding ways to keep teens occupied in the summer holidays isn’t easy. Too old for holiday clubs but not always mature enough to be left to their own devices, I have often found myself scrabbling around for ideas to tear teens off tech that will also positively support their transition into young adulthood.
This summer, I am facing the additional challenge of an extra long post-GCSE summer break. My Year 11 will have nearly three and a half months off this summer. And so far he’s showing no signs of wanting to do anything productive with one of the longest holidays of his life!
Which is where National Citizen Service (NCS) comes in. NCS is a government backed scheme established in 2011 which is open to 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland. It’s a two to four week summer programme which includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential and a community-based social action project. The idea is to challenge teens and develop their life skills and leadership potential.
What is NCS?
The aims behind NCS are undoubtedly noble. It was established to help build a more cohesive, mobile and engaged society (‘mobile’ and ‘engaged’ being two words most parents of teenagers would love to apply to their offspring!). The aim is to make a difference both on a personal level, for each young person, and for society as a whole. By bringing together diverse young people for a unique shared experience, NCS hopes to encourage them to become young adults who are motivated to make a positive contribution as citizens.
It’s a truly inclusive approach. This year, more than 100,000 teenagers from a wide range of backgrounds will participate in NCS. That means 1 in 6 of this year’s 16-year-olds living together, developing skills together and completing community projects together. I am hoping that my teen will be one of them.
Find out more
If you have a 16 or 17 year old, do take a look at NCS, it could be a life changer! There are still places available for Year 11s to take part this summer. And don’t worry if you have already made holiday bookings. There are lots of different start dates available so you should be able to find a programme that fits in with your plans.
It’s also amazing value for money. The whole experience including food, accommodation and travel costs just £50. (Bursaries are available and support is provided for teenagers with additional needs.)
To find out more, register for more info, or sign up to the scheme, click HERE.
This post was sponsored by NCS. Regular readers will know that helping busy parents support their children’s development is part of my core mission. See Disclosure Notice for more information on how I work with advertisers.
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