Let me just start this by telling you guys that summer is my season. I’m serious. I get tan, my hair gets lighter, my clothes get cuter, and my favorite part, there’s no school! With that being said, I think it’s a very stereotypical thing to want to party and do crazy stuff all summer to “make it memorable” but like do you really want to do that stuff though? It can still be memorable without all the partying so I’m going to share ten (I think are pretty awesome) summer (sober) ideas!
1. Go hiking. Yes, I know it’s so cliché, but if you know me, you know this is one of my favorite things to do as soon as the temps go above 50! You get to take amazing photos in nature, make great memories and you even get a good workout, too! Some of my favorite places to hike are…
* Mount Gretna (be sure to stop at the Jigger Shop afterwards for ice cream!)
* Ricketts Glen (the waterfalls are awesome here!)
* HACC Wildwood Nature Trail (this is a great walking and bike trail, not so much of a hike!)
* Peter’s Mountain (hiked this a few time over the years when I was at Camp Hebron)
*Kings Gap in Boiling Springs
2. Drive-in movies. You literally can’t go wrong with this. Just grab your friends, favorite snacks, chairs/blankets and take a friend’s mini-van to bring a bunch of people. This concept also works for fireworks and music festivals.
3. Beach trips for the day. This also includes Mount Gretna. I love the beach and I’m guessing at some point in my life I will live within 10 minutes of one! Until then, I like getting up early driving to Ocean City with friends and staying for the day. After we change from a day at the beach and grab boardwalk pizza, we leave to get home by midnight. It’s pretty cheap and super fun to just get away for a day! Just be sure to wear sunscreen because speaking from experience, it’s an excruciating car ride home when you fry your skin!
4. Volunteering. I know this may sound kinda of out of place in a post about “fun” summer ideas but this is a highlight of my summer. The love and joy you feel in your heart the moments after volunteering and helping others are PRICELESS. And you would be surprised how much fun you have and the great people you’ll meet. I like to go down and hand out food and water bottles in the city or help at outreach events just talking and praying for people who are going through tough times. I suggest checking with your church or family members about places you can help by collecting and handing out food or even just make little snack bags to give to people on the streets. Maybe you have an older neighbor you could mow the grass for or a new mom who could use a meal brought over. Those are the little things that make a huge impact on people’s lives.
5. Make your own tournament (or game nights on rainy days). I’m not talking about beer pong either! If you have corn hole, invite some friends and family over and do a tournament. Or a basketball hoop, soccer net, volleyball, Frisbee golf or anything just make it a competition. Play until there’s a winner and then if you can and it’s not 95 degrees outside, finish the night with a fire.
6. Take your mom, dad, sister or brother to dinner, lunch, a movie, ice cream or mini golf, etc. For me personally, my whole life my parents have always appreciated the little things and that includes just taking some time off to hang with them or just shooting them a text to grab a quick lunch. Maybe because I’m graduating I appreciate them now more than ever. So basically just take the time to show your love to your family. Don’t always be thinking you are going to miss out on “cool” stuff this summer because you choose to hang out with the fam.
7. Go on a missions trip somewhere away from home. Now I know not everyone has access to this one, just with cost and depending on your church you attend but guys, if you want to go on one… GO ON ONE! They are ridiculously rewarding and throughout the time you are there it changes your perspective completely. I can honestly say that on the two I went on, even though I was there to help others, I left changed and so grateful. If you can’t go on a missions trip (or even if you can), go on a youth retreat if your church has them. They are so much fun and there’s nothing quite like getting away from all the distractions to spend time focusing on things much more important than the material things in life. I admit there were times my parents nearly had to force me to go, but afterwards I was so glad I went.
8. Make a day to pamper yourself. Maybe this is more for the girls, I’m not sure how guys “pamper” themselves lol. Personally, I am going to have to work two jobs and a lot of hours this summer just to make bank for college, but with those few days off, I think sometimes it’s okay to just stay home and chill. You really don’t always have to be doing something adventurous to have a good time. And spending time alone isn’t a terrible thing; in fact that’s when we can get creative. Just head over to the store, grab some of your favorite ice cream, a good scrub and face mask, a little nail polish and just chill.
9. Journal. I know this isn’t like a onetime thing just for the summer but I will advise you to keep a journal and set an alarm everyday to jot something down. You will thank yourself one day when you have the opportunity to look through it later in life and see the amazing summer you had. Plus it’s also an opportunity to write down your goals, dreams and prayers and then check back in a few years to see where you ended up.
10. Last, but not least, devote this summer to loving yourself. Truly loving yourself completely and forgive yourself for past mistakes. Once again, I know this isn’t a onetime activity but it’s so important to value yourself and really grow into the person God has created you to be, which I promise you is awesome. Don’t try to compete, compromise or compare yourself because you really are unique. So I challenge you to take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually this summer and do things your future self will thank you for.
So I hope you guys read this and get excited because summer is SO CLOSE Y’ALL !!! First though, we do still have a school year to finish so don’t give up just yet (that’s as much for me as for you!). Enjoy these last couple weeks of school and trust that God has an amazing plan and loves every single one of us! xoxo