Carley Granoff, 15, of Syosset, with Daniella Messina, 15, of Woodbury,...

Carley Granoff, 15, of Syosset, with Daniella Messina, 15, of Woodbury, during a camp trip to Clifton Amusement Park in Canada last summer. Credit: Kenwal Day Camp/Peter Bechhoff

The start of summer vacation doesn't have to coincide with the beginning of a void in teens' schedules. Short travel, drop-in and weeklong programs offer up ways for teens to remain involved with just enough free time to spare. 

Twin sisters Jenna and Mara Goldfarb, both 15, of Plainview, plan to fill school break with Kenwal Day Camp's Extreme Teen travel program. The Melville camp brings nearly 80 campers grades seven through 10 on overnight trips to upstate New York destinations and beyond.

“It’s like the best of both worlds because you get to go away during the week and be home on the weekends,” Mara says. 

If a one-week commitment or a drop-in program is more their speed, there's a program for that. Here are a few: 

Maddie Mayer, 10, of Hampton Bays, learns how to measure...

Maddie Mayer, 10, of Hampton Bays, learns how to measure a horseshoe crab with the help of Jenna White, a site coordinator at Pikes Beach in Westhampton on June 4. Credit: Elizabeth Sagarin


At Yoga Moksha in Huntington, rising eighth- through 10th-graders can earn a certificate of completion for how to teach yoga to younger children. Owner Kim Bienia says you don't have to be a yoga pro to participate in “Kids Teaching Kids” since the program is a “kid-ified version.” 

Teens will learn common yoga postures and turn them into poses kids can do. For the “cat pose,” kids get down on all fours, spines up, chins and tailbones tucked under, and chant “meow.” Games involving yoga poses follow instruction, such as freeze dance yoga. “When the music stops, the kids go into the yoga pose the leader calls,” says Bienia.

The teens also learn breathing techniques for relaxation. Bienia explains, “We blow out a breath and imagine our breath is our favorite color. We all blow our colors upward into a rainbow. It’s the concept of taking deeper breaths in and longer breaths out, as in adult yoga.”

SUMMER SESSIONS: June 27-July 3, July 29-Aug. 1

COST: $375 per teen 

MORE INFO: 195 East Main St., Huntington; 516-527-5233;


Sign up for a minimum of four weeks at Kenwal Day Camp’s Teen Extreme program and travel to amusement parks, state fairs and more. Summer trips will include The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York; Morey’s Piers Water and Amusement Parks in Wildwood, New Jersey; and the Ohio State Fair.

Mara Goldfarb explains, “The first week of camp, we don’t go on overnight trips so we can get to know everybody.” Instead, the teens do activities on the Kenwal campus and take day trips to Long Island locations. During weeks two, three and four, teens travel and stay overnight. They begin with two-day trips and build to a five-day trip. They always return by the weekend.

Ari Izgur, 13, of Dix Hills, and Matthew Gallo, 14,...

Ari Izgur, 13, of Dix Hills, and Matthew Gallo, 14, of Dix Hills, attend a camp trip to Niagara Falls last summer.  Credit: Kenwal Day Camp/Peter Bechhoff

Jenna Goldfarb says her favorite trip was last year's visit to Washington, DC. “I’d never been away from home by myself so it was a really cool experience doing that with my friends,” she says.

Daniella Messina, 15, of Woodbury, is also part of the program. She adds, “The bus ride is one of my favorite parts of every trip, even a really long one. We all listen to music together, watch movies, and have laughs and good times.” 


COST: See website for trip prices

MORE INFO: 100 Drexel Ave., Melville; 631-694-3399;


Maddy Mayer, 10, of Hampton Bays, and her father, Ken...

Maddy Mayer, 10, of Hampton Bays, and her father, Ken Mayer, pull a horseshoe crab from the bay side of Pikes Beach in Westhampton dudring a YES program on June 4. Credit: Elizabeth Sagarin

Young Environmentalists Society (YES) members will meet several times during the summer and continue throughout the year. Past activities have included tracking endangered species in local ponds, recording data on horseshoe crabs, interviewing scientists on LTV (East Hampton’s Local TV station), and attending environment-related movie nights.

“The focus of our conversations with members is to find solutions and practical applications they and their families can use,” director Mare Dianora explains. “For instance, we met with a woman who was a zero-waste expert. Her trash for the entire year fit into a medium sized Ziploc bag. None of us could follow that, but since that meeting, we have all tried to reduce our single-use plastic and other items.”

SUMMER SESSIONS: Marine Biology “Camp” Day on June 28; East Hampton Shellfish Nursery Tour on July 15; Evening Discussion with Author Carl Safina on Aug. 18. 

COST: Membership: free 

MORE INFO: South Fork Natural History Museum; 377 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton; 631-537-9735 


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