Beth Whitehouse's stepdaughter, 17, poses for a last minute portrait...

Beth Whitehouse's stepdaughter, 17, poses for a last minute portrait at Kennedy Airport before she leaves for a small town in Romania to teach dance to young people. (June 29, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Beth Whitehouse

We dropped my 17-year-old stepdaughter off at Kennedy Airport this past weekend for a flight to Romania, where she’ll spend a month teaching dance to kids as part of Projects Abroad.

The group sends more than 8,000 people -- adults and kids -- overseas each year on a variety of service projects. “You will find that students and staff will be excited to work with a new person from another part of the world,” says the Projects Abroad website. “You will often find yourself as something of a local celebrity.”

We’re looking forward to hearing about her adventure via a blog she's writing. I personally hope she has time to see some Transylvanian castles -- maybe even Dracula's -- while she’s in Eastern Europe.

My 15-year-old son, meanwhile, is having a new experience closer to home: He’s working as a fishing and boating counselor at a local day camp, with the operative word here being “working.”

Great lesson for him: He has to get up every day, show up and give it his all. So far, he says it’s been fun. His succinct description: “We bait the hook for the kids, then they catch a fish and go nuts.”

He just finished his first full week – I came home from work myself one day to find him sprawled on his bed fast asleep, sneakers still on, camp staff T-shirt still on, and even his backpack still on. Ha! Work may be fun, but it’s also hard.

How are your teens spending this summer?


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