Our domestic service programs are exciting outdoor programs for teens where, in addition to volunteering and earning hours of community service, we explore places like Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, and The Napali Coast while learning to surf and going whitewater rafting. Every year when talking about our Domestic Programs service programs for teens, we are faced with the same question:
What is a gap year program one might ask? Though a relatively new concept here in the United States, we have been excited to see the increase in awareness and interest in gap year programs in recent years. A gap year can be defined in many ways based on the purpose it serves for each individual and can take a variety of forms
California is iconic for its miles of coastline, large number of National Parks, and incredible cities. On our 14-Day Service Program, you will embark on an epic road trip from the Golden Gate Bridge to towering granite cliffs of Yosemite National Park. On the way, you will work to care for the homeless through meal outreach programs in the city
ARCC’s goal on our international summer volunteer programs is to take our students off the beaten path to places seldom seen by just the average tourist. Over the last 20 years or so ARCC staff has spent countless hours trying to uncover the real Thailand. We’ve tried new foods, only to watch locals eat unrecognizable dishes from the same food cart; rode motorbikes over the hills of
Southeast Asia evokes converse images of palm-fringed rice paddies and the cacophony of tuk-tuks flying through the streets; the smells of food carts overloaded with sumptuous treats and hammocks strung on empty beaches; pious monks in orange, walking into ornate temples, clutching their iPhones. This is Southeast Asia.
We are often asked how ARCC’s summer community service programs for high school students and gap year programs for high school graduates were conceived and created. We’ve been running summer programs for teens for over three decades. When we were founded, in 1983…
No traveler ever wants to leave Cambodia. We know this, here at ARCC, because we hear it every summer from every student and every leader who has the opportunity to visit this warm country. Each time a gap semester or teen summer service program ends, we have students and leaders telling us they can’t wait to go back.
One of the best activities on ARCC’s Southeast Asia: Grassroots Initiatives and Asia Gap Semesters, is meeting Vietnamese veterans of the Vietnam war (or, what they call the “American war”). For students on both programs, the vets spend a morning sharing stories of war and tragedy, and expressing the importance of peace and friendship, which now exist between our two countries.
We have been operating international service programs for teens in middle school and high school for the past 25 years. Although we’ve grown a successful business over that time, we are most proud of the profound impact our service travel programs have had on our students, often getting them to see the world–and themselves–through a different lens.