VISIONS Blog

February 17, 2016

The debate over whether teens should use their summer community service travel programs as material for college essays has been ongoing ever since "voluntourism" became a mainstream activity.

A VISIONS teen alum was recently featured in Newton North (MA) High School's paper, the Newtonite.com, on the very subject. Laurel Stanley has spent...

November 19, 2015

Many of you made donations this past year to help with a home rebuild for Miss Carol, our cook of 25 years in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Carol has been our cook for teen volunteers every summer, but also a “house mom” and close friend. She gets to know our kids, sometimes teaches how to make local...

February 26, 2015

Teen Service Programs can be Rewarding Right Here at Home 

An annual rite for many teens—as much as learning how to drive or taking final exams—is a question kids ask each other this time of year: "What are youdoing this summer?"

For many teenagers, a sum...

January 15, 2015

Middle School Travel & Service Program Offers Alternative for Tweens

As the parent of a middle schooler, it can be a challenge to understand exactly what your child is going through during this stage of life. Your “tween” may struggle with self-esteem, the social pressures of trying to fit in, academics, and the list goes on. Sometimes it’s as if they are truly stuck in the middle of two worlds, and trying...

April 8, 2014

VISIONS offered its first teen travel programs 26 years ago, imagining a challenging Peace Corps-like summer volunteer programs for high school students. As families experienced the benefits of VISIONS programs for their teenagers, they started to request programs for younger siblings. Eventually, we initiated our Passage Programs for middle school students.

This year VISIONS celebrates the 5th anniversary of programs for middle school students. The Passage Programs are going strong in two locations where...

April 13, 2012

VISIONS Passage Programs in the British Virgin Islands and Montana’s Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation have the same framework as our teen summer travel programs. Middle-schoolers are fully engaged and age-appropriately...

March 20, 2012

Dear Visions Staff and Participants,

We are the volunteers who run animal rescue and control the dogs of Virgin Gorda. Thank you so very much. What wonderful, dedicated staff and teens you sent to our island to help in so many community projects. They worked so hard in tremendous heat…always with smiles and such good will.

I hope you have seen pictures of the wonderful dog houses they built. They didn’t stop at building basic structures but went on to create doors in the...

February 11, 2011

Middle school students transition into their teens today against a very different backdrop from middle-schoolers of 10 or 20 years ago. Social media has changed the growing-up landscape decisively and dynamically.

The notion of middle school travel abroad, apart from traditional summer camps or family vacations, was relatively...