There are dozens of different varieties of summer enrichment programs on the market for high school students, from language and cultural immersion to adventure travel and service learning, so why should you send your teen on an environmental leadership program this summer?
Here at Sustainable Summer, we believe there are few things more important than cultivating the next generation of environmental leaders. Today President Obama issued an executive order “to prepare the Nation for the impacts of climate change.” While this developmental may not elicit much attention in the wake of the recent government shut-down and the flawed roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, it’s a clear indicator that the Obama administration feels climate change represents a clear and present danger to our country and our citizens.
Obama’s executive order details plans to enact policy changes “to enhance climate preparedness and resilience,” but these proposed steps are largely reactive in their scope. While it is, of course, essential to prepare ourselves for future disasters like Superstorm Sandy, we also must be proactive in the fight to achieve environmental sustainability. We cannot simply accept climate change as our new reality, and continue with business as usual. We must educate ourselves, and our youth, about how to live more sustainably if we are to have any hope of preserving our planet for future generations.
We believe today’s high school students must be prepared to address these complex, global issues when they reach adulthood. At Sustainable Summer, we have developed five core principles – sustainability immersion, global perspective, leadership development, environmental study, and active learning – that we believe work in tandem to prepare teenagers to become future stewards of the environment.
President Obama has taken an important step today to address the effects of climate change that are already wreaking havoc in the United States and around the world. At Sustainable Summer, we hope to go a step further and prepare the next generation of problem-solvers to achieve environmental sustainability through effective policy and education. If this sounds like a worthwhile goal to you, we hope you’ll consider joining us this summer for education and adventure to preserve our planet!