Sample Weekly Summer Plan for Teens

Children ages 12 to 18 may be the hardest to entertain and keep busy offline during the summer. But the more relaxed schedule presents opportunities to benefit them spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically. Here are some ideas for each of the eight weeks of the summer vacation.

JULY 2017

Week 1

  • Host an Eid party and invite friends you haven't seen during the busy school year
  • Start fasting the six days of Shawwal. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said "Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime" (Muslim)
  • Commit to volunteering once a week starting this week until the last week of August. Choose any cause, whether it’s helping a nature center, maintaining the website and social media account(s) of a non-profit you love, or calling around for donations of diapers to a shelter.  The Prophet said, "Do good deeds properly, sincerely, and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little” (Bukhari)
  • Start writing a poem, short story or essay that you will enter in a writing contest in the fall or submit to a website of your interest. Choose a genre you already enjoy (e.g. science fiction), and give it a Muslim flavor. Google “writing, photography, and video contests for teenagers” for ideas on where to submit your work
  • Begin teaching a younger sibling some aspect of Islam every day. This can be a short chapter of the Quran, or it can also be simply sitting with him or her and discussing an Adam's World video/DVD, doing some Islamic arts and crafts, or praying together
  • Research potential college majors, and arrange visits to colleges you may be interested in
  • Pick a sport to stay active. It can be as intense or low-key as you like. Try to experiment with a new sport if you’ve been playing the same one for years. Some Sunnah recommendations include archery, horseback riding, and swimming

Week 2

  • Snapchat your summer. If you shared snaps of your Ramadan, do the same with your summer. Share some of the places you’ve seen, some of the volunteer projects you’re working on, or you in action as you play your sport
  • Tour a local Masjid. Arrange beforehand to have one of the administrators show you around and share its history as well. Who helped establish it? When? Why? What were the obstacles they faced? If you have the Masjid’s permission, share what you’ve learned on Snapchat and Instagram. Also, brainstorm ways to help the Masjid on a monthly basis
  • Do your volunteer duty for the week
  • Finish up a major household project that's been left aside. This can be trimming hedges, cleaning out a closet, dropping off unused items to a thrift store, etc.
  • Babysit younger siblings so you’re parents can go out for a night on the town
  • Cook dinner for the family. It can be as simple or as fancy as you like, from Make-Your-Own-Taco night to beef stroganoff. Make sure to sit together to share the meal. The Prophet said, “Eat together and mention the Name of Allah over your food. It will be blessed for you” (Abu Dawud)

Week 3

  • Go to the beach with friends at Fajr time. Pray and read Quran together. Allah says, “...and hold fast to the recitation of the Quran at dawn, for the recitation of the Quran at dawn is witnessed” (17:78)
  • Do your volunteer duty for the week
  • Visit colleges in your city and its suburbs. Focus on soaking up the atmosphere, checking out the campus, etc. Find out if there are tours offered in the summer and attend one
  • Take your younger sibling(s) and their friends to an amusement park. Make sure that when prayer time comes, you all pray together
  • Sign up for a creative class. Whether it’s online or offline, learn a new skill, whether it’s improving your recitation of the Quran, Islamic calligraphy, gardening, building a treehouse, nature photography, or anything else you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t

Week 4

  • Organize a book club on Google Hangout for the month of August with your friends. Suggestions for Islamic books include:
    -What Islam is All About by Yahiya Emerick
    -A Young Muslim’s Guide to the Modern World by Seyyed Hossein Nasr
    -Everyday Struggles: The Stories of Muslim Teens by Sumaiya Beshir
  • Do your volunteer duty for the week
  • Start a GoFundMe page for a family member or friend in need, or for a cause dear to you
  • Get together with friends and make care packages for a local food bank. Call the bank beforehand though and tell them about your idea. Ask them what kind of food they're looking for and make the bags accordingly

AUGUST 2017

Week 1

  • Start your online book club
  • By now, you should be finished the first draft of your essay, poem or short story for the contest/publication you intend to submit the piece to by the fall. Aim to have it completed by the last week of August
  • Start contacting a relative abroad who is about your age and the same gender. Make it a habit to keep in touch once a month, even during the school year. You can share snaps if they’re on Snapchat, text message, or maybe even send letters the old-fashioned way, on paper
  • Do your volunteer duty for the week

Week 2

  • Thoroughly clean up your room. This will help you start off the school year free of junk and clutter, and make your parents pretty happy
  • Do your volunteer duty for the week

Week 3

  • Host a "Back To School Resolutions" party. You provide the food and everyone else brings five resolutions they want to work on during the school year to share with everyone. The resolutions should be both serious and humorous.
  • Put together an old-fashioned photo album. Pick a theme and print out the best photos on your phone to make an album.
  • Alternatively, digitize those priceless old photographs. Save family history by putting it all where those precious documents won’t get lost or damaged
  • Do your volunteer duty for the week

Week 4

  • Finalize your essay, poem or short story and send it off to your chosen publication or contest
  • Do your volunteer duty for the week and assess whether or not you can or want to continue during the school year. Consider volunteering only once a month.
  • Call a meeting on Google Hangout of your friends who attended your party in week two of August. Go over your resolutions. Have each person team up with someone else from the group who can help remind them of their goals during the school year
  • Take out your younger sibling(s) out for ice cream to discuss how they enjoyed their summer and what they hope to achieve during the school year

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