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It's the season of lazy days on the beach or by the pool. But what if you could combine relaxation with giving back to your community? Here are some fun, seasonal, and unusual ways to volunteer for days or weeks during the summer months.

Join a Beach Cleanup

Beaches are popular summer destinations, but many are littered with trash and debris. You can make a difference by joining a beach cleanup effort. Many organizations, such as the Surfrider Foundation, organize beach cleanups throughout the summer. You can spend a morning or afternoon picking up trash and helping to keep the beach clean for visitors and wildlife.

Volunteer at a Summer Camp

Summer camps offer children a fun and rewarding experience, but they also need volunteers to make them run smoothly. If you enjoy working with children, consider volunteering at a summer camp. You can help with activities, supervise campers, and support camp staff. Many summer camps offer volunteer positions for a week or more; some even provide room and board.

Organize an Outdoor Walking Group

Staying active and getting outside are essential for physical and mental health. You can help others stay active by organizing an outdoor walking group. Choose a scenic route and invite friends, family, and community members to join you for a walk. You can also make it a fundraiser by asking participants to donate to a local charity.

Volunteer at a Local Farm

Summer is a great time to volunteer at a local farm. Farms often need extra help with harvesting, weeding, and other related tasks. You can spend a week or more volunteering on a farm and learning about sustainable agriculture. Some farms may even offer room and board for volunteers, making it an excellent opportunity for a working vacation. Find out more at World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms

Join a Trail Maintenance Crew

Hiking and exploring nature are popular summer activities, but trails can become overgrown and damaged over time. You can help maintain hiking trails by joining a trail maintenance crew. These groups work to clear brush, repair damage, and improve trail conditions. You can spend a week or more working on a trail crew and helping to ensure that others can enjoy the outdoors.

Volunteer at a Summer Festival

Summer festivals are a great way to enjoy music, food, and entertainment, but they also need volunteers to make them happen. Look into opportunities at local nonprofit venues or festivals to help with setup, cleanup, event staffing, and other tasks. You can also get a behind-the-scenes look at how festivals are organized.

However, you choose to give back this summer, you can make a difference in your community and meet new people. With so many options, there's no reason not to spend your summer vacation helping others.