07-16-2024  5:38 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

Wild Diversity aims to promote BIPOC joy and safety in the great outdoors.
Saundra Sorenson
Published: 26 June 2024

Studies show that the “summer slide” is real: Students out of school for three months tend to lose some of the academic gains made during the previous year. But teens can also use the time to stay active by learning new skills, pursuing hobbies and padding their college resumes with volunteer work.

Although registration for a number of local programs has closed, it’s not too late: We found an impressive list of no-cost and low-cost camps, classes and other experiences to fill your teen’s summer break.

Scholarships Available

Portland Oregon Women’s Film Fest POWGirls: July 22-26. A weeklong intensive workshop for female-identifying students that will cover concept creation, storyboarding, cinematography, audio recording, lighting and post-production using Adobe Premiere Pro. No experience necessary. The majority of students are awarded scholarships for each session, and those interested in applying should email [email protected]. (https://www.powfilmfest.com/powgirl-workshops)

Portland Center Stage Teen Theater Academy: PCS's yearly academy is open to students entering grades 9 through 12 next fall. The classes include Performing Musical Theater Numbers (session 1: July 8-10; session 2: Aug. 5-9); Improvisation (session 1: July 8-12; session 2: July 15-19) and Acting in Scenes & Monologues (session 1: July 8-19; session 2: Aug. 5-9). (https://www.pcs.org/education/teens)

Pacific Northwest College of Art Pre-College Programs: July 15-26 (session one) and July 29-Aug. 9 (session two). Students will experience in-person classes at PNCA while leveling up their skills and portfolios in this summer intensive for high school students. For more info and to apply for a need-based scholarship: (https://pnca.willamette.edu/academics/community-education/precollege-courses)

Wild Diversity Camps

Wild Diversity aims to champion BIPOC and LGBTQ joy in the great outdoors. Camps listed below still have full scholarships available. For more info, visit (https://wilddiversity.com/).

Sliding Scale

ELSO’s Wayfinders Summer Camp: July 8 - Aug. 2: Students entering 7th or 8th grade this fall can participate in STEAM educational activities and experience life, science and the outdoors. Wayfinders offers an affinity space for Black and Brown youth. Income-based, sliding-scale fees available starting at $150. (https://www.elsoincpdx.org/24-wayfinders-summer)

Work Experience

Career Coaching at POICS + RAHS: Specialists at the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center work with youth who are seeking paid internships, exploring career paths in high-growth and high-wage fields or interested in completing short-term certification programs. To connect with a career coach, visit (https://www.portlandoic.org/employment-resources).

Volunteer Opportunities

Hands On of Greater Portland seeks volunteers for a variety of "done-in-a-day" projects, including repairing children's books, serving meals for nonprofit residency programs, preparing meals for young hospital patients and their families and more. For more info and to view upcoming opportunities, visit (https://www.handsonportland.org/)/

Blanchet House & Farm seeks volunteers aged 14 and older to help serve free meals at at Founders Cafe (310 N.W. Glisan St.), which is open for all three meals, six days a week. (https://blanchethouse.org/volunteer-in-Portland/)

The Oregon Food Bank needs volunteers to help staff free food pantries at locations throughout the Portland area. To view volunteer opportunities for those 16 years of age and older, visit (https://www.oregonfoodbank.org/get-involved/volunteer)

Free Regular Events

Saturday Birding Walks: Birdhers is an inclusive group for new and veteran bird-watchers alike to gather and create a safe space for those traditionally shut out of the practice of birding. The group meets every other Saturday for free walks at various locations throughout the Portland area. No RSVP required, and spare binoculars are usually available. (https://www.birdherspdx.com/calendar)

Unlikely Hikers: This national group with a Portland presence welcomes hikers and would-be hikers of all sizes and abilities. Acknowledging that outdoor spaces have not always been the most welcoming for BIPOC nature lovers, the group hosts inclusive group hikes around the Portland area. (https://unlikelyhikers.org/events/)

Free BIPOC Weekly Fitness Class: Prism Moves (18 N. Shaver St.) hosts one free fitness class each week for BIPOC members of the community. To see the schedule, visit (https://prismmoves.org/bipoc-classes/schedule/).

Regular Events

BIPOC Swim: Beginner Water Skills Workshop: Wild Diversity hosts a number of inclusive events, including BIPOC Swim: Beginning Water Skills workshops, throughout the month. View the calendar here: (https://wilddiversity.mn.co/spaces/13257882/events).

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