Zachary Tabatchnikoff was looking forward to working with 9th- and 10th-graders at a Wisconsin summer leadership camp this summer.
But when the pandemic led to the camp being canceled, Tabatchnikoff, 19, was left finding ways to salvage his summer.
He had already spent about eight weeks of his first year in college at home and knew he couldn’t do nothing for several more months.
“I felt like a sloth,” he said. “I needed a schedule, something to keep me busy.”
Tabatchnikoff is not alone. With the pandemic canceling camps, limiting volunteer hours and reducing the amount of jobs available, teens across South Florida are trying to find ways to be productive, earn money or clock volunteer hours.
Volunteer and testing requirements for the class of 2020 to receive an award from the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program were lightened, but nothing has been decided for future graduating classes.
Tabatchnikoff got creative. He and a friend decided to team up to run an in-home camp of sorts for younger kids. They planned a full day of activities for five kids from age 3 to 6.
“It actually felt good getting up early,” he said “I felt accomplished.”
For Gabriella Bonwitt, 16, losing the opportunity to be a counselor in training at a North Carolina camp has turned into a chance to “get things accomplished.”
She found a job at