School’s (Almost) Out For Summer! Now What?

Summer opportunities at Highfields keep kids on the right track.

   Summertime can be a nightmare for working parents. Why? While parents work all day, their kids are at home with nothing to do. Parents of at-risk kids worry about the dangers of “nothing to do” turning into drugs, parties, and other bad choices.

   Thankfully, Highfields is prepared for the summertime “nightmare”. Our residential team develops a schedule of activities, vocational programs, off campus outings and work opportunities to keep students busy while they are out of school.

   One of the most exciting activities of the summer is taking kids to “Tour Michigan.” For the past three summers, Highfields has taken students all over the state of Michigan to give them exposure to things that they might not otherwise experience. In the past, they’ve toured Henry Ford Museum, Grand Rapids colleges, factories, and even attended Detroit Tigers games!

   “Our summer program is designed to not only keep these young men out of trouble, but also to develop social skills and resilience that will aid them in their futures,” said Chris Robinson, Director of Residential Services.

   Students also have the opportunity to attend a week-long art workshop at Schuler Arts in Albion thanks to a grant from the WB and Candace Thoman Foundation. It’s a unique way for students to express themselves, relieve stress, improve coping and problem-solving skills and strengthen bonds with other students and staff.

   On campus, there are plenty of other summer activities to keep students busy. They can join a work program and help the maintenance crew or join the kitchen staff. It’s a great opportunity for them to make some extra money! They can also join vocational programs like woodworking class or the hip-hop music studio.

   There are also three family treatment weekends held on campus during the summer where families come to visit for a weekend of fun in the sun on Highfields’ beautiful 140 acre campus. Families spend quality time together grilling out, fishing, riding our double zip line, and participating in family treatment!

   Summer doesn’t have to be a nightmare for parents! Kids who are at-risk have so many opportunities to do fun things at Highfields. Please contact Julie Duffey at for more information about referrals.

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