Wouldn't it be great to hang out at an amusement park or sit by a pool all day -- and get paid?
With the conspicuous lack of school on teen schedules, summer jobs can offer a beneficial option to fill the long summer hours. As many teens know, there are plenty of seasonal options if you know where to look.
Our TX. staff highlights a few of the endless summer job opportunities available for the few months before school becomes the norm.
The beaches of Catalina Island in California are where Ken Burton, a sophomore at Ogden High, has spent his ten weeks of summer as a scout camp counselor.
At Camp Cherry Valley, Burton teaches several merit badges, including tracking, astronomy, fishing and oceanography.
"In the oceanography area there is what is called the touch tank, it is full of things like starfish, hermit crabs, crabs, shrimp, sea snails, sea cucumbers, and the coolest of all, sea stars," Burton writes in a letter. "One of the star fish is about as big as my head. It is always wrapped around one of the big sea snails, eating it."
As a counselor, Burton meets scout troops from all over the country; he leads 18-mile hikes, canoe trips to island caverns, sailing expeditions and mine tours.
"I love working up here. It feels great after helping the scouts with something and they thank you for it," writes the sophomore, who plans to return next year.
On the weekends, Burton spends his free time sharpening his archery skills, playing Risk, hanging out on the beach and picking up California/scout camp slang. "Here at camp," he said, "Whenever someone says 'the beach' (hu!) or just 'beach' (hu!) you say 'hu!' "
Cotton candy vendor
What's summer without pastel, melt-in-your mouth cotton candy?
For most, cotton candy is just a summer indulgence, but for Tiffani Balling it's a "fun and easy way to make money with my family."
The 18-year-old graduate of Davis High sells the treat "at the (Kaysville) Fourth of July parade and fireworks, parties and soccer games. We also sell it on the street sometimes."
And the best and worst parts of selling cotton candy? "The money. And cotton candy is good to eat ... (but) you also get sick of it after a while so I don't eat very much," Balling says.
Another downside is "making it all," she said, "because it takes a long time to make."
Many teens flee as far as they can from the very thought of school in summer but Hunter Draper, a senior at Ogden High, puts in up to eight-hour shifts as a school custodian.
"It's kind of different being in the school longer in the summer than in the school year," he said.
Draper adds the job is fun, has good hours and fun people: "Mostly we've been deep cleaning classrooms, moving everything out and waxing and scrubbing the floor."
The scrubbing machine is one of his favorite parts of the job: "It's just a trip to use," he said. "It has a lot of power going through it. It's big and fast and cleans very well."
The main downside is the construction at Ogden High, Draper said; "Some of the rooms tend to get dirty after we clean them."
The custodian enjoys the cookouts the custodians have on paydays and the satisfaction of a job well done. "You get to look at the finished classrooms when you're done, the finished product," he said.
With the flower beds and green lawns associated with summer comes the weeding, watering, mowing and multiple other tasks to keep landscapes meticulously manicured.
That's where Josh Call's job in yard care at Weber State University comes in.
The recent Davis High graduate says he thinks lawn maintenance is a great job because "it's full time and it has good pay."
Also, Call says he's moved up from just weeding and he works a lot with the water system now.
"It's great because whenever I get hot I can just get soaked in the sprinklers," he said.
Call says sometimes the work can be monotonous and get really dull but, "I need money for college."
Nina Allen, a senior this fall at Weber High School, is a lifeguard at Lorin Farr Swimming Pool in Ogden.
Does she love it? YES!
"It's really easy and the people I work with are awesome," Allen said.
With all the responsibilities of being a lifeguard, also come the perks, she said. There's the great tan, the opportunity to protect and save lives and, "I can kick people out of the pool."
The only downsides to being a lifeguard are "the employees don't get discounts on food," Allen said.
And too, "The sun. Everything else is great!"
Amusement park worker
Although Lagoon is a form of summer entertainment for many teens in the Top of Utah, there are others who view the Farmington amusement park as a source of employment.
On a typical day, Tyler Smith cleans rides, helps people get on the rides and checks seat belts to make sure everything is as safe and fun as possible.
It's a good summer job because "the other employees are nice and friendly and some are my friends," said the recent graduate of Layton High.
He also said, "I get in for free, I have something to do all summer and I get paid."
Smith thinks the job fits his outgoing personality because he gets to interact with visitors. But he said one disadvantage is that it's hot outside so sunburns are common.
Snow cone maker
Danielle Parker literally has a cool job -- making snow cones.
There are lots of reasons why Parker, who will be a junior at Syracuse High, likes her job at the African Ice Snow Cone Shack in Clearfield.
"One of my favorite things about my job is when my friends come visit me. We have some good times," she said.
Parker also enjoys the fact that she gets to try all of the snow cone flavors so she can suggest the best ones to her customers.
The job can get "kind of stressful" if there are ever long lines, Parker said, and when she worked all day on the Fourth of July, "I could see my friends having fun, but I couldn't join them."
But in the end, Parker said, "It is a pretty fun job. You get pretty good hours and pay. It's a good environment and it isn't very hard."