Project California

14, 21 & 28-Day Community Service Program With Participants Living @ UC Santa Barbara

Frequently Asked Questions

Project California Teen Community Service Tour

How old are the teenagers on Project California?

Our participants are currently in 9th – 11th grade.

How many teenagers will be in my group?

Project California can accommodate up to 60 teenagers.

Do I get to choose my roommate?

Prior to the summer each participant will fill out a roommate questionnaire. After a thorough review of each person's questionnaire, we will assign roommates based on everyone's responses. Friends traveling together can choose to room with each other. Each person will have one roommate and two additional suitemates (each "room" consists of two bedrooms connected by a common bathroom).

How do I choose a service project and an afternoon elective?

Once you have enrolled, we will email you descriptions of the different volunteer and elective options. We have several great service options to choose from, whether you want to work with children, help struggling families, or want to help the environment. Once you have chosen your project, you volunteer at that project for the duration of your program, allowing for a sense of accomplishment by the end of the experience.

What's the story with afternoon electives?

Each participant selects an elective, which take place in the afternoons. This is your chance to learn a new skill or improve upon something you are already interested in!

Can I bring my cell phone?

Yes, you can bring your cell phone. We do, though, have certain policies that are enforced during the program. Cell phones can not be used during community service and we prefer cell phones not be used during meal times and group activities.

Who are the counselors?

We hire adults who are fun, energetic, and share our passion for giving back. This past year the average age of our counselors was 27 years-old and many come from backgrounds in education. The counselors work side-by-side with our teenagers at the volunteer projects, participate in our fun electives and activities, and are always available to lend a hand, no matter the reason. Our staff undergoes professional training and skill development during orientation meetings prior to the summer.

What if I get sick while in California?

Medical clinics are located close to the university and Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital is a short 7-miute drive away. For any situation that requires medical attention, your parents will be notified as soon as possible and a counselor will take you to a nearby clinic or hospital. Your parents are kept up to date on developments after any medical visit. If you are unable to participate in a day's activities, a counselor of the same-sex will stay in the dormitory with you.

I'm a picky eater. Will I be able to find enough to eat?

The food at UCSB is plentiful, diverse, and fresh! We can satisfy the pickiest of eaters and we are happy to discuss your individual requirements with you before the summer.

How do you handle allergies and special dietary needs?

We are able to accommodate teenagers who have allergies and dietary needs. Prior to the summer, all participants are required to complete a detailed medical history. If you have a particular allergy, please call the Rein Teen Tours office so we can discuss an allergy action plan.

What if I don't feel comfortable doing a certain activity?

Our counselors encourage each participant to have an open mind and a willingness to try new things. We will never pressure you, though, to do anything that you do not feel comfortable with.

What should I pack?

Santa Barbara is home to perfect summer weather – warm during the day and just a bit of a chill at night. We run a very casual program, so think shorts, jeans, sweatshirts, t-shirts, flip-flops, and sneakers. Each participant receives a detailed packing list prior to the summer, so you'll know exactly what to bring!

How does laundry work?

There is a laundry room on the ground floor of the dormitory and you can do your laundry at your leisure. We provide detergent and a counselor is always available to lend a hand.

Will I receive any type of acknowledgment that I volunteered this summer?

At the conclusion of your program we will send a certificate documenting the number of hours completed along with a letter explaining how you earned those hours. We are also happy to help with any paperwork or documentation that may be required by your school.

What kind of transportation is used in California?

During longer rides to and from the airport and to and from our weekend excursions, we use chartered coach buses. Between the dormitory and the local volunteer sites, activities, and restaurants we utilize professionally driven yellow school buses. The program director also has access to a SUV for local errands.