By: Matt Simson, Work and Travel Program Assistant

This year the summer solstice falls, as it always does, on the longest day of the year. Well I guess that’s unfair to say, because this is indeed what makes it the summer solstice! June 20-21 each year the sun strikes directly on the Tropic of Cancer: simultaneously heralding the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere. On this day in most of the United States the sun will rise at around 5:30Am and not set until at least 8:30pm, giving us a whopping 15 hours of sunlight (or if you live in Chicago, as we at CCI Greenheart do, you will see and extra 13 minutes and 14 seconds…take that national average).

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This begs the question: What should you do with all of that extra daylight? Well the answer is whatever you want, but here are some of my favorite suggestions:

1. Read a book outside: Get lost in a story and nature.

2. Go to the beach with friends: if there’s no beach the lake; if no lake, the pool; if no pool, the park is a great bet too. If you have none of those things consider moving before June 21st.IMG_2093

3. Eat ice cream: Watch out though, summer and ice cream are not friends, so eat quickly!

4. Watch the sunrise and the sun set – in that order.

5. Learn about the numerous faith based and secular summer solstice celebrations in your area, learn what is involved and participate.

6. Volunteer in your community, and be sure to log your hours with Greenheart! IMG_0005

7. Learn to dive or just cannonball!

8. Play Frisbee.

9. Eat watermelon: There is nothing that signifies summer Americana than spitting watermelon seeds while hanging out outside.

10. Go on a hike/walk/bike ride/swim/jaunt/frolic/hoola hoop/skip/strut to your favorite restaurant and share a meal with your favorite people.

11. Smile: because its summer time, do you need any more reasons than that?

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I could go on forever, but you get the point. Get outside, enjoy good company, be yourself and have a wonderful first day of summer!!!

As Work & Travel participants begin to arrive throughout the United States, workplaces and communities will see cultural diversity everywhere! We want to hear all about your summer and how your participants celebrate summer and summer solstice! Be sure to leave a comment here, or on our Facebook page!