The Student News Site of Mount Vernon High School

The Mustang Moon

The Student News Site of Mount Vernon High School

The Mustang Moon

The Student News Site of Mount Vernon High School

The Mustang Moon

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Things to do This Summer


As school is winding down, and summer is slowly approaching, many students are starting to wonder, “What am I going to do this summer?” While students at Mount Vernon may not have 104 days like Phineas and Ferb, they too can find ways to fill their days during the summer. Maybe you will fill your days with a summer job, or maybe you haven’t figured out what you will do yet. Below you will find ways that other students in Mount Vernon High School will spend their time this summer. These include working a job, volunteering, starting a new hobby, or taking a summer Kirkwood class. This article will hopefully help you narrow down your summer plans, and figure out what to do this summer. 


Get a Job: 

Option #1 get a job. Many kids hear their parents tell them this once they turn 16, or they can drive. But summer jobs can be fun, and get you some good money. There are plenty of jobs in Cedar Rapids, and Marion areas, and if gas is an issue there are plenty of jobs in the Mount Vernon area as well.

Take a look at Sarah Peterson, a senior who is 17, and works at the Mount Vernon Pool. Since 2022 Peterson has been there every summer. Her typical day includes watching people so they don’t drown. Her hours depend on the day but she has morning lessons from 9-11 a.m., as well as night lessons from 5-6 p.m. Day swims she works from 12-5 p.m., and night swims are from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Peterson stated that her favorite part of the job is “Messing around, and not doing what I’m supposed to do. I like swimming when the pool is not open to the public.” She added that she is very excited to work there this summer because she is excited to get tan this summer as well as spend time with friends. “The MV pool is a great way to connect with the people of Mount Vernon, and I love my job,” she said.

Or if working outside is not your speed, you could work in a nice air-conditioned building, like Will Errington. Errington, a senior, works at a scuba shop called Diventures in North Liberty, Iowa. His typical weekday is working from 3-8 p.m., Saturdays from 9-5 a.m., and Sundays from 11-5 p.m. Errington’s typical day includes selling scuba equipment and guiding people through their scuba journey, or getting people certified to dive. “My favorite part of the job is my future. I want to do something in the ocean, (to study ecosystems). I’ve always loved diving, not just customer service.”  Errington is excited to work there this summer because of the opportunities it can get him while being at the University of Iowa, as well as internships and meeting new people. He also added “Come visit me at work this summer.  It’s a fun and safe place to learn how to breathe underwater.” 

Below is the address to Diventures: 

1895 W Penn St, North Liberty, IA 52317

These are just two examples of where to work this summer. Other places you can apply to are the City of Mount Vernon or the City of Cedar Rapids. Other places currently hiring are Buffalo Wild Wings, Target, Home Depot, and much more. And hey, if none of these are for you, you can always try a corner lemonade stand. 



If you need to get up your volunteer hours to make it into the National Honor Society (NHS) or get your cord at graduation, maybe volunteering is for you. Many people volunteer at different places over the summer. Lots of the main ones that people think of are soup kitchens, the local animal shelter, trash cleanup, community service, and storm cleanup. While these are just some of the main ones, there are many places to volunteer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and surrounding areas. Although it is not required to have volunteer hours to graduate, the hours are required to be a member of the National Honor Society or to wear a volunteer cord at graduation. High school counselor Jordyn Vandraska adds that you need 35 hours for NHS, (20 of which need to be out of district). And you need 160 hours of volunteering for your cord at graduation. 

In Grant Tucker’s case, volunteering at your local youth church camp. Tucker, a sophomore volunteered for the first time last summer at Cedar Valley Grove. He said “I attended camp when I was younger, so it was a great experience giving back to the campers, what my counselors gave to me.” Some of the jobs that Tucker has to part take in are cleaning, being a good role model, and keeping the campers entertained. His favorite part of volunteering is the experience it provides. Tucker said that he obtained 40 hours for his time there. He suggests volunteering to “anyone who wants good life experience, and for people who want to help the community.” 

Below are links to different areas and places to volunteer 

Linn County Food Pantry:

Cedar Valley Humane Society: 

Odyssey Theatre:

Also keep in mind that any place you volunteer would love to have you help their cause, as well as give you volunteer hours. Lots of places rely on volunteers to help keep up their cause and need people like you to get the job done. Plus it doesn’t hurt that volunteering looks good on college and scholarship applications. 


Start a new hobby: 

If you already have a job, you could try a new hobby. Many people have lots of interesting hobbies. Some examples are video games, painting, hiking, or in Sierra Snyder’s case crocheting. Snyder, a senior, just started her new hobby during J-Term of 2024. Right now her favorite thing to crochet is plants that hang from rearview mirrors. She suggests this hobby to “Anyone who wants to be creative, and people who like multitasking because you can crochet and watch movies, or listen to music at the same time.” Snyder explains that you can make everything and anything. Like tops, random things, blankets, and lots of variety of objects. She states “Definitely fun to try, everyone should try it once, until they get a hang of it. A good starting point is squares, and then working your way up.” 

Below is a link to learn how to make the squares Snyder explained.

If crocheting isn’t something that interests you, you could always try something else. Great things to get started during the summer are running, hiking, swimming, camping, yoga, and much more. If you can’t find something you enjoy, you can always try a new book. 


Take a Kirkwood class: 

Everyone is always excited for summer because it means no school. However

many students don’t know the great opportunities that taking a summer Kirkwood class can bring you. These classes can count towards your college and high school classes and GPA, while the high school will pay for some of these classes.  Some of the paid classes include Fundamentals of Oral Communication, Intro to Psychology,  and Welding. But unfortunately, everything is now full for this summer. 

High School counselor Brett Karkosh states that it’s important for students to take advantage of a Kirkwood class because “they are continuing their education over the summer, and they’re learning at possible interest at the postsecondary level.” It could also potentially mean one less general education course to take at the college level. Karkosh suggests these classes to “Any junior who wants to continue their education over the summer, and working towards high school and college credit. High school and college GPA can come from these classes.”  

Below is the link to other potential college classes students can take. (Because they aren’t just the ones listed above these would have to be paid out of pocket from the student/family.)


Maybe your summer plans won’t involve making a roller coaster in your backyard or filling your pool with jello, but hopefully, these ideas help you decide what to do this summer. Maybe you will find a job working at the MV pool! Or maybe you gain 50 volunteer hours working at the local shelter. You could start a new hobby and impress your friends next school year, or you could take a college class and get more credit hours for school.

Now these ideas aren’t as extravagant as Phineas and Ferb’s summers, but you too can turn to your friend or sibling and say “Ferb, I know what we’re going to do today.” 

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