Once again, youth culture is defining a multi-billion dollar industry.
Vacation resorts have developed a hyper-sensitivity to youth culture and the entertainment needs of adolescents and, in turn, are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars creating elaborate hangouts to keep the adolescent set content.
As an example, the Ritz-Carlton of Palm Beach opened a center for teenagers with a production studio for participants to play radio hosts, including a D.J. booth, and a fashion-model-style photography set. They have a no-parents-allowed policy, charge $45 per day, and "subtly supervise" the participants by employing young staff.
Unlike many of the highly programmed and structured activities characteristic of children's programs at resorts in days past, many of the new activities are unstructured. The unstructured activities allow teenagers to socialize and assert their freedom, while satisfying parents by keeping their children in a contained, supervised setting.
Other resorts offer teen-only dance clubs and video game consoles. Though they may vary in design and concept, these hangouts all strive to appeal to adolescents' sensibilities, including their need to be independent and cool, but not bored!Discussion Starters
*Here are discussion questions you can ask while planning for an activity with your group.
Do you feel our culture has become overly sensitive or catering to youth culture? This trend in family vacations seems to follow that of the wider culture -- keeping adolescents separate from their parents, and busy. What are your feelings about this, and how has this trend affected the way you program your activities? FULL NYT ARTICLE