This summer, many teenagers will sleep until noon, hang out with friends and work at fast-food places.
Kathleen Elkins of Davidson is not "many teenagers."
The Woodlawn School senior will spend 26 days on the Tennis Europe tour, volleying her way through Spain, Germany, Holland and France.
Elkins began playing tennis at age 3, when her parents, Diane and Hugh, put her in a tennis camp on their vacation in Cape Cod, Mass.
Never miss a local story.
She played her first tournament at 8 and competed in national tournaments at 10.
"I remember one tournament, when I was about 10, at the national level in Florida," she said. "I ... lost my first match, but then went on to win six matches in the consolation. When you're that young, there's no pressure.
"Your mindset changes as you get older, but tennis has always been something I've really enjoyed."
Since then, she's won more than she's lost. Elkins is ranked third in the state and 150th in the nation, according to tennisrecruiting.net.
Elkins stumbled upon the Tennis Europe program online and e-mailed for details. Then came the tough part: convincing her parents.
"I typed up an eight-page proposal to show my mom and dad, explaining the program, listing the itinerary, and included e-mails from some of the girls who have done it," she said. "Of course, I put the budget on the last page, hoping to hook them before they saw how much it cost."
The program comes with a $6,500 price tag. Elkins knew her part-time job at Davidson Chocolate Co. wouldn't cover it. So she began writing letters to local businesses and individuals. She also organized a doubles tournament at Jetton Park last month.
"We did a round-robin format, so it got a little hectic getting the right number of teams, but overall I'm surprised at how smoothly it ran."
The tournament raised $330, and Elkins plans another one April 18 at River Run.
She still needs to raise $2,300 by April 20.
All the fundraising has kept her busy, but not too busy to think about what she has to look forward to.
"I'm most excited about playing on the red clay courts over there," she said. "I've never played red clay but always wanted to. It suits a different game style, and it's hard to hit a winner. I play consistently, and I have a lot of endurance from running cross country. I think playing there will really help my game."
The program also allows time for sightseeing and embracing different cultures. Elkins previously traveled to Spain with a Woodlawn group but is looking forward to returning and practicing her Spanish, which she's studied for five years.
Next fall, Elkins will head for her grandfather's alma mater, Williams College in Williamston, Mass. She originally wanted to play Division 1 tennis, but after a campus visit with her grandfather, she was sold: "It seemed like such a good fit, with a great balance of athletics and academics," she said.
Also, the women's tennis team at Williams is the defending Division 3 national champion.