An Idea For Local Teenagers Who Are Bored

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Editor:

Many years ago in a small California town of 3,000, the local teens were bored (justifiably so) out of their minds. They went to the town council and asked for a youth center. A place to gather, dance, laugh.

Not a problem, the council said. Except, “You kids have to do it. The town doesn’t have the money.”

A great teacher mentored them. He had them knock on every door in town and have a petition signed for a youth center.

The feet got blisters. They wore out shoes, but they did it. They got the required signatures.

The town council said “OK. Now you need land and a building. Go get it.” (The council was not being mean. They did not have the money.)

The local newspaper continued the story. Miracles began to happen. Someone’s parents put it all together.

It took nearly two years, but they had a youth center.

It had a soda bar. It had a big dance floor. It had tables. It had pingpong tables. It was wonderful. Teens paid 25 cents to get in, and that money stocked the soda bar. There was a jukebox.

Wednesday night ended at nine. Friday and Saturday nights were fun, exciting. Once a month, small local “wanna be” bands played. And, they were good.

It was “Fonzie’s Place.” They flirted, they danced, life-long friendships were formed, teen problems were solved, futures planned, ideas shared. They were teens.

The rules were tight. Only their high school and junior high students were admitted. No one from other schools, no one over 18 unless a student at their school.

Identification was checked at the door by an adult parent volunteer. No one was allowed to leave and come back in. No one allowed to hang out in the parking lot. These were good rules and eliminated problems.

Parents got involved. It was a successful community effort in the end.

Sometimes young people have to take charge. I’ll bet you and your friends could get a youth center built. It was a lot of hard work, and yes, it was worth it.

Go for it and good luck.

Sue Dolan

Comments

Tim Barrett 4 years, 10 months ago

Good idea...I worked in a small town in south central Kansas and they had a youth club in the middle of town. I never heard anything bad about it and it always was busy! I also remeber a skate park built in Bryson City, NC from fund collected by area thrashers. It rocked and had several competitions held there. I would love to run a place like that in the future. Right now I am working to get to Payson and bring some decent talent on the air there!

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