Lloydminster youth centre teaches value of community

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August 5, 2015 8:15 AM

Part of the Lloydminster Community Youth Centre’s (LCYC) mission is promoting community involvement among its young members.

With this goal in mind and through partnerships with local businesses and organizations, the LCYC held a community scavenger hunt on July 31, dubbed the Amazing Race.

“The Amazing Race is designed to engage the kids to complete challenges around downtown Lloydminster,” LCYC outreach co-ordinator Craig Torry said. “We’re hiding clues and they have to figure things out and work together as a team to get it done and the fastest time wins.”

The teenagers were placed in groups of four with a LCYC staff member, dressed in colour-co-ordinated costumes and set out to six locations in the downtown area. Torry says the activity is meant to strengthen the connection the youths feel towards their community and one another.

“We decided it would be a great activity to get the kids outside and running around and connecting with community organizations, like the restaurants downtown, just to get them familiar with downtown and just have fun,” he said.

“The more they’re involved, the more they get out of it, make friends and gain those experiences and learn more about themselves ... these are great kids and I think that overall they’re going to have a blast.”

Torrey calls the LCYC “much more than a drop-in centre,” as it also offers recreational programming and invites guest speakers to give talks on self-esteem, leadership and making good choices.

At the entrance of the LCYC’s space at St. John’s Anglican Church is a calendar that advertises upcoming activities, including camping trips, canoeing, and river rafting, ziplining and paintballing.

“It’s good to actually do something during the summer,” said 14-year-old Angel Wooldridge. “There’s nothing else to do here in town that doesn’t cost money. There’s not a lot for the youth here so this is like the only place I have to go.”

Wooldridge has been coming to the LCYC for the past three years. When she was 12 years old she was the youngest among teenagers. She says the centre has improved over that time.

She says she comes to the LCYC every week and whenever she’s free from her work schedule. She says it’s a good place to meet friends in a safe environment.

“You can be you and not be judged,” she said. “You come here you can do whatever you want, no one’s going to judge you for who you are. I just love it.”

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