Community Centre Youth Drop In Program

Organization Sponsor: Lunenburg, Town - Recreation

URLs: 

Program Description

The Community Centre gymnasium is open for youth on Friday and Saturday nights from 7 - 10 p.m. on a drop in basis. Admission is $1.00. Youth can play basketball, badminton, table tennis, pool, volleyball or just hang out and listen to music. Activities are all self directed. The facility is supervised by two adults -one male and one female and their wages are paid by the Town of Lunenburg. Youth sign in so we can track how many are using the facility. Some nights we have as few as ten while other nights we have forty in attendance. The Recreation Department supplies all of the equipment. The two pool tables are coin operated ($1.00)and are on loan from a local business man with proceeds being split evenly between the table owner and the Recreation Department. The table tennis table was also donated and the Rec Dept. supplies balls and racquets.
We operate from September to June.

Program Approximate Cost: 

free

Funding Sources: 

Town of Lunenburg

Strategies For Sustainability: 

Town Council sees this as a priority so it will be maintained with municipal funding

Impact Of Program: 

Youth no longer seen as nuisance factor hanging out in the centre of Town. Complaints of this nature virtually eliminated.

Evaluation Tools: 

The number of youth who use the centre gives an indication of how much they appreciate having a place to go and be active playing sports which they enjoy. Currently we have 30-35 youth per weekend attending the program (approximately 1200/anum) and this number has stayed at a constant.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

Letting the youth decide for themselves which activities they wish to avail of. They have made it clear that they do not want things organized for them. They would rather just have the opportunity to drop in and play a little basketball, shoot some pool, or play ping pong, volleyball or badminton at their own discretion without having to worry about a schedule.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

We cannot be open every Friday and Saturday evening because the Community Centre may be booked for another function such as a wedding reception, school event (we are the school's physical education facility ), concert, etc. This is a fact of life where the one facility has to serve numerous functions for a variety of clients. However, we are open on average about 35 weekends per year for Youth Drop In. Youth are advised via advertising in school and C. centre bulletin board when the facility is open to them.
Another problem is continuity of supervisors. We have had one who has been with us for several years and enjoys her time with our youth and she has come to know them quite well. However, we have had difficulty finding an adult male who will commit to longer than half a year. Giving up both Friday and Saturday evenings is asking a lot so we have to hope that we can continue to find community minded adults who do not mind giving of their time to help supervise this facility. We pay $8.00/hour which isn't much but it does help repay a little for the time they give up. We tried using volunteers but we had so many problems with committment, inability to relate with youth, different styles of leadership and differing approaches to potential problems that we simply gave it up in favor of supervisors we knew and could trust for fair and friendly relationships with the youth.

Length and Stage of Project: 

Ongoing from year to year with no end in sight.

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