Youth Center For The Community of Baraboo, Wisconsin
During my ministry at Baraboo we offered to host a Youth Center one night a week to anyone in the community. This Youth Center was not to build the attendance in the church but to be a place where young people could go to be with friends, do homework, and get help if they needed counseling. The Youth Center was opened every Monday night from 3pm to 8pm. I was there and we had other volunteers who offered their time to help the young people.
We had an area where tables were set up for young people to work on homework and we had volunteers available to assist if they needed help. We had a pool table, ping pong table, and other games available for the young people to play. We had snacks available and we had a soda machine which we kept stocked and a snack machine that we kept stocked. The soda and snacks we sold almost at cost and the machines were donated. We also had some free snacks such as cookies, brownies, and etc. that folks donated.
Over the time period we had the Youth Center we had an average of 20 young people each week. Some weeks it was more and other weeks it was less. It was really interesting that we had many come and ask for help with their homework and others coming and just wanting to talk about problems at home. We were very thankful we never had any serious incidents except one which I will tell you about in a later post. We tried to not allow the kids to bad mouth their parents but tried to help them see why they made the rules and decisions they did.
We had many parents come and check us out and we got a great deal of support from the parents. We had some of them donate items to help make the Youth Center more useable for the young people. We had a small library of books that many people donated to and we had a large number of table games and other arcade games that they donated. We had a pinball machine that was donated and a phoosh ball game.
I will share about the incident that happened next time. I hope you will join me as we relive a few events that happened in the past. This was a scary day for me.