Recreation center plans teen programs, outreach

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 20, 2016

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ROSEVILLE — The Recreation Authority of Roseville & Eastpointe is rolling out a series of programs geared toward teenagers over the next several months in a bid to give them fun activities to do.

These include craft programs from Jan. 25 through March 21 for people ages 11-17, a game night in April, and “teen trips” in the summer, according to RARE Marketing and Social Media Manager Cammie Kanakry. She said the authority has done a poor job of making programs specifically for teenagers, but it has been getting a lot of requests for them.

“We have a lot of people requesting programs for teens, especially teen girls,” Kanakry said. “We just have a big gap in our program listing in that age group.”

RARE Assistant Director Bobbie Wilson said Kanakry then pitched the idea of putting together programs for teens. Kanakry came up with a series of crafts — aimed more at teen girls — and the game night.
Kanakry said the craft sessions each have a $12 fee to participate and run from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Each craft session is open to kids ages 11-17, she added.

The first craft session Jan. 25 will involve making fleece and fringe scarves. The following session Feb. 1 will let teens design their initials, while the Feb. 8 craft will see the teens designing art journals. The craft sessions then will take a break until Feb. 22, when teens will make wood flower signs.

The final sessions will involve making a T-shirt tote bag Feb. 29, key wall art March 7, fabric bulletin boards March 14, and Sharpie baked mugs March 21. Sharpie baked mugs involve drawing on the mugs and then baking them to make the design effectively permanent.

“It’s just something fun they can do and socialize,” Kanakry said. “We will be sitting around a big table getting to know each other and having fun with crafts.”

The recreation center will host the teen game night from 6 to 9 p.m. April 15; it will be open to teens ages 12-17. Kanakry said the staff will be pulling out every single game in the recreation center — including life-size Jenga and Connect Four games — setting up tables, and then just letting kids come in and play.

There will be a $5 fee for teens who live in Eastpointe or Roseville, or $10 for teens who live in other communities, and registration is required a week in advance. The recreation authority will provide pizza, pop and snacks for the game night, and teens will be welcome to bring their own games too, if they would like, Kanakry said.

Wilson said that field trips for teens ages 12-17 in the summertime were her idea, with four trips planned throughout July and August.

“I did that in another community I was at several years ago. It was successful, so I thought that would be a good thing in summertime,” Wilson said. “I know with the economics (of the area), more parents are doing more staycations, so this would give parents the opportunity to let the kids go on these field trips and still have planned, scheduled fun in the summertime.”

The first trip, on July 6, will take kids — a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 50 — to Dave & Buster’s from 4 to 7 p.m., with a $25 fee that includes food, pop, a $10 power card, transportation and unlimited game play. The second, on July 23, will take kids to Whirlyball from 4 to 7 p.m. — a $20 fee will buy kids transportation, food, pop and a minimum of three games of Whirlyball itself. The event will require a minimum of 40 participants.

Teens interested in visiting the Michigan’s Adventure amusement park can do so Aug. 6 for a $40 fee, which includes charter bus transportation and park admission; the bus will leave at 8 a.m. and return around 10 p.m. The event has a maximum of 50 participants.

The final field trip will take teens to the Adventure Park at West Bloomfield from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 20. A $38 fee will include eight to 10 climbing courses and zip lines; the event will need at least 25 participants and have a maximum of 40, and all registrations must be in by Aug. 5.

Kanakry said the biggest value of the teen-centric programs is that they give teens a chance to get out and socialize with others around their age.

“I have two teenage daughters, and they’re 15 and 17, and especially for my younger daughter, there’s just not a lot for them to do — she doesn’t drive yet,” Kanakry said. “If they want to do things with other kids and meet new people, this is a great opportunity to meet new people from different schools, and it’s something to get them in a safe environment where I know where they’re at the whole time.”

Wilson said RARE also wants to get more feedback from teenagers on what they would like to see as future programs, though she said that so far she has heard from only one person.

“We want them to give us suggestions, like what trips they want to have, or ideas of programs for (teens),” Wilson said. “I want to see a creation of a teen council where we have teens from both Eastpointe and Roseville who would help us with programming for their age group. We want to give them a voice.”

For more information on the programs, call (586) 445-5480. Register for the programs at the recreation center, located at 18185 Sycamore St. in Roseville.

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