Activities abound at youth commission events, programs

CHESTERTOWN - After a summer filled with various activities for youth, the offerings of the Chester-Youth Commission continue to fill the calendar, Youth Commission Director Nicole Howe said Monday.

Coming up this weekend is the commission's participation in the annual Pug Parade - with both a food concession Sunday Oct. 18 during the festivities at Dynamite Hill, and with a raffle drawing of a set of Adirondack chairs made with skis that the North Warren Central technology students crafted. The chairs can be seen in downtown Chestertown at the Bagel Girls Deli where raffle tickets are available for purchase, $1 each, or six for $5. Tickets are also available by calling Howe at 494-7725. A similar set of chairs was raffled off earlier this year at the Chestertown Summerfest event.

This summer, the Youth Commission held a new event in town - the Family Fun Night held Aug. 20 at Word of Life Ranch on Schroon Lake.

The event's activities included swimming, skateboarding, scaling a climbing wall and careening down a zip-line. Watersports included swimming, motorboat-drawn tube rides and an inflated water slide. For a half dozen or so youths who met age requirements, a paintball shootout was held.

Those attending, a total of 150, enjoyed a picnic - with food provided by the Youth Commission.

The four-hour event was so successful, Howe said, that the Commission has tentatively scheduled two similar Fun Nights for 2010 - one in June and one in August, Howe said.

"Everyone had a blast at our first-ever Family Fun Night," she said.

This summer's Youth Commission offerings included swimming lessons, for about 25 participants, three times per week during July and August at Loon Lake Beach.

The Commission's Summer Camp program at Dynamite Hill - a program of activities offered mornings for two weeks in August - served about 40 children ranging in ages of 4 to 12. The camp was directed by Mindy Conway and overseen by Howe. Activities ranged from fashioning pottery items from materials provided by Rustic Charm Pottery, to crafting tie-dye t-shirts and weaving baskets to a wide range of sports offerings and physical activities. For the last two days of camp. the children enjoyed activities at Loon Lake beach including touch football and cavorting in the water.

Monday, Howe expressed thanks to Stewarts Shops for sponsoring a Make Your Own Sundae event, and a special thanks to the volunteers who helped out during the program: Leita Howe, Judy Simpson, Chris Jay, Kerri Whelan, Jared Howe and Jacob Hill, as well as the town lifeguards who contributed extra hours.

Other events the Commission operated successfully this summer include the Tennis Camp serving 20 children in July, and the Fall soccer program, held at the Town of Chester municipal athletic field. The latter program began in September and will conclude at the end of this month.

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