Youth programming

10 Years at Tannery Pond

Art & Nature Camp at Tannery Pond, July 2011

Art & Nature Camp at Tannery Pond, July 2011

— “Teenagers Only!”, sponsored by the Tannery Pond Community Center Association, was established soon after Tannery Pond opened. The program runs from September to early June every year and provides a non-alcoholic environment for local teens to socialize in. Attendance averages about 55, but has run as high as 100 in any given event. Most come from Johnsburg, but they are joined by teens from Newcomb, North Warren, Minerva and Indian Lake — as well as several home-schooled teens. With the exception of a $5 charge for a tubing party at the Ski Bowl and $10 for a paintball event, all events have been free. The music and having a place to gather has proven very popular. There are 16 to 17 events each school year. Dances are the core activity, chaperoned by some of the parents of these teens or volunteers. Most popular has been the Jonathan Newell Band and Jason’s DJ Service. Themed events have included a special Hawaiian Luau Dance where teens were encouraged to wear loud Hawaiian shirts. “Battle of the Band Nights” featuring musical acts of two or more teens ages 3 to 19 are regular hits.

Coffee House Open Mic Nights are a unique opportunity for local teens to showcase their own talent. It is often standing room only when many regulars, as well as new acts, perform a dazzling variety of music, vocals, poetry, comedy, drama — acts so well put together one has to marvel at the local talent. In 2004, a “poetry slam” with Steve Tomb was quite successful with teens encouraged to read alone or in groups sometimes accompanied by guitars, sitars and bongos. Also welcomed have been musicians who might like to read their poem as a song. Movie Night at Tannery Pond has included a “Monty Python Festival.” Many local eateries — Café Sarah, McDonald’s, and Nice and Easy — have all helped with refreshments.

Next Week: “The Arts at Tannery Pond”

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