Local Youth Programs
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Direct programs offered by the Youth Bureau are:
Mission: To provide youth in Schoharie County a connection to our natural world through outdoor adventure. A place for youth to grow, learn and have fun by experiencing the challenges and opportunities encountered in an outdoor environment. To lead youth down a health path of development and the discovery of their potential through experiential learning and positive youth engagement.
Adventure Programs are for youth ages 8-18. Trips are broken up in age groups. Jr. Adventures (ages 8-11), Adventure (ages 12-14) and Teen Adventure (ages 15-18). Trips include hiking, geo-caching, letterboxing, multi-adventure trips, canoeing, white water kayaking, white water rafting, rock climbing, canoeing, horseback riding, community service, archery and fishing.
The Youth Bureau partners with Cornell Cooperative Extension to run this four day long program during the county schools Spring Break. We provide outdoor/educational/recreational activities for youth ages 9-15. We break the ages into two programs. 9-12 year olds have two days of programming and then we hold two days of programming for the 13-15 year olds. Programming has included: hiking, visits to museums and/or educational farm/maple syrup trips, ice skating, roller skating, swimming, environmental education, teambuilding activities, indoor rock climbing and ropes courses.
Traveling Arts and Crafts Program:
This summer program takes arts and crafts to towns with little or no other summer programming. This is free to youth and runs for two hours daily for three days during one week, in each town. Schoharie County towns that participate are: Seward, Summit, Esperance, Jefferson, Fulton, and Wright.
Youth As Leaders:
The mission of the Youth As Leaders program in Schoharie County is to provide an opportunity for youth to enhance their personal skills and leadership abilities while voicing their concerns and learning to take a leadership role in their community. The Youth As Leaders program arranges for youth to become acquainted with community needs and resources, encourages their interests and participation through leadership development, and assists in finding solutions for quality of life issues in Schoharie County. As youth participate in community leadership activities and responsibilities through Schoharie County. Students are chosen by their schools to start their sophomore year and they continue with the program until graduation.
Sophomore Year: Learn leadership skills through team-based adventure games and build relationships across the county school districts.
Junior Year: Apply concepts and skills learned to plan projects or activities that focus on youth involvement for either leisure time or community service.
Senior Year: Facilitate what you have learned and pass it along to the new incoming sophomore class and/or community groups during workshops.
Schoharie County Youth Service Day:
The Youth Bureau partners with the Schoharie County Office for the Aging. Youth sign-up to perform community service through the Youth Bureau and seniors citizens sign-up to for the community service to be completed at their homes through OFA. We set groups of youth up with 1-3 seniors homes and they help out by doing yard work that is much needed. After the community service is completed we host a free pizza celebration for the volunteers.
The Youth Bureau collaborates with the Family Support Project to run these programs. The Youth Bureau works with the youth for the first hour while parents go to a separate room to work on skills with will help to strengthen their family. The youth section of this program also touches upon various topics like stress, coping techniques, peer pressure, etc. It is very active and we do a lot of different team-building activities within the hour. Dinner is provided to the group. After dinner the family stays together and participates in different activities, like creating family trees, holding family meetings and even just playing games together as a family. We close the night after about an hour. This program is one night a week for a total of six weeks. It is 2 ½ hours long. The Strengthening Families Curriculum is best suited for youth ages 10-14. The Active Parenting Curriculum is best suited for youth ages 14-17. This program is very similar; it is just geared towards an older youth population. New this year, we are starting the Cooperative Parenting Curriculum. This program is for divorced or separated parents and helps by assisting with the proper techniques when cooperative parenting. This program is two hours long, parents and youth work separately one night a week for eight weeks. The Youth Bureau will provide youth programming while Family Support runs the curriculum with the parents.
Bicycle Safety Derbies:
Youth Bureau partners with Liberty Partnerships, Department of Health, the Schoharie County Child Fatality Review Team and the Cobleskill Village Police Department. Youth are sized for helmets, get their bikes registered by the Village Police, basic bike maintenance is performed and youth get to try an obstacle course. All activities and helmets are free to youth that come.
During the holiday season there are two community-wide events planned with the Canadian-Pacific Railways: Toys for Tots and the Holiday Train. The youth bureau recruits youth volunteers to help bake cookies and to also help count and stock the food that is donated during the holiday train.
The Youth Bureau is willing to facilitate team-based games to youth and/or youth workers that are interested. We start out with ice-breaker activities and work our way to initiatives that focus on problem solving as a group and we debrief the activities and daily experiences and relate what they have experienced into real life.
****The Schoharie County Youth Bureau is always open to coordinating new events/activities for youth. If anyone is interested in our activities or would like to plan something new, please contact the Schoharie County Youth Bureau.