By Conrad Dudderar
Yukon recreation leaders are making a concerted effort to promote teen programming in 2023.
A wide range of new classes and activities are offered to Yukon’s teenagers starting this month at City of Yukon rec centers.
“We’re really trying to reach out to our teens,” said Yukon Parks & Recreation Assistant District Casey Barnett. “Hopefully, they’ll come on out and give some of these activities a shot. We want to reach kids, besides the basketball players.
“The basketball teams are covered. But all the other teens need something to do too.”
Most teen programs will be presented at the Yukon Community Center, 2200 S Holly; with other offerings at the Jackie Cooper Gym, 1024 E Main.
A 1997 Yukon High School graduate, Barnett has spent the past 18 years with the City of Yukon. She actually got her start during college working summers in the YPR kids’ camp.
“We have programs geared toward teenagers that give them an outlet of different things to do and learn,” Barnett said.
“We’re trying to build these programs to really help our teen population in Yukon. We want to reach out and serve them.”
During Yukon town hall forums in 2022, several students talked about what they perceive as a lack of community activities – outside school – geared toward local teens.
In response, YPR officials are spreading the word to the Yukon teen population about upcoming programs at the city’s recreation facilities.
“We definitely want to reach out to them and make sure they’re getting the attention they need,” said Barnett, who’s the longest-serving YPR employee. “It’s sometimes hard to reach teens to offer them opportunities.
“We want to serve them and give them different outlets for their various interests.”
Yukon teens may participate in some activities free of charge, although several programs have fees.
- Hooked On Crochet – 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the YCC. Class for ages 13 years and above. $10 fee.
- Teen Life Skills – 7 p.m. Tuesdays in April at the YCC. Classes for ages 14-17 cover budgeting, college, housekeeping, and resume-building. No cost.
- Archery – 9-10 a.m. (beginner) and 10:15-11:15 a.m. (intermediate), Tuesdays and Thursdays in May at the JC Gym. Classes for ages 7-14. $10 fee.
- Garden Studio – 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9 at the YCC. Class for ages 13-17. $10 fee.
- CPR/AED/First Aid – 5:45-7:45 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, Feb. 21 and 23 at the YCC. Classes for ages 10 and above. No cost.
- Pancake Dinner & Summer Showcase – 6-7 p.m., Friday, April 21 at YCC. Program for all ages. No cost.
- Nerf Wars – 1-2 p.m. Tuesday, March 14 at the JC Gym. Activity for ages 7-14. $5 fee.
The YPR rec centers also provide a bounty of athletic leagues for local teens and youth.
A new offering is co-ed Ultimate Frisbee, a recreational team competition for ages 18-plus.
For more information about teen programming in Yukon, call the YPR administration office at (405) 350-8937, the YCC at (405) 354-8442 and the JCG at (405) 350-8920.