The Raven Youth Activity Centre officially re-opened its doors to youth in 100 Mile House Tuesday – 16 months after it was closed due to COVID-19.
The centre, located in the Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre, has undergone some major changes since the closure, including a bright new space, pool table, air hockey table and new stereo. The centre is open from 3:30- 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for Grade 8 and 9 students and Wednesdays and Fridays for Grade 6 to 7.
“I’m excited about it. It’s nice to be reopening here with the youth services office (right beside us),” said Emma Cockram, a youth support worker who runs the centre.
During the past few months, Cockram and other support workers have kept in touch with youth via online activities and social media and also handed out activity packages. Still, Cockram said there’s nothing quite like connecting with youth in person.
“I grew up here and I know from that experience and working at the CFEC that it’s really nice to have a place to hang out after school because there isn’t an awful lot to do in 100 Mile,” she said. “It’s nice to have peers and adults to connect with. If there is anything going on, there’s someone here to talk to.”
Up to 30 pre-teens and teens would come to the Raven before the pandemic hit. Cockram said they hope to start with just 10 at a time right now and gradually increase the numbers. They also plan to offer more set activities this year such as pool tournaments, arts and crafts nights and music trivia. The Raven is also open to suggestions from its users for events and activities, she said.
Ryan Dugaro, supervisor of CFEC’s youth services, said the Raven intends to use the summer to test out a few new programs and events. By the time the school year starts up in September, he said they plan to release monthly schedules online via Facebook and other social media.
Cockram urged local youth to come out. “We’re really excited to welcome the youth back and we hope that everybody is able to come check out the new place.”