Trade the Pokeball for a Volleyball!
Ah yes, every parent knows those two words, and cringe when they hear them. The reality is that kids have more activities available for them to do today than they ever have before. Too bad we can’t convince them of that.
While video games have largely taken over free time for older kids and teens, we have found that once you get their face away from the screen and get them out of the door, they actually do enjoy socializing and being active.
The Midland YMCA hosts a Free Youth Night every Friday, from 6:30 -9:30pm. Your teen (actually, kids aged 10 – 17) can enjoy all the services that the “Y” offers. Membership is not required. In fact, most of the kids who attend aren’t members. And there are lots of kids. Over the course of a year, the YMCA hands out about 6,000 Youth Night passes – that works out to between 100 and 200 attendees each week! In fact, according to Naomi Murray, General Manager of YMCA Simcoe/Muskoka, some evenings have seen numbers above the 200 mark!
Unfortunately, many teens in our community come from families with financial constraints. It’s tough to make ends meet nowadays. Sometimes that means kids go without extracurricular activities. Since every youth can attend without having to pay, there’s no embarrassment attached or stress about finding the cash for a pass.
So, what do the kids have access to on Youth Night? Everything.
- Racquet Ball courts
- Wellness Centre
- Youth Zone (opening soon)
Youth Night provides a safe, motivating environment, giving youth the ability to contribute towards active, healthy lifestyles.
Let’s talk about what an active, healthy lifestyle can do for young people.
We all know the obvious benefits of regular exercise like weight management and muscle building, but did you know that it can also help with improving your skin, immune system, and sleep?
Being active is a great way to improve your mood, lower stress and ward off depression and ease anxiety. According to mayoclinic.org, there are a few different ways that regular exercise can help with mental health: Releasing feel-good brain chemicals, Reducing immune system chemicals, and Increasing body temperature.
Engaging in team sports can help build your ability to communicate correctly and appropriately. It also encourages leadership and team building skills. All of these skills will be a value when these kids out into the world.
While the allure of video games will always be there, the Midland YMCA Youth Night is getting bigger and more popular all the time.
The kids don’t really care about the benefits of hanging out at Youth Night, they just want to be with their friends. We encourage that. It’s an inclusive environment. No matter your race, religion, gender, sexuality, or financial status, kids aged 10 – 17 can enjoy the facilities of the YMCA at no charge, every Friday evening from 6:30 – 9:30pm.
We hope to see your kids there this week!