Last week, Kamiah’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) teenagers and Teen Center staff trekked down the sidewalk carrying furniture and boxes from the existing Teen Center at 413 Main Street to the new location at 405 Main Street.
Some of the bulkier items, like the pool table and the foosball table took some muscling and juggling to get through the doors, but they successfully completed the move and have reopened the center.
According to Upriver Youth Leadership Council (UYLC) Executive Director, Sharlene Johnson, the Teen Center outgrew the space they opened in August 2019. She and the UYLC board negotiated a long-term lease for Shirley Hill’s 2nd Story Books and Hill Photographics building which had been for sale.
The Teen Center “wanted a bigger space, Shirley supports what we’re doing, so it’s a win-win,” Johnson said.
Daisy Bower, a YAB member said she likes that “the new building has more space and is more open.” Mikal Brotnov, another YAB member, shared, “the new building has a lot more room to do our own activities and will include a quiet area for kids to do schoolwork.”
This summer the Teen Center added morning hours Monday through Friday just for Tweens (grades 3-6) with a different activity planned each day. Rock painting, making slime and bracelet- making are examples of some popular activities, according to Bower and Brotnov.
Brotnov noted cooking and other life skills activities have been popular with teenagers. Bower shared kids enjoy the “The Snacks with Tab” (referring to staff member Tabitha Roach) events.
Future plans include building out a full kitchen, making it easier to prepare food onsite, according to Brotnov.
On a somber note, Brotnov shared that “once the Spencer Flerchinger Memorial Bench moves to the new location, it will be a complete Teen Center.” Spencer was an YAB member until his tragic death in an accident two years ago.
The Teen Center plans to invite the public to a grand opening in late August so people can see what is happening in the new space, according to Sharlene Johnson, UYLC Executive Director.
Johnson said “lots of community support helps a lot.” The YAB’s next offsite adventure is a trip to Silverwood theme park on Wednesday, Aug. 12. Silverwood, near Coeur d’Alene, includes 70 rides, slides, a water park, roller coasters, show and attractions according to their website. The UYLC will provide a free bus ride from Kamiah and discount Silverwood tickets for $25 each. According to Johnson, there is still space available on the trip; contact the UYLC office at 208- 743-0392 or upriverylc@gmail. com for information.