City’s teen services bring smiles |

City’s teen services bring smiles

Zach Fridell

Steamboat Springs Middle School student Jesus Herrera bowls Thursday afternoon at the Snow Bowl during a Teen After School Club outing.

— Ben Lingle rolled a spare on his very first frame of the evening at the Snow Bowl during a Teen After School Club event.

Lingle was one of 10 middle school students who took part in the most recent weekly outing by the city-run program. Pete Kraska, recreation specialist for the Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services division, runs the program’s weekly meetings along with Derek Kratzer, who works with Partners in Routt County.

Kraska said he regularly recruits students from the middle school to attend the programs, and this group was the largest yet this year.

Each Thursday, the group does a different activity that is free for the students. Previous trips were to Johnny B. Good’s diner and to the Old Town Hot Springs. Next week, the group will host a Guitar Hero video game party at the community center, and later in the month, the group will hold a Halloween party with pumpkin carving.

Because of the size of the van used to transport students from the middle school to the activity, the group size is limited to 12 students per week.

The city also offers programs for full days when students do not have school, as well as a girls’ after-school club on Wednesday afternoons. They soon will restart the Snowboard Outreach Society, a club for students to learn how to snowboard.

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Kraska said he also will work on that program, and he hopes to incorporate more adventure activities into the after-school program in the winter.

Although all of the weekly events are free, the city also sponsors Teens on Tour, which takes teens across the state. Twenty-four students have signed up for the next outing, a trip to Denver on Nov. 13 to 14.

Brandon Deshaver, who also was bowling Thursday afternoon, said he is signed up for the trip and is excited for the stop at Dave & Buster’s, a video game arcade in Denver. Brandon said he had never been to a Dave & Buster’s before, but he knew games would be involved.

Students also will make stops at the FlatIron Crossing shopping center and go to a climbing wall during the two-day vacation. Registration is $75, and all spots are full.

Kate Warnke, teen recreation specialist for the city who organizes the programs, said she would like to expand the offerings, but the office does not have any plans – or the budget – to do so.

“We are looking to expand a lot of things, but with the budget things going around the city, there might be cuts coming up,” Warnke said. “Ideally, we would like to offer after-school programming every day.”

Students must fill out a teen registration form from the parks office to take part in the activities. Students then can sign up for activities on a weekly basis.

Activities are held for high school students about once a month. In September, the city hosted a broomball tournament, and on Oct. 24, there will be a cosmic bowling party. The cost for that program is $3.

– To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208

or e-mail

For more

For more information or to sign up for the city’s teen programs, call Kate Warnke at 879-4300 or stop by the Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services office at 245 Howelsen Parkway.