As part of International Youth Day Aug. 13, the Wheatland Youth Network collaborated with several organizations to host several bee themed activities were hosted at the Strathmore Library.
A total of 15 youth registered to participate. During the event they made bee habitats and were treated to pizza during a showing of the Bee Movie.
Wheatland Youth Network Community Coordinator, Michelle Ryan, said the idea was kicked off to offer an opportunity for local young people to connect with each other and have a fun, interactive activity to participate in.
“The Wheatland Youth Network is a fairly recent initiative, but we’ve been hosting pop-up awareness events throughout the summer,” she said. “Our ultimate goal is creating an integrated youth hub serving young people aged 11 to 24 and connecting them with mental health and wellness supports.”
Ryan added events such as the one held on International Youth Day are an avenue to get the network’s name into the community, as well as for young people to discover local resources.
With COVID-19 restrictions having only recently been lifted, part of organizing the event was continuing to exercise caution.
“Like anything, just being aware of being flexible, just with how numbers can impact these events, so just being very aware that we’re abiding by restrictions and abiding by any personal space that we need to take necessary steps for,” explained Ryan.
“I think it’s great that we’re having these events, especially after a long period of time where a lot of people felt isolated. It’s good to have that community piece back again.”
For the Wheatland Youth Network, a large part of their process lies in collaboration with other agencies.
Ryan said the organization is open to collaboration in order to host more opportunities for young people to connect with each other, all the while keeping events fun and attractive.
She also explained the network runs a youth subcommittee that also provides an opportunity each month as a wellness activity in a drop-in format for young people.
“I think with anything, relationship building is huge. When people feel connected, I think that really helps with their sense of belonging,” she said. “I think just with more events and more opportunities for young people to get to know each other and meet more people, the better.”
Ryan did not specify when the next event hosted by the Wheatland Youth Network will be held this season, though the community is encouraged to keep an eye out for more opportunities.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times