Whats in the Miles City air for teens..
Posted by milestowngal (+175) 12 years ago
Ive noticed that alot of the teens around here are "depressed". I do admit my sophmore or jr year i was one of those teens. Is it just me or does anyone else see this happening. Im not sure if its NOTHING to do around here, or the fact that Miles City is just a highly depressing town. I almost feel like this town is a prison. Once you have lived here for a few years its SO hard to get out.
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Posted by VictoriaLynn (+282) 12 years ago
OUR YOUNG PEOPLE NEED SOME RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES!

I could go on and on about this....

anyone?
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Posted by Shu (+1794) 12 years ago
a lot of this has already been discussed on other threads here at MC.com...

...that said, I went through some low times as a teen growing up in Miles, myself, but I don't think it was a "nothing to do" thing as much as it was a "who am I/where do I want to go/what do I want to do with my life?" thing. That was just me, though.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 12 years ago
I think feeling like you are depressed and your home town sucks is a pretty common teenage emotion. The only reason to have nothing to do in MC is if you don't play sports or belong to any of the dozens of clubs and organizations available through the high school or other places.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
What's in the air for teens?

Pheromones.
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Posted by Dillpickle (+34) 12 years ago
Let's see, what's in the air:

Could be a kite, but that's 'gay'...
could be a fishing line, but gee it's so far to walk to the river...
could be a soccerball, baseball, basketball, or heaven forbid frisbee golf, but then you'd have to put down the remote control...
could be bagging groceries at Albertson's, but then you'd have to ride a bike to work...
could be volunteering at church, but it's hard to bum cigarettes in that environment...
could be raking your neighbor's leaves, cleaning gutters, or walking the dog, but that resembles physical effort to closely....

Crap. There is nothing to do in Miles town.


Cry me a river.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 12 years ago
"I almost feel like this town is a prison. Once you have lived here for a few years its SO hard to get out."

Actually, MC or any other place is pretty easy to leave. Throw your crap in a U-Haul and leave. Don't the experts tell us that depression is a state of mind? Are you lacking such control over your life that you can't make any changes?
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Once you have lived here for a few years its SO hard to get out.

No it's not.

Not that you should or should even want to, but if you did want to get out, it's not hard at all. What's difficult is realizing that things really aren't that difficult in the first place. Once you have that whipped, there are all sorts of things you can do.

Your depression will follow you wherever you go unless you learn how to deal with it and live each day in spite of it.

Don't the experts tell us that depression is a state of mind? Are you lacking such control over your life that you can't make any changes?

Depression (lowercase) is a state of mind. Depression (upper case) is not, Richard. Besides, if she is feeling particularly self-loathing, I know a place she can turn (and you probably do, too).
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17331) 12 years ago
Yes, I agree with Richard and Brian. I left Miles City when I was 17....it was pretty easy to get out of town, I just threw all my stuff in my 1968 Chevy Impala and cruised over to Butte, America. I have to say, Butte did and still does have a lot more going for it than Miles City, but enough about Butte.

I don't recall being depressed when I was a teen in Miles City. But then, I went fishing a lot. I doubt if anybody caught more shad than I did. I also read a lot of books. Endlessly tossing a frisbee in the park, basketball...there was always a lot to do.

There were quite a lot of other things I did as a teen in Miles City in the 1970s, but since my mother occasionally reads this board, I think I will refrain from listing them.
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Posted by Beth R. Riggs (+308) 12 years ago
I work with teens at church. There is lots of things to do for teens if they take advantage of all the organizations, sports, clubs, churches in town. I think scouts, 4-H, sports, music, fishing are all life savers. I know that some of this "is not cool." The "coolness" is somewhere over the fence, on line or in the media, or with the popular kids. I beleive that we need to "adopt" those teens in our life and let them know we care, even when they are looking wretched.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 12 years ago
"There were quite a lot of other things I did as a teen in Miles City in the 1970s, but since my mother occasionally reads this board, I think I will refrain from listing them."

I think there are many of us in that boat.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 12 years ago
The average teenager could live in Manhattan and be depressed and have "nothing to do" True depression is a medical illness and needs treatment. Being a teenager, on the other hand, is just part of life. There are LOTS of things to do in Miles City but no one is going to come to your house and entertain you. That is true wherever you live. If you see your life as a prison, it will feel that way anywhere. The problem is not the town.
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Posted by Gerianne Livingston (+71) 12 years ago
There's not enough to do is a cop out. This past Friday, in Casper, Wyoming were there are MANY THINGS TO DO, a Sophomore in one of the high schools committed suicide. Most of the time people who commit suicide do not have the coping skills to get themselves past the emotional state that they are in, it's all in the "I just want this to stop right now."
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Posted by Cheryl Pieters (+474) 12 years ago
I grew up in Miles City and while there I always felt it was "boring" and there was nothing to do...however, looking back, that just wasn't true. I can recall tons of things I did and all of the fun I had doing them. The amazing thing was that my friends and I cooked them up ourselves and no one built a miniature golf course or Teenage Disco or "Boys & Girls Club" hangout to amuse us! I think when you are a teenager you see everything along the lines of "The Glass is Half Empty", no matter what opportunities are presented to you. I realize that serious depression is another matter, but I think every teenager goes through a certain amount of depression over their circumstances (in many cases I think it irons itself out when the hormone surges even out....)

Now that I am an adult, I look back and really appreciate all of the opportunites that I DID receive in Miles City. I also think fondly of long hikes down along the Yellowstone and the Tongue River, sliding on the sandstone rock slides on Signal Butte, walking all over town to almost any activity I wanted to participate in (so not really being homebound due to the lack of a ride, as many teeneagers with working parents are in this suburb I live in now-big city-plenty of activities but 10+ miles away so impossible to walk to-same complaint!)

I also am NEVER bored as an adult, because when I was a kid and a teenager I pretty much learned how to entertain myself instead of sitting around waiting for someone else to entertain me. That is an important life lesson that I guess you need to learn in your boring (depressing?) teenage years, or your whole life is probably going to pretty much be a disappointment.
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Posted by Jeremy Orthman (+434) 12 years ago
I've traveled all over the world (literally) since I left MC. There isn't much more anywhere else for a teen to do then there is in MC. In fact there are probably more opportunities because in Montana you can travel all over without any restrictions. In some places teens don't get thier licenses until as old as 18. In Montana you can get it at 15 and younger if you live on a farm. In Miles City, you can simply ride your bike and go from the city to a river or a country atomosphere, which is something teens in a bigger city don't get.
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Posted by tjh (+141) 12 years ago
Yes there is alot for us teens in miles city to do and thank god!! I have been one of the depressed teens myself probably had alot to do with copeing skills and girls(now I know no man can figure them out lol) but it was never because I had nothing to do.
It seems to me that it has alot to do with your drive for wanting to do something. If you really want to get out and do somthing you can. My brother is depressed and sad but he also doesn't roll out of bed untill noonish all summer long. I on the other had get up at 6 and get a line in the river before it's to hot to stand on the bank, then when it's to hot i jump in the river!
Football, golf, tennis, swimming(even if it does mean the oasis),rideing your bike, or getting a JOB! They are all great things that are EASY to do!!! Gotta love MC
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Posted by Gail Finch Shipek (+94) 12 years ago
I often wished my daughters could grow up in Miles City as I did. They have not been allowed to go bike riding all over town without their parents. Dragging Main is something out of American Graphitti to them. Walking to the library? Walk to their friends? Too far and not safe.
The activities my daughters participate in are pretty much the same activities available in Miles City - go to a friend's home, go to the Dairy Queen, participate in sports, join tech crew for the school play, read a book, watch a movie, invite friends over for a movie night, Facebook, etc.
Enjoy the years you have in Miles City. You will cherish the memories when you are older. And you will have great stories to tell your kids.
From Bellevue, WA
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
One factor no one has mentioned, and it may seem insignificant, is the time of year. It's been a long cold dark winter but spring will be here soon. Hang in there.

P.S. I'll bet I caught as many goldeye(shad) as Gunnar.
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Posted by Steven Crocker (+10) 12 years ago
I have to agree with everyone that has fond memories of growing up in Miles City. When I was a teen I too wanted to be somewhere else. Now that I am older and have been gone for over 10 years I look upon growing up in Miles City as a real privilege. The events of today only reinforce my attachment to the place. Hang in there, I think most teens feel this way from time to time.
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Posted by poisonspaghetti (+281) 12 years ago
Why don't today's teens do what we did as high school kids in Miles City? Find somebody to buy beer for you at M&H, then drive around town all night. Heck, we didn't even need cell phones. If we wanted to talk to somebody, we just flagged them down by flashing our headlights and pointing to the curb. That's what passed for wholesome fun back in the day.
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Posted by mule train (+1056) 12 years ago
Shooting things always constituted a good time. Buy your teen some guns. Get a membership to the rifle range and let the good times start. See poisonspaghetti's remarks about M&H to add to your shooting enjoyment!
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Posted by Beth R. Riggs (+308) 12 years ago
I am learning from these posts, thanks to all who grew up in MC and have pointed out all the great memories. It sounds like the message for the teens should be, yes there are depressing times but this will pass and have hope.
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
40 things children/youth need

http://www.search-institute.org/assets/

Each one of us can contribute from where we are right now.
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1334) 12 years ago
I never had any problem staying busy while growing up in Miles City. There is plenty of nature and wide open spaces (just be sure to close the gates). Life was never dull.

However there were a lot more events going on then. There was the Harmony Hang Out, concerts at the armory, riding the elevators at Holy Rosary. Plenty to do then. I guess just the nature and wide open is about all that's left?
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Posted by brad kings (+28) 12 years ago
Hey Steve
I remember many a night at the armory.listening to mirror image.You Tom and Rick Dennise and Eric.Best time of my life miles citys own best rock band ever.There was always someting to do here you just have to getup and get past the tv and computer games.Greatest place in the world.Some dont know it until you grow up.
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Posted by milestowngal (+175) 12 years ago
Thanks for the point of view guys.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 12 years ago
Outside of beer, the most popular activity was explosives
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Posted by K.Duffy (+1807) 12 years ago
Ah yes! The ever famous last words: "Hold my beer and watch this!"
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Posted by tbrothers (+15) 12 years ago
Growing up in Miles town I really never got bored.There always seemed to be something to do.Hunting fishing sports,we did drink a beer or two once in awhile.Kids today just have to get off their A$$ and put down the remote and get outside.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 12 years ago
Hunting fishing sports

I hope you're forgetting explosives because it was mentioned previously

K. Duffy - good one
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Posted by Bill Brumbach (+25) 12 years ago
Hi,

My son is not a teen but will hopefully be joining your community for the summer. He's 23 and a civil engineer student at the University of Kentucky. He's outgoing, outdoors type, etc.. Do you think he'll have difficulty fitting into your community? He's catholic too. Sometimes a small community is do so open to outsiders. Will this be the case for Miles City?

Thanks in advance.

Bill Brumbach
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 12 years ago
We are a pretty welcoming bunch. He should have no trouble finding folks who will be happy to meet him. We have a couple of very amiable young priests here, as well.
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Posted by Skye W (+25) 12 years ago
Ive been told that this town is Suicideville. And it is very true. Being a senior in high school in this town is not fun, and it can be very stressful. I have come to the conclusion that you have to leave for at least a few years if your ever going to come back. i love miles city and can see myself living here someday but until then i will definitely be leaving for a few years first.
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Posted by joey (+99) 12 years ago
hmmm those sure are alot of things... to bad your all blind. Sure theres lots of thing to do in miles city FOR ADULTS. theres bowling,bars,about 25 other things that i dont want to list.for teens well.... to be honest it comes down to beer drugs and sex! i mean did you guys stop to think? not every one Likes sports and as for fishing ITS WINTER!! and as for suicide..... it has NOTHING to do with things to do! Its called depresion and its Very REAL.I have just one more thing to say" any of you guys notice that its all adults posting?!? THINK ABOUT IT!
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17331) 12 years ago
I think that it would be a useful and productive activity for you, Joey, to study English composition in your spare time.
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Posted by joey (+99) 12 years ago
..........your kidding right
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Posted by Prairie_ghost (+11) 12 years ago
I'm 19 and about to turn 20 but i agree with all of the people that said some people aren't into sports, fishing, etc. We need some place to hang out. A mall, a pool, even a local arcade/pool hall. Something that will keep us out of trouble. In winter months there is not an awful lot to do im Miles City. Miles City in my opinion is geared toward retirement.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9195) 12 years ago
Gunnar, in Joey's defense... perhaps English isn't his first language, and what your anglo-imperialist attitude is interpreting as an utter failure of grammatical structure, casing and punctuation, is actually an artifact of the Basque it was originally composed in.

Or, alternatively, joey just dont rite none to gud.
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Posted by joey (+99) 12 years ago
um thanks i think.....
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Posted by Jeremy Orthman (+434) 12 years ago
Joey,

We are all adults posting about when we were teens in MC. One thing I don't think you realize is the freedom of movement you have compared to teens in larger cities.
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Posted by joey (+99) 12 years ago
Well nice to hear from you to lol
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 12 years ago
Do you belong to a church group, scout troop, 4-H group, theatrical group? Do you volunteer at any of the dozens of organizations that need volunteers? Do you know about ROCKS? How about the many non-sporting school clubs? I was the least jock oriented person on the planet and was editor of the school paper, president of Drama Club, belonged to Ushers Club and probably other things that have faded from my memory.

I do suffer from clinical depression and have been treated for it for 25 years. Yet, I got through my high school years without being bored because I made the effort NOT to be bored. I read, I called up friends and we got together to yak. I belonged to things. I didn't expect to be entertained. I made the effort and entertained myself.

Yes, I had very dark days. I contemplated suicide. But my friends and I made it through and are here today because I didn't expect anyone to make my life more fun but me.
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Posted by joey (+99) 12 years ago
Well with all do respect times are difrent now...things change. Im not asking for some one to cater to teens 24/7 all im asking is for a place to hang out talk meet new freinds.Im only asking for what shuld have been done along time ago. Your saying get up and help out?
Why dont you help make a place for teens?
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 12 years ago
It has been done and, sadly, a place to hang out has to be profitable and hanging out is not a profitable activity. There was a roller rink, back in the roller disco days, and what is now Park Place was briefly supposed to be a teen center but that never got off the ground. There have been a couple of video arcades but with home computers, those no longer bring in the bucks.

Miles City can't afford to create a "hangout" without income. It is the nature of the beast. Someone has to pay the bills. The senior citizen center does it. Maybe teens need to figure out what the old folks know that the kids don't.
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Posted by Beth R. Riggs (+308) 12 years ago
Hi Joey, Thanks for joining this conversation. It does seem to get dominated by the same people and the same ideas. So let me try to go new. What are your interests? You mention a place to talk and meet new friends. If you don't have a "club" interest that makes me think of walmart and fast food restaraunts. Would you go to a place that was open after school? in the evenings? weekends, weekend evenings? What would be attractive to you? a gym? food? electronic games? movies? organized activities? I work with really organized activities but maybe we need a hang out place. Would you invite people to a safe hang out? Looking for ideas.
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Posted by dcjdinmn (+332) 12 years ago
A few years back where I live, teens took to the task (I'd guess with some parental assistance/advice) to fundraise for equipment. They also approached the city council for the real estate (they were granted the use of 2 out of 4 seldom used tennis courts)and proceeded to build themselves a skate park. The founding group has since grown and mostly moved away, but their legacy lives. The park is half finished in regards to the original plans. It seems the current youth are satisfied (?) with what they have as 4 years or so have gone with no more additions. Sure gets a lot of use.
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Posted by Tanna Bloxom Martin (+20) 12 years ago
Joey, my question to you would be, why don't you put a hang out together? Over the years Miles City has tried on numerous occasions to create a place for teens to hang-out and guess what...no one came and they disappeared because the kids thought that since the " grown-ups " had created it that it was uncool. You seem to have alot of time on your hands. Get your friends together and creat a plan and present it to the city. Take some responsibility for your entertainment.
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Posted by joey (+99) 12 years ago
i would love to help rais money for equiptment or help organize all of this the only questions are where and how? by the way im loveing the feed back keep it coming!
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Posted by spacekace (+896) 12 years ago
...You just have to get out and do it! When I was a teen in Miles City, I was involved in 4-H... OMG! It's soooo totally for this hick kids that hang out in farm shop. Surprisingly, it's not... Did you know you can take skateboarding as a project in 4-H. Not only did it teach me a lot about myself...It opened many opportunities to travel, taught me about leadership, community service, and gives the know-how and resources to perhaps start a community teen center.
There are things for you bored teens to do besides drugs, sex, and suicide...just get out there and find them!
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Posted by joey (+99) 12 years ago
Thats it! A comunity center! The only problem is where would it be...any one got any ideas?
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 12 years ago
How about in the little building across from the natural oasis?
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Posted by joey (+99) 12 years ago
the one by the gas station?
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 12 years ago
He's referring to the American Legion building across from the pool where the ROCKS program meets.
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Posted by joey (+99) 12 years ago
i thoght he might be but i new the rocks probram met there so i was going with the only other choice
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Posted by spacekace (+896) 12 years ago
Joey...Have you ever considered volunteering at the nursing homes... Try getting in contact with the activities person, maybe go play bingo...or checkers... I know the residents love visitors!
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Posted by Beth R. Riggs (+308) 12 years ago
Hey Joey, There are many empty buildings in Miles City. How about a Main Street building, a place by the high school, or middle school, out on Haynes Ave south, or out on Valley Drive east? What's your vision?
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Posted by Shu (+1794) 12 years ago
Joey - are you honestly wanting ideas and input, or are you just trying to bait people on this thread? Just wondering...

...I concur with Amorette about a couple things. When I was a teen in the 80's, there were places to hang-out such as Parkway Rollercade (Cory can type pages upon pages about his memories of that place...and has done so on this website), arcades such as Arnies (in the building that just burned-down), the Odyssey (in the building next to the high school, which had Miles City Video after that, and is now unoccupied), RP's (was next to Miles City Laundry), Park Place was an "Alternative Club", etc.. None of these businesses lasted because they couldn't make enough money to operate...but they were there to provide a place for teens to go for fun. I am grateful that they all tried.

Unfortunately, there are hardly any such places, at all, for teens in Miles City now...but what I'll offer here is this:

I am the father of a 13-year-old and a 3.5-year old. My teenager is into a few things and keeps herself entertained with stuff like: Doodling and drawing either on paper or with a draw program on the computer (she REALLY is a talented young artist...you should see some of what she does!), hanging out with friends of which she has several, playing on the computer (neopets and youtube are big with her), Nintendo wii, watching movies or TV, now and then she'll go shopping when there's a little money for her to do so...even if it's not much, she'll help cook or bake when her mood is right, taking the occasional walk, and texting friends and listening to tunes on her cell. I credit her for this much: she doesn't get bored too much, and usually makes the best of things when it gets dull...the attitude she has helps her get through boredom, but I know not all teens have that.

My point is that boredom can be cured...depression is a different thing from boredom.

Joey isn't out-of-line, though, when he complains about not having a place for teens to hang-out...Miles City doesn't have much of that right now.
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Posted by joey (+99) 12 years ago
Well it would have to be a place that easy to get to... and atleast Some room to do something outside.... but off the top of my head i just cant think of any where like that..
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Posted by tjh (+141) 12 years ago
Shu I'm sure he's not bating people in, that would just be plain silly! But if he is it's working well, good job Joey. I haven't posted in a while because I've been busy with other activities. Infact I just got back from the State FFA convention and am getting ready for more FFA stuff. Alot of my friends are geared up and ready for track and others for VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America). Joey I find it hard to beleive that you think that drugs, sex, and suicide are the only things there are to do in MC. Of the three organizations I just listed only one is a sport, only one is for the "Hicks" (which honestly 34% of those in FFA live in suburban non rural areas) and Vica is for anyone who is competitive and wants to learn.

I am woundering what organizations can you voulenteer in in MC??
I know the FFA is looking for a community service project, anyone have any Ideas??
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Posted by Juniper (+53) 12 years ago
Fun2U is a non-profit organization created and run by Miles City folks in order to build a Community Aquatic and Recreational Center. (Think a YMCA for the community and for all ages.) Go to the website:www.fun2umc.com The group has secured a 100yr lease from the county for the Custer Lodge and surrounding acreage. This building was part of the Pine Hill School and is located on the corner of Leighton and Haynes. Imagine all the activites teens can get get involved with at such a center!


The group's next funraiser is:

Woolhouse Fun2U Run & Walk on April 18th in Miles City! Persons of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate. Enthusiasts can register the day of the event or prior to April 18th at Woolhouse Childcare, Universal Athletic, Redrock Sporting Goods, Miles City Chamber of Commerce or Holy Rosary Healthcare.

On Saturday, April 18th, registration begins at 8:00 a.m. at the Woolhouse, located at 419 North 7th Street. Scheduled events include a kids' run for free, along with a 1 mile, 5K and 10K runs for a small entry fee. Moms, bring your kids and strollers, there is a course for you too!

This is a family event, and prizes will be awarded to the top 3 placers in each of the events. Participants will receive t-shirts as well as pizza, drinks and massages.

The Woolhouse Fun2U events will begin at 10:00 a.m. on April 18th in Miles City. Proceeds will be awarded to Fun2U to build an aquatic and recreation center on the corner of Leighton Boulevard and Haynes Avenue in Miles City.

For more information, please contact Chantell Turck at 234-3488 or visit www.fun2umc.com.
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Posted by joey (+99) 12 years ago
that sounds good to me ill be there.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 12 years ago
Do they not allow teenagers in the Yellowstone Tavern anymore? That was the hangout when I was in high school. We used to play pool there all the time. We were typical broke teenagers but we had all the alcoholics over on the bar side to subsidize our pool playing.

What are you imagining this community center would be like? What activity is really going to interest you and your friends at this hypothetical center? Arcades are pointless these days, every kid has better games at home. The only ones that are still around are the places like Dave and Busters where it costs $2-$5 per game and you better bring at least $50 if you're gonna spend more than an hour there.

I seriously think that if they built a "hangout" with a snack bar, a couple pool and ping pong tables, or whatever it is you are imagining, along with some sort of adult supervision, most teenagers would say it was "gay" and go on complaining about having nothing to do.

When I was in high school I did my share of beer drinking. It was because that was what I wanted to do though, not because I was missing some sort of community center to hang out in and thus had no other choice. I never played any sport. My school activities were limited to FFA and 4-H. I had plenty of stuff to do and I passed on literally hundreds of other opportunities to do other things, some of which I really wish now that I had done (like playing sports). Everything I have mentioned is still available to teenagers in MC today.
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Posted by poisonspaghetti (+281) 12 years ago
Wait a second, Shu...you mean to tell me that people post on milescity.com just to BAIT other people?? That's not right. Who would do something like that?
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Posted by Beth R. Riggs (+308) 12 years ago
I forgot about the fun2u pool and recreation center. Wouldn't that be great if teens in Miles City got behind that idea and made it cool?
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Posted by joey (+99) 12 years ago
ya i think it would be awsome i know that im guna try and be there
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 12 years ago
Yeah - put it at Pine Hills!

Other activity ideas:

Turn a Chicken Leg Into a Shank
Pruno and You
A History of Prison Tattoos
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Posted by Nathan Miles (+20) 12 years ago
"I seriously think that if they built a "hangout" with a snack bar, a couple pool and ping pong tables, or whatever it is you are imagining, along with some sort of adult supervision, most teenagers would say it was "gay" and go on complaining about having nothing to do." - Levi


that was basically what the final incarnation of the card shop was before it closed. just not enough interest in the kind of games they were trying to survive on.

my biggest problems with "NTD syndrome" (Nothing To Do) were caused by my lack of interest in sports. Miles City really doesnt have much in the way of legal entertainment for people who dont play sports, sing, play an instrument, or act. if i had stuck around instead of joining the navy, i probably would have joined the barn players. i do agree that the people who are bored out of their minds are also not really looking for anything to do.
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Posted by Prairie_ghost (+11) 12 years ago
I think that everyone here that says go voluntee somewhere. Is thinking too much like an adult. When you were in high school did you voluntee your time on a friday night? Probably not. Its not what these high schoolers want to do. I don't know anything about grants and that sort of stuff but you would think with all of the money the government is throwing away in bail out money that miles city could get some form of grant to help support a place like this.
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Posted by beenthere (+9) 12 years ago
HEllo there, I am completly new to this website but not new to Miles city. It is also 4 am on Friday morning when I type this so bear with me. I am from miles city went to highschool there my folks still there and I still come back there and visit from time to time. Also have tried living there. I am speaking from the voice of experience when I say Miles city is a depressing place for teens at times. I have been there and done that, I made 2 suicide attempts. One my Junior year one my Senior year. I came from a broken home. I was in 4-h yes great club to belong to. Was in FFA Mr. Larson at the time was the insructor. HE was a life saver and a great friend and teacher. What has bothered me the most about reading this website and listening to you all is depression is not boredom. It is an illness that kids young adults and adults feed off. We you they dont need a happy place for them to hang out a depressed teen dont want a happy place catching a fish and drinking a beer isnt going to magically make my depression stop and go away. ( By the way I drank my share of beer from M&H) Thanks Rowdi LOL What we need to do as a community is find out what is making these kids feel like they need to make everything stop..... You can take the saddest child who feels they have NO where to turn to the happiest place and they may smile because they are supposed to but Are they really happy DOUBTFUL I went horse back riding cruising main street yes even church I still felt sad and alone even with my best friend by my side so please stop acting like if we give them a game to play every one will get happy and lets figure out why they feel this way..
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Posted by beenthere (+9) 12 years ago
yep going to give ya an earful.. GOt lots to say. You know of all the advice I have read on here I havent heard parent talk to your kids... I have read send them here or there to do this or that put them in a club or event but what happened to good olde mom and dad time. Have we stopped to think maybe the parents need to spend less time trying to get them involved outside the home away from family ande need to bring that back. What about some sort of classes at school. Coping type. Speakers and dont give the kids the option of attending. Make them mandatory monthly quarterly whatever... If you ask a depressed child who is truly suicidal are you sad do you want to die.. Chances are the are gonna feed you a line so they can be left alone and yep I been there done that. But if yoou throw a line out there they will nibble and some times let you reel them in when they think it is there Idea yep been there,,,,,I bet I get alot of you dont know jack type of feed back.. Sorry you feel that way. For those that truly hear me. Lets talk.. I am worried about MIles city teens
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Posted by Jeremy Orthman (+434) 12 years ago
beenthere,

Do you think Miles City was depressing or it was your age and child hood? It seems like what you describe could of happened in any city.
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Posted by T Brown (+478) 12 years ago
Beenthere, I feel bad about the way you felt in your childhood and teen years. I've never been depressed, so I can't tell you that I know how you feel. I have two children that are seniors at CCDHS this year...getting ready to graduate. Neither one of them are depressed, but they are bored! And yes, I do feel that Miles City could use some kind of something for the kids to do on a Friday night. I know that quite a few go out to the Tavern and shoot pool and listen to music. I think it would be nice for MC to have a miniature golf course/go cart place, or a game room, not ping pong, or the old type arcade games, but a place that someone would have wii games or Play station and XBox games set up where the kids can have some competion tournaments and such. At least they would'nt be going out to Deadmans road to have parties and fires!!!!! I wish I could find a way to open a business like that.
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Posted by K.Duffy (+1807) 12 years ago
We're glad you were up at 4am, Beenthere! Please share with everyone some of the feelings you were experiencing before you made your suicide attempts. For instance, was it a constant despair or particular issues bothering you? I don't have children, but still wonder how even a close knit family would approach the topic. How would someone who's never felt like they don't belong anywhere or don't fit into the mold they're supposed to be in console or understand how it feels?
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Posted by sugarcookie (+216) 12 years ago
Martial arts/Judo is also another option, but I have to agree with the posts that there isn't much to do in Miles City for teens or adults for that matter (unless you want to go to a bar.)
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1272) 12 years ago
Let me speak up here. First, there are two different conversations going on here. One on depression, a clinical problem that does affect teens; and one on boredum, which affects everyone! I don't want to address depression as it has been talked about before. There are services out there that can help someone, young or old, with that.

As far as being bored, I agree with everyone who said "get out and do something." I worked at the Parkway Rollercade from my freshman to my junior year. That's what I did on my Friday and Saturday nights. Now granted, we had things like dances that gave high schoolers something to do. The rink truely was my generation's "Harmony Hangout". I even gave up getting a letter in tennis as the manager to continue to work my job. I couldn't do both and I made a decision.

When I was 18 and still in high school, I got involved in the Chamber of Commerce. I was on the committee that planned and hosted the Montana Centennial activities in 1989. I was very involved in the balloon rally committee and helped pull that huge event off. Some of my high school friends even got up at 4:30 a.m. to help out the weekend of the rally.

When I was 17, my group of friends (Jason Banfield, Lt. Josh Stratton of the MCPD, Keith Scheeler, Roger Gamble, Kim Shipman, and some I'm forgetting) formed the Youth Tourism Council. We held events for kids in the city that gave them something to do. We raised money through local businesses, addressed the city council, and got things done! The YTC had an event where we made lilly pads out of wood pallets. We painted them green, used old bleach bottles cut to look like the flower on a lilly, and put candles in the middle. We then floated them in the Natural Oasis and had boats floating around with some of us dressed in 1880's type clothes and old time music playing. People from all over town drove by to check out what we were doing.

We then planned and executed a party at Spotted Eagle. We had a band that played on the beach. We traded work with the county for use of the Show-mobile (stage trailer), the fire department loaned us the hose truck that had a generator on it for power, we sold tickets, and had a float in the BHS parade. We had t-shirts that we sold as promotion and the day of the event. It was a HUGE hit! And all done by high school kids.

I worked at the radio station in high school, so I hosted many Chamber of Commerce events as the MC. I hosted the chili cookoff once, did some breakfast things, etc.

When I was older, for 7 years I was a Reserve Police Officer in Laurel. It was all volunteer and was my community service. The reserves not only worked as police, but we got involved in Laurel city events as fundraisers and community outreach. I was in my late 20's and early 30's when I did that.

My point was not to toot my own horn here. It is to show young people that there are things to do. Get involved. Create your world and be active in it. Teens have always had this complaint and have always looked to adults to "make" something to do. The power is all in your hands.... take action!!
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Posted by Tina Bean (+415) 12 years ago
If one has never been depressed they don't understand how it feels. They say "get out and do something" when in all actuality that is the last thing they want to do. Parents need to talk to their kids to let them know this is somewhat normal. Be there for them and WITH them. Don't let them drive you away, they really do want you there they just don't know how to admit it sometimes. Teens feel as though they are going through this alone and we as adults have never felt the same way. They feel no one is going through the same things as they are. They think this feeling will never go away. It just takes time, Tommorrow is another day. Sometimes it takes longer than other times but the feelings will ease and things will get better. The kids need to have someone they trust, someone they know loves them and that wont judge them. I have been honest with my kids about my past in the hopes that they know I am not perfect and don't expect them to be. I know they are going to mess up and I am hoping that my honesty will let them know they can come to me because I have gone through it too. BEENTHERE I feel bad for you and all of the other teens in this town and all over who feel the way you do. I wish I could make the feelings all go away!!
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Posted by mercy me (+139) 12 years ago
Cory you are correct when you say there are services that can help with depression. The problem is finding them, affording them, and getting an appointment (waiting lists ect). Have you ever dialed the Mt. Mental Health Crisis Line only to get no answer? I understand that it is a human being on the other end that may be in the shower,or having a crisis of there own. However that may just be the final blow. Like Beenthere said most often when one is seriously depressed possibly considering suicide they rarley think there is help out there. They see a light at the end of the tunnel but there is (in their eyes) a locamotive behind it. Beenthere you made some pretty powerful points. Things many feel and think but arn't able to put in words.I truly hear you and I'd like to talk. I have delt with suicide within my own family as well as friends. Some very recent.You sound as if you may be able to offer some insight and this is much needed in Miles City.
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Posted by Toni Campbell Tivy (+143) 12 years ago
When I was growing up in Miles City there wasn't too much to do (outside of school activities and community things). The Harmony Hangout had been closed a few years and I think the Rollercade opened after I graduated from High School (I went there once). However, I joined any activity in High School that would get me some free traveling! (I am still in love with travel)!

First I was in JV Track and Basketball (free trips to all of the surrounding towns for competitions!) and by my Sophmore Year, when it was pretty clear that I wasn't going to ever make the Varsity Team (due to the fact that I was pretty uncoordinated!), I joined the Speech and Drama Team and Majorettes (lots of more travel!). I also was in a Church Youth Group (Summer camp in the mountains up by Livingston-yay!) and 4-H. Other clubs I participated in over the years: Spanish Club, Rainbow Girls (we had a memorable trip to a convention in Missoula) and The Girl Scouts (I loved the 2 camping trips I got to go on). Also, there was Intramural Softball in the Summers (run by the city) and Ice Skating (I was on a girl's Hockey Team in a Hockey League in MC)-both of which didn't require a lot of "sports ability". I also tried out for the tennis team and a soccer team, which used up a couple of pleasant months of practice until it beacme clear I was probably not going to make the team, and at MCC I joined the Student Council and was very active in different student organizations there (intra mural volleyball anyone?) I know I have mentioned a lot of "sports" here, but just participating doesn't mean you are admitting to a lifetime love of sports or even that you are good at them-it is also a good way to get to know people, try out new things, and travel.

I have had numerous cousins travel around the state (and even go on National Trips) with the Choraleers and the FFA and FHA, and all of those organizations were very worthwhile as well.

I think it is a good idea to check these organizations out, instead of pre-judging them. You will be amazed at the wonderful people you meet. You might even find a life-long interest through trying new things out. I certainly didn't have any time to sit around and think about how miserable my life was. However, I am not entirely sure that all of those organizations still exist, as I have moved away and when I visit I don't look into them much any more. I hope they do-I loved every one of them in different ways!

As to the depression thing-I think if you stay busy it won't creep up on you so fast. I also think I will let people with more of a background in it address that issue.
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Posted by Gerianne Livingston (+71) 12 years ago
"What about some sort of classes at school. Coping type. Speakers and dont give the kids the option of attending. Make them mandatory monthly quarterly whatever... If you ask a depressed child who is truly suicidal are you sad do you want to die.. Chances are the are gonna feed you a line so they can be left alone and yep I been there done that. But if yoou throw a line out there they will nibble and some times let you reel them in when they think it is there Idea yep been there,,,,," Beenthere

Glad to hear that you had a wonderful teacher that you trusted enough to help you get through your youth. Excellent idea!!! The key to having speakers is to include peers that have beenthere.
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Posted by Linda L. (+75) 12 years ago
Wow; what a conversation. One thing I didn't read in all these many posts is that the kids of today, whether or not they're depressed, are going through whatever it is they're going through, in a different time frame than the ones before them. Yes, the "boredom" may sound the same, the "depression" may look/sound/feel similar, but it's all happening in a different time. Today is NOTHING like yesterday, last week, last month, last year, or last decade. How/why things happen today don't happen for the same causes/reasons they happened 1, 5, 10, or 20 years ago. I think that is why kids today are handling it all so very differently than they did in the past.

I grew up in a town much, much smaller (imagine that!) than Miles City, yet I was never bored. I rode horses, rode bike, went fishing, went for walks, read tons of books, flew kites, lay in the middle of a field and watched the clouds go by, hunted for bugs, climbed trees, played with animals, picked just about every type of produce for spending money, addressed mail-outs for a penny a piece (made $500 doing that one summer), went swimming, and probably 100 other things that have (like someone else said) slipped my mind.

I have to agree with Joey on a few points that he made regarding there not being much to do in Miles City. There isn't much to do, if the teen wants to maintain his/her "cool" status. I think that something that's missing is the input from significant adults in the teens' lives to help them learn what "cool" really and truly is, in any time frame.

I don't like to try to advocate for church, school, sports activities, simply because too many kids just aren't into those activities today. Why? Probably for every person you ask, there'll be a different reason. But, I do believe that if ADULTS take some time to show by action what can be fun, time comsuming, and entertaining, kids might buy into it a little quicker than those same ADULTS just SAYING, "you should go here, do this, do that, etc." I think adults today don't invest nearly enough time with their kids, their kids' friends, etc to give solid examples for the kids to follow.

I realize that most of us are working parents. That explaines, but in my mind does not excuse, this lack of adult interaction. I'm as guilty as the next person for not spending enough quality time with my own kids as they were growing up, so no, I'm not trying to make myself out as "greater than thou." I've lived and learned the hard way that adults need to be much, much more fully active in any/all kids' lives, if we want them to get through their teen years with as much grace, style, and LIFE as possible.

Sorry for the ramble, but this thread got to me.
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1272) 12 years ago
Look, I'm not saying that there is not depression, and I'm not saying that is not something to address. I was not saying "get out and do something and your depression will go away."

I was saying : Quit bitching that there is nothing to do/any place to go and create your own excitement. If it bothers the youth of MC so much, they CAN do things to change it. But it is not someone else's responsiblity to make life fun.

Get involved... get un-bored!

Somewhere this part of the conversation is going on in this thread. So please don't try to pull my examples into the other part about depression. I was not addressing that.
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Posted by jessiker (+291) 12 years ago
I remember being a teen in Miles City - I'm still only 24 :P - and I must say that a lot of people are looking at it from the "adult" perspective. Yes, the teens need something to do, somewhere to go - just plain something. And it would be wonderful if they could get together and get something planned out, and make it really happen. The problem arises when none of them know where to go to put things into action, or how to start it.

Maybe it's a need of some guidance, someone who can help the teens with whatever they don't know how to do in the planning and implementing of whatever comes about?

For the "volunteer somewhere" - maybe provide a list of places that would be looking for volunteers. I volunteered with the food bank when I was probably 13 or 14, and I loved it. It provided a sense of accomplishment and I made some new friends - but that's not the only place in need of help, so throw some suggestions out there!

Depression being a separate issue, while the resources are out there, they don't always seem so readily available. I remember as a teen feeling really ashamed about going to counseling even though my mother had just passed away, and I realize now that was nothing to be ashamed of, but at the time it was entirely different. Mental health issues are still very much a stigma, and having to open up to other people (even if it's only your parents, in order to get the help) and to say "hey, I think I need some help here," can be really difficult. I agree with the statement that if you haven't been there yourself, you can't really understand.
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+398) 12 years ago
I felt the same way when I was a teen in MC. I made a plan on how to get out of the small town and to a place with more options. For me it meant doing really well for 2 years at Miles Community College so that I could get a scholarship to a 4-yr. college out of state, that my parents could not afford. I did that and never came back there to live. Honestly, there was very little for a teen to do there in the summer and decent jobs were terribly hard to get. If a person wanted to learn to play harp, join a dance troupe, take up yoga/pilates classes, learn about lithography, or work in a brass foundry (I could list many, many things here) back then, you were just out of luck and it was too far to travel to find a place to learn to do less usual things. I remember coming up with 5 things I wanted to learn one summer and not a one was offered anywhere in Miles City and Billings was too far for me to travel to take a one hour class when I had a job and a very limited income.

For me the long cold winters were just too depressing and the mosquito laden hot, dry summers were also limiting. Spotted Eagle is not my idea of a summer beach experience. I needed to get to a place where I could be out in nature and enjoy it year round. I now live along the banks of a river in a beautiful valley where we rarely see any lengthy cold in the winter and for the most part mild, pretty bugless summers. We are about a 40 minute drive to ski slopes and a few hours from ocean beaches. At least 3/4 of the days year round are good to be out doing something.

I also wanted a career where I had more options to choose from. Additionally, I was looking for a man with college degrees, a good sense of adventure, and who had been lots of places. The kids I went to HS with rarely had been out of the area much less had traveled Europe and a low percent ever completed anything beyond a few years of college. Additionally, several of the religions I wanted to get to know more about did not even have a group that I could find back then (Quakers and the Jewish faith).

Overall, it felt pretty narrow to me, including politically. I wanted to be in a much more culturally diverse place with much to offer in the way of education (3 colleges within 10 miles of my house now) because when you move to these places there is a greater diversity of thought, intellectual groups and activities, activism, and acceptance.

I like living in a smaller community (about 40,000) here, but I am a few hours drive to Seattle or Portland too. We can live in a place where we know many residents and still hit the city for a weekend easily. I also wanted to raise my children with more options.

I think it is totally normal to want to get out of a tiny town and go somewhere that you can really explore lots of things. I say to make a plan and go for it.
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Posted by TK (+1623) 12 years ago
as being I grew up in Glendive, honestly, there is more here than there! As for MC being "a prison", get real---if it's so horrible here, MOVE somewhere better! No offense meant, but it gets old hearing people talk about how much they hate it here; basically, it's a sob story of "poor poor pitiful me" but I don't buy it. Everyone makes their own way and if they choose to stay here, then they need to just deal with it. Life goes on.
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Posted by Terry Roelfsema (+19) 12 years ago
Let's face it; boredom is nothing more than a lack of mental activity. Where have we come as a society that it is someone else's responsibility to keep us from being bored? What happened to parental involvement with their kids? Or, is it now someone else's responsibility to entertain our own kids?

I have spent this year teaching in Bush Alaska. Kids here can not go to the movies, they do not have baseball, soccer, dance, hockey, several churches, tennis courts, parks, the oasis, cell phones, Wall Mart, the library, jobs, streets to cruise in their cars and pickups, like in MC. Guess what? I have yet to hear a student say, "there is nothing to do." Despite the fact that a bush plane is the only way in and out, they don't say "it feels like a prison here."

Again, boredom is a lack of mental activity. In fact, boredom is an attitude that says, "Entertain me." Perhaps if some of the kids here went on a mission to a third world country, or joined the Peace Corps, or just went with a church youth group to an inner city, they would realize that they God has given them so numerous blessings and quit complaining.

Adults, if you think the kids need more to do, get involved with the community, a church, the school or sports Scouts, and become part of the solution.

[This message has been edited by Terry Roelfsema (4/12/2009)]
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+398) 12 years ago
Terry, I have also spent time in AK villages and the kids drink and drug themselves to death when they are not riding their snowmobiles out on thin ice. They may not say the words, but have you ever been to Dillingham?
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Posted by Shella Zelenz (+65) 12 years ago
Cyber cafe corner in there would be good where they have gaming chairs and they can play multiplayer games. That way they're interacting. I do think that other things should be available (pool table, ping pong table, swimming pool, etc). I think a mini-dance club would be cool too - a karaoke bar area too. It would be great if the city would build a skate park. It would be safer than having the skate on the street. Perhaps create a field hockey (skate) rink. Hockey in the street is very popular in Canada, I can see that going well here too. Some kind of tournament games would be good (Yugio, Pokeman, Dungeons and Dragons). Offer things that aren't offered at the school. Offer volunteer opportunities for those who do not participate in groups at school or church. Find a cause that they can be excited about to give them a sense of contributing to something larger than themselves. Hold our own American Idol or So You Think You can Dance competitions.

They should write grants to get funding. There is a ton of money available if people put out the effort to find it and apply. If they manage this correctly, they can also offer scholarships to active teens in the center. Have them hire "volunteer" teens to run some of the activities at the center (Karaoke bar, etc.). They would enjoy it and learn how to contribute without expecting something back (which is part of what a lot of today's youth suffer from). It would help to have adults volunteer to help - providing examples for the students to follow. You want to find a way to run this economically so that it can be sustained without the threat of closure as so many of the previous youth center attempts have had.

It could also be used as a potential tutoring center after school and offer classes such as video game programming to spark kids' interests. MCC could work in conjunction to motivate GED seekers through the center. Reach them where they are instead of just waiting for them to come to you. Generate a lot of interest and keep it constantly changing to spark continuous interest.
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Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+398) 12 years ago
What kids do in my community (not a big place at all either):

We have 2 very nice skate parks.

We have a huge sledding area and parking for parents.

We have an indoor hockey rink.

Our YMCA has more programs than any kid could possibly partake in and year round swimming lessons at every level.

We have an outdoor pool.

We have several tennis courts.

We have day camps.

We have Campfire.

We have a junior archery club.

We have a yoga studio with programs for teens.

We have a teen club for music and pool with no alcohol allowed.

We have a pool.

We have a roller rink within an hours drive.

Our library has so many ongoing programs for teens that one kid could not do them all.

We have an afterschool program that includes tutoring, music lessons, and sports all at no charge.

We have an art gallery that offers classes to kids, most are free.

We have papercrafts/stamping groups.

We have a boxing gym and instructors.

We have active Little League and other junior sports.

We have areas to fly kites.

We have a kid's fishing pond right down town.

We have an aviary.

We have a ham radio club.

We have computer clubs.

We have air soft and paint ball clubs--in fact my youngest is doing air soft at this moment.

We have a raceway for battery operated airplanes and a club for that.

We have a historical fort with lots of things to do.

We have Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4H, Pathfinders, and many others.

We have mentoring groups for kids without adults to do things with.

We have music opportunities and places for kids to hang out and play guitar and drums.

We have several nice climbing walls.



I am interested in someone making a very specific list of what is available in MC so the kids that read this thread have a list of what is really available rather than telling them it is stupid to feel bored.
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Posted by Terry Roelfsema (+19) 12 years ago
Donna: Yes, unfortunately drinking and drugs are a problem anywhere. It is unfortunate. Yes, I have been to Dillingham.

[This message has been edited by Terry Roelfsema (4/12/2009)]
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Posted by Terry Roelfsema (+19) 12 years ago
Donna: This is a great list of activities!
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