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.