Even with a pandemic, the Ponoka Youth Centre was busy with a pair of summer camps.
Both camps — on-site and virtual — were offered from June 29 to Aug. 21.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, changes were made to how the centre welcomed special guests, with many field trips conducted and guests presentations done through a variety of social media platforms including Zoom.
Now with school having returned, the youth centre is back to operating their fall after-school programming. For kids ages five to 11, the program runs weekdays between 3:15 and 5:30 p.m., but the children must be pre-registered.
“We are required to operate with cohort groups and that has reduced the number of youth we can have attend the After School Program,” explained Beth Reitz, youth centre executive director.
Pre-registration can be done through an online form or by calling the office at 403-783-3112.
School-Out-Days (S.O.D.) feature full-day programming from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and run on most schools professional development days, but pre-registration is also required.
Several other programs will also pick back up this fall.
Raise the Grade school support program has moved to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Youth wanting assistance can contact the centre to make arrangements.
Torch leadership focuses on five main pillars — giving back to the club/community, team work, leadership, learning for life, health choices — and goes on Mondays from 3:15 to 4 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Keystone Leadership Club runs Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Fusion, for ages 12 to 17, runs on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., providing youth an opportunity for planned activities and games plus the chance to learn new skills while also catching up with friends.
Meanwhile, the Teen Drop-in operates Thursdays from 3:30 to 9 p.m. and Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. with a number of planned activities and the ability for youth to connect with friends and staff.
Lastly, the Dungeons and Dragons program runs Friday afternoons from 3:30 to 6 p.m.
“We continue to be amazed by our families and youth as they adapt, along with us, to the ever-changing guidelines and restrictions we are currently faced with. Their graciousness to our staff is very much appreciated,” Reitz said.
“We are also thankful to the many businesses and members of the community who have supported us through the renovations we have had to do on several occasions. Please know that the Ponoka Youth Centre will continue to provide the programs and resources you need for your children and youth through this trying time.
“We will continue to strive to make our agency a safe and enjoyable place for your families to be.”