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There's Nothing To Do?
by Suzan Thompson


January 03, 2005

I got impatient when I read Mr. Rettke's letter, as the implication seems to be that it's the fault of the community when young people get into trouble, because the community has somehow failed to provide them with adequate entertainment. While I'm sure that a casino, a dance hall, and a place to play with paintball guns would be greeted with enthusiasm by many members of the age bracket he names, it seems self-indulgent to say that there's absolutely nothing to do in Ketchikan without them.

Besides the two movie theaters, the bowling alley, the library with its free books, videos, and magazines, The Warehouse, the Rec Center, Youth Court, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the many youth groups and activities sponsored by area churches, the school dances chaperoned by volunteer parents and teachers, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the Killer Whales Swim Club, a children's theatre group, an adult theatre group, a ballet school, Little League, soccer, basketball, football, and any number of other activities supported by public and private organizations, there are also individual choices. Go up to the Pioneer Home and volunteer to read or talk with a resident. Help out at the animal shelter. Cut wood or do yard work for an elderly person who needs assistance. Take a walk, pick up litter, paint a picture, learn to play an instrument, keep a journal, learn to cook, play a board game, watch a video, read a book, call a friend, sit with somebody who's sad.

Most of us like to have fun, but the world doesn't owe any of us a good time, no matter what our age. How we use our spare time, the choices we make when deciding what to do with it, and the enjoyment and satisfaction we derive from those decisions are indicators of maturity. There are plenty of young people in Ketchikan making good choices whose problem is not how to fill their idle hours, it's figuring out how to select from among all the activities in which they can choose to be involved. And yes, I realize some of these activities may cost something, but believe me, it's peanuts compared to what a casino would shake loose from you.

"There's nothing to do," is a tired, old refrain. It's time to give it a rest.

Suzan Thompson
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Related Viewpoint:

Off-road vehicles by Tyrell Rettke - Ketchikan, AK - USA



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