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Not enough recreation for 18+ age group
by Tyrell Rettke


January 05, 2005

To respond to Mrs.Thompson, I have to point out a few things.

The two movie theaters: This provides limited entertainment, as most people can only enjoy a movie once, if they have a movie in that interests them at all. I personally didn't think of it because I just plain dislike theaters.

The bowling alley: This is geared towards the older crowd, as is evident when you take into account that a bar is about 20 feet away, and smoke is usually hanging in the air. While it can be enjoyable, these points make it less suited for the youths that we are discussing.

The library: While it does offer free access to books, (and a limited amount of movies and magazines), there are not many kids/youths that can sit down and enjoy reading a book anymore. I do occasionally, and I know that there are others that do, but on the whole, not many do. I'm not saying that's good or right, but just the sad truth.

The Warehouse: This is the best thing that is offered in Ketchikan at the moment. I was very pleased when it came into being. The only problem is that it caters to a younger crowd than we are talking about. The last time I was there, (I'm not sure if this rule has changed) I was turned away because I was too old. 18, I was told was the cut off.

The rec center: I already discussed this in my original letter, so, moving on:

The Youth Court: Not really an activity group, but a noteworthy item. This is a great idea, giving the youth a chance to be "tried" by a court of their peers, though I think that maybe sometimes they give too lax of punishments, but that's another topic. The point is, that the Youth Court is not something that you can do so much as a group that you end up going to see.

Big Sisters/Brothers: This is a great set of programs, but it is geared towards an even younger set than the Warehouse. Being active in it would be a great thing for these youths that we are speaking of, but I think it takes a person highly dedicated to kids to take on the Big program, and I don't think most people have it. Those who do participate in this program do it with high esteem.

The Churches: While great in the same sense as the Big Sisters/Brothers program, they again cater to a younger crowd than we are discussing.

The Boy and Girl Scouts: Another great group, but as you may know, after 18, there is nothing further to accomplish in the scouts, unless you become a troop leader/helper. This group again is for the younger part of the age group.

The rest of the groups and activities require the same kind of moral and social aptitudes that the Big Sisters/Brothers programs do, and again, I just don't think the kids that we are talking about have them, or they would already be doing those activities.

I think you missed the point of my original letter. I realize there is plenty to do if you look, and put your mind to it. My point was that whenever someone tries to do something new, something that a great deal of younger people would enjoy, no one is willing to help, and in some cases, for what ever reason, those that can do something, have grudges against someone or the activity and do nothing. It is the purpose of the Parks and Rec division to "provide opportunities that enable people of all ages and abilities to attain the full use of their mental, emotional and physical capacities through positive use of leisure time." -(KGB P/R homepage, I'm not saying that we are owed anything, on the contrary, I said that I specifically tried to accomplish my goal on my own. It was when I had exhausted all my own resources that I went to the borough asking for help! Not demanding, asking. All we asked is that they cover us in their insurance. We offered to organize everything else for them, so they wouldn't have to expend staff, and only limited resources.

The problem is that there are not enough people in borough that are willing to help with the problems in effective ways. (This is far reaching across all departments I believe, but that is another topic again).

There is not enough recreation for this age group (that they are interested in). Trying to oversimplify by saying there is plenty and listing these of organizations that don't really fit into the scope of the kids we are discussing, creates only more hostilities.

Tyrell Rettke
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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