Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Maisons des jeunes activity nights see strong return post-pandemic

by Camilla Faragalli
Campbell’s Bay
Jan. 17, 2024
Cartwheels and back-handsprings abounded Wednesday evening at the multi-sport and nutrition night hosted by Les maisons des jeunes du Pontiac at the St. John’s Elementary School in Campbell’s Bay.
The session launched the winter season of the weekly program which had, until this fall, been on hiatus since 2020 due to pandemic-related restrictions.
Les maisons des jeunes is a not-for-profit that offers activity programming and other supports for youth across the Pontiac.
This winter season’s multi-sport night provides kids ages 7-17 with after-school sports activities that change each week.
“We kind of decide as we go, depending on who shows up,” said Allyssa Boughner, an animator for Les maisons des jeunes who was running the session.
Boughner said that while a majority of each two-hour session is sports-oriented, the final half hour is spent doing “some kind of snack or nutrition activity,” like assembling fruit cups with yogurt.
“They’re learning how they can also make a healthy snack at home as well with whatever they have in their fridge,” Boughner said.
“Most of our activities are [based] around needs, whether it be food security, or an experience for youth to learn about themselves,” said Desiree Tremblay, a program coordinator for the organization.
The program has a registration fee of five dollars. It is what Boughner described to be “a little bit on the cheaper side, so that people can afford to do activities no matter who they are.”
Boughner, who has been with the organization for over three years, said she loves the kids she gets to work with through the program.
“There’s all kinds of kids from different backgrounds and it’s cool to get to see them grow up,” she said, explaining that she’s worked with some of them for more than three consecutive years.
“I’m watching them grow into little teenagers.”
Boughner described the fall season of the multi-sport and nutrition program, the first official return of the program since the pandemic, as having been very successful with over 22 participants.
“I would say it’s a very good number of participation that we have,” Tremblay said.
“It’s a very accepting place,” said Keira Lewis, 11, who’s been participating in the program for three years.
Kenna Bertrand, 7, one of the multi-sport participants, said her favourite part of the night is getting to play with her friends, while Avery Tubman, 9, said for her, it’s the snacks.
The winter program will run for the next five weeks, and is still open for registration. A series of nutrition and mental health workshops run by Les maisons des jeunes is coming up in February.


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