Engaging teens with their community with the hopes of igniting passion and fire that drives their decision making as they enter in to the world of ‘adulting’ is but one goal of Garfield County PREP’s mission in working with teens as interns throughout the summer months. It’s usually not hard to find teens interested in sports. But finding an organization open to the idea of utilizing teens as part of their coaching and administration staff, is a real stroke of luck.
Lucky for PREP, we have struck this kind of partnership with Game On Camps! Having Cassandra Irving, the program’s founder, be a local graduate of the Glenwood Springs schools just sweetens the deal when aiming to connect trusted adults with the area’s teens. While Cassandra and her family now reside in Canada, they know what it’s like to grow up here. Plus, they demonstrate the value of returning and giving back to your home town community.
PREP and Game On started their partnership with the basketball camp as a way to give those sports-minded, athletically-able-bodied teens a chance to teach and mentor a younger generation the skills they’ve learned and to share their love of the game. Plus, it helps the coaches to have assistants that know the game and enjoy getting in there and playing with the younger camp participants.
This partnership has blossomed to include new opportunities for PREP interns to help at the baseball and hockey camps, too. So as Game On Camps have grown, so has our partnership. Game On Camps staff has gotten to know the PREP teens and comes to town asking for certain interns for specific tasks based on their past performance. Considering they travel here from Canada, it is reassuring for them to know what to expect from the help PREP sends their way.
Additionally, for those interns who aren’t interested or skilled in sports, Cassandra has offered administrative duties to help her run the business side of the camps. Interns are tasked with creating player bio’s, helping with registration, providing extra adult supervision for the younger members who may need to take more breaks, and performing research on grant opportunities to help fund the camp’s global initiative that includes camps for the Dalit girls of India and orphans in the Ukraine.
Game On Camps, along with skilled and reliable PREP interns, work to make the camp’s mission to ‘empower youth to play like champions and give local players the chance to make a global impact’ an achievable reality. It helps PREP to empower their youth and to give local teens the opportunity to get involved in something that has far-reaching benefits and maybe, just maybe, makes them see the advantages they have growing up in the Roaring Fork Valley. Turns out, there is something to do here afterall!