“Kids are full of ideas,” Brenda Larkey, 28-year Camanche Days Board veteran said.
The ideas are plentiful with the new teen board this year.
The group of kids ages 13 to 16 discussed several events and ideas for the annual Camanche celebration at a meeting on Wednesday night.
From Wiffle ball tournaments to talent show fundraisers, they keep busy generating ideas for events for not just teens, but various age groups including both children and seniors.
Larkey’s grandson and the board’s chairman Brandon Brown does his best to conduct himself as a professional voice of order for the group of 14 teens. It’s not commonplace to come across a group of teens making motions like at a regular board meeting, but the Camanche Days teen board is where this unique occurrence can be found.
After the group met as a whole, it broke up into groups to discuss and plan specific events. The boys worked on rules for the Wiffle ball tournament, while the girls discussed running a sand volleyball tournament. Both groups were required to work on a flyer and press release for their events.
For several of the teens, this is not their first time helping out with Camanche Days, which takes place in August. For some, it has been due to a strong bond with older relatives who have been involved in the planning.
“I’ve been helping out with Camanche Days with my grandma for six years,” Brandon said.
Brandon’s 13 year-old sister, Mariah, is also a member of the board and has been learning about the planning of the large community event.
Chadd Weller, another board member, says he also has been helping out with Camanche Days for several years with his grandmother, a former member of the Camanche Days Board.
Larkey, who came up with the idea to start the board, says she is more than pleased with the turnout.
“I didn’t expect this,” Larkey said. “They have so many ideas and it’s so important for them to learn how to plan something like this,”
This year’s Camanche Days president, Ron Johnson, also attended the meeting to see what the teens had come up with. Johnson says it’s very valuable to have a group like this.
“Every teenager goes to Camanche Days,” Johnson said. “We need to keep the young people involved, because they will take over someday.”
With the regular board only having seven members currently, the teen board is especially crucial. Johnson said planning has gone smoothly and they will add some new events, besides the teen events. This year they will have their first auction as part of the community event.
Teens have also been working to raise money for their new events. Two fundraisers are planned for the summer, with one being a talent show mimicking “America’s Got Talent.”
“It’s a great group of kids and the ideas just keep flowing,” Larkey said.