Saturday October 26th Game Loft staff, board, mentors, parents, and families came together to honor the year-round volunteer efforts of Game Loft youth. Each year Game Loft kids are encouraged and supported in logging volunteer hours and joining in a friendly competition for the ultimate title of “Youth Volunteer of the Year.” This year the coveted award went to Alex Tripp now in her junior year at Belfast Area High School who logged an impressive 290.5 hours. In total 80 Game Loft youth contributed 1,826.5 hours of service to the community over the 2018-2019 school year and through the summer of 2019.
Kids can log hours they contribute through outside organizations, but many youth volunteer primarily to and through the Game Loft. Alex Tripp earned the vast majority of her volunteer hours serving as a mentor for both the Game Loft’s Monday program for younger kids ages 6-11 and the I Know ME program serving youth in the Mount View School system beginning in the 7th grade. Other ways to clock hours include volunteering in the Game Loft kitchen, prepping for opening, or cleaning up. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer with the Game Loft in the greater community, as well. Whether it’s stacking wood, shoveling snow, boxing food with Heroes 4 Hunger, or helping out at any number of community events, you’ll find Game Loft kids giving back to their neighbors and connecting with their community throughout the year.
This year the Game Loft’s Youth Volunteer Awards ceremony was preceded by a potluck soup and dessert dinner at First Baptist Church in Belfast. In addition to giving out awards the evening was celebrated with a skit on Positive Youth Development performed by Game Loft youth, a kazoo precession led by staff and families, and a raffle drawing for an Adirondack chair crafted by local artist Peter Walker. We’d like to extend our thanks to all of the families and supporters who came out to show their appreciation for Game Loft youth volunteers and made the night’s events a rousing success. If you are interested in learning more about Game Loft programs or becoming a youth or adult volunteer, please call (207) 338-6447 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The Game Loft has been serving Waldo County youth for over 21 years with free out-of-school programs promoting Positive Youth Development through non-electronic games and community involvement.
All photos courtesy of Tom Foster