The Teens Take Over!

Local organizations host Halloween-themed teen event at rec center

Corinne Westeman
cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 10/19/21

A poolside screening of “Hocus Pocus” wouldn’t be complete unless the skeletons had their own innertubes. On Friday night, teenagers took over the rec center in Idaho Springs for …

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The Teens Take Over!

Local organizations host Halloween-themed teen event at rec center

Posted

A poolside screening of “Hocus Pocus” wouldn’t be complete unless the skeletons had their own innertubes.

On Friday night, teenagers took over the rec center in Idaho Springs for Halloween-themed fun. Along with the movie at the pool, the teens held a costume contest, made intention sticks, danced at the silent disco, and ate lots and lots of candy.

The Clear Creek Metropolitan Recreation District, Mountain Youth Network, Resilience1220, and YoungLife organized the event and invited teens in their respective networks to the Rec Center Takeover.

At least 50 attended, including some from surrounding counties.

Lakewood’s Aero Wood said she heard about the event through Resilience1220 and brought her friend, Wheat Ridge’s Ryli Litz, as well. Wood said she enjoys Halloween-type events and decided to dress as Darth Vader for the occasion.

Wood and Litz were among those who made intention sticks with Resilience1220 art therapist Meagan Andersen. The activity involves writing an intention on a stick and then covering it in yarn and other decorations.

Andersen said it’s a very calming activity because, like knitting, it’s repetitive and gives people something to do with their hands. It also increases mindfulness and creates a visual reminder of one’s intention, she added.

Wood and Litz said they’d never made intention sticks before, and enjoyed using different colored yarn and decorations in their work.

Over at the silent disco, Floyd Hill’s Evan Brandt was serving as a DJ. Brandt had music plugged into a mechanism that was silently broadcasting it to wireless headphones. This way, teens could dance along to music that people simply walking by the room couldn’t hear.

Brandt said he hadn’t planned on attending, but one of his friends is very involved with Mountain Youth Network and encouraged him to come and help.

If the organizations host another takeover event, Brandt said he would help again.

And more events are likely on the way, MYN youth programs coordinator Hannah Jensen commented, as Friday night’s turnout met expectations.

The organizations hope to have similar events in November and December, and possibly more next year “if it’s a hit,” she said.

“Clear Creek is becoming a more collaborative community,” she said, adding that organizations like hers aren’t working in silos anymore. “ … This is an example of that.”

Ultimately, Jensen continued, the cohosting organizations wanted the teens to feel like the rec center was their space for the night — a place to talk about anything they wanted, make new friends and/or hang with current ones.

Paul Ferrante, who lives in Gilpin County, heard about the event at school and said he’d come back for another Rec Center Takeover. Next time, though, he’d bring more friends.

Ferrante enjoyed swimming and watching “Hocus Pocus” in the pool, and encouraged his fellow teens to give subsequent events a try.

“They shouldn’t be scared if it’s their first time coming; it’s very relaxed,” he said of the atmosphere at Friday’s event. “ … It’s a good way to socialize and let (teens) get to know each other.”

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