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Castor FCSS hosts youth program

Mandy Fuller
Kids work to de-bark their chosen walking sticks. (Mandy Fuller photo)

Mandy Fuller

Castor and District FCSS

Castor & District Family Community Support Services (FCSS) received a Strengthening Opportunities for Adolescent Resilience, Inclusion and Growth (SOARING) Pilot Project Grant. It is a youth-directed project funded by AHS Provincial Injury Prevention Safe, Healthy Environments. There had been lots of pizza and group meetings earlier in the year but it was difficult to develop a project that was affordable and with future involvement. They wanted something different and engaging.

The local wood carving group was approached and asked if they would take the lead with a youth walking stick project. Randy Kary & Brian Bunbury, from the wood carving group, offered their services and the afternoon was planned for those 15 and under with an opportunity for the older youth to attend during the evening. There were just a couple for the evening so we all came together in the afternoon at the Castor & District FCSS building.

The youth got to choose their stick from a pile of willows collected by Randy and Brian, which was then trimmed to size for the carver.

They spent the afternoon taking off the bark with their knives, smoothing the stick and personalizing it. The carving knives are provided by the SOAR grant and were purchased at Castor’s Echo Outdoors.

There was lots of chatter and the youth had lots of guidance on how to safely use a knife. Brian and Randy ground off the hard knots and the kids helped each other when someone was stuck or tired. They were proud of their accomplishments for the afternoon.

There are more activities coming up so watch for the chance to join in.