by Aaron “Trey” Thompson III, AmeriCorps VISTA, The Launch Pad Teen Center
If you ask teens in Prescott what they do for fun, a common answer will contain the keywords “Walmart” and “parking lot.” The Launch Pad Teen Center is trying its best to add new vocabulary to those responses.
The center likes to use experience as a way for teens to make memories and help them build better in-person relationships. So for the holiday season, with the challenges of buying gifts online and high demand for popular teen items already low in stock, The Launch Pad staff has selected their favorite teen-centered activities that parents and caregivers can gift this holiday season.
James Malek, The Launch Pad’s program director, recommends going in on season tickets for our new Indoor Football Team, the Northern Arizona Wranglers! “We had a great time taking teens to a game at the end of their inaugural season this year, and there’s just something more personal and fun about local sports!”
He adds: “One of my favorite gifts I’ve ever received was a family cookbook! You collect favorite recipes from your family members, compile them into a short book and leave plenty of blank pages at the end for your teen to fill in as they get older and find their own recipes! Take the time to practice the recipes with your teens as well. Bake bread to break bread!”
Courtney Osterfelt, executive director, suggests using Harkins’ “rent a theatre” opportunity to have a private big screen video game party for up to 20 of your teen friends. You can also rent the theatre to have a private movie party with a movie of your teen’s choosing.
Suzanne King, director of operations, suggests taking your teen on a tour of the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix. If you really want to provide a unique experience you can sign up your teen and four of their friend for a “Chanoyu Experience the Way of Tea” private Japanese tea ceremony. Teens must be 12 and older to participate.
Make the most out of the challenges traditional shopping is bringing to everyone this holiday season and remind your teens what this special time of year is all about, the spreading of forgiveness, peace and love.