The A.R. Gould lacrosse season has been under way with games against Bonny Eagle, Hyde, and Waynflete. The BEARS are currently 3 and 2 but have had many cancellations due to wet weather and unplayable field conditions. They will finish their season at the end of May with games against Cheverus, Scarborough, and Traip.
Our Ultimate team keeps growing with interest. We have over 16 youth participating in the program. This past winter, eligible youth went to the University of Southern Maine each week to play Ultimate games in the community. Long Creek has two great volunteer coaches/coordinators working with the adult ultimate community to bring in volunteers to play Ultimate games with our youth as well. Caitlin O’Connell and Cole Aaskov teach the basic skills of the game and have also connected us with the Maine High School Ultimate League again. A.R. Gould was one of the original 10 teams participating in this league at the Cumberland Fair Grounds. Now there is over 30 teams in the league. Due to changes, we had to drop out of the leagues but now high school teams come to Long Creek and play our team. We have plans to play Waynflete, Fryeburg, Forest City, and Cheverus this season.
We currently have 7 youth taking music lessons with an instructor from the Maine Academy of Modern Music. Each student plays an instrument of their choice. We currently have youth playing piano, guitar, bass, saxophone and trumpet. The youth also get to practice throughout the week with recreation staff.
UP & RUNNING
The Up & Running Group will be starting in June (Days & times TBA). Youth will set personal fitness goals by walking, jogging or running the track at least 3x a week. Recreation staff will keep track of laps and time as each participant strives to complete at least a 5K each day of the group. Volunteers and mentors are also encouraged to come out and participate. This group is great for mental and physical health. Many youth love the challenge of achieving personal records, being involved in an activity where they do not have to rely on anyone else, or just being able to think, have space and get away from the day to day routine.
NOON BALL & FULL COURT NIGHTS
We are always looking for volunteers of all ages to play in our Noon Ball program. This program has been going for over 30 years with staff and adults from local businesses. We added youth to the program 20 years ago because it is the perfect opportunity for them to connect with positive adult role models who have a common interest of basketball. These are two of the main things that help any youth succeed. We play half court games in this league. This program takes place 11:30AM-12:30PM during the weekdays. Our youth look forward to participating with volunteers in our Full Court Tuesday nights (6:30PM) as well. The volunteers tend to be younger and the games are full court and a faster pace. Youth participating in these programs feel a sense of belonging to a community and look forward to each day with all volunteers.
Sea Change Yoga continues to offer yoga classes to the Cedar and Pine units, each Thursday. Classes continue to go well with 3 to 8 youth participating each class. The girls unit is also offered yoga with a volunteer on Sunday’s. Stephanie Netto, Chief of Volunteer Services and Kim Deering, Recreation Director, have recently been meeting with other volunteers to possibly expand opportunities and offer meditation and relaxation classes as well as yoga in the coming months.
Youth create songs and then set up a recording studio to create music for their songs on a computer. They record and edit each piece. Some youth continue to produce and edit a music video as well. Other students have the ability to use the video and photography equipment to make other types of videos and slideshows.
PAWSITIVE CHANGES PUPPY PROGRAM
This is a canine-centered program, in coordination with the Animal Welfare Society, designed for incarcerated youth and rescue puppies to help one another create a brighter future. Youth prepare rescue puppies for adoption through a structured training program that entails opportunity for education, employment, and community partnership. This program creates unique learning opportunities, preparing youth for the workforce while teaching valuable lessons and life skills such as patience, responsibility, empathy and companionship. Pawsitive Changes aims to improve youth’s view of themselves and others, increase pro-social interactions and decrease aggressive incidents and harmful behavior throughout the facility. The program started in October and we have had 8 puppies graduate the program and become adopted quickly. Nine youth have been involved in the program, to date. They indeed have a calming effect on youth and staff alike.
Our Crochet group started this winter and continues to take place 3x a week. Six youth are actively involved with this group. They are learning different styles of crochet, making blankets, washcloths and hats. This group is an opportunity to learn a positive hobby that is relaxing. Youth gather to crochet, listen to music and talk with peers and adults.