By Tracy McNew
Devenne Leiss is a working mom with a four- year-old son who couldn’t find what recreational activities are available for him in the area. Instead of complaining, she decided to do something about it.
Leiss asked around and was finally referred to the Lincoln County Best Beginnings Coalition. She went to a meeting, and the group agreed to help her take on a project to compile youth recreation activities into a guide.
She and a group of volunteers are now working on the “Youth Recreation Guide” for the Libby and Troy area, and so far it is 16 pages long.
The group’s goal is to create a parent’s go-to-guide of all of the recreation activities for youth available in the Libby and Troy area.
The group is currently meeting every two weeks and hopes to have a first draft of the guide available to the public by early this summer.
The guide will include activities by age group and gender, youth camps and vacation bible schools, youth groups and clubs. It will also include parks, trails and fun locations to visit, annual events, and parent resources.
Ideally, the guide will include information about what the activity is, who to contact, and it will have website or Facebook information and links.
For events such as camps, it will also include dates and locations.
Riley Black, a member of the group said there are a lot of opportunities available, but that they are spread out in so many different locations they can be hard to find. Leiss agreed and said, “Sometimes it can be hard to find anything here.” Leiss didn’t grow up in Libby but shared that she remembers books being handed out with all of the local youth recreation activities available when she was a kid. “It was so easy,” she said.
That kind of resource is what the group aims to create, but it remains unclear whether the guide will be digital, printed on paper, or both.
Anyone with a youth recreation activity or event should give us a call so that we can include it in the guide, said Black. She can be contacted at (406) 283-2447.
Best Beginnings, according to their website, is “a collaboration of organizations to support and create high quality early childhood programs that strive to meet the social, emotional, mental, and physical health needs of children 0-8 years old”
Even through the group focuses on younger children, the youth recreation guide will cover activities available for everyone under the age of 18.
Best Beginnings is also planning an outdoor Family Movie Night which will be held at Asa Wood on July 13.
Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the youth recreation guide or the Family Movie Night is encouraged to contact Black or Best Beginnings Coordinator, Amy Fantozzi. .
For more information about Best Beginnings visit their website at lincolncountymt.us/public-health/best-beginnings/best-beginnings-home.