By Bromley Chamberlain
Youth Unlimited had the bass thumping at Rimbey Jr/Sr High School on Oct. 22 for their Gym Blast youth event. The music pumping through the speakers, energizing the kids inside, helping them learn valuable skills they may need in life.
Youth Unlimited is a Christian-based program that is all about fun, and learning in a fun environment. Greg Lamy is the Rimbey area director for Youth Unlimited and was the emcee.
During Gym Blast extreme tug of war, with four ropes, in four different directions was a popular event.
“We have sacks that can be used as beanbags, three-man slingshots and large tire tubes that we can inflated,” Lamy said.
The more kids attend an event, the longer games last, and the more involved they are. With more energy flowing in the room, kids can learn and grow in an active environment. “It runs for about two hours. I can make it shorter or longer.”
At the end of Youth Unlimited events there is always a motivational talk.
Lamy believes there is a lot for youths to do in Rimbey, and that parents just need to look for them.
“I think that if people keep thinking that there is nothing for their kids to do, then that’s all they are going to think. That’s all they are going to see,” Lamy said.
When kids get older, and get their drivers license, youth programs need to adapt and find out what it is the teenagers want to do.
“I think for us, it’s about developing programs that stay relevant to what students want to be doing,” Lamy said.
Stephanie Clark was raised in Rimbey and understands the work Lamy is doing.
“He is here for the youth of the town and it’s the town’s role to support him,” Clark said. “Also I think it’s important for people to understand that Greg is funded by the community. He relies on donation and community support. I don’t know if people realize that.”
Lamy is not sure he has done a good job at promoting the program in the past, but is looking to make parents aware of it in the future.
When kids get older, they are not always interested in what they were doing before.
One of the skills Youth Unlimited is trying to teach is leadership, and during Gym Blast Lamy was strong example. Standing in the centre of the gym, he was someone the kids listened to and respected.
“The idea is for the students to see a leadership role where they wouldn’t normally get it at school, or wouldn’t take the opportunity,” said Lamy. “It’s about building teamwork and helping them develop the leadership skill with loud crazy music and candy.”
A Christen-based program can sometimes run into problems with the school system, but Youth Unlimited is greeted with open arms.
“We haven’t had any issues or problems at any of the schools that we work with. It’s always an open door for us,” Lamy said. “That alone, speaks great volumes for us as a program.”
Youth Unlimited isn’t just a Rimbey program. It was first developed in Saskatchewan and Lamy wanted to see it in Rimbey. He travelled to Calgary and Edmonton to observe their program and drew ideas from that.
Lamy is also involved in mission trips that takes him to different places.
“What we do down in Vancouver is we involve the students. Most students from downtown Rimbey don’t see that kind of atmosphere, they hears about it, or read about it, but they don’t see it. So it’s a bit of a culture shock for them,” Lamy said.
As well as going to Vancouver, the program takes kids to Edmonton to let them experience a bigger city atmosphere.
“We also take students to the West Edmonton Mall, go to the waterpark, the theme parks. I do my best to join with other churches in town to run events with them,” Lamy said.
Lamy isn’t just involved with Youth Unlimited. He is involved with other youth programs in town, and is very active with the churches in Rimbey.
“I’m part of the Youth Activity program.” Lamy said. Being involved in the community is important and raising the youth to be leaders is part of the process.