Theo Hepher takes a turn drawing pictures for the team. Soranne Floarea/The Free Press

FYAN springs into summer programming

The youth group launched their first summer event, Pictionary in the Parl

Connecting local teens after months apart, the Fernie Youth Action Network (FYAN) is hosting a number of free and exciting summer programs.

Encouraging youth to safely socialize over welcoming, accessible, and low pressure events, FYAN kicked things off with a round of Pictionary in the Park on July 17. Situated in the Fernie Heritage Library’s lush green garden, the teens took part in friendly competition while sipping on old school cream sodas and munching on popcorn from Fernie’s Polar Peak Popcorn. Keeping the excitement going, FYAN hosted Viva Italia on July 22 at Rotary Park, an exciting event filled with bocce in the park and Italian sodas.

“We were in a teen mental health crisis before and COVID has made it so much worse,” said FYAN program coordinator Alana Minifie-Rybar. “Teens are self sufficient, can sit at home all day and be safe, but not be well. That’s why it is so important to get that 13 to 18 year old group out. The kids have been inside and away from each other with nothing organized, so we felt like it was time to get back together safely.”

In the coming weeks, FYAN is also launching their teen knitting club, Dropped Stitches. Teaching kids aged 12 and up to knit, the free group meets every week in Rotary Park from July 23 until August 20. On July 29, the programs continue with a lively game of archery tag. Organized for teens aged 12 to 15, the event will take place in the Annex Park from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.

As the summer ensues, FYAN is hosting an Ultimate Disney and Marvel Trivia Tournament. The free event is scheduled for 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on August 21 at the Fernie Heritage Library. Celebrating the theatrical release of Disney’s newest live action movie, Mulan, Disney themed snacks and lemonade will be provided as teams show off their movie knowledge. The winning team will receive a movie package to watch the release of Mulan at the Vogue Theatre, including treats and a team dinner at The Chopstick Truck. All participants will also receive a surprise gift. Youth are welcome to enter as teams and teens entering as singles will be assigned to a team.

Abiding by all regulations set out by provincial health officers, FYAN’s programs will take place outdoors this year. Other COVID-19 related restrictions include a maximum of eight participants per event, and required online registration prior to attendance. Though participation is on a first come first serve basis, organizers are striving to allow all teens to participate in at least one event. Registration for each event is free and is accessible via the FYAN website.

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The teens munched on Polar Peak Popcorn while partaking in the activities. Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press

Abigail St. Jean smiles as her team guesses correctly. Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press

Natalie Joynes, Theo Hepher, Kai Dedey, and Sophia Becker sit on a blanket enjoying FYAN’s summer youth programming. Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press

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