Youth Lock In brings kids together

More than 70 youth packed into the Western Michigan University recreation center in February. The bus wasn’t enough to transfer kids from Dowagiac to Kalamazoo, so staff had to use an additional van. Native youth from Pokagon as well as other Michigan tribes participated, but some also brought non-Native friends along, which was a new opportunity this year. Some youth said they wouldn’t have attended if they would not have been allowed to bring a friend, so Youth Services Coordinator Daniel Stohrer said they would offer that option again next year.

Guest speakers Chance Rush and Marcus Guinn came all the way from Oklahoma to talk with the youth about spirituality, being positive role models, making good choices, underage drinking, and the effects of substance abuse on yourself and those around you. Rock climbing, basketball, volleyball, dodge ball, and other sports were open throughout the night.