Critchfield youth group seeking more participants
The Critchfield Alliance youth group has been around as long as Kathy Shipley can remember.
Shipley, a member of the Presbyterian-based Critchfield Alliance Church since age 4 and a former member of the youth group, grew up in the church and provided important life lessons for her.
As of March, the Normalville resident has been put in charge of running the youth group.
Her family has had a profound impact on the youth group's development, she said.
When her mother, Myrtle Hull, and her brother, Ronald and his wife, Veronica Hull, oversaw the group, attendance soared and the group thrived.
However, this past year, attendance has declined.
As a result of the decline, the new youth group director is actively looking for new members.
She is looking for ways to get teens back into the group.
“We need their (kids) input to see what they are interested in,” she said.
So far, she has been looking for teens between grades seven and 12.
Typically, meetings are held Wednesday at 7 p.m., however, the times and dates can be changed to cater to the members' schedules.
“We are trying to find ways for kids to come, but we need to figure out how to connect and interest them,” she said.
According to the church's website, critfieldcma.weebly.com/youth, “The group encourages having fun together and getting to know one another through games, fellowship and answering life's questions in light of God's word.”
The group, funded by the Critchfield Alliance Church in Mill Run, teaches Bible lessons, faith, love, how to treat people and what God thinks of you.
The meetings use classroom-style teaching methods and act as an open forum for any questions the kids may have.
There are fun activities for the kids including bowling trips, rolling skating and a wildlife banquet every year, in which the game commissioner visits the group and discusses the local wildlife.
Shipley's brother also teaches a hunter safety course.
And as for Shipley's motivation in teaching these lessons, she feels that the group has impacted her life so much, and intends to offer the same knowledge to children.
She explained that for any older kids, between ages 18-24, she would be willing to start a young adult group.
“Only if they show interest,” she said.
For more information, visit the website or attend a meeting.
Meetings are held every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the Critchfield Alliance Church located at 471 Jim Mountain Road in Mill Run.
Andrew Hesner is a freelance writer.