The Parks & Recreation Department offers year-round activities and classes for youth and teens. The classes, workshops, and special events provide opportunities to forge new friendships, experience the great outdoors, and develop life skills. Every summer, children entering 1st through 8th grades participate in the popular Squirrels and Coyotes camp programs. The day camps are based out of Crown Valley Park, where campers enjoy outdoor activities, exploring the 18 acre botanical preserve, cooling off in the spray-ground and playing organized group games, under the supervision of caring Parks and Recreation staff and volunteers. The pool is taken over on various Friday nights for “Rule the Pool” when children, ages 9 through 13, jump, swim, dive and play while a DJ plays music. Youth float on rafts and pool floats, and enjoy relaxing in the spa, with old and new friends.
Fall activities include the annual Haunted Trails special event, which provides opportunities for youth 13 years and older to volunteer as monsters, terrifying the attendees, while earning community service hours for their participation. The Jr. Civic Workshops provide middle school students with an opportunity to learn about their city government, with guest speakers from: the City Manager’s Department, the Mayor, the Registrar of Voters, and a local judge, who presides over the juvenile court system. Community Service hours are awarded in this monthly workshop that meets during the school year in the Community Room at City Hall.
In the winter, the Laguna Niguel Youth Committee sponsors a free dance workshop. Instructors have taught basic instruction in: swing dance, salsa and hip hop. During the spring, youth and teens volunteer for the City’s Earth Day Celebration, helping to plant and clean up the Niguel Botanical Preserve. Middle and High School bands are selected by the Youth Committee to perform in the newly renovated amphitheater at the annual Music & Arts Festival. Colleges and Employers represent their organizations by providing answers to questions, as High School students meet representatives and apply for seasonal employment, at the annual High School Job & College Fair.
The Youth Committee has recently secured study space for high school students at the Sea Country Center. Access to the computer room and space for group projects will provide a quiet environment for group work. A new series of “life skills” classes offer: a food prep class called Chopped, Jr.; strategies to reduce and prevent victimization promote self-confidence in the Self Defense class; and practicing communication skills during the Interviewing Skills class.
Action-oriented youth and teens are welcome to shred on their skateboards or ride their BMX bikes at the supervised concrete skate park. Day and night sessions and special events are offered such as: Late Night Skate Nights, seasonal day camps, private and semi-private lessons and a birthday party service, which allows youth to share their action sport with their friends. For more information about Youth and Teen programs, check out LNTEENS.org, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, @lnteens or contact: Gretchen Malcolm : (949) 425-5100.