Steamboat Springs After growing up in Steamboat, I know personally the struggle teens face to find something fun to do on a Friday or Saturday night. Like it or not, the mountain is closed at four o'clock and starting then, most of the teens here have nothing better to do with their time than participate in activities most adults seem to find so irresponsible and wrong.
I would like to remind the voting adults of our community that it is in your power to create safe environments for us. As you go to vote, please know that should the rec center fail to pass, you may think a stand-alone teen center is an option. Our town has tried this, like The Dock, and failed. No teen will want to go to a center designated for youth because, in teen minds, that is not cool. We want to be treated like adults, like the maturing citizens that we are, and be able to go to a teen center that is part of a community recreation center. This would have something for everyone, and all families would be welcomed and included along with the teens. That small difference will be the weight that will tip the balance on the scale of success or failure in the plan.
Another issue that I personally am facing is the fact that in order for me to pursue the one sport I love, I would have to drive to Craig all winter in order to swim for their high school. It is somewhat humiliating to have to swim for our school's rival simply because our town is lacking the facility needed to have our own diving and swim team. With Steamboat High School students driving over to dive for the Moffat County High School as well as swim on their team, the argument that there is not a need for an indoor pool and diving well is immediately diminished. I understand that when we get a rec center I will have graduated, but I would like to hope that my 9-year-old sister could have the option I always have wished I had.
Please think about the future. Think about the future you see in your life and the one you would like to see in ours. The current available facilities will no longer fulfill the needs of families and youth in our town, let alone the rest of the adult community. This is very clear. A community recreation center is the solution to this growing need and I hope that you can see that and act as responsible, educated adults and give us what we as teens, as families and as a community deserve. Vote yes on 2B and 2C, for those of us who cannot vote but are eager to be heard.
Michelle Lichtenfels, age 16
Steamboat Springs High School junior