Community Connections: Totally Kids, Inc. continues to grow | SteamboatToday.com

Community Connections: Totally Kids, Inc. continues to grow

Chantal Tolman/For Steamboat Pilot & Today

The year was 1994, and I was 8 years old. I remember it well, because that's when new opportunities opened up for me as a youth in Hayden. This was the year that a new organization — Totally Kids, Inc. — was founded. This organization would forever change the experiences of children growing up in Hayden.

My mom was on the original board of directors, and I remember the night the board met for the organization's birth. The name had been a hot topic for weeks. After much deliberation, the board voted and decided on the name Totally Kids, Inc.

This name was fitting, because the mission statement was totally for kids.

"Totally Kids Inc., is committed to providing quality, affordable youth services; working in conjunction with other programs in the Hayden community to enhance the area's livability," the statement read.

Today, Totally Kids, Inc. offers football, T-ball, soccer, cheer, day camp, swimming lessons, summer food program, before- and after-school programs and enrichment classes.

My favorite program is the Totally Kids Summer Day Camp. This program provides opportunities and experiences to Hayden's youth, as well as seasonal jobs. On any given day, children in the program enjoy activities and experiences such as kayaking, fishing, swimming, hiking, painting, concerts, bowling, community service, new friendships, free breakfast and lunch and more. Each year, new experiences are added as the needs in the community change and the program evolves and collaborates with other organizations.

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Totally Kids, Inc. has enhanced the experiences for youth in Hayden for the past 23 years. Growing up in Hayden, I was able to participate in Totally Kids programs, including soccer, swim lessons and fast-pitch softball. Now, years later, my son is participating in the programs, and I am able to return to the summer day camp as an employee.

What seems like the norm for families today has been in the works for a long time. Totally Kids continues to evolve and works hard to provide quality, affordable youth services responding to needs of Hayden and the West Routt community as it grows and changes.

Chantal Tolman is a Hayden native who has worked seasonally for Totally Kids, Inc. since 2005.

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