Shortly after 3 p.m. every weekday afternoon the Summerland Asset Development Initiative’s Youth Club, comes alive with the sound of enthusiastic young voices.
Membership to the club is free and is open to students in the middle and high schools. The club currently has 65 members who are able to hang out in their clubhouse, which the municipality has generously donated for their use.
SADI is a nonprofit organization, that uses the 40 developmental assets, provided by the Search Institute, as their base.
These 40 positive qualities influence young people’s development, helping them to become caring, responsible and productive adults.
Eric Scramstad is the youth activities coordinator for SADI. He said once a month they hold an open forum that allows the members to bring forward their ideas and to vote on things.
They discuss events and activities planned each month as well as volunteer opportunities available.
One of the 40 assets is service to others, so the members are asked to volunteer in the community. One of the grants received that helps to fund SADI is the New Horizon grant, which involves working with seniors.
Combine these two together and the end result is,
“Kids go out and bake and cook for the Legions special nights, like the Ukrainian dinners. They go and help roll cabbage rolls with the Legion Ladies,” Scramstad said.
Staff members spend much of their time planning activities and events for the youth. They take them go karting, swimming, skiing and to movie nights. They transport the kids in an 11-passenger van, but would like to have a bigger bus.
“I am having to turn kids away because we don’t have room. When we go laser tagging a lot more kids would like to come, but we can’t take them,” said Scramstad.
He would also like to see enough funds to be able to have a third staff member, so they could do more fundraising, like bottle drives and car washes and to have raffles at all the local festivals.
“I want to try and promote the organization more. I think that is what’s missing. People need to hear more testimonies and to hear more of what we are doing. We want to network more in the community of Summerland,” he said, while going on to say,
“It’s easy to ask for more money, but if we are the opposite and say, what can we do for you? We want to serve you. We want to come and help. Then in return the community might be able to help us with something.” He also said he would like to see SADI become a household name at some point.
Speaking about his role with the youth, Scramstad said the following,
“I’m sure what we’re doing here is impacting their lives. I realize that they are really watching us. If I’m not living true to who I am and to what I believe in or what I am standing for in this organization, they’re going to see it, whether I am real or not,” he said.
“With teenagers it is important to build a relationship with them and to let them know you’re there for them to support them, but you’re also there to correct them. We try to mentor them, but in a way that is subtle.”
Scramstad added that the organization has a zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol and that the members must abide by their expectations.
To see videos and learn more about SADI or to join and to donate, go to sadiyouth.ca.
If you know a positive story about someone in our community, contact Carla McLeod at email@example.com or contact the Summerland Review newsroom at 250-494-5406.