• Jules-Pierre Malartre

Something for every adolescent with Saint-Lazare’s TeenZone


PHOTO COURTESY UNSPLASH

The Town of Saint-Lazare is hosting its TeenZone program again this year. The program aimed at teens ages 12 to 17 is offered year-round and the summer schedule kicked off June 26. The summer program offers an impressive and varied range of activities, from the more traditional soccer and board games to the trendier passions like zombie-themed events and networked video gaming. Many of those activities take place at the municipal park but there are also several outings planned throughout the summer.

The program offers teens the chance to participate in local activities and make new friends. There is a bit of everything on the program, so it would be hard for any teenager not to find something to his or her liking. The classical pastimes are all there, from the swimming pool and ping-pong to table soccer and picnicking. The program also boasts several culinary events where teens can indulge in their favourites or be introduced to new culinary influences like sushi and vegan cooking. A spicy chicken wings contest and a pizza workshop are also on the agenda.

“We wanted to reach as many teens as possible,” said Gabrielle Chartrand, youth coordinator for the Town of Saint-Lazare. “We tried to have a wide range of activities and also wanted to reach out to the artists. We have music, art and sewing projects and activities for the more physically active teens.”

Several outings are planned throughout the summer, including a visit to the Ecomuseum in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, a tour of Chinatown in Montreal, and a climbing and hebertism (similar to parkour) activity at Parc nature les Forestiers-de-Saint-Lazare. More outdoors activities are also planned, including a hike up Mont Rigaud. Most of the activities are free, but there is a fee for the outings such as the downtown Montreal event. “We want as many teens as possible to be able to participate,” Gabrielle said.

For teens more interested in the current and everlasting zombie craze, there is a zombie costuming workshop and a zombie apocalypse event hosted by the Parc nature les Forestiers-de-Saint-Lazare. There is also a Harry Potter evening and a movie outing at the Dorion cinema.

TeenZone also gives teens a chance to indulge in some shopping with a tour of local thrift shops and a downtown Montreal shopping spree.

Video gaming is also part of the summer schedule. TeenZone offers several video gaming events including a videogame tournament and an opportunity for teens to enjoy networked gaming.

TeenZone HQ is located at the heart of the Saint-Lazare village in the municipal park. The program also offers help to teens going through a rough time. The program can help teens find solutions to problems when talking with their parents is not an option.

Gabrielle is a social worker, and she has received the training to help teens that reach out to her for help. “We are always there for the youths. Most of my staff have also received some form of training or their empathy was also a factor in their hiring,” Gabrielle explains. “The program is based on the youth centre model.”

The program is available to adolecents from any municipality. “It’s open to all teens 12 to 17 because teens like to come with their friends who may not live in the same town,” Gabrielle explains.

TeenZone is located at 1591 Avenue Bédard. The summer program is offered six days a week, Monday to Friday, from 1 to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m. You can call (450) 424-8000 (ext. 291) or send an email to adozone@ville.saint-lazare.qc.ca to find out more. You can also visit the Town of Saint-Lazare’s website at ville.saint-lazare.qc.ca/en/adozone or the TeenZone Facebook page for more details.

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