DROP-IN FUN - Brady Savage and Noah Monchamp play a game of foosball during a drop-in session at the YU-Turn Centre.

DROP-IN FUN - Brady Savage and Noah Monchamp play a game of foosball during a drop-in session at the YU-Turn Centre.

Wolf Creek Youth Unlimited offers support to all youth

Organization services about 75 youth a week via community programs

It’s a hard time to be a youth.

That is the belief of Jake Schellenberg, executive director of Wolf Creek Youth Unlimited (WCYU), who said that the mission of the organization is to “See the hope and potential in every young person.”

That makes what the organization wants to do for young people pretty simple.

“Our desire is just to give them a chance.”

As the name might suggest, Youth Unlimited is not limited to any kind of youth. Schellenberg said WCYU works with a variety of youngsters coaching elite athletes, mentoring young leaders and working with what would be considered ‘at risk’ youth.

Youth Unlimited has its roots in the religious community.

Schellenberg said the club was formed out of interest from some of the local churches and still has much support from those groups, as well as the corporate world.

Schellenberg added that, while the roots of WCYU are religious, the organization still wishes to remain relevant to all youth, regardless of beliefs. As such there is no affiliation between WCYU and any particular faith.

“That’s deliberate, we want to stay very neutral and relevant,” said Schellenberg.

For youth who are faith-minded, WCYU does provide opportunities to work with them as well.

Schellenberg said that WCYU often works with the local church youth groups and has a group at the high school that talks about faith and faith-issues. WCYU even has a breakfast program where about 30 students come to have breakfast and pray in the school.

Wolf Creek Youth Unlimited has now existed in the area for about two decades, said Schellenberg.

About four years ago, he and the rest of the group decided to make themselves more accessible and available to the community. As a result, the YU-Turn Centre, located on 50 St. in Lacombe, was born.

Today, the YU-Turn Centre is used for a variety of purposes.

It hosts drop-in nights for local youth, WCYU is able to run programs like Stepping Stones out of the centre, and the centre is even used by other organizations that partner with WCYU from time to time.

Schellenberg said the constant challenge for the group is staying relevant with youth. He added that culture is constantly changing, and rapidly so, as such WCYU is always looking for ways to stay current with today’s young people.

One way to accomplish this goal is by working in schools to stay in close contact with students and young people.

Schellenberg said that WCYU has done all kinds of things within the schools of Lacombe and area from running video game clubs for students who have trouble connecting with others to missions trips.

Mission trips are something WCYU does every spring break and are quite successful, said Schellenberg.

Usually about 50 students participate in each trip. They have been to Africa with A Better World, to Belize, to Mexico and even to the inter-city of Vancouver for mission trips.

“(The trips are) just to expose them to the real world and to poverty and to challenge them to do something about it,” said Schellenberg.

As for other events put on by WCYU throughout the year, it varies constantly, said Schellenberg.

There are some regular events outside of the organization’s programming, like monthly joint youth group concerts and drop-in sessions, but also one-time events like the street festival that was held in conjunction with Lacombe Days recently.

Over the last 20 years, WCYU has also made a strong effort to forge partnerships with every other youth agency possible.

As such, WCYU now has a network where they can share resources between other groups in the community, thereby serving youth even more efficiently.

“We try to collaborate with just about everyone out there,” said Schellenberg. “We find that we are probably the largest youth-serving agency in the community. Often times we have a lot more resources than other people have so we want to share them.”

Schellenberg added that WCYU believes that having one large network sharing resources and looking out for the needs of youth is better than a number of smaller ones.

“We really feel like a collective youth voice is much more healthy than many voices,” said Schellenberg.

Through its programming, WCYU services about 75 youth a week, he said. However, he added that it is difficult to keep track of how many youth take advantage of all the services, including drop-ins and other events, put on by the organization.


Just Posted

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

Most Read