Participants in the Oneida Indian Nation’s Youth Ambassadors Program (YAP) continue to give back to the Nation community. The popular youth program prepares students to become active participants in the community and lead the next generation. The older kids that make up the program learn valuable life skills through challenges and assignments set by Donna Howe, the Youth Programs Coordinator.

The kids were back for their second week on Oct. 12 tasked with creating fun games for the younger children at the upcoming Nation Recreation Dept. Halloween party Oct. 28. The two games they developed were a spooky version of bowling and knock-the-can game. To make it a Halloween-themed game, everyone painted and dressed the bowling pins as ghastly characters like vampires, werewolves and ghosts. The decorations that fill the Rec Center were also put together by the YAP.

The group projects they take on each week bring the kids closer together to socialize and work on team-building. Participants that work on this specific project will be rewarded with a trip to the Field of Screams haunted house in North Bay, which has new attractions each year. “Everyone loved it last year so we wanted to do that again,” Howe said. “It always changes so it’s never the same thing.”

Howe also says the youth make dinner each week so they learn skills that will make them self-sufficient. This week they grilled chicken for a large Caesar salad. The culmination of the YAP program in May usually means a weekend trip to a nearby city like Boston or New York City. Howe hopes the kids earn enough participation points so they can start planning early next year. For more information on the YAP program, contact Donna Howe at 315-829-8484.