Youth For Christ/Youth Unlimited has been working through COVID-19 providing programming for youth and had to be innovative through it all.

Executive Director Art Schroeder outlines some changes they implemented, noting they focused on outdoor activities.

"One of the things that we've been able to do this year is go out to Splash Island," explains Schroeder. "We have been able to walk with the kids to the Island because we can't take vehicles right now. This is one example of how we are striving to meet new regulations, such as transportation. We have to think, 'How do we get kids to and from different programs?'"

He adds they're holding skate camps at the BDO Centre as well as Dakota Tipi First Nation and Dakota Plains First Nation.

"We have partnered with some reserves to bring programming to them," says Schroeder. "Many reserves are looking for ways to continue to provide programming for their students and children."

Schroeder notes their drop-in centre is also open now for two nights a week.

"Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:00 til 10:00, " says Schroeder. “Its exciting, because amidst this pandemic, kids are coming to the Drop-in. When we first opened up, some of the kids came, and were formally dressed. So I asked, 'What's the special occasion?' They said, 'We haven't been out of the house for awhile'. It has been really good for our team to reconnect with students again.”

He says they've gone through plenty of hand sanitizer and developed ways to help youth social distance while playing sports.

Schroeder adds they're making a difference in the lives of younger people. But being able to have a safe place for youth where everyone knows each other is wonderful. He says attendance has been a challenge, noting families are hesitant to send kids out. Schroeder says the numbers are rising, but they're still being careful. He says they love having kids and if numbers get too high, they'll do things in separate nights for certain groups working half and half. Schroeder says they haven't had to do that just yet, but remote connections over the internet is not the same as in-person interaction.