Exciting News at PVYC!

The start of a new school year comes with some exciting news! We are expanding our After-School Program (ASP) from three days per week to four with the addition of Thursday! Teens can now come to PVYC after school Monday through Thursday until 6pm. This decision came after much discussion and evaluation of the needs of our currently attending teens and the potential for reaching others.

Not familiar with our After-School Program? Teens are able to ride the bus from Penns Valley High School and Penns Valley Intermediate to the Old Gregg School where PVYC is located. A variety of activities are provided during this after school time that include homework help and tutoring, open gym time, arts and crafts, board games, field trips, hands-on classes, and clubs. As a part of our mission to encourage healthy habits, we provide healthy snack options. While programming helps us achieve our mission, the most important part of the After-School Program is to spend time developing relationships with the teens in order to help them overcome challenges in their lives. More importantly, it shows them that they are loved and a part of a bigger family.

Another exciting addition to the Penns Valley Youth Center is the expansion of grades that we serve! With a trial run through the previous school year, we are officially including students in 6th grade and you will notice our mission statement changing to reflect this wonderful addition.

ServeCamp 2015 – The 12:3:1 Project


What does 32 teens with a desire to serve our community look like? ServeCamp 2015!

We spent four days doing various service projects around Penns Valley, including; painting the dugouts at the Old Gregg School baseball field, weeding and cleaning pavilions at Soldiers and Sailor’s Memorial Park, painting hay wagons, painting the gazebo at a park in Millheim, splitting and stacking wood for a family, landscaping for Grace UCC, painting a family’s home, and scrubbing out an apartment.


This year’s theme was “The 12:3:1 Project” and we had guest speakers come each evening to our homebase for camp, at Krislund Camp, to share about serving in a community such as Penns Valley, the influence of your closest friends, and finally, the importance of a mentor in your life.


Amidst the difficult work, tiredness, amazing food, terrific speakers, and fun activities, a real bond was formed between those who attended camp this year. Our challenge activity this year was a high-ropes course. For some it was easy, but for others it was a about stepping out of their comfort zone and really facing fears. As one teen after another moved around the course, you could hear the sound of their peers and PVYC leaders cheering them on and encouraging them to keep going when they wanted to turn back.


When all is said and done, and the teens go home and the staff takes a few days to recover, receiving an encouraging note from a parent just reminds us of how impactful PVYC is for teens and families in our community. Here is one family’s response to PVYC ServeCamp 2015:

Penn State Extension: Nutrition Links Class at PVYC


You may have noticed the phrase “encourage healthy habits and promote wise choices” in our mission statement at PVYC. Many of our teens do not have adequate opportunities to develop the skills and so we look for creative and engaging ways to provide these opportunities. This summer has been no exception!

Penn State Extension brought their Nutrition Links program to the Center for a 5-week course on 20150722_153912(0)healthy eating habits. Throughout the month of July, teens learned about ingredients in their food, how to determine how much of the food groups they should be eating each day, how to properly handle food to avoid cross-contamination, and how important physical activity is. The highlight of each class was the opportunity at the end of the session to eat something delicious that the instructor showed them how to make.

Our hope is that the teens will take what they learned and put it into practice in their daily lives, both in and out of the Youth Center.

Click HERE to learn more about the Penn State Extension: Nutrition Links program and how you, too, can live a healthier life!

Fostering Creativity


When you come to PVYC on a Wednesday during the summer, you will see an array of activities available to the teens. One of our favorite activities has been the Art and Craft time, which allows teens the opportunity to discover or further explore their passion for the arts, or just express themselves in a fun and hands-on way.


Projects included wall hangings, glass etching, industrial jewelry, linear drawing, and watercolor painting. Class has been led by two great volunteers; Marci (a mother of a teen who attends PVYC) and Steph (an art teacher in the Penns Valley Area School District). They have done an awesome job of selecting projects that will be utilized by the teens and not just discarded.

20150708_142003It has been amazing to see all of the students take an interest in the projects we have provided each week, even if it isn’t something they would normally participate in. Another positive to the Art and Craft time has been seeing teens encouraging each other by complimenting someone else’s project or reassuring a peer who might feel like giving up because they struggle with at that particular project.

20150722_133949We feel that art is an important part of providing hope, worth, and friendship in the lives of our teens, so we will continue to provide opportunities that foster their creativity!

Coming Soon…ServeCamp 2015!

ServeCamp Final Final

Are you ready to work hard and play hard? You won’t want to miss our annual ServeCamp the first week of August! It’s all about giving back to our community and having fun at the same time. Join us for 4 days of service projects in Penns Valley, great food, guest speakers, bonfires, ropes course, and and awesome t-shirt!

Daily, we will break up into teams to head out into Penns Valley and serve. Projects usually include painting, building, fixing, weeding, and demolition. In the evenings we will have a session, worship, bonfire and free time. Our theme of 12:3:1 will demonstrate methods of serving others with our community, with small groups, and one on one.

Don’t delay! Register TODAY! Click HERE for more information and to register.

School is out! Check out what’s happening this summer!


What better way to beat the heat than to hang out with us all summer! Our programs run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through out the summer and we have occasional activities evenings and weekends!

Tuesdays we load up in the van and head out to our destination which includes amusement parks, tubing down the creek, pool parties, and movie days. Wednesdays the Center opens at noon with lunch, open gym, crafts, cooking class and so much more!

There is something for everyone!

Get in the Van Tuesdays: Arboretum at Penn State


One of our newer programs this year is “Get in the Van” Tuesdays. Once a month, we load everyone up in the big van and head out into Penns Valley and surrounding communities.

This month we went to the Arboretum at Penn State and then to the Creamery. Students were given a scavenger hunt form to fill out about plants at the Arboretum. If they completed the paper, they earned free ice cream at the creamery! It was a beautiful day and we had so many teens that they didn’t all fit in the big van. A great problem to have!

Who doesn’t love a youth retreat?

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What does a giant rope swing, banging on tables, 600 teens have in common? Our Spring Retreat to Lake Champion in New York!

Every April we take a group of teens to a youth retreat to Glen Spey, New York with other youth groups from eastern Pennsylvania. This year we took 25 teens and 6 leaders…and fortunately, came back with the same amount! The weekend is filled with great food, a guest speaker, worship, and of course, lots of fun! Family is very important to us at PVYC, and after this retreat, we came back an even closer family.

One teen faced her fear of heights as she ventured onto the giant rope swing, another teen opened up about struggles in their life, and another learned about having a calling for ministry.

Why does it always seem like retreats go so fast? We can’t wait until next April!

Thank you! (3rd Annual Fundraising Banquet)


We can’t even begin to thank you enough for your continued support! In order for PVYC to continue to provide opportunities for teens in our community to find hope, worth, and friendship, we rely on generous donors each year.

Our 2015 Fundraising Campaign culminated in our 3rd Annual Fundraising Banquet on April 8th. After adding additional seating this year, we still had a full house with 224 guests! Silent Auction baskets lined the hallway of the Old Gregg School Community Center and teens served delicious hors d’oeuvres. Dinner, provided by Hoag’s Catering, was enjoyed at beautifully decorated tables filling the gym.

Josh Hull, Lillee Martin and Darren Narber encouraged each of us to pursue something more and to participate in the work that is happening at the Penns Valley Youth Center. Because of your generous donations, we have raised over $40,000 this year!

On behalf of the students, volunteers and staff, we say, “Thank You”!

Get in the Game!

What happens when you combine a dodgeball tournament and community organizations? You Get in the Game! On Saturday, March 21st we helped the Penns Valley Area School District put on an event to encourage youth to get involved in our community. The idea behind the event came a few months before, when a survey taken by students showed that when community involvement is low, engagement in risky behavior is high. The event was geared for 5th through 12th grade students.

Festivities began with a spirit week the week before the event, and an assembly for the students that gave them the opportunity to ask a panel of community-involved adults about why they think it is important for youth to be involved in our community.

On Saturday, students and families were piling in before the doors were even set to open. Over 320 students registered and the number of people in attendance was at least double that when including families and volunteers. The community showcase involved twenty-seven  different organizations that displayed information on tables and spoke with students about their particular organization and how students can get plugged in. It was a wide variety of organizations, including: athletic, educational, conservation, religious, social, and assistance. Students were given a Passport when they registered, and in order to win the large prizes, they had to visit at least 8 organizations, write a fun fact for each, and receive a signature from the representative. At the same time, 35 teams were dodging balls in the gym as the tournament began. If you were in the bleachers, you had to watch out for flying balls so you didn’t take one to the face!

Overall, it was a much more successful event than we could have imagined and according to the students, it was AWESOME! We are looking forward to making this an annual event! It is our hope, that students found a place to get involved in our community and that we will find ways to encourage them to do so throughout the year.

Thank you to everyone who donated all of the amazing food and to everyone who volunteered to make the event happen! Thank you to the school district for including us in this very important endeavor!