A front page article published in The Nevada Daily Mail last Thursday was "McGennis Youth Center set for Sept. 27." This was also announced in the news on the local radio station. As result of this publicity, I thought about using a different topic for this column. However the McGennis Youth Center is a favorite subject of mine, so I decided that this would still be my topic this week.
Even though the Center has been in existence for more than 40 years there are still a lot of people in this area who remain unfamiliar with the Youth Center and what is available there. In some ways it remains a well kept secret.
Apparently there is some confusion with the terminology of youth center and youth camp. McGennis Youth Center is the name of the site that was given by Mary A. McGennis for the youth in this area. There are a large number of events that occur at the Center, including group camps and family reunions. It receives a lot of use. The need for such a facility will increase in the future and there is a great potential for the Center.
The McGennis Youth Camp is one of he events that are held annually at the McGennis Youth Center. The purpose of the McGennis Youth Camp is to give youth who may not have an opportunity for a group camping experience to have this type of experience. This special camping experience at the center was started approximately 20 years ago. It replaced the Bob White Youth Camp that I worked with prior to retiring from extension. Bob White Youth Camp was a multi-county camp held at Camp Bob White in Knob Noster State Park.
For clarification the barbecue is to be held at the McGennis Youth Center, not at the McGennis Youth Camp, which is one of the events that is held at the center.
The first major event held at the Center was the flag raising. This event was held the first Sunday in August. That was the date traditionally set aside for the barbecue until recent years. Due to the heat in August, the board decided to move the barbecue and auction to the last Sunday in September. This is the third year for this date and it has been beautiful weather the last two years and was comfortable. Those in attendance appreciated not having it in the August heat.
It does not seem possible that late September is here already, but it is already that time.
In the newspaper article it was announced that in case of rain the event would be moved to the old Rich Hill High School. It is a good idea to have an alternate place in case of bad weather. I remember one year when the barbecue was moved to the Metz school.
According to the news release the schedule for the annual event will be different this year. There are new and younger people getting involved with the board and the Youth Center. With them come new and good ideas. In previous years the auction got underway, only to be stopped for the meal and then continued after the meal, which was held in the late afternoon or early evening.
According to the news release the meal is scheduled to start at 1 p.m., with the auction getting started at about 2 p.m. Now a person might wonder why it has not been done this way before. With the previous schedule, it was rather late when the auction was completed. This should make it possible to finish earlier, before it gets dark. It may make it possible for those in attendance to go to another event that evening.
There are several reasons for attending the barbecue and auction. One of them is to see the Center. Each year the Center is in the best condition for this major event. It is a time for people to see the Center, especially for those who have not been there before, or have not seen it recently. It is a beautiful place with wonderful scenery and is one of the best places to be in the entire area.
Another good reason to go, is that the food is great. This year it will be served by Neil Steiner of the Flaming Lantern in Butler. His barbecue beef and pork is delicious. Just thinking about it, makes me hungry.
In talking about the reasons for attending the barbecue and auction, the opportunity for good fellowship should not be left out. There will be good fellowship at the event which will be attended by many wonderful people.