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From left, Rachel Munson, Jade Hovet and Kali Sandmeyer add their names to a wall board at the Bemidji Youth Advisory Commission June 7 Rally Monday afternoon at Lake Bemidji lakefront. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

June 7 Rally celebrates youth, kicks off summer

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June 7 Rally celebrates youth, kicks off summer
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Youth from around the Bemidji area celebrated the start of summer by spending an afternoon and evening on Lake Bemidji's waterfront for fun and a little competition, squirt-gun-style.

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The Bemidji Youth Advisory Commission hosted its 10th annual June 7 Rally from noon to 11 p.m. Monday. The event, designed for high school-aged youth, was free.

"The youth rally is for kids having fun and kicking off summer the right way," said Joe Czapiewski, BYAC adviser. "It's a fun, safe environment. They know they can come to this and have a good time with their friends and not worry about a lot of stuff kids have to worry about all the time."

The BYAC is a commission of the Bemidji City Council and is supported by Evergreen Community Services. Its purpose is to provide Bemidji youth with leadership and organizational skills and the know-how to achieve their goals.

Activities throughout the day included a volleyball tournament, art mural painting and a Fear Factor competition. One of the biggest hits of the day was a new event - a Youth Rally squirt gun competition.

"We're not the only youth event in town, but we're probably the largest," Czapiewski said. "And the fact that it's entirely run by the youth commission is the key to our success."

Czapiewski said the BYAC started planning for its annual Youth Rally in the fall and by winter was in full planning mode.

"The bands are the hardest to try to line up," he said. "There's a lot of talent in this community. We're trying to get more diverse in the types of music."

Live music was provided by at least 10 bands from the local and regional area.

Afternoon temperatures in the low 70s and partly cloudy skies held high attendance levels throughout the day. According to Czapiewski, in years past the Youth Rally has had up to 700 youth visiting the waterfront at one time.

Kendra Rust, Cydney Huewe and David De Krey, students from Bemidji High School, soaked up some sun while listening to bands play in the Rotary Pavilion. All three agreed they thought having a day set aside for youth was a good idea.

"I am here year after year," De Krey said. "My sister was in the BYAC and I just think it's a really cool event."

Monday's Youth Rally also featured Lake Bemidji State Park, which set up fishing demonstrations, and Center Shot Archery of Bemidji, which displayed archery demonstrations.

"Our mission at the BYAC is to show kids they don't need to wait around for adults to show them how to have a good time," Czapiewski said. "So many kids think that there's nothing to do in this town. I've got a personal mission to say that that's a bunch of baloney."

Y awilliams@bemidjipioneer.com

Youth from around the Bemidji area celebrated the start of summer by spending an afternoon and evening on Lake Bemidji's waterfront for fun and a little competition, squirt-gun-style.

The Bemidji Youth Advisory Commission hosted its 10th annual June 7 Rally from noon to 11 p.m. Monday. The event, designed for high school-aged youth, was free.

"The youth rally is for kids having fun and kicking off summer the right way," said Joe Czapiewski, BYAC adviser. "It's a fun, safe environment. They know they can come to this and have a good time with their friends and not worry about a lot of stuff kids have to worry about all the time."

The BYAC is a commission of the Bemidji City Council and is supported by Evergreen Community Services. Its purpose is to provide Bemidji youth with leadership and organizational skills and the know-how to achieve their goals.

Activities throughout the day included a volleyball tournament, art mural painting and a Fear Factor competition. One of the biggest hits of the day was a new event - a Youth Rally squirt gun competition.

"We're not the only youth event in town, but we're probably the largest," Czapiewski said. "And the fact that it's entirely run by the youth commission is the key to our success."

Czapiewski said the BYAC started planning for its annual Youth Rally in the fall and by winter was in full planning mode.

"The bands are the hardest to try to line up," he said. "There's a lot of talent in this community. We're trying to get more diverse in the types of music."

Live music was provided by at least 10 bands from the local and regional area.

Afternoon temperatures in the low 70s and partly cloudy skies held high attendance levels throughout the day. According to Czapiewski, in years past the Youth Rally has had up to 700 youth visiting the waterfront at one time.

Kendra Rust, Cydney Huewe and David De Krey, students from Bemidji High School, soaked up some sun while listening to bands play in the Rotary Pavilion. All three agreed they thought having a day set aside for youth was a good idea.

"I am here year after year," De Krey said. "My sister was in the BYAC and I just think it's a really cool event."

Monday's Youth Rally also featured Lake Bemidji State Park, which set up fishing demonstrations, and Center Shot Archery of Bemidji, which displayed archery demonstrations.

"Our mission at the BYAC is to show kids they don't need to wait around for adults to show them how to have a good time," Czapiewski said. "So many kids think that there's nothing to do in this town. I've got a personal mission to say that that's a bunch of baloney."

awilliams@bemidjipioneer.com

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