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Winter gives a special opportunity to become part of the community

By Staff | Dec 27, 2015

Now that the Christmas season is coming to a close, the magic of the winter season dies. Well, it does for me, anyway. Three more months of cloudy, cold days, slick streets, and darkness coming too soon after work.

Plus, I’m a 20-something who lives in a small town. And according to a good number of my 20-something friends, there isn’t much to do in the winter. Except go to the bar.

But what if we don’t want to go to the bar?

I can’t help but notice that our area police are dealing with a good amount of drug problems in our communities, too.

Does that have to do with the lack of activities to do in winter? Maybe. Maybe not. But it got me to thinking how can I help my community’s 20-somethings and get them actively involved?

This past week, I talked with Dar Holmseth, the director of Community Education for Blue Earth Area, and it really got me to thinking about not only how to bring more activities to the younger adult community, but how we can make positive changes all over our community.

Dear 20-something and 30-somethings, let’s get involved in groups in our community. Whether they’re Community Ed or boards or volunteer opportunities of some kind. Let’s dig into our community.

Let’s start giving our input at City Council meetings and other public forums. Let’s share our ideas with our community leaders. Let’s submit our ideas without fear of being turned down.

As far as community education, I would love to be a part of an adult choir or learn to play an instrument I’ve never learned before (ukulele). I really want to learn to quilt. We could finally bring rugby to Blue Earth! Okay, some may not be behind me on that one, but you catch my drift.

In my humble opinion, I think it’s time to start getting involved and bringing in fresh, new ideas to our community so we actually do have things to get involved in and feel a deeper connection to our community.

Now, I have to say, I know there are plenty of activities and opportunities available now, but I also know that the younger crowd would tend to disagree with that. I can see both sides.

On one side, I can see one of the first generations of high entertainment and technology and we may be more prone to rugby video games than the real thing. I get that.

On the other side, I see a small community with enormous potential. Not only do we have vast amounts of space for activities, potential new structures and projects, but I also see a wealth of knowledge and talent in many community members.

Yes, I am talking to you, person who knows how to play ukulele. Teach me!

We have untapped potential in our community, in my opinion. I just think our avenues need to be connected a little stronger.

I challenge all of my peers to get involved in at least one thing around your community this winter. Be a Blue Earth Area Mentor, go to a Blue Earth City Council or a Wells City Council meeting, or any community meeting. Sign up for a Community Ed class in January.

I’m not trying to be preachy by any means. If you want to play rugby video games and just go out when the bars are open, cool. More power to you, friend.

As a matter of fact, I’m glad there’s a new brewery in town to enjoy some pretty good beer. (P.S. that’s coming from a not-so-huge-fan-of-beer person.)

But I also think that there’s more to this town for 20-somethings than just alcohol and recreational drug use. I believe in this community, and I believe in the leaders we have now, and I believe in the leaders we will have in our future.

I’m hoping to become more involved in the Blue Earth area after this winter, but first, I’m just going to practice my ukulele chords.