In keeping with its mission to provide supportive and restorative services to at-risk youth in and around the Seacoast, Chase Home offered a variety of programs this past summer for those who live there full-time.
“The shift from school to summer and back again can be tough for them,” said Meme Wheeler, Chase Home’s Executive Director. “Kids tend to have a lot of idle time in the summer, which is when some of them are most at-risk for getting into trouble.”
This summer, Chase Home residents—who ranged in age from 11 to 19—participated in rock climbing, a trip to Six Flags theme park, deep-sea fishing, and camping in Lost River among other activities. Other offerings included beach days, movie theater trips, basketball, gardening, origami workshops, and pool time at the Portsmouth YMCA, which offers free memberships to Chase Home residents.
Wheeler said youth also participated in various cooking activities. “Whether they are making breakfast for the group, putting on special dinners, participating in cooking demonstrations by local volunteers, or preparing mackerel from their fishing excursions, residents are encouraged to learn more about—and appreciate—the foods they eat,” she said.
She said such activities help to “inspire” healthier life choices. “We encourage them to get outside and be active and try new food, because many of them don’t have a lot of experience with these things,” she said.
According to Wheeler, the end of summer represents another important transition period, as some residents out of residential program and back into the community and with their families.
“These summer activities aren’t just filling a gap—they are creating a foundation,” she said. “The more engaged these kids are, the more likely they are to thrive when they finally do leave Chase Home, which at the end of the day is what we want for all our kids.”
Founded in 1877, Chase Home provides a wide range of programs for youth and families both on-site and in the community. For more information about Chase Home, visit www.chasehome.org.