COLUMBIA — For the 13th year, The Youth in Action summer volunteer program will offer Columbia's youth a chance to learn about their community.
The program exposes 12-to 15-year-olds to volunteer opportunities around Columbia, according to the Youth in Action page on the city's website. Then they're able to sign up and volunteer at events such as Fire in the Sky, Family Fun Fest and organizations such as the Central Missouri Food Bank.
Anastasia Harris, this year's Youth In Action intern, said the program allows kids to give back and learn life skills.
"An important skill is to be able to put yourself in other peoples' shoes," Harris said, "It prepares them for the real world. They're typically in middle school, so it prepares them for high school. It shows them what it means to volunteer."
Kids who sign up to volunteer for Splat!, a mud obstacle course, are responsible for directing participants where to go and setting up the obstacle course.
Splat! is one of the more popular events for volunteers because it allows volunteers to play in the mud and get a "bit dirty," Harris said.
The program allows volunteers to set their own schedule and there is no maximum or minimum of number of events you can volunteer for. Volunteers are only required to fill out an application and provide their own mode of transportation to and from events.
Approximately 50 kids participate every summer, Harris said.
An information session will be held at 5 p.m. Monday at the Activity and Recreation Center, 1701 W. Ash St. During the information session, attendees can sign up to volunteer any activity they're interested in.
For more information, contact Anastasia Harris, at 808-2112 or firstname.lastname@example.org.