The Den teen center one step closer to opening this fall
For Craig Press
Scott Lang knows how difficult a person’s teen years can be, how truly stressful it can be to deal with the worries of high school and growing up.
This is exactly why he conceived The Den, a teen-oriented center where local youth could have a fun, safe place to gather and hang out once school is out for the day.
“The original idea was for something like an arcade run amok, where kids could come in and do a variety of things,” Lang said. “I just wanted to create a place where kids could come in and be able to hang out and be themselves, with no stress or expectations on them.”
Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to much of Lang’s planning, but as cases in Moffat County are on the downturn, he has gotten much more work done.
Earlier this month, Lang got the word that he’d obtained a three-bedroom house at 835 E. Victory Way to act as The Den, which is on the same property as a laundromat.
This meant he was one step closer to making The Den a reality, with a hope of opening in late August or early September. The more volunteers that help Lang out with getting the house ready, the sooner The Den can open.
The house does need a little work, such as new tile and carpeting, fresh paint on the walls and ceilings and a good, old-fashioned scrub down. Additionally, Lang wants local teenagers to help decorate it, so the house can have a feel of their own bedroom.
“We want the house to be an extension of their bedroom, because that’s the one room in a house that they trust and feel safe in,” he said. “I want them to have ownership of this house, because then they can take a step back and say, ‘We did this, we put it together.’
If they work for it a little bit, they’re more likely to take care of it rather than if it was just handed to them.”
Lang intends to age-restrict The Den, keeping it open to only those in high school, but he’s considering creating a “tween night” once a month for middle schoolers.
The house has a kitchen, which will allow the teens to test out their creativity with cooking and baking. Lang also intends to install Wi-Fi, buy video game consoles and a jukebox and outfit the house with other fun things kids would enjoy.
He added that he wants to use The Den as an educational space, teaching the kids about real world problems and events such as balancing a checkbook, making a budget and other topics.
Lang wants input from local teens to help make The Den as great as it possibly can, so they are welcome to reach out to him on “The Den Craig, Colorado Teen Center” Facebook page.
“I just want kids to know that this is going to be a place by them, for them,” he said. “We believe they’re important and they should have a voice. “This is going to be a place where they can go and have a sense of belonging.”
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