Staff Blogger: Josh Hilgenberg, Journalism/Creative Writer Intern

Lakeside Chautauqua is a place where multiple generations are given opportunities to discover their gifts and talents.

For more than 141 years, Lakeside has been a gathering place for reconnecting with loved ones, making new friends and watching young Lakesiders grow physically and intellectually.

The addition of a youth activity center would be a safe space for teens to come and amplify their Chautauqua experience. A center could help develop programming relevant to teens and engage them further and more intimately. In the same way that adults attend programming such as lectures, teens would have their own, specially made activities involving the 4 pillars of Chautauqua – religion, education, cultural arts and recreation.

Here are just a few reasons why a youth activity center is important to Lakeside:

  1. Passing down traditions: A youth activity center would be a stepping stone to the adult-focused programming, as well as a method of teaching the meaning of Chautauqua.
  2. Involve youth in the future of Lakeside: Teens would be more invested in the mission and have first-hand experience as to why it’s important to “keep the ball rolling.”
  3. Higher emphasis on youth: Teens would feel more valued by Lakeside and are more likely to come back with their own families in the future. They’re just as important as everyone else, so let them know!
  4. Lasting friendships: A youth activity center would provide a space where like-minded teens could come together and create friendships that would last their entire Lakeside experience.
  5. Exposure to the 4 pillars: Activities at the youth activity center would be modeled after the 4 Chautauqua pillars, introducing them to teens, as well as helping them grow as people.

With your generosity, we can make the youth activity center reality! Young Lakesiders need your help – so visit to do your part and learn more.

What would you like to see in a Lakeside youth activity center? Tell us in the comments below.