New teen council in need of members


MILFORD – Teens who complain there isn’t enough to do in Milford will get their chance to do something about it.

As a follow-up to earlier gatherings about helping youth in the area, the Souhegan Valley Teen Council has been officially formed, and already has an eye on hosting a “Battle of the Bands” at the end of summer.

Now it just needs members.

“I am currently soliciting charter members between the ages of 13 and 19,” said Alan Woolfson, who has been spearheading the drive. “Adult volunteers will also be needed to help facilitate the various projects and committees.”

Starting in June may be tough – “the summer holidays make things a little difficult in communicating with prospective members,” Woolfson noted – but the sooner the better, he said, because the club won’t work unless it’s organized and run by the teens it will serve.

“The exact nature of the facility will be decided by the teens themselves, as will the structure and mandate of the Council,” said Woolfson, who added that nothing is set in stone: Even the name may change.

The key point, he said, is that the council has to be run by teens.

No matter how unformed the Teen Council might be at present, it has one big plus: The Souhegan Valley Boys & Girls Club’s future home in the former American Stage Festival building on Route 13.

The club, which rents space in Granite Town Plaza, hopes to move as early as next year into building left empty when ASF went bankrupt in 2002. The building was given to the club by town residents Nancy and Paul Amato, owners of Alene’s Candles, and an ambitious fund-raising effort is underway to create one of the largest youth facilities in the region.

The Teen Council will be allied with the club, which will give it access to such planned facilities as a coffee shop, game room and full-size gym – not to mention the stage and auditorium, which have already drawn performances from local community theater groups.

The Boys & Girls Club will use these facilities, too. But it tends to focus more on pre-teens, and has an imagine problem among many teens as been non-cool, which is why a Teen Council is likely to remain separate.

Woolfson and others hope that amenities and their own group will draw the teens who currently hang around the Oval – particularly since a new footbridge over the Souhegan River will make the Boys & Girls Club easily reachable from downtown.