Railroad Street Youth Project (RSYP), the dynamic youth empowerment nonprofit organization that advocates for and invests in young people in southern Berkshire County, is pleased to announce that a range of free and low-cost programs and activities for youth and adults will take place this summer following social distancing guidelines under the tent located in the skatepark at RSYP’s Drop-in Center at 60 Bridge Street in Great Barrington.

Drop-in hours for youth age 14-25 are 3:00 to 5:00 PM on Mondays and 3:00 to 7:00 PM Tuesdays through Thursdays. Young people can connect with staff and other young folks, workshop ideas, play ping pong, get a little help with something in their life, or just hang out in the tent, which was rented from Mahaiwe Tent. Masks (creativity is encouraged) and physical distancing (6 feet at all times) are required per state guidelines. Young people who need masks or hand sanitizer (or refill an empty bottle) can grab both at the tent, courtesy of the South County Community Coalition, Youth Operational Board Member Megan Smith, and Berkshire Mountain Distillers.

Hours for the skatepark, managed by RSYP in partnership with the Town of Great Barrington’s Parks and Recreation Commission, are from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM seven days a week. Skatepark staff are on hand to hang out, skate and make sure all have access to masks and hand sanitizer.

Other activities include:

For Youth

Youth Operational Board (YOB) – Tuesdays, 4:00 – 5:00 PM

YOB is a youth-run space where young people meet up to connect, create projects, come up with new ideas, and find peer support and funding to make their ideas happen. YOB happens weekly for youth 14-25. Every other week is open to all ages. To find out more or send a proposal contact yob@rsyp.org or regina@rsyp.org

Talk About It – Bi-weekly

Talk About It is a youth empowerment mentoring group for young people of color (7th grade and up). Interested in connecting? Drop a line to mica@rsyp.org and get the schedule.

QClub – Weekly

QClub is a confidential, youth-led space created by and for LGBTQ+ youth in South County. If you are an LGBTQ+ young person and you want to check it out, get the schedule by sending an email to regina@rsyp.org.

LifeWorks @ RSYP:

RSYP is partnering with LifeWorks Studio in Great Barrington to offer classes in Teen Fitness and Youth Movement outside at the tent. Both classes will meet weekly for 3 weeks. LifeWorks @ RSYP is $5 per class, and no cost to anyone who needs it. Send an email to regina@rsyp.org for information about how to sign up.

For the Entire Community

Mindfulness – Mondays, 10:30-11:30AM

Community members of all ages are invited to join us this free Mindfulness workshop led by Iona Smith. Start your week with some comfortable mindfulness and breathing exercises! Young people are encouraged to bring some of the stressed-out adults in their lives to try it out. Drop-by in person, or email iona@rsyp.org for a link to join by zoom.

“These summer programs are proof that no matter what is happening in the world, Railroad Street is here for our community’s young people,” says Executive Director Ananda Timpane. “There is always someone available to talk or offer support, or just to laugh and have fun together.”

You can get more information about these and other RSYP programs by going here.

(above information taken from a Railroad Street Youth Project press release)

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