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Director sporting new ideas for local youth

Scott Csernyik

7/14/2003 12:00:00 AM

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe's Parks & Recreation director looks at his new position as a way of giving back to the community.

Tribal member Chip Neyome officially started the position on May 19. The 29-year-old Neyome has been a Tribal employee for about 10 years, including hard count at the casino and campgrounds attendant. He was the Youth Facility coordinator for six years and has a bachelor's degree in recreation management and leisure services from Ferris State University.

"There's a need in the community to work with the kids," stated Neyome. "It's all about giving back and believing in those who believed in me when I was growing up from coaches to various adults in the community. We're here to help provide guidance and opportunities for the youth."

Neyome said one of the department's goals is to make improvements to the Tribe's parks and playgrounds so there will be an increase in use.

"By improving our parks and playgrounds, we will be able to provide more programs," he explained. "We want to grow slowly at a consistent pace by offering quality programs and not focusing on quantity."

Neyome said the department is in constant need of volunteers and interested individuals can contact him at (989) 775-4522. He also said community members can offer feedback about the department's programs and services.

"It's important to offer structured activities because it gives you the opportunity to supervise the kids and help build on the social skills while stressing teamwork," he said. "If you don't offer the youth programs to participate in, they'll find other things to do that may not be positive. This department's success relies on participation and providing positive activities the youth can be involved in."