Church youth groups adjust to handle COVID-19

The girls’ youth group at First Presbyterian Church maintains social distance while playing a game outdoors. (Photo courtesy of Rose Ohnstad)

Church youth groups have been facing many difficulties during COVID-19. Rose Ohnstad, the assistant director of First Presbyterian Church Youth Group (FPCYM), says that she was “very bummed” when she learned that the Coronavirus was canceling the youth group. Though it made her excited to start back school, it was a hard adjustment for her to adapt to not being busy 24/7. 

In the early stages of COVID-19, she did not think it was a big deal, but soon enough, everything was shut down. Ms. Ohnstad stayed connected with the youth group at first by doing zoom calls, like most everyone else. 

Once some restrictions were lifted, the youth group was able to start “lunch in your lawn.” This is when the staff would pick up lunch for a youth group member and sit in their driveway/lawn. After even more restrictions were removed, small groups and Wednesday church, which were mostly outside, started back up. Sunday school in the morning and night have just opened at the start of October and are planning to continue until further notice.

FPCYM has been open since summer. They have hosted some events for junior high such as mini-golf, tie-dye, pool day, game night, and a retreat to Twin Lakes. The senior high had a beach retreat at Laguna beach, pool day, and dinners. All precautions were taken for all events and no one got sick. 

The youth group has been taking many precautions to keep everyone safe such as masks, social distancing, food given out separately, wash and sanitizing hands, and being outside. All staff are temperature and symptom checked every day before entering the church, and they are also required to wear masks, especially around students. First Presbyterian Church Youth Group is taking all the safety precautions to keep their members safe.