The meeting, sponsored by the Waynesboro Jaycees at the Presbyterian Church, started with a presentation by Lynn Smith of the First Assembly of God Church in Greencastle. Smith said more than 100 skaters signed up for the "skatechurch" program held once or twice a week in the past year.
The kids paid an $8 fee, became members of the Explorers Club, which is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, and helped design, build and maintain ramps for use in the church parking lot. Three adults supervised the skaters, who must wear helmets. Smith reported no discipline problems.
The Explorers Club provided $15 million in liability insurance, eliminating a major hurdle to bringing a skate park to Waynesboro.
Several possible locations for skating were discussed, including:
- The gym at the old East Junior High School building, which is owned by Waynesboro Hospital.
- Parking lots at the YMCA, area schools and businesses.
- Building a bike and skateboard park next to Cumberland Valley On Ice's planned ice rink in Zullinger.
- Having the Jaycees lease borough property.
- Closing off streets for skaters.
J.J. Williams of the Evangelical Lutheran Church at 43 S. Church St., himself a skater, said his church has considered copying the Greencastle program.
Parent John Camp, of Five Forks, said Memorial Park is a perfect place for skaters.
"Why is the park off limits?" asked Bakner. "Isn't that for our youth?"
"These kids get a bad rap," she said. They are unfairly associated with gangs and drugs, she said, and are harassed by police.
But Police Chief Glenn Phenicie said police only respond when called or when signs against skating are posted.
"If we don't find a place for these kids, they are going to find a place to skate regardless of what the law is," Camp said.
Council Member Vicki Huff, who has been looking for a skating solution for months, would bring the group's ideas to the full council.
Jaycees President Sherry Cline urged people interested in helping out to get involved with Youth Are Our Concern and her group.
- To become involved, call Cline at 1-717-765-0379.