When the Funhouse Commons opened its doors in 2000, one of the main goals was to meet the need in the community for teens to have a safe and fun place to hang out. In direct response to the community, the Funhouse geared its programming to meet teens needs – with huge success!
For years the Funhouse has offered a space for teens during Friday and Saturday nights, teen events, and educational programming in partnership with Orcas Island High School.
It is essential for the Funhouse to evolve, change, and adapt to the current and pressing needs of Orcas island youth. In the last 12 months the Funhouse, responded to feedback from students to determine programming most important to their needs.
In response to student ideas, the Funhouse initiated an annual job fair with Orcas Chamber of Commerce that will officially begin in spring of 2016. To kick off the program last May, the Funhouse and the Chamber sponsored “Lunch Talks”, inviting several business owners in the community to share their advice and talents with the teens regarding job experience and training.
The Funhouse also started a successful Jr. Staff program for early job training and volunteer experience for 6th grade and up.
For older students, the Funhouse offers leadership through the Student Advisory Board, provides opportunities for teens to volunteer at the Funhouse and in the community, tutor students after school, mentor a younger student, and more.
Along with hosting the annual county-wide Science Fair (for all age students), the Funhouse offers an impressive college scholarship for a graduating senior, an annual College Counseling and Futures Fair at OIHS, SAT prep classes, and skill mentoring. The Funhouse also supports Teen Tutoring at the public school and will be co-sponsoring environmental education youth outings in partnership with DVSAS starting in February.
The Funhouse also offers student groups such as a baby sitting certification class, a 6th grade Girls Group, Love and Rockets Workshop, and the “Tissues: Teen Issues” group with local counselor and youth advocate, Beth Jenson.
The Funhouse could not accomplish this without the outstanding community support they have received over the years.