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RIZE Golf Tournament – Sunday, September 28 at 1pm

September 17, 2014


The Annual RIZE Golf Tournament is fast approaching!


Sign up teams of 4 by September 22nd. Pizza, BBQ, Golf, Prizes… all great things! And, you’ll be directly supporting Sr. Youth programming. If you have any questions, please contact Bryan Degeer at:



Barbeque Fundraiser Success

June 18, 2014


Our BBQ was a huge success! We raised over $10,000 for next years programming.
We had a beautiful evening ~ the weather, the positive attitudes, the giving spirits of those who volunteered and attended.


Thank you to our community for their support:

– businesses that donated items for raffle or live auction
– businesses and individuals who donated items to make the event function properly… tents, tables, chairs, forks, napkins, plates… you get the point!

– our “Food Team” – individuals that volunteered to make pies, prepare or purchase food for our BBQ, the team of people that coordinated day-of and served our food… THANK YOU!

– our “Set-up Team” – it took the whole day to set up and then tear down. These guys are hard-workers!
– Kevin Martin, our auctioneer. He made the live auction fun, entertaining, and ultimately played a large role in fundraising the amount that we did. He’s a superstar!

– our volunteers who make things happen, even when we don’t ask.

– The countless people that encouraged, prayed and worked behind the scenes.

The Community for attending and supporting the Switch Yard.

Thanks be to God for his blessings. We do it for Him!

In case I missed a group or individual … THANK YOU!


Mark your calendar!

April 15, 2014


•The Switch Yard 20th Anniversary BBQ
is on June 6, 2014

5:30 p.m. at the Switch Yard
$7/person, $25/family
Food, Raffle, Auction, Fun!

Please join us as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary at our annual end-of-year BBQ.
All are welcome to join us for an evening of food, conversation, raffle draws, a live auction and fun!
See you there!



All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

February 20, 2014

One of our students completed her English exam this past week, and I read through one of the questions that asked her to write her own version of “All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten”. As a group, we found this to be a very interesting question to ponder, and reflect on where we learned our foundation of what we know. Where does it come from? What influences played a role in what we believe to be the foundation of those things we strongly stand behind?
Whatever they may be, or wherever they may have come from, “It is still true, no matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together”.

(excerpt taken from English course at our school program:)

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School.
These are the things I learned:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don’t hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.


Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.

Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.

And then remember Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

February 2014

February 18, 2014

We hope you had a relaxing and fun Family Day Weekend!
We had a very busy weekend with programs and activities in Bancroft, enjoying community!

Rize, our Sr. Youth Group, had their annual Winter Retreat at Graphite Bible Camp. It was beautiful weather to enjoy outdoor activities, Jon Tenthorey as the guest speaker, and of course the warm indoors together to play games and enjoy fellowship.

On Sunday evening, we had a Spa Evening at the Switch Yard for ladies in Bancroft. About 30 ladies from the community came to enjoy pampering, delicious treats and socializing.

Both events require committed volunteers and contributors. As leaders, Bryan and I are so grateful for the many people who support us to make these events possible. Thank you!

Read more…

2014 at the Switch Yard

January 21, 2014

It’s January, and it’s COLD! This morning it is a frigid -25, and I believe it will stay this way for a few days.
From my few months of winter experience at the Switch Yard, when it is this cold, we see a decline in attendance of programs – namely drop-in. Obviously! If I had the choice to stay in my cozy bed/house this morning, I probably would have! 
When there’s a decrease in numbers, it’s not always a bad thing. Smaller groups means that we can focus a little bit more on the individual. Ask more questions, get to know them. Hang out and hear what they have to say, how they are feeling. Enjoy a *little* bit of quiet (but I shouldn’t fool you, it’s not often quiet)! Taking time to sit, talk, enjoy, have fun, play a game, drink a pop. Invest in each other and learn about one another. This leads to a deep caring for each other. 
Don’t get me wrong – we aim to do this whether we have 30 youth or 10 youth – but the quieter nights give us an opportunity that we don’t want to miss to invest and make friends.

Our programs for 2014 are shaping up like this:
School / Mentoring Program – every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am – 2pm. We have quite a few students that are very close to graduating right now, so lots of work has been accomplished!
Boys Club – Every Tuesday after school, 8-10 boys from the Elementary Schools come here to hang out, socialize, eat yummy food and have fun. This program is run in collaboration with Children’s Mental Health Services & Maggie’s Resource Centre.
Drop-in – Every Tuesday from 7-9pm & Thursday from 6-9pm our door is open for youth to come hang out. We have a pool table, ping pong table, many games, computers, Wii and more – and the warm food and tasty treats is always a hit!
Girl’s Club – New! Thursdays after school (4-6pm), we have started the Girl’s Only Club! We’ll do crafts, baking, cooking, talk, listen to music, and more. Girls aged 12 – 16 are welcome to join us.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS, 2014 Winter Events:  

Day at the Spa – Sunday, February 16th. details TBD 
Fundraising Breakfast – Saturday, March 1st., details TBD
(check back here or on Facebook for details very soon)

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Email me at:

Unreachable – the true story of Darrell Tunningley

November 18, 2013

Recently, a new friend invited me to attend a fundraiser/event with a guest speaker  – Darrell Tunningley. His talk was a great introduction to reading his book “Unreachable”, which truly outlines his life experiences so far, and what brought him to Christ.
His story is the story of a troubled youth who goes to prison because of armed robbery, heavy drugs and super-bad habits. In his last year of time in prison, he takes an alpha course because of the free coffee and biscuits, and this eventually led him to Christ (shortest version I could offer – read the book for amazing details!)
I would like to share a segment of the book, at the very end that nicely ties together the story and the “real world” – to me, the Switch Yard.

“If you’re reading this wondering how you can reach out to people like I do, just start a conversation. Maybe you’re telling yourself you’re too old, too different from the youth you see around you, that you don’t have anything to offer. But just like those old nuns who sat in a room full of convicts, you have all the answers they need. You know the only Person who can turn their lives around; you have the only solution to their problems. You can introduce them to Jesus. God has given you all you need to reach out to them;  you just have to start a conversation.
Remember that God gave you two eyes, two ears, two hands and two feet, but only one mouth. We should see twice as much, listen twice as much, do twice as much, and go twice as far before we ever speak.
We must earn the right to be listened to by showing the love of God. Once the young people see that love, they will ask the questions that will lead them to Jesus.”

That’s why we are here.
That’s why our volunteers and partners are amazing, and SO important.
This is why we are here. Present. Willing.
We play games, we chat, we cook, we eat. We engage in conversation.


Thanks to Darrell T. for sharing. You can follow him and his work on twitter @DarrellGB, and please read here:

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