Teens want more recreational outlets NORTHWEST--Taneytown * Union Bridge * New Windsor * Uniontown

April 12, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

New Windsor teen-ager Dawn Blacksten got to do something a little different last week.

At least for an hour or two.

"I get to go to Communion, eat bread, wash people's feet," Dawn said, half joking, before going to the Maundy Thursday service. "But even that's in Linwood."

Some teens said that, if there's anything going on for young people, it's definitely not happening in New Windsor.

"We've never had fun in New Windsor," said Dawn, 16, who was visiting with her friend-in-boredom Robin Lease.

"And when we didn't have [driver's] licenses it was worse."

The town's adults have been discussing teen activities as they relate to the increase in juvenile crimes such as vandalism and property destruction.

The Town Council -- of which Dawn's father, Ronnie, is a member -- amended an ordinance Wednesday to make an existing curfew earlier. People younger than 18 are not allowed on New Windsor streets after 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday or 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

For the most part, the town's teens say, "So what?"

"I don't know why they are giving us that curfew when we are usually inside anyway," said Robin, also 16, a New Windsor native. "What are we going to do outside?"

Billy Lundy, 15, who moved to the area from Gettysburg, Pa., in October, said he's usually not outside, either. He and friend Scott Wells just go indoors and play with his computer game system.

"The only excitement we get around here is the occasional tractor-trailer flipping over," said Billy, a Francis Scott Key sophomore. "I'll go play basketball at the [New Windsor] middle school, but other than that, nothing."

Lindsay Bowman, 15, figures the curfew may just cut out the one thing she and her friends could fall back on to amuse themselves in town.

"We kind of went for walks and things around town and would be out to about 10:30 or so," said Lindsay. "Now we can't even do that.

Robin said she believes the lack of youth-oriented activities may be what causes some of the teens to get into mischief.

"If they gave us something to do, there would be less crime," Robin said. "That's like the No. 1 reason. Kids get bored and they get into trouble. We learned that in our issues class."

New Windsor is not devoid of youth-oriented activity. Some sports and recreational activities are sponsored by the town in summertime.

The New Windsor Service Center has indoor basketball courts that are at the teens' disposal. And they can always walk up to the middle school and shoot hoops on the outside courts.

But there's no swimming pool, Dawn notes.

And the tennis courts in town are in bad shape, Robin says.

And the carnival given by the New Windsor Fire Company is only once a year, Lindsay adds.

And you can't skateboard or skate. A town ordinance outlawed those options years ago.

Each of these teens agreed that although there is a need to deal with youngsters who may be causing problems, there should be activities for those who don't deal with their boredom by breaking windows.

"They are expanding the town, right?" said Lindsay, referring to Blue Ridge Manor and other housing developments slated to begin construction in town.

"I hope they think of putting in something to do for the kids who move in when it's all done."

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