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Draper Journal

The largest youth council in the state is literally up and running in Draper

Nov 15, 2021 02:11PM ● By Mimi Darley Dutton

The Draper City Mayor’s Youth Council kicked off the year with a team-building activity at Draper Park. Ava Bunting, Abby Holland, Brooklyn Lemmon, Sadie Peacock, Addyson Boyack, Eliza Doman and Avery Hansen’s team won first place in the “Amazing Race” inspired activity. (Photo courtesy Draper City)

By Mimi Darley Dutton | [email protected]

The Draper City Mayor’s Youth Council (DCMYC) took their oath of office at an August city council meeting as their parents and families proudly looked on. 

“It’s the biggest youth council in the state,” Mayor Troy Walker said. 

The purpose of the council is to provide opportunities for service, leadership and activities for area high school students. Youth must apply and be chosen for membership. Each member must commit to accumulating 15 service hours during the year. In addition to service projects, adult advisors provide the youth with opportunities to learn about the city and state they live in, including civics lessons. Members will attend Legislative Day in January at the state capitol.

The youth have helped with Draper Days, the Arts & Crafts Festival, the city-sponsored half marathon and Haunted Hallow in October, and they’ll assist at the annual Easter Egg hunt, among other service projects. 

This year’s Youth Mayor is Valerie Witzel. The Pro tem mayor is Katie Burnett and Chief of Staff is Anna Page. Eighty members make up this year’s DCMYC, 50 of whom are new. Caroline Sagae serves as an adult advisor along with Joaquim Sagae, Mindy VanDeGraaff, Andrea Page and Kathy Kimball.

DCMYC member Shaelyn Preede organized an “Amazing Race” inspired event in September to kick off the year, promote teamwork, and to highlight amenities at Draper Park. “Every once in a while, the leaders of the youth council plan fun activities. With the help of the teenage executives and our wonderful advisors, five teams were able to participate in some friendly competition,” Preede said. 

For the “Amazing Race” inspired event, DCMYC members were randomly assigned into groups. Each group’s members had to complete small tasks throughout the park after which the team was given a clue by one of the executive or adult advisors. 

“Some of the activities involved rolling down the hill behind the Tree of Light and shooting hoops at the basketball courts. Each youth member had to attempt to make a basket. While it did not matter if the ball swished through the net, participants were unable to move on until the team had made a combined total of five baskets. This inspired the teenagers to cheer on their teammates and work together toward a goal,” Preede said. 

The youth also did relay races, one of which resembled an old-fashioned egg race. “The youth members learned that Draper was formerly known as the Egg Basket of America. Even though youth members were mainly focused on competing against their friends, the council was still able to incorporate a part of Draper’s unique history,” Preede said. 

The “Amazing Race” inspired event concluded with miniature trophies after participants crossed the Tree of Light finish line.