Verde Valley Teen Maze 2024

Verde Valley Teen Maze, a community-driven event to help youth experience the consequences of life choices and provide them with information they need to make good choices, will be held February 26th-29th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at Clemenceau Building (COCSD Office), 1 N. Willard St. Cottonwood, AZ 86326. Teen Maze and its design “bring to life” the potential effects of various life choices. This week-long event is coordinated and sponsored by Yavapai County Community Health Services and Verde Valley Sanctuary along with many community partners. Verve Events and Tents is a sponsor assisting with pipes and drapes for the event. 

Envision a life-size board game and you’ll get a good mental picture of teens navigating their way through the Maze by drawing scenario cards or spinning a wheel that educates on a myriad of topics. Topics focused on this year are the risks of fentanyl and marijuana; the effects of tobacco and vaping; cyber safety; safe dating skills; teen pregnancy prevention; nutrition, and self-care/coping skills. Each section of the Maze is presented through creative games and hands-on activities to provide an experiential learning environment.

The Teen Maze was created in 1999 under the leadership of North Star Youth Partnership, a program of Catholic Charities Community Services.  Since then, the event has been bringing volunteers of all ages, community organizations, and businesses together with a common goal…to educate youth about the consequences of their choices to help them become better decision-makers.

A Parent Night is also provided on February 26th from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at Clemenceau Building (COCSD Office), 1 N. Willard St. Cottonwood, AZ 86326. This is a parent-only event.

Verde Valley schools are encouraged to call as soon as possible to reserve a spot for the Verde Valley Teen Maze. Allow a minimum of 2 hours for students to visit and tour the Maze. (1.5 hours for the Maze Experience and 15 minutes each for loading and unloading students.)

Throughout February, organizations and individuals nationwide are coming together to highlight the need to create awareness for young people to learn about teen dating violence, teach healthy relationship skills and prevent the devastating cycle of abuse. With their adult allies, youth activists achieved a major victory in 2005 and 2013 when the importance of addressing teen dating abuse was highlighted in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Both Chambers of Congress have declared the entire month of February to be Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen domestic violence has both serious short-term and long-term consequences. While healthy relationships tend to have a positive effect on emotional development and future relationships, abusive relationships often do the opposite. Dating violence victims are likely to experience suicidal thoughts, antisocial behaviors, depression and anxiety, and engage in unhealthy behaviors such as alcohol and drug use.

For more resources, visit https://www.loveisrespect.org/get-involved/tdvam/.

If you or someone you know is experiencing teen dating violence, please call the Verde Valley Sanctuary’s Crisis Helpline at (928) 634-2511. Caring and compassionate Advocates are ready for your call 24/7.

For more information about Teen Maze, please contact Laurel Abdelnour, Yavapai County Community Health Services, at (928) 274-6274 or Director of Community Based Advocacy Services, Vivien Mann at (928) 641-6916 or Vivien@verdevalleysanctuary.org.

For more information about the Verde Valley Sanctuary, please contact Community Development Director Tracey McConnell at (928) 282-2755 or tracey@verdevalleysanctuary.org.

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