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Laser Skirmish & Youth Programs at PCYCs

Ignition Dalby - PCYC Laser Skirmish Youth Programs  

Ignition Dalby is an initiative of the Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC). The program runs laser skirmish games, boxing training and sporting sponsorship for disadvantaged youth in the Dalby District. The program focuses on teens between 11 to 16 age group.

Ignition Dalby was actually inspired by a previous PCYC youth program called “Skirmishing the Youth”.

 

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This youth program was run from the Charleville Police Station (via the Police Citizens Youth Club PCYC) from 2009 to 2011. The program provided free  laser tag activities for teens. Charleville is approximately 10 hours’ drive west of the State’s capital city, Brisbane.

The project was under the leadership of Sgt Clint Ryan and Senior Constable Michael Maguire.

Sgt Clint Ryan commenced the program in September 2009.  The program was developed in direct response to the problem of youth boredom and inactivity in Charleville.

There was an increasing number of crimes committed by youths under 17 years of age, such as trespass and under age alcohol consumption. Charleville is an outback town with a population of around 3,500. The program proved to be an exceptionally effective diversionary activity with the number of youth crimes committed in Charleville falling. Skirmishing the Youth was sponsored by the local PCYC and was a supervised laser skirmish event. 

pcyc youth programsThe program offered children and teenagers laser skirmish games whilst also providing diversionary activities such as anti-drug messages, healthy eating information, and cyber and school bullying messages.

A lack of structured and supervised venues and activities for the 11 – 16 year old age group was identified as one of the causes for an increasing rate of juvenile offending. 

“The lack of appropriate facilities and activities for the youth of Charleville resulted in boredom and despondency which ultimately led to anti-social behavior and juvenile offending,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Tony Wright said.

“This activity provides a stimulating, enjoyable and healthy activity and in the process helps police break down barriers. The game requires team work, communication and physical fitness and the development of these core skills is an additional major benefit,” he said.

Word about the Skirmishing the Youth Project spread and events have also been conducted by invitation in Longreach (population 2,975) and Blackall (population 1,160). And nowadays the youth program has a new incarnation in Dalby.

Youth Program Accolades

The youth program was so successful it won best regional program in the Child Protection Week Awards - Youth Participation (2010).

The Skirmishing the Youth was also honored with a Highly Commended in the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Public Service Delivery (2010).

“The initiative is proving effective in engaging at-risk youth and has gained the full support of local businesses and the broader community,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Wright said. “The rate of juvenile offending in Charleville has fallen significantly since the program commenced.”

“The recognition of this initiative at the Premier’s Awards for Excellent is a fitting reward for the Charleville Police officers who have worked very hard in ensuring the success of the program.”

Laser Skirmish Benefits PCYC Youth Programs  

The Youth Program is now re-incarnated in another regional town, Dalby. The new program is called "Ignition Dalby." This Youth Program incorporates laser tag games which focus on:

  • team work
  • communication and
  • physical fitness.

The development of these core skills is an additional major benefit. Partnerships with the local community and service providers is central to the success of the project. Local business Arrow Energy is supporting the new program.

“The attraction of Laser Skirmish allows the drawing of a large group of youths to enable effective delivery of a specified message. This activity was specifically designed to incorporate behavioral management strategies to enable 'at risk youths' to be put on behavioural management contracts that provide Laser Skirmish as a substantial reward,” said Sgt Ryan.

“The benefits of this aspect of the program is profound. The gaming system has been designed to encourage team work among the participants.  In this game - there is no single player that wins - it is the team that ultimately achieves success or failure. The gaming system has been formulated in such a way that it forces the participants to co-operate together to achieve the goals of the mission.  All of the missions require communication, organization and planning. The funny thing is that when participants play - they don't realize how much of these important aspects they use,” said Sgt Ryan.

“The other clear identified benefits are health related.  At a time when parents can never seem to encourage children from the computer or TV - you will find children queuing, begging and pleading to be engaged in this activity.  The most amazing aspect is that children don't realize they are exercising.  After the first couple of minutes - you will even see adults diving for cover,” he said.

pcyc youth program“It is not uncommon to find parents who join in - telling staff how they never realized how much exercise was actually involved. In most cases it is not uncommon to find dads reliving playing army men with their son or daughter - barking out orders and pointing to and fro.  (Mums normally get a big a laugh out of it),” he said.

Sgt RYAN went on further to state, “An important aspect of what we have achieved is the equipment used.  After conducting a lot of research in this area we identified Battlefield Sports as a suitable provider for this unique equipment.  After deploying it in weather extremes through the South West of Queensland, we were and still are impressed with the robustness and ease of use of the taggers. When we purchased the SATR equipment we have since found the continual development and upgrades to the product, have actually grown with us while we have delivered the program.”

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Just started - 1st night 30 players, 2nd night 50 players, 3rd night 60 players! Excellent customer service - we feel very supported.
Julia, PCYC Australia

Case Study on PCYC Youth Programs Sources

  • http://www.qld.gov.au/about/events-awards-honours/awards/public-service-excel/previous-winners/#_2010
  • http://childprotectionweek.org.au/awards
  • https://pt-pt.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=136792446368776

For more information how our brand of laser tag equipment can benefit your Youth Program, visit our sister web site.