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Contact: George Pfeifer, Athletic Department –
LCSC’s 28th National
Youth Sports Program concludes with
glowing evaluation; good fun and learning.
LEWISTON—Out of school and looking for things to do, many
area youth found their summer vacation plates filled with an exciting
assortment of healthful activities. Instead of turning to TV and video
games, 475 boys and girls, ages 10 to 16, attended the 28th Annual National
Youth Sports Program (NYSP) at Lewis-Clark State College.
The no-cost program ran for 25 days, starting on June 12th and concluding on
July 12th. Participants from Asotin, Clarkston, Culdesac, Kendrick, Lapwai
and Lewiston enjoyed a range of activities that included basketball, soccer,
football, bowling, fishing, volleyball, gymnastics, wall climbing, wrestling
and swimming. The program also included educational components encompassing
drug, alcohol, health and hygiene topics, career planning and options, as
well as math and science.
Every morning, a caravan of buses arrived on the LCSC campus, disgorging
young passengers for a day filled with athletic and recreational pursuits,
and learning opportunities. In addition to transportation to and from the
campus, each participant got breakfast and lunch in the LCSC Student Union
Building. Area doctors and nurses performed 485 free sports exams. All
participants were required to have them to take part in the program; LCSC
offered them as part of its responsibilities as host.
National Youth Sports Programs are offered at sites across the country and
are carefully monitored by the national organization. To ensure the quality
of the experience, the national office sends an evaluator to each of the 210
programs throughout the country every year. In addition, a U.S. Department
of Agriculture evaluator audits the breakfast and lunch portion of the
program every summer. The 2002 LCSC program received glowing commentary from
the NYSP evaluator and the USDA evaluator.
Not every host site fares so well. The standards for success are high and
the evaluation process itself is rigorous. That LCSC once again demonstrated
its commitment to top quality learning experiences, is no surprise to George
Pfeifer, activity director for the program and men’s basketball coach for
LCSC, even though the logistics of making the program work are daunting.
“We are the only program in the country that operates in two states. And
because our on-campus recreational facilities are limited, we must utilize a
fleet of buses throughout the Lewiston and Clarkston Valley to accommodate
the over 300 participants we have each day.
“There is a tremendous amount of paperwork involved in
operating this program. We’ve always received positive evaluations, but this
year was probably one of our top reports,” Pfeifer said. He added that the
NYSP evaluator noted exceptional staff instruction in the physical and
educational activity areas and in the swimming component. “Our evaluator was
also extremely impressed with the organization and execution of our
operation,” Pfeifer said.
“A lot of time goes into crafting this program,” Pfeifer continued. “When
you factor in participant recruitment, designing academic and sports
curriculum, organizing safe, supervised activities at sites all over the
valley, operating 10 buses a day for pick-up and drop-off, providing free
sports exams, feeding 14,000 meals, employing a shift of close to 30 and
keeping up with the mountain of paperwork required to document the whole
program, it is a pile of work,” he said.
Pfeifer credited Debra Kowalkowski, Tim Walker, Andy Hill, Brian Orr, Kim
Turner and Kyla Harris, of the college’s administrative team for making the
event a success. “They deserve a whole lot of credit for our achievements
this past summer,” he said, adding that “high quality teaching and
supervision by our program professionals and their assistants” also made for
the outstanding success of the program.
He also cited the contributions of other entities as key in the program’s
success. “The LCSC/NYSP program leans heavily on area schools, our medical
community, the LCSC campus and the City of Clarkston and Lewiston. There is
no way we could operate this program without the cooperation of the valley
doctors and nurses, area schools, the support of our campus and the City of
Clarkston and Lewiston. Simply put, our program could not exist” Pfeifer
The NYSP has been part of LCSC’s summer landscape for 28 years and will be
back again next year. For more information regarding the program and
registering to take part, contact the LCSC Athletic Department at