All this talk about what to do with the youth in Claremore is just that — talk. Talking will get you nowhere. Action needs to be taken.

Ron Paris has good intentions, and ideas for that matter, regarding activities youth can participate in outside of school related sports. However, the path he is taking to get those ideas implemented is going nowhere fast.

Paris made comments, at a recent community meeting, concerning several activities in which parents would like to see their children involved, but then indicated there would be no way to get those projects off the ground without volunteers. How then, will the city be able to offer a martial arts class, which is in the planning stages, and summer camps this year? Summer camps take many, many volunteers — a whole lot more than would a drama or archery class.

Can Claremore build a full-blown youth activities program based only on volunteers? It is possible, but volunteers are more likely to get involved with a staff of few beginning the project.

As far as the skateboarders go in this town, I really feel for them. Especially when they are stopped by the police and told they will be ticketed for skateboarding around town, on sidewalks, etc.

Perhaps Claremore police officers should take a lesson from their small town colleagues in Chelsea.

Chelsea Police Chief Kenny Kelsey said it best when he spoke about his department’s role with that town’s youth, saying, “We wanted to give the youth in town something to do other than run the streets and we want them to have a positive outlook on the police.” And it’s working.

The words “threatening the children” never entered his comments on how his department perceived the youth in Chelsea. And really, are those kids who are skateboarding and trying to stay out of trouble hurting anyone? I say no.

Now that’s a novel idea — instead of intimidating kids who are merely trying to enjoy their childhood by skateboarding, get involved in their skateboarding group. Or get involved with the youth period. Do something now that will make a difference so you won’t be seeing these kids again in handcuffs.

I agree, placing two small ramps and a few rails, similar to the park in Bartlesville, would suffice as an immediate skatepark solution until the “comprehensive master plan” is worked out over the next decade.

The skatepark in Bartlesville is a popular place, even though it is not elaborate. I know. That is where I take my own children because there is not one in the city. The kids who skate there do not complain that it is not an extravagant skatepark. They are just thankful it is a safe place where they can skate without running into trouble.

Another solution (as seen in Claremore’s small town neighbor to the north), consider bringing a Boys and Girls Club to Claremore.

Time and time again I hear, “there is nothing for the youth of Claremore to do after school.” A Boys and Girls Club would provide not only a place for children to go after school, but it would also offer many activities for the children, especially if the Claremore Police Department stepped up and got involved.

The Boys and Girls Club in Chelsea is an excellent facility. It is fully staffed with people who want to make a difference for children. And, they work closely with the community and the Police Department to bring more programs to the club.

Currently, Chelsea police are volunteering their own time to teach archery, guitar lessons, and boxing lessons with possible competitions on the way. The Club and the Chelsea Police Department made all this possible for Chelsea youth through a national program which is offered to all communities who have a Boys and Girls Club.

As far as funding for these things, it is already in place, waiting for a request. What is Claremore waiting on. There is no need to reinvent “youth services.” A Boys and Girls Club would be a bonus to the city at minimal expense.

If the city is serious about doing something for Claremore’s youth, now is the time to take action — not 10 years from now.