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Let loose on Wild Day

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

On April 28, the Los Alamos Youth Leadership program will put their skills to the test with the annual LAYL Wild Day.
The funfest, which is limited to the first 100 participants, will be from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Los Alamos High School’s Griffith Gym.
“Janali Gustafson and Haley Bridgewater have taken the leadership role in organizing WILD Day,” said LAYL Coordinator Susan Odegard-Fellows.” They both are dedicated to LAYL and making WILD Day a success.”
Odegard-Fellows is in her second year with the LAYL crew and is enjoying it every step of the way. “Working with the LAYL students gives one hope for the future leaders of tomorrow,” she said.
“The group of LAYL students are inspiring and willing to give their time to make their community a better place.”
The team of Gustafson and Bridgewater has paid attention to every detail with arts, crafts, games and of course, plenty of fun.
The $12 admission, which goes to benefit the JJAB-sponsored LAYL program, offers a discount to families with multiple children and includes lunch and snacks as part of the day.  
A sophomore this year, Bridgewater experienced her first Wild Day as a freshmen and came back for round two as a youth volunteer, but added some co-chairwoman responsibilities to her belt.
“I enjoyed all the activities that I got to do with the kids,” Bridgewater said. “The kids were all so wonderful to be with.”
Bridgewater of LAYL Team Grr, describes it as a day filled with fun, art projects and entertaining games.
Old-timer Gustafson is no stranger to the busy day, which usually culminates in a game of dodge ball, but what does she like best?
“Seeing how creative the kids can be with the arts and crafts,” Gustafson said. “It is a really great opportunity to hang out with positive role models in a very fun setting.”
Gustafson is also with Team Grr, although all of the youth leaders will be on hand for the large-scale gathering.
Students work with local police officers to tour and explore their cars, paint by popping balloons and make silly sandwiches.
Bridgewater won’t let all of the secrets out of the bag just yet. “I can’t tell you or it won’t be a surprise! But I can tell you that kids in K-sixth grade will have a blast,” she said.
The youth leaders have also arranged for participants to receive some free items as part of their admission fees, including LAYL sunglasses and bracelets.
The youth leaders have attempted to visit each elementary school, where they talk about the day, answer questions for the students and pass out flyers for the event.
Registration flyers are also available on the JJAB website and can be dropped off at the Family YMCA, which oversees the youth leadership program, or mailed to P.O. Box 4716 by April 22.