Staff Blogger: Jessica Kidd, Director of Annual Giving 

This summer, many Lakesiders provided feedback to help plan for Lakeside’s future. They graciously participated in interviews, focus groups, community forums, surveys, presidential roundtable discussions and commented on social media, as well as on Lakeside’s blog, The Front Porch.

Through these touchpoints, critical needs and opportunities were identified, including the importance of youth- and teen-focused programming (ages 12-17) to keep this age group engaged in the Chautauqua experience.

Lakeside Underground, a successful program for youth and teens, led by Steven Prosser, connected with 626 young Lakesiders this summer through activities such as “Water Wednesdays,” “Olympic Week” and a movie night on the beach. There was an emphasis on recreational events and 10-minute devotional and scripture discussions related to the daily and weekly themes.

According to Prosser, this age group is highly receptive to Instagram, peer-to-peer communication, themed programming and complimentary snacks and trophies. His advice for next year’s teen programming is “to have fun with it.”

Lakeside Underground has paved the way for further enrichment with this age group, and Lakeside is truly grateful for Prosser’s leadership and valuable insight.

With your support, the staff, Lakeside Chautauqua Board and the Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation Board are prepared to further enhance the experience for youth and teen Lakesiders by providing a space for teen programs that encourage lasting friendships and enrichment in the four Chautauqua pillars.

As we prepare to implement this element brought to the forefront by valued community feedback, we encourage youth and teen Lakesiders to provide their own thoughts throughout this process. We understand that these discussions are imperative for making this activity center and program a success.

We have been reaching out to individuals who participated in the Lakeside Underground program this past summer and are seeking others to share their thoughts or contact information in the comments below.

This year, on Tuesday, Dec. 1, Lakeside Chautauqua will again partner with #GivingTuesday to collect donations in support of youth programming and a teen activity center.

In years past, Lakeside has received outpouring support on #GivingTuesday for renovations to Bradley Temple and the Miniature Golf course. Both of these projects have positively impacted the Lakeside experience.

To participate in the #GivingTuesday teen programming and youth activity center initiative:

  1. Encourage a youth or teen Lakesider to become a guest blogger. Email submissions about why you love Lakeside or the Lakeside Underground program. Please include your name, title of the article and photo to
  2. Give a gift online to make a direct impact on a program or area, such as the teen programming and youth activity center in Lakeside.
  3. Call (419) 798-5396 to give a gift over the phone.
  4. Mail a check made payable to the ‘Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation,’ Attn: Jessica Kidd, 236 Walnut Ave., Lakeside, Ohio 43440 with ‘#GivingTuesday’ and the program or area you wish to support in the memo line.