History and Beginnings
Beginning and History of the
Edgerton Teen Center
Placing value on teens since 1993
Non-Toxic Youth Alternatives, Inc. 501(c)3, charitable organization
Non-Toxic Youth Alternatives, Inc was begun by Dave Flood in 1993. Dave serves as the organization's founder and corporate president. His desire to see positive alternatives directed toward teens provided a framework for the philosophy of ministry. It was designed to be an outreach that evolves with the changing Youth Culture. A the Edgerton Teen Center (formally, Non-Toxic Teen Center), we place value on teens.
The teen center opened in April 9, 1993--it was an idea that was brewing in Dave's head for a long time. In fact, while working on his Master's degree at Dallas Theological Seminary, he had to do a semester project; for 5 months he worked on it, re-wrote it I don't know how many times (we went through reams of paper!!) He was very excited about it and eventually when his professors saw it, they too were impressed and encouraged him to actually go out and do it---so that semester long project became the teen center, of course.
Part of the motivation for his thinking was frustration with a lack of options for teens who appeared different. So basically, he wanted some place safe, where they (the teens, young people) could "hang" and feel comfortable and get to know adults who genuinely care for them.
There are no rules of behavior posted on the walls here -such as "no swearing" "no-yelling" "no-tongue piercers"--no, we welcome all, and accept them where they're at. This isn't church-this is a place for them, the teens. Here they will see positive role models in the staff, and can develop relationships through the various activities.
Non-Toxic Youth Alternatives was incorporated in September of 1994. There is a board of directors and constitution and bylaws. It is a 501(C)3 not for profit charitable organization. It operates on the generosity of donations. There are monthly supporters (bless them!!!) and other givers, supporters and grantors.
From a 1,000 square feet room with one pool table and one foosball table we have grown to offer 5,000 square feet of recreational games, outdoor adventure retreats, concert hall, tournament venue, Bear Claw Lodge Retreat Adventures, after school programs, skilled trades work shop and more. The first move was a relocation to a much larger facility which required several phases of demo and renovation. We grew too fast and then down sized appropriately. We spent 17 years at this location and then found a much bigger place that would allow more specific programs (work shop with lathes, welders etc.).
The opportunity was incredible and the task at hand was enormous. Hundreds of volunteers, over $80,000 in unsolicited donations and 18 months later the teen center reopened and the community rallied to support us. We are privileged to have this opportunity and we know it.
A workshop, named PRO-Teen, was constructed in 2015. Here teens, guided skilled adult professionals, receive vocational training in machining, welding, carpentry, electrical, plumbing and other skilled trades. As we continue to grow we plan to remain relevant in providing healthy activities for teens. Our programs are designed to educate and inspire teens.