The Petroleum Valley Youth Center became a vision for local leaders within the community after Penreco Employee Park became no longer operational. After Mr. Denny Barger learned that the park was no longer part of the Penreco vision in 1985, he sought to acquire the land via donation in hopes of creating a campus for local churches to transform into a youth ministry program. The Petroleum Valley Youth Center was created and has since then served the community in ministering to the youth of the area by creating a safe environment to get outside and enhance their connection with Jesus.
The Summer Drop-In program has grown as more people in our area become aware of this great resource in our community. During our 2021 season, we had about 185 different kids participate in the program led by 8 full time counselors. This year, in order to meet the growing needs of our flourishing program, we have welcomed back 7 counselors with experience ranging from one to six years working within our program and are also committed to serving the youth of our community. PVYC has also invited four high school age students to join us this summer as counselors-in-training. These students have all shown an utmost passion of mentoring their peers and we see them as excellent resources to our program. The average attendance each day during our 8 week program ranges from 60 to 100 campers a day. Our campers participate in various activities throughout the week including basketball, sand volleyball, gaga ball, fishing, hiking, low ropes course elements, board games, billiards, and more. In order to provide the students of the area with a low-cost specialty event to wrap up the week, the Petroleum Valley Youth Center provides Fun Friday events where campers can attend offsite events like Living Treasures, The Carnegie Science Center, and more. We also have various onsite Fun Fridays like a carnival, a float day on one of our private ponds, and an end of summer campout!
Our property boasts 130 acres with two private ponds for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and swimming, basketball and volleyball courts, a 5-hole disc golf course, hiking trails, gaga pit and recreational buildings. Our amphitheater allows us to hold large group instructional events during our summer program as well as concerts and movies on the lawn. We have also recently unveiled a new low-rope elements to our ropes course in order to accommodate with team building activities!
The Youth Center facilities are also utilized by local churches and families for picnics, parties, graduation and other gatherings. Several of the churches combine each year for an Easter Sunrise service on the top of the hill near the 3 crosses.
We feel as though we have been entrusted with this parcel of God’s Creation that includes wooded ground, ponds, and wildlife, which give our campers the opportunity to enjoy nature in a guided, meaningful way. We believe that we are making a difference in the lives of area youth and our mission continues to be to reach children and teens so that we may help them find their purpose and direction for life.
The PVYC Mission Statement
The Petroleum Valley Youth Center, in service to the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and in partnership with local churches exists to enhance the
spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual and physical needs of all youth or our area, and to help them establish their identity and purpose in life.