Formation of the Valley Youth Network
Founded in 1991 by a group of concerned individuals in the Ligonier Valley, the Valley Youth Network (VYN) began as a grassroots mission to reach out to area high school youth. The founders of VYN envisioned an organization that would complement and extend the impact of youth groups in a number of Churches in the Ligonier Valley. The goal of this youth ministry is to provide youth with the tools they need to resist the downward pull of risk factors that exist in every community and move towards healthy, hopeful, responsible, future-oriented, and service-minded decisions.
VYN is a nondenominational organization, not affiliated with any one church. In this stance VYN can offer opportunities for fellowship, community service, and Christian action to young people from many churches and denominations. Some local Churches with very small youth groups expand and enhance the opportunities available to their young people by participating in the comprehensive activities offered by Valley Youth Network.
The Valley Youth Network was incorporated in the Fall of 1994 as a non-profit corporation to provide impetus and financial support for this effort. Our purpose was to join together, pool resources, and employ a well-trained professional full-time youth worker. In December of 1994, Kip Crumrine was hired as Executive Director to begin programming. The immediate efforts were modest. Meetings were first held in the director’s living room with about a dozen students attending.
Although we started small, Valley Youth Network quickly outgrew Kip and wife's (Sandy) living room and we were invited to use the facilities at the Ligonier Camp and Conference Center in the fall of 1995. Attendance continued to grow over the years by word of mouth and by the spring of 2002 over 60 youth were participating in VYN’s programs.
In the fall of 2002, VYN moved the headquarters to the The Barn (the former Wildlife Club) to accommodate additional youth who were interested in attending. During the 2002-2003 school year, attendance increased to over 150. From our inception to our present-day success, we have reached over 1,000 area high school students! And over ¼ of Ligonier High School’s student body currently participates in our programs!