It's a cool house. Not quite as big as in the photo above, and one-story. Over the years much of the work and remodeling and upkeep has been done by the youth themselves. They have a real sense of ownership of the Shak, and if you ask any of them questions about it, they always say, "What happens in the Shak stays in the Shak." It's cool that it's a safe place.
There are little varments in the Shak from time to time though. When the kids graduate out of the children's department and go to the Shak, we have a cool event called, "The Crossing." We've done this for 3 or 4 years now. We actually go to a bridge in town, and the kids cross the bridge with the teens and youth leaders on the other side cheering them on and welcoming them to the youth group. It has become one of my favorite things we do.
Before they cross over, I talk to them, and present them with a cross. So I was in the middle of the serious words of wisdom that would carry one student through adolescence when she interrupts me, and says, 'Ms. Mary, are there really mice in the Shak?" How funny. That's all she was worried about! I had to be honest with her and say, "yes sweetie, there are mice in the Shak." Humbling. Funny. Helped me to remember to not be so full of my words, that I don't see real concerns.