Monthly Archives: May 2015

La Conner Boys & Girls Brave Heroes Torch Club Takes 1st Place

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Members of Torch Club on a Climate Change Expedition, visiting the Swinomish Marine Interpretive Center

The Brave Heroes Torch Club based out of La Conner recently competed in a National competition, The Climate SuperStars Environmental Challenge, sponsored by Samsung. This competition challenged Brave Heroes Torch Club members to demonstrate their leadership, creativity and teamwork skills while caring for the environment.

Each week, the Club completed a new set of tasks, such as; to take a climate change expedition, learn about vampire power, and plant a tree! After completing each task, Club members submitted a report on what they learned. At the end of Round two, The Brave Heroes were awarded a Samsung 8.1 Soundbar, approximate retail value of $750. With ten Torch Clubs left in the race, the emboldened Brave Heroes continued on, garnering points for each round. When the final submissions were tallied the Brave Heroes stood on top. The La Conner Boys & Girls Club will receive the first prize of a Samsung 55 inch Smart TV, approximate retail value of $1,399.  

First chartered in La Conner in 2011, Brave Heroes Torch Clubs is  a small group program designed to help staff members meet the special needs of today’s 11- to 13-year-olds by providing a sense of belonging, character development, positive interaction with a small group of peers, and guidance and support of a committed caring adult. Brave Heroes Torch Club also provides young members with a sense of pride, self-worth and accomplishment; teaches them to make and take responsibility for their decisions; and offers opportunities to make a difference in the world through helping others.

We are so proud of the Brave Heroes Torch Club. Their prize is well deserved. Thank you to Samsung for sponsoring this learning opportunity for our youth. For more information about the Brave Heroes Torch Club or any other program that promotes Good Character & Citizenship, please contact Club Director Kendrick Davis-Pittmon at (360) 419-5306

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Keystone Program teaches character & leadership skills

La Conner Teens at RossThe La Conner Club has been implementing the  Keystone Program locally with great success. Teens today need support as they strive to attain their goals in life. Through Aaron’s Foundation’s sponsorship of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 2014-2015 Keystone Program, La Conner’’s teens are empowered to effect positive change at the La Conner Club and throughout the local community while developing their character and leadership skills, in an effort to create their own path for success.

Each year, the Boys & Girls Club youth identify the most pressing issues facing America’s teens and create a project through their local Club’s Keystone Program to help raise awareness and support the cause. Earlier in May the  Keystone Gladiators, as they are called in La Conner, talked about homelessness and learned about the number of families that depend on food banks and shelters to survive. They decided to put on a door-to-door toiletries drive that would benefit the Friendship House, a local organization that specializes in sheltering, feeding, and clothing Skagit County residents in need. Within a week, the Keystone Gladiators received about a half a dozen calls about donations and they collected over 250 items. 

Why is the Keystone Program so important to La Conner’’s youth? When compared to their peers, youth who participated in civic engagement programs were less likely to use drugs and drop out of school, and were more likely to attend college, have more positive attitudes toward work and to vote as young adults. 

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Take Time at a Club

What a year this has been! I’ve been so privileged to gain many memories with our kids in Skagit County, especially over the last few months. Taking time out from a busy schedule and spending time with them, whether it is dropping by a Club for a few minutes and playing mancala with one of our members in Mount Vernon, who always catches me cheating, or accompanying a group on a field trip, I am blessed to be able to see our staff in action, and see the way they change lives each and every day. 

This may be my vocation, but I am also a donor-investor in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County, like so many others. After all, how can one request another to consider taking that step when they haven’t themselves?  So, I take my investment seriously, and strive to protect and stretch the resources our community has entrusted in us. By getting out into the field regularly, I can maintain a close pulse on how we are doing, that no report or statistic that comes across my desk is going to show.

Our staff and members love to show off their Clubs. It’s like a part of their family that they are so very proud of. I encourage everyone in our community to spend a few minutes at a Club now and then to see first-hand what our committed staff and members do with children that generate productive, caring, responsible citizens. Or, call our Admin office at 360-419-3723 and inquire as to the when the next Club Tour is happening. We’re quite happy to load up one of our Club vans and take individuals to two or more of our Clubs to see how each is unique and effective in its’ service delivery.

In just a couple of weeks we start our summer program, this year growing to expand to be able to offer free lunch to all our youth thanks to a partnership with the USDA. It’s just one of many ways we are exploring collaborations as a means to better serve our youth, families, and Skagit community. 

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Passport to Manhood is in full swing at the Mount Vernon Boys & Girls Club

Passport to ManhoodPassport to Manhood is one of the Club’s Targeted Programs under the category of Live: Healthy Lifestyles. Each week the Club’s “Wise Guys” in grades 4th-6th meet to discuss a variety of important topics. This past week Club members discussed good and bad authority and how to react to authority in appropriate ways. According to members, bad authority included some historical and global figures including Hitler and ISIS and some positive examples were law enforcement, teachers, and even parents and staff.
 
Over the past several weeks Club boys also discussed: “What makes a good role model and how can we be good role models?” “What makes a good father?” and “How to build a good relationship with your dad.” Led by Club Staff member and 2013 Youth of the Year Bobby Castro, our Passport to Manhood program meets every Wednesday and will continue through the month of May, wrapping up with the end of the school year.

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