Monthly Archives: July 2016

La Conner Torch Club Members Beautify the Club & Community

IMG_0225Torch Club members worked extremely hard in prepping the garden this last spring. Once the weather warmed, members could be found working tirelessly on the garden each day. Club members were able to enjoy early harvests of lettuce and peas, and some flower blooms.

Torch Club President, Riley Brooks, took the initiative and other Torch Club members were quick to respond, all playing a key role in the entirety of the gardening process. The Torch Club became quite popular, as younger members were constantly asking to be a part of the program. 

Gardening was just a portion of Torch Club participation. Members also went to local businesses and helped sweep, pick up trash, and clean windows. At the Club they cleaned tables, washed dishes, served snacks, and lead activities—setting a great example for younger members.

Due to low enrollment, the La Conner Club is closed for the summer, but Program Director, Emily Chappel, is making sure their gardening efforts will be rewarded and has moved the plants to a new garden plot. She plans to bring in harvests for all Clubs to enjoy. Members will look forward to fall and new projects for Torch Club in the community.

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Clubs & Burlington Library Partner in STEM Projects for Teens

DSC_0827The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County were able to have an added presence in Burlington this year, thanks to a partnership with the Burlington Library and a grant from Tesoro Corp, focusing on STEM programs. Through this funding, the Club’s Director of STEM Initiatives, John Garman, tours all the Club sites, now including La Venture & Mount Baker Middle Schools, as well as the Burlington Public Library once a week— introducing teens to new, fun & engaging projects.

 The workshops at the library included topics such as: Engineering Bridges, Coding, Digital Photography, Dissecting the Tulip, and 3D Printing. Garman worked with Librarian, Jenny Fredriksen, to come up with and implement the topic for each week. 3D Printing was definitely a hit with the teens. One week’s workshop focused on the free online programs available, like Tinkercad and Sculptris, where teens can create 3D objects for printing or rendering for animation. The following week, the participants saw their creations come to fruition as they used the 3D printer. “As open source technology becomes more and more available, it’s our local youth that take the lead on designing, implementing, and ultimately furthering future technologies as they explore their own creations and applications,” says Garman. 

In its pilot year at the Burlington Public Library the program saw more than 30 youth participate, averaging 8-10 per week. The program was to provided to teens ages 13 to 18 with after school programming, at no cost, and included a free Boys & Girls Club membership. The library will continue to run a youth program through the summer and the Boys & Girls Club will be providing a week long STEM Camp at the Burlington School District building in August. As of now, the Boys & Girls Club and the Burlington Public Library are in discussions about continuing teen programs for the following school year. Until then, the Boys & Girls Club and the Burlington Public Library will continue to provide youth and teen programs as well as resources throughout the summer.

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“A Mixed Up Fairy Tale” by the La Conner Boys & Girls Club

DSC_0861The La Conner Club has recently added a Theatre Program to their repertoire, with Staff member, Kimberly Carrillo to lead the youth in the ways of set building, costuming, acting, and play writing. Club youth, parents and community members gathered to watch the short first play, “A Mixed Up Fairy Tale”, featuring a mashup of popular fairy tales. Attendees sat in anticipation, enjoying some popcorn, while waiting for the curtain to open. The older Club members were feeling their muscles burn as they were the ones holding up the curtain and backdrops! 

Finally they were underway with the appearances of Little Bo Peep, her sheep, a horse, The Wicked Stepmother, a magic mirror, a frog prince, Cinderella locked in a tower and her rescuer with a really complicated name. “Rickle-pig-skin, Tuckle-ril-pin, Pimple-til-rin, Simple-ril-tin …er… Oh dash it all! Call me Jack,” exclaims Rumplestiltskin, played by Nathan Haley. 

“Developing this play was such a different experience for me. This was my first time ever taking the lead director role in a play, or being involved in any play for that matter,” says Carrillo. “I couldn’t be happier with the participant’s performances and the amazing turnout. I was extremely thrilled with the outcome, and I loved seeing how actively engaged the kids were. I’d like to thank everyone who played a role in the development of this play, along with everyone that came to support the event. I look forward to next year!”

Carrillo plans to have many more productions for the kids to be a part of and the community will be welcome to come be part of the audience.

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