Healthy Teens Project

Perdue Foundation & Draper Valley Farms provides Healthy Lifestyles funding for Clubs

As part of its commitment to enrich the lives of children in the community, Draper Valley Farms has awarded a $10,000 grant to help Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County provide at risk children a foundation for achieving healthy lifestyles.
Through its Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the Draper Valley grant will fund the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County programs, with special focus on Healthy Lifestyles. The Healthy Lifestyles initiative — one of three Priority Outcomes at the Club — engages youth in constructive learning activities that stress the importance of healthy eating, maintaining a balanced diet, practicing self-control when making food choices and decisions, and the importance of pursuing and maintaining habits that are constructive. The other Priority Outcomes programs focus on Academic Success and Good Character & Citizenship.
“As we are serving at capacity (averaging 110 kids per day), we see an incredible demand in Mount Vernon for positive, structured programming after-school and during the summer, and we deliver the best programs, with incredible results,” said Angela Freeberg, Club Director in Mount Vernon. “Partnering with Draper Valley, and our other community supporters, we are able to bring that impact to the kids who need us.”
“The Healthy Lifestyles and Healthy Habits programs are fun and exciting ways to engage children in bettering their wellbeing and their future,” said Mark Knight, director of operations at Draper Valley Farms. “We are proud to support these efforts in Skagit County, which benefit so many, including the children of many of our associates.”
Director Ron McHenry explains, “With the support of Draper Valley Farms, there is a great opportunity to continue teaching our youth about what goes into their food, what is involved in local farming, and what impact a great local business is able to have on the community.” “Going beyond the short chats about eating a balanced diet, this type of support from Draper Valley enables us to talk forcefully about why our priority outcomes programs matter in the lives of our youth, and in our community,” said McHenry. “Healthy Lifestyles ultimately deals with choices and commitments, and what those choices can help us accomplish. When we ask our kids what it means to commit to health, they come to understand that the question is much more than just a discussion of food. As we center each of our Club activities to be fun and engaging, but also formative, in terms of their character, skills, and appreciation of the world around them, we establish the focus on how all three outcomes are united, and can lead to incredible results.”
Operating after-school each day, all four Clubs located in Anacortes, La Conner, Mount Vernon, and Sedro Woolley, are seeing incredible numbers since the start of the school year, according to McHenry. 
The support from Draper Valley & Perdue is a great example of how the partnership between local businesses and the Clubs serve the youth, create the opportunity for collaboration, and enable much greater discussion about the different jobs, skills, and demands there are throughout the community.
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Healthy Teens-the McDonalds Experiment

Starting December 12, 2012 the Sedro-Woolley Teen Center began an experiment with french fries and a cheeseburger from McDonald’s. The food was put in a sealed plastic container and we took “guestimates” on how long it will take for the food to decompose. The point of this experiment was for our teens to see how fast-food & processed food is full of preservatives that can have an effect on our digestive system and body. The food was fine for the first 1 ½ weeks. Then we went on Winter break and when we got back we found that the cheeseburger and fries had developed some mold! Two weeks later the mold had taken over all the food! It took over a month for our experiment to come to fruition; the teens had guesses as to how long it would take. Most of our teens guessed a month, but some guessed 2, 3 and 4 months! Whew, glad it wasn’t that long. To continue this experiment the teens will be making a home made hamburger and seeing how long that takes to decay. Bon appétit!

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Teen Center celebrates first Christmas

With the Holiday Season upon us and Winter Break coming up quickly the Sedro-Woolley Teen Center decided it was time for some baking and decorating! Our amazing volunteer Sylvia Matterand joined us for two days holiday decorations and activities. While members waited for their turns to create some wonderful confectionaries, they decorated their Christmas Tree with homemade, salt-dough ornaments that they designed and painted themselves. Members also made their own wrapping paper and decorated boxes to put under the tree.

Christmas wasn’t the only Holiday our Teens were thinking about these past few weeks though. The Goodfellas group learned about the meaning behind Chanukah and what the eight candles of the Menorah represent. In Healthy Habits Members discussed their New Year’s Resolutions, which include getting faster and stronger, acquiring a job, and winning a Nobel Prize. In Youth for Unity, Members learned about the origins of Kwanzaa and it’s seven principles as well as how Christmas is celebrated in Japan.

Even though we are only open for three weeks of December the Sedro-Woolley Teens have been busy getting as much Boys & Girls Club fun in before Winter Break rolls around and they have to go two weeks without the Teen Center. How will they survive? Hopefully the presents and lack of school will help! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Sedro-Woolley Teen Center!

To view photos from the Teen’s holiday activities click here.

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SW Teens Test Water Quality

Do you ever worry about the quality of the water you drink? How about whether or not that fancy bottled water is really better than your tap water? Well the Members of the Sedro-Woolley Boys & Girls Club Teen Center were wondering just that, so our Healthy Teens Group decided to test the quality of our tap water versus the quality of bottled water. From samples of both tap and bottled water, Teens tested for pH balance, nitrates, iron, and copper content using a water quality test kit available at Home Depot. Everyone was both relieved and surprised to find that they were unable to discern any significant difference between the two waters! Both water sources tested within the “safe zone” for water quality… Obviously Sedro-Woolley has awesome tap water!

 Are you interested in being a guest speaker or volunteer for Healthy Habits at theSedro-Woolley Teen Center? We would love to have you share your knowledge and expertise with our members! Contact Teen Center Coordinator Patrick Dougher by phone at 360-419-5525 or by E-Mail at

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Teens TOE trip to Orcas Island

MV Teens TOE trip to Orcas Island / Mt. Constitution

Atop Mount Constitution on Orcas Island

Mount Vernon’s Teen Outdoor Expedition Club (TOE) went on their second trip last Saturday to Orcas Island to climb Mount Constitution! Their 7mile hiking journey started off at 6am in the morning to catch the early ferry out to the islands. None of the 7 participating teens were even a tiny bit discouraged by the rain that started to pour down at the club. Once we arrived at the Anacortes ferry dock the rain subsided and the sun began to rise!

Teens partook in an ice-breaker exercise on the ferry as they enjoyed the sun illuminating the beautiful San Juan Islands.

Mount Constitution has an elevation gain for 1500ft in the span of 3 miles.  Teens were persistence and determined to reach the top! They encouraged each other and yelled out “No Man Left Behind” as they took turns pushing each other to continue on even with their muscles screaming for them to stop!

Teens were rewarded with a spectacular view of the San Juan Islands at the top of the mountain. Everyone enjoyed a hearty lunch in the lookout tower. Teens took their time reading about the history of the tower as it began to drizzle outside.

During our return journey the rain poured down on us but, the teen’s spirit was not broken. Teens sang Disney songs all the way down the mountain and caught glimpse of two deer, a bunch of rabbits and a salamander!

Once back on the ferry some teens fell asleep, some played the ice-breaker game from the morning and others engaged in puzzles that were strewn across table tops which the ferry service provided.  We returned at 7pm and the teens were already asking about the next TOE trip we would be doing in January.

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