Torch Club

Calling all Volunteers

Back2SchoolVolunteer_webslideDo you have a passion for helping? Do you love to cook? Maybe you really love sharing your interest in photography. Or you would love to help design a youth community service project. If you have a passion for youth, a passion for serving your community, and interest in helping to teach others, we need you! With the return to school, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County are calling all volunteers to come & help make our Club programs great. Open after-school Monday-Friday, from 2:45pm- 6:00pm, our Clubs serve youth ages 6-18. All programs run for 30-60 min, and fall under Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, and Good Character & Citizenship. We would love to include you! Contact Katelynn Sullivan at ksullivan@skagitclubs.org, or 360-419-3723 x8.

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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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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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The Competition Continues for the Brave Heroes Torch Club

The Brave Heroes Torch Club based out of La Conner is currently taking part in a national environmental challenge sponsored by Samsung. The Climate SuperStars Environmental Challenge started March 1, 2015 and will end on April 19, 2015. This challenge enabled Brave Heroes Torch Club members to demonstrate their leadership, creativity and teamwork skills while caring for the environment.

Each week, a new set of tasks is released and Club members have to complete them. Examples of the tasks were to take a climate change expedition, learn about vampire power, and even plant a tree! After completing each task, Club members have to submit a report on what they learned and provide evidence of completion. Each round of this Challenge last two weeks and at that point Clubs that are atop the national leaderboard are eligible to win some fantastic prizes. After Round two ended on March 30th, The Brave Heroes were awarded a Samsung 8.1 Soundbar, approximate retail value of $750.

The Brave Heroes Torch Club will continue to complete more tasks. The final round ends on April 19th. Torch Club with the greatest number of eligible accumulated total points at that time will be the grand prize winner. The next ten Torch Clubs with the greatest number of eligible accumulated total points at that time will be the first prize winners. In case of a tie, the judges will decide the winner based on the overall quality of that Torch Club’s submissions across all of their tasks.

The grand prize winning Torch Club will receive for their Club, Samsung Energy Star® qualified home appliances and Samsung consumer electronics, approximate retail value of $25,000. If the Brave Heroes are awarded the grand prize, Torch Club Advisor and Club Director Kendrick Davis-Pittmon will work with Samsung to determine the appropriate Club needs. Out of the 220 Clubs registered to take the Climate SuperStars Environmental Challenge, the Brave Heroes sit in second place behind Mt. View Torch Club of Bristol Connecticut. What’s special about this is that both of these Club have been pen pals since October, well before the Challenge begun!

How you can support the Brave Heroes efforts? They are hosting an Earth Day Party on Monday, April 20th at 5:30pm. This event will be free and open to the entire community. There will be themed crafts and activities led by both Brave Heroes Torch Club members and Club Staff.

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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Torch Club members tour La Conner Wastewater Facility

16579422288_b2d406839f_oThe National award-winning Brave Heroes Torch Club has not lost momentum as they are committed to learning more about the environment and how they, through educating their peers, can become better stewards of it. On February 18th, Brave Heroes Torch Club took a field trip to the La Conner Wastewater Facility located on Chilberg Road in La Conner, WA. The purpose of this educational experience was to learn about how the Waste Water Facility operates as well as the composting the facility does with the waste that comes from the towns water. Before this trip, most members only knew composting as food scraps that can be stored and used in gardens like we do at the Club for Positive Sprouts.

At the La Conner Wastewater Facility Club members learned that through filtering the water the facility takes the bio-waste and creates bio-solids which are then mixed with wood chips and soil, heated to 160 degrees for 30 days which removes any leftover bacteria, and is then sent out into the community for gardening in flower beds and vegetable gardens as well as some local farming fields. The most interesting fact of this experience was learning that after all the filtering and treatment, the facility pumps 330,000 gallons of water daily out into the La Conner channel.

Brave Heroes Torch Club is a small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11 to 13. Through service activities, Torch Club Members identify Club and community needs, develop programs and activities and actively participate in their community.

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Brave Heroes Host 3rd Annual Sleeping Bag & Pillow Drive

Brave Heroes Sleeping Bag Drive

This year’s drive will benefit the Oasis Teen Shelter located in Mount Vernon

The Brave Heroes Torch Club is gearing up for their 3rd annual Sleeping Bag & Pillow Drive that will benefit the Oasis Teen Shelter located in Mount Vernon, WA. 

From now until December 15th, the Brave Heroes will be collecting the following items:

  • Sleeping bags (new or gently used)
  • Pillows (new or gently used)
  • Seasonal clothing
  • Blankets
  • Sleeping mats
  • Hats
  • Toiletries 

Items can be dropped off at the La Conner Boys & Girls Clubs, located at 305 North 6th Street. For more information about Brave Heroes Torch Club or any other programs that promote Good Character & Citizenship, please contact Club Director Kendrick Davis-Pittmon at (360) 466-3672.

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Service Clubs Begin in Anacortes

Keystone Leadership (left to right:) Karen Gallardo, Evan McKay, Jacky Ramirez, Alberto Yabuy

Keystone Leadership (left to right:) Karen Gallardo, Evan McKay, Jacky Ramirez, Alberto Yabuy

The Anacortes Club began its first sessions of Keystone and Torch Club this week! Keystone and Torch club are the Boys & Girls Club’s service learning programs. Each club brings youth together to participate in service both in and out of the Club. This year our programs will each focus on completing a National Service Project.

This year, in support of the new Keystone focus area of Teen Outreach and the BGCA teen membership initiative “Race to the Club”, Keystoners nationally chose Teen Outreach as their project theme. “Teens Lead!” is the title for this year’s project. Challenging Keystoners to design a community service project that will mobilize all the teens in their community to make a difference.

In Torch Club this year the National Project is partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program. The theme for the 2014 National Project focuses on caring for and creating awareness for the environment, primarily focused on saving energy and helping to fight climate change. The name, chosen by Torch Club members, is ENERGY STAR® Heroes: Be Your Own Amazing.

Each club is led by Club members who have been voted into their leadership roles. The 2014-2015 Keystone Leadership is Treasurer Alberto Yabuy, Secretary Jacky Ramirez, Vice President Evan McKay and President Karen Gallardo. The 2014-2015 Torch Club Leadership is Treasurer Ainsley Willingham, Secretary Paige Winters, Vice President Mia Willoughby and President Izabelle Wells. 

Check back often for updates from these two great clubs!

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Torch Club Leadership 2014-2015

Left: Julissa F., Darienne W., Lauren N., Torrance D., Gaby F.

All 16 Members of the Mount Vernon Boys & Girls Club’s Torch Club program participated in the race to become a program leader. After each member prepared and presented his or her speeches, the group voted for their leaders.

We are happy to announce our 2014/15 Torch Club Leaders for the Mount Vernon Boys & Girls Club. Lauren N. is President, Darienne W. is Vice President, Torrance D. is the Treasurer, Gaby F. is the Secretary, and Julissa F. is the back-up Treasurer and Secretary. Congrats to the all our Torch Club leaders!

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Torch Club at the Helping Hands Foodbank

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The Torch Club at the Sedro-Woolley Boys & Girls Club continues to serve the community.  On Wednesday, March 16th they volunteered at the Helping Hands Food Bank by distributing oatmeal into family size packages.  These 4th-6th graders are learning that one hour of service can make a huge difference at the food bank and throughout the community.

Torch Club is a service/leadership group that meets each Wednesday at the Sedro-Woolley Boys & Girls Club to develop leadership skills, team building, and help perform services to the Club and Community.  Since September club members have earned over 800 hours of community service as kids and teens work towards earning the Presidential Year of Service Award.
 
If you have questions regarding this program at the Sedro-Woolley Club or are interested in getting involved, please call or email Club Director John Garman at (360) 856-1830 or jgarman@skagitclubs.org
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Food Bank Project

Members showing off Food Art.

Members showing off their Food Art.

20 Youth and Teen Members at the Mount Vernon Boys & Girls Club participated in the Food Bank Project. The Museum of NW Art provided all the necessary ingredients to successfully decorate our Neighbors in Need Food Bank. During their six one hour art lessons, Members learned new techniques and explored new mediums for art. Members also learned how to describe their art pieces in a technical manner. Members jumped at the opportunity to described their art work to the Volunteers, Director and Board Member during their final visit to the food bank.

We would like to thank Jon Patrick Olson, an intern at the NW Art Museum, and Jasmine Valandani, Education Director at the Museum of NW Art, for making this unique opportunity a possibility for our Members.

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