Archive for the ‘Fort Collins BGC’ Category

Rock Outside with Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County!

April 20th, 2017 by Laura Smith

Hey Fort Collins!

OK, now that we have your attention we have a fun scavenger hunt for you! Thanks to the creative mind of our Arts Program Specialist at the Fort Collins Unit, dozens of painted rocks have been hidden all over Fort Collins. We need YOUR help in finding these adorable rocks. If you spot one while hiking, running, biking, taking a stroll, grabbing some ice cream, etc...make sure to post a picture of you (and the rock!) to our Facebook page.

Please rehide the rocks after you've taken your silly photos so others can rock(out) as well.

We're all about free fun here at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County, and what is more fun that #optingoutside and finding painted rocks?!

Now go hunt, we'll see you out there.


Holiday Service Challenges!

January 12th, 2017 by Laura Smith


The holidays may technically be over, but that doesn't mean the spirit of the holidays has to fade (or the tree has to come down). We're still channeling the holiday cheer here at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County and hope you'll join us!
During the holiday season, each Unit was asked to participate in a Service Challenge as a part of one of our core priority outcomes: Good Character & Leadership. Read on to find out what our Units did for the community this season!
Fort Collins Unit 
This year, the Fort Collins Unit made personalized ornaments for the occupants at The Remington House affiliated with The Jacob Center. The Jacob Center was founded in 1988 by three social workers. The name Jacob is typically associated with healing and also refers to an ancient surveying instrument (Jacob Staff) that helps people get their bearings. The Jacob Center focuses on working with youth, families and the community to inspire positive, long-lasting change. A part of that, the Remington House, services a range of behavioral and emotional issues, including abuse, family relational issues, trauma issues and substance abuse. To help boost spirits, Club Members of the SMART (skills mastery and resistance training) Moves program made ornaments and then educated other Club Members about The Jacob Center and how it correlates with the lessons provided in SMART Moves.
Loveland Units 
Following along with their summer service challenge (commUNITY), the Loveland Unit collected an assortment of clothes that they donated to Homeless Gear. They are hoping to follow up commUNITY part two by hosting the Loveland Police Department at the Club Unit for another activity.
Wellington Unit 
 This year, the Torch Club (a chartered leadership and service club for boys and girls ages 11 to 13) hosted a coat drive! Club Members were able to donate 50 coats to Zion Lutheran who gave the coats to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The Torch Club made posters and asked community members to donate coats.
Great work to all our Club Members for their selfless work this holiday season!

The Growing Project partners with BGCLC

October 6th, 2016 by Laura Smith

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County not only strives to give Club Kids great futures, but also encourage them to learn valuable skills that help them in life, not necessarily just the classroom. One such program started this summer thanks to Marla Flynn, arts program specialist at the Fort Collins Unit. Flynn decided to partner with The Growing Project, a nonprofit located in Fort Collins that promotes the value of a strong, diverse local food system so that all residents of Northern Colorado can become more educated directly on agricultural experiences.

This summer, Club Kids were taught the importance of growing fresh, nourishing, regional food and why going local is so great! During the programming this summer, youth would venture to Hope Farms where they would learn something new each day, including watching a successful garden grow!


At the Fort Collins Unit, youth have their very own garden where they plant, care for and harvest their yummy veggies. Each week, youth also open their own "farm stand" where they give away their bountiful loot to other Club members and their families.


Thank you to The Growing Project and Hope Farms for educating youth and hanging out with the BGCLC. Can't wait to continue this awesome partnership!


Meet the staff: Charles Pratt IV

September 22nd, 2016 by Laura Smith


Most famously known for his work, creating and hosting, "The Charles Show," Charles Pratt IV has been making learning fun for the past year as the Academic Program Specialist for the Fort Collins Unit. Starting Monday, Charles will leading our Harmony Village Outreach Site! Staff and youth agree that Charles's dedication and charisma make him a great fit for BGC life. Read below to learn more about Charles.

What is your favorite food?
When I can't get my hands on chocolate-covered crickets, my favorite food is definitely pizza. I would probably eat it every day if I could (Domino's pan pizza FTW).
What is your ideal vacation?
My ideal vacation would be to travel around the US and see all the monuments (super touristy, I know). Mount Rushmore is on the top of that list!
If you were trapped on a deserted island, what three things would you bring?
I would take my girlfriend Sam (cue the "Awwww" from the crowd), a soccer ball, and a copy of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (I swear I keep meaning to finish it, perhaps being stranded on an island would do the trick).
What is a unique talent that you have?
Not a talent per se, but a fun fact is that I used to work as a kids' party entertainer. I got to be Spider-man, Darth Vader, Iron Man, and others. I even hosted a Justin Bieber party (Really). The coolest thing was dancing with kids as DJ Lance Rock from Yo Gabba Gabba. The weirdest thing was a woman at a party asking for my phone number when I was Iron Man.

BGCLC Teens Gear Up for #MyEmptyPlate Challenge

September 1st, 2016 by Laura Smith

September is Hunger Action Month, and in honor and support of that, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County has teamed up with the Food Bank for Larimer County in support of their #myemptyplate challenge. During the week leading up to Sept. 1, Food Bank employees came to the Boys & Girls Clubs to educate our teen members about the importance of Hunger Action Month, and what they could do to spread awareness in order to support their cause.

Teen members were given empty plates and also given a sort of incentive challenge: whatever clubhouse uploads the most creative photo with their empty plate will win a party! To check out photos club members upload, browse #myemptyplate on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

To learn more about the challenge and Hunger Action Month, visit the Food Bank for Larimer Counties website.

Don't forget to wear orange Sept. 8, upload your own photos and take action!


An unexpected start for Academic Success

June 23rd, 2016 by Jenna Riedi


Yes, you read that right. Poop.

Poop is what inspires this installment of one club member from Fort Collins achieving Academic Success. This gross and taboo word has everything to do with how Charles, Academic Program Specialist, from the Fort Collins Club was able to get one of the least academically-enthused Members to come in and start doing his homework during Power Hour.

At the Fort Collins Club, the major focus within the Academic Success Outcome is participation in Power Hour. An overwhelming majority of the parents have expressed enthusiasm for the Power Hour program and getting Members to do their homework. Charles commented that it warms his heart greatly to see the kids that consistently come in to get work done. However, we all know that it's the kids that DON'T do their work that really need attention. That, indeed, is where we earn our money. The trick to helping those members that don’t want to do their work is finding the one thing that flips the switch for each individual. For some, it's the recognition and prizes provided for Power Hour attendance. For others, it's a phone call to home or school. For Amadeo Lopez, it was poop.

Located in Charles’s room is a book titled, "The Truth About Poop,” by Susan G. Goodman. One day, the fearless Fort Collins Club leader, Brian, thought it would be hilarious to display the book in Charles's window for everyone to see. Well, one day, Amadeo saw the book, and of course, he wanted to read it. Charles had hoped it would trigger a desire for him to come into the Learning Lab more often. And what do you know, that's exactly what happened. He came into the room many, many times just to read that book (did we mention the cover art is of an elephant on the toilet doing his business?).

In regards to Power Hour, Amadeo's parents had signed him and his sister up several months ago. However, getting Amadeo to come in and work was an enormous task. This book--this freakin' book--is what greased the wheels and showed him that the Learning Lab is a fun place where he can get his homework done (and, yes, read about poop). Granted, this was a slow transition; Charles may have had to chase Amadeo down a few times. But, once he started agreeing to come in, it became easier. He won Academic Success Youth of the Week for his efforts. And now, he's coming in ON HIS OWN to do his reading (and not just the poop book!). He's reading his required 20 pages per day. The books aren't always at his level, and there are still times where he "doesn't have homework,” but it's great progress for someone who flat out refused to come in a few months prior. With some kids, it's just a slow build, and that's okay. Being able to provide opportunity for Amadeo is great, but more importantly, he's growing as a human being.

Soon enough, Charles will be able to say that #2 is what helped Amadeo make education his #1.


Youth Providing Warmth

December 11th, 2015 by Jenna Riedi

Keystone ClubOne of BGCLC’s three priority outcome areas is Good Character & Citizenship, with the goal of each youth becoming caring, productive, and responsible citizens. In order for our members to achieve Good Character & Citizenship, we provide leadership and service clubs that focus on: academic success, career preparation, and community service.

This Holiday season, our Torch Club and Keystone Club joined forces to help make blankets and collect canned food items for the Fort Collins Rescue Mission. The teens were incredibly passionate about this idea and got straight to work! For weeks, they worked on promoting their ideas by creating posters, talking with parents and staff members, and creating a book drive in order to raise the necessary money to buy blanket materials. By doing so, the Clubs raised nearly $80 and were able to buy 40 fleece blankets to donate. In addition, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store was kind enough to donate 30 fleece blankets.  After collecting blanket materials, the teens turned their attention to collecting canned food items. They put together a food drive and were able to collect 4 boxes and 3 bags of food items to donate as well.

Before the Thanksgiving Holiday, Staff Members took five Torch Club teens and five Keystone Club teens to The Rescue Mission. There, the teens were given a tour of the facility and were able to learn more about homelessness in the Fort Collins area.  After the tour, the teens dropped off their donations and left in smiles! They fully embraced the opportunity to give back to the community during the holiday season. We applaud them for all of their hard work and determination!

A Day At Lory State Park

October 1st, 2015 by Jenna Riedi

We were recently awarded a generous scholarship from Lory State Park to have a field trip to their beautiful park!  Last Friday we were able to attend the park for the first time.  The Fort Collins Unit members went on a scavenger hunt where they learned how to use compasses.  The scavenger hunt taught members about park safety as well as camping and hiking facts they should know.

Members then were able to go on a short hike, where we discussed what the land used to be before it was a park, discussed rock slides and how to find your location if your naturalist guide gets hurt.  All great lessons for the members to learn in order to be safety educated about the outdoors.  There were statements from the members that day such as "This is the best day ever, I don't want to leave" and "I love hiking and exploring, we should go on another trail!"

Overall it was a fantastic experience for all involved!
Lory State Park 2015 (2) Lory State Park 2015

Summer Service Challenge: Fort Collins!

August 19th, 2015 by Jenna Riedi

Fort Collins Clubhouse Project:  Blankets for Shelter Animals

The Larimer Humane Society (LHS) has many wish list items, including the desire Summer Service - Fort Collins 2to acquire blankets intended to provide comfort for shelter animals.  Our project focused on providing blankets to LHS.  Jo-Ann Fabric in Fort Collins donated most of the fabric needed for the project, and employees at the store were excited about the project and thrilled to be able to assist. With fabric in tow, we were able to enlist several volunteers from CSU’s Lambda Theta Nu Sorority to work with Club members on creating the blankets.  Youth, staff, and volunteers worked together to create nearly 40 blankets.  Many Club members involved in the project took a field trip to LHS to donate the blankets, and received an educational tour from LHS staff that highlighted the importance a blanket can have on an animal’s overall well-being Summer Service - Fort Collinswhile at the shelter.  Club members spent time helping to socialize dogs and cats, and decided the Fort Collins Clubhouse needs focus next on adoption of shelter animals! Upon returning to the Club, we held a debriefing session with Club members to reflect on the process of the project, and what we were able to accomplish by working with others.


Youth, staff, volunteers, and businesses were able to work together to dispense a solid amount of positive energy into the universe, and ultimately provide the possibility of improved comfort and well-being to a generally vulnerable population. Perhaps most importantly, Club members were able to positively and thoughtfully reflect on their experience, and have developed a strong desire to implement many more service projects.


Great job, Fort Collins Clubhouse!

Wind Turbines ... and Robotics

January 30th, 2014 by Rachel Messersmith



On Thursday, March 6th Road Narrows The Road Narrows Robotics visits Loveland BGCLCRobotics company came into the club to teach members about what robots can do and how they function.

They have brains and senses just like us! The members got to design their very own The Road Narrows Robotics team visits BGCLX in Loveland,  Coloradorobots and their robot's function.

The kids got to interact with different types of robots and learned how an engineer develops a robot's abilities.

Thank you to Road Narrows for Our kids drew a picture about The Road Narrows Robotics  and  their presentation to BGCLC Loveland , Coloradovolunteering their time and energy to bring robotics to our club.





 Wind Turbines!

Building Wind Turbines in Fort Collins was a wonderful day at thBuilding wind turbinese club. It was filled with exploration, a whole lot of engineering, design  and a little bit of frustration. We were able to lift some washers with the wind turbine the members constructed. We were unable to get the motors to spin fast enough to generate energy to light the LED light bulbs but that did not stop the members from trying every possible way to get it to work.

It is a great experiment kit that STEAM is excited to own, so we can continue to do experiments in the future. Thank you to our volunteers who helped us discover the power behind wind!


If you would like to learn about our past STEAM activities and experiments check out our 2013 STEAM BLOG.