Posts Tagged ‘Character Development’

State Ed Team Takes 1st Place!

May 11th, 2017 by Laura Smith

Girls in technology rock...and last Saturday girls from the Loveland-Pulliam Unit showcased that in a major way by bringing home 1st place in the "Challenge" Category (engineering and geography) at State Education Day.

Seven Club Members at the Loveland-Pulliam Unit competed on Saturday. After a scheduling conflict arose a few days prior, half the original team (who had been practicing for a month) had to back out, but new members eagerly stepped up. With little time to spare, the new team members practiced diligently and their efforts paid off!

The team walked away with a first place trophy in challenge (engineering and math) as well as a third place overall trophy.

Way to go ladies! We can't wait to see how you do next year!

 

Volunteer of the Month: Javier!

April 5th, 2017 by Laura Smith

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County wouldn't be such a success without our awesome volunteers who help in the Clubs, at events and anything and everything else we can think of. To highlight our volunteers, we will be featuring one AWESOME volunteer each month.  If you're a volunteer with BGCLC and would like to be featured, reach out to Megan, our volunteer coordinator, at volunteer@bgclarimer.org!

This month we meet Javier Eiserman. Javier volunteers at our Harmony Village location during the week. The youth love him and he's always brightening their (and our) day! He'll be teaching in Nicaragua this summer, but we can't wait to hear about his adventures when he returns!

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1. What is your favorite smell?
My favorite smell is peppermint or the freshness in the air after it rains.
2. What is the most beautiful place you've ever been to?
That is a hard one, but I'd say either Li River in China or Paris (the Eiffel Tower).
3. Would you rather win an Olympic medal, academy award, or Nobel peace prize and why?
Nobel because it means I hopefully helped a lot of people.
4. What is the bravest thing you've ever done?
Climbed a volcano in Guatemala.
5. What do you like most about volunteering with Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County?
The kiddos that we work with are amazing and full of energy that will always brighten your day.

Club experiences: Beth from Wellington

March 16th, 2017 by Laura Smith
Unit Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County - Wellington Unit Rob, sits down with Beth, Wellington Youth of the Year, to share her story and experiences while attending the Club.
Breath, You have this. Everything that you are about to do will be hard, but you will grow. This is about the journey of four speeches that Beth will forever remember.
The Wellington Youth Of the Year, Beth, just finished sharing her speech to her peers at the Club that she has been attending for years.  It was an accomplishment as Beth is the person who can step in and help when the staff and Club needs her support most. She is great with directing and assisting youth and talking to them one-on-one. But Beth had one challenge that she knew of: she was shy and resonates more to being an introvert.
Youth of the Year members take on the role of being a public spokesperson for the Wellington Unit and the "Blue Door" movement. She understood that responsibility and saw how most extroverts take on the role. Beth said, "I almost cried" when delivering her speech to her peers as it was very personal and challenging to share.
The following weeks Beth would prepare her speech as she would be competing against the Youths of the Year from the Fort Collins Unit and Loveland Unit. After the event, The Boys & Girls Club of Larimer County would name the winner as the Youth of the Year for the Larimer County organization.
Staff Members Desirae and Rob, worked with Beth again and again. They shared with Beth that she only had to share what she felt comfortable with and that since her story had disclosed the impact of the Club and the support she needed and received from the Club and her new father after her previous father had left her family. Beth said this was something that needed to be shared.
It is said that there are more people who fear public speaking than death. The audience of this event were fellow supportive Club members from the BGCLC. The Judges were caring, helpful and kind critics; it could not have been a better audience for anyone who was about to have their first speech in front of children and adults who were all strangers.
It was later discovered that Beth was about to share with the world what she decided to avoid and take an "F" on in her favorite class, English, because she had to write a paper about her life.  Beth said, "she needed to do this, she needed to move on."  It was empowering to see.
On January 14, 2017, Beth was going to expose a wound and share her heart in a way she has never done before. One of the many slogans and proverbs we use at the Wellington Unit is, "It doesn't matter how you fall, it matters how you get up." Beth with all of her strong characteristics except in extroverted activities and public speaking wavered and fell.
Beth fell in the best place she could, with her family, with the staff of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County, and with her fellow Youth of the Year  club members from the Loveland and Fort Collins Units.
But it does not matter how you fall, it matters on how you get up. Beth, after panicking, marched back to the stage that she ran away from saying "I got this! I want to do this!" She went through each tough part with sound, power and liberation of an emotional weight that was on her. And in the end, she was relieved.
She did not win Youth of The Year of Larimer County. That award was honored to an amazing Club member, Stella of Loveland.
Beth did win in a big way in her life, her story and who she is. She went on to share the same speech at the Mayor's recognition in the Town of Wellington before strong members of the Wellington Community; she did not stumble at all.
For  Beth's fourth speech, a 14-year-old girl from small town Wellington with a shy, introverted personality, was able to present in front of 1,000 people at the Youth of The Year Breakfast.
When Beth saw the size of the room and stage at the practice rehearsal, she  immediately had stage fright. She was soft spoken and looking down at the ground.  People were concerned that she may fail and it could be traumatizing for her.  Beth, who recently went to a Colorado State Basketball game, was overwhelmed with large crowds. She said, "I need to do this; I have got this." Beth practiced and practiced.
On February 9th, Beth turned her weakness into a strength. High school speech class will be much easier for Beth, as she can successfully say she spoke with a very successful woman and Board Member for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County, Jen Parker, as the open speakers in front of 1,000 people.
I am so thrilled to share the growth of Beth and how she worked through her fear of public speaking and large crowds. Beth can say with confidence that she can speak in front of anyone.
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Youth of the Year Breakfast: A Preview!

February 2nd, 2017 by Laura Smith

Everyone loves breakfast, right? It tastes good. It fills you up. And, there is usually something sweet involved. Here at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County, we love breakfast for a whole other reason: celebrating the amazing youth we serve for one awesome event.

dsc06291Our Youth of the Year (YOY) breakfast is our biggest event of the year. It not only brings together our supporters, sponsors, volunteers, staff members and donors, it also gives all of those people (and more) a chance to connect with some of the youth we serve.

If you find yourself at the breakfast, you'll be entertained with some of our Loveland Unit STEP team members, get a chance to connect with the youth as they tell you their goals and hopes for the future, and you'll also be able to see all of the youths of the month from 2016 we will be honoring from each Club U
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dsc06288During this event, you'll also get to find out WHO the 2017 Larimer County Youth of the Year is. This individual has worked hard to win over her Club Unit as well as all of the other Club Units (Wellington, Loveland, West Loveland, Fort Collins) in Larimer County.  Her story is incredible, but her hopes, goals and dreams for the future are even more astounding. We can't wait to have everyone hear her story on February 9th!

And while the Club Staff and Program Support have been a bit hectic the last few weeks in preparation, we are so excited to honor these youth! The Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County opens doors to great futures, and we can't see all the doors these youth will open.

As a mini preview, meet our Senior Youths of the Year (Beth, Stella, Helen) and Junior Youths of the Year (Alex, Earl, Ayanna, Gabbie) pictured below:

See you all in a week!

Holiday Service Challenges!

January 12th, 2017 by Laura Smith

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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.
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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!

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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.

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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!

 

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!

 

A humorous display of theatre perfection

August 4th, 2016 by Laura Smith

"Break a leg" was quietly murmured around the Estes Park club last Thursday and Friday as club members from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County Estes Park location geared up for their theatre debut of "The Hysterical History of the Trojan War."

"The Hysterical History of the Trojan War," a play by D.M. Larson is a historical overview of the Trojan War with humorous tidbits thrown in. Because history is always easier to understand and remember when you have a slight stitch in your side.

Club Members of Estes Park worked extremely hard on this production and were rewarded with a packed house and plenty of applause.

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As part of the BGCLC summer plan to educate and immerse youth in a variety of activities, this performance was just one of many valuable experiences club members were able to experience this season.

If you weren't able to catch this showing, make sure to mark your calendar for yet another Estes Park performance on Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. at Performance Park as club members perform with Ballet Renaissance to conclude an amazing summer.

Hats off to you club members, keep up the great work!

 

Snakes and turtles and lizards oh my!

June 30th, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

While no one was shouting, ‘there’s a snake in my boot!’ on Friday afternoon, there were a lot of snakes, and boots, in the BGCLC Fort Collins Club gym. As a special treat to club members who participated in Brain Gain, The Colorado Herpetological Society paid a visit to the club to provide some real-life, hands on learning. CHS was formed in 1972 as a way to promote knowledge in both herpetology and herpetoculture, as well as a way to encourage the conservation and appreciation for all reptiles and amphibians. CHS is also a non profit organization.

Along with some in-depth knowledge, the volunteers of CHS brought with them lizards, snakes and turtles of all sizes. One turtle even suited up for the occasion.

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A special shout-out to CHS and Charles, Academic Program Specialist, at the Fort Collins Club for making this special, informative and fun event possible!

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An unexpected start for Academic Success

June 23rd, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

Poop.Amadeo

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.