Calling All High Schoolers! New Youth Advisory Board!
August 26th, 2014
Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth is “Calling all High Schoolers!” They are currently looking for High School students in the Grand Rapids and surrounding areas to join them in creating a Youth Advisory Board to ensure the youth in Grand Rapids are heard and have a safe place to go after school.
"We looking for young individuals who are passionate and are out to make a difference,” said Nicole Rodammer, Director of Development for Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids. “The ones that want to work with other young individuals from around the Greater Grand Rapids area to come up with a plan to gain more attention, retraction, and overall community support.”
All youth ages 12-15 are invited to apply to join Boys & Girls Clubs’ Advisory Board for quarterly meetings to advise on strategy, brainstorm creative ideas for communication, create an annual fundraiser, and volunteer at the Clubs/Camp for some of their biggest events throughout the year. The commitment will be entail three meetings per school year.
Interested applicants should submit a resume along with one reference by September 30, 2014.
Please contact Nicole Rodammer, Director of Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-233-9370 x 111 to apply or learn more about this great opportunity for the future leaders of Grand Rapids.
August's Youth of the Month!
August 21st, 2014
Our Youth of the Month (YOM) program spotlights a Club member who truly represents the mission of our Clubs. Staff will decide on a YOM based on their involvement in different activities and behavior. It is a program that helps to build our participation in the national Youth of the Year program.
Congratulations to August's Youth of the Month Winners:
Seidman Club: Brianna
Why Staff Selected Brianna: Brianna is a big help around Seidman Club. She is always looking to assist other Club members or staff at the Boys & Girls Club.
Steil Club: Amy
Why Staff Selected Amy: Amy is an awesome Club member who is always respectful and willing to participate in all program areas.
Paul I. Phillips Club: Za'Keya
Why Staff Selected Za'Keya: She is always helpful and enthusiastic at the Club. She is a leader who is not afraid to try anything once.
What a Summer! Camp O'Malley Wrap Up!
August 20th, 2014
Another wonderful summer at Camp O’Malley has come to a close. Whether it was riding down the zipline, roasting a s’more over the campfire, catching a fish on the Thornapple River, or learning how to swim, Campers had a blast trying new things this summer at Camp O’Malley. We had more Campers than ever, welcoming 624 kids from Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas.
This summer we added a new garden thanks to the support of Farmers Insurance and The Amir Project. The garden became a highlight for Campers as they helped tend to it each day. Some Campers even got to pick a variety of the vegetables as they became ready. Our chefs then prepared the vegetables, and Campers were able to eat the zucchini and squash that they picked during the week. Campers were able to learn that food needs to be grown and taken care of not and that it is not just something you get at the store.
Campers were also able to visit with horses each week thanks to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. Kent County Deputies brought horses from the Kent County Mounted Unit for Campers to learn all about and interact with. Our Campers really enjoyed it! In addition to horses, Campers also got to learn about birds, reptiles and amphibians thanks to our partnership with the Outdoor Discovery Center of Holland.
We are so thankful for all the individuals, corporations, and foundations that helped make Camp possible for our Campers this summer! More than 90% of our Campers came to Camp on scholarship, meaning that without the support of others they would have otherwise not been able to attend. This summer, Camp O’Malley has allowed so many children to make memories and gain new skills that will stay with them forever!
Kids Adventure Challenge Set for October 5
August 14th, 2014
Kids event focuses on teams/families working together to complete challenges. All proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth.
The third annual Kids Adventure Challenge will take place Sunday, October 5th, at 10 am at John Ball Park in Grand Rapids. This year Gazelle Sports is please to announce that Spectrum Healthier Communities will be joining us as the Presenting Sponsor! With their involvement, this year is sure to be bigger and better.
The past two years, Kids Adventure Challenge sold out with over 500 participants and raised over $4,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth.
The 2014 sports themed event will open for registration on July 1st. Don’t expect your run of the mill sports challenges, teams will have to work together through team building exercises as well as skill and agility activities. Scott Sneller, store manager at Gazelle Sports Grand Rapids, participated with his family the last two years and will be back again this year. “There aren’t many events where families must work together. This event challenged us as a family to communicate well and encourage each other. Plus, it was fun!”
The inaugural Kids Adventure Challenge was born from Gazelle Sports’ recognition by The North Face with the Never Stop Exploring Award. The award is given to the nation’s top specialty running store that demonstrates the most complete dedication to encouraging and enabling outdoor exploration within its community. “When planning this event, supporting a nonprofit organization that was focused on youth, recreation and promoting positive community experiences was a must,” said the 2012 race director, Tessa Talsma.
This year’s event will include teams of 2-5 people navigating throughout John Ball Zoo and the surrounding park to find and complete challenges. Each athlete will receive a score sheet and road map to navigate and keep track of his or her team’s progress. All participants receive a t-shirt, two hours of sporting fun and admission to the John Ball Zoo for the remainder of the day. Teams must include one adult captain (age 18 or over). More information can be found at GazelleSports.com/KAC. Cost is $15 per person. Registration is open until October 1st.
Summer Basketball Program Successes!
August 13th, 2014
The Seidman Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids basketball program concluded their summer season in July. Officer Harris and a group of coaches/volunteers took over 40 kids to American Youth Basketball Tour (ABYT) Nationals in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Let's look at some highlights:
- All of the kids had hopes of becoming #1, but for our 6th/7th grade boys team that dream became reality. After a rough start at Nationals, the team came together and became National Champions. (Pictured)
- The all 7th grade boys team was defeated in the semi-finals, but finished the summer with an impressive record of 40-3.
- The 3rd/4th grade boys team was Runner-Up at Nationals and finished the summer with only one lost.
- The Seidman Girls Varsity team concluded their season at the Nike Invitation in Chicago, Illinois. This was an awesome event, and the girls really represented the Club in a positive manner. They made it all the way to the "Sweet 16" in their age bracket.
- The Seidman Girls 5th/6th grade team finished their summer with an impressive record of 7-1.
As the teams were led to victories throughout the summer, the coaches realized that the kids learned more than how to dribble a basketball or shoot a three-point shot. They learned the meaning of teamwork, sportsmanship, and challenged themselves instead of giving up.
A special thanks to all the sponsors, coaches, volunteers, and parents for a great season!
Film from Kids Have Talent Program
August 5th, 2014
Here is the short film we shot this week during the filmmaking week of the Kids Have Talent performing arts workshop.
We had an amazing month learning about storytelling, songwriting, acting, and filmmaking. I saw such growth in each and every student. The parents who came to our wrap party had glowing praise for the program and said their kids talked about it constantly and were excited to attend each day.
I have no doubt that the kids who participated (we had 12 total, but not as many for this week's filming) left feeling more self confident and successful. I am thrilled with how it all turned out. It was quite an undertaking to run M-F programming with the same kids for 4 weeks, but it ended up being my favorite thing I've done yet through our Clubs. Thanks so much for all your support!
- Casey Stratton
Performing Arts Director