B&G Club’s ‘Brain Gain’ talks heroes as Junior Rangers explore the peninsula

Junior Rangers get a great view from atop Hurricane Ridge Hill.  - Submitted photo
Junior Rangers get a great view from atop Hurricane Ridge Hill.
— image credit: Submitted photo

Brain Gain

True heroes of history know how to dream big and put their dreams into action. In this week’s “Brain Gain,” module members learned from people who enriched the lives of others in important ways and discovered what makes someone a true hero. They became part of a “Dream Team,” with heroes from history, literature, inventors and athletes and learned from them how to meet a personal goal or solve a community challenge.

Whether they lead like a president, pitch like a pro or paint like Picasso, members created roles to play as they imagined history. The club members all worked together in groups conducting their own research. They learned how to choose resources and what makes a good resource.

By the end of the week, participants were instructed to take a few minutes to think about as many of their own good deeds as they could from the past two days like helping someone out, stopping an argument or cleaning up. They then wrote a few good deeds in their journals and discussed the many ways youngsters can do good deeds at home, in school and in the community and how some of those acts could be heroic.

One of the books featured last week was “How to Heal a Broken Wing” by Bob Graham. His fable of a young boy and his family tells the story of hope and healing when the boy noticed an injured bird lying on the ground. Participants also watched the classic movie “The Miracle Worker” and were moved by it.

Morning Camp

“It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.” Morning campers got down and dirty this week, exploring organic farming and even created their own worm farms. The club attendees have been collecting recyclables the past two weeks and finally put those one- and two-liter bottles to use. They cut the tops off them and layered in the essentials for good soil. Before the project was complete they had a pile of nightcrawlers on top.

The young artists colored a nightscape on construction paper and wrapped their worm farms. No need to look farther than their own backyard for local examples of organic farming.

The group of 45 took a field trip Monday to the Dungeness Creamery where they were able to see the operation and pet some of the Jersey cows. The lucky campers were given fresh milk for the following days butter-making project. Each member was able to fill a small jar with cream and given the task of wiggling around the room to churn their butter.

The campers love to hop around so we had butter in no time. Before the day was over, the members baked cookies together with their fresh organic butter learning more about organic ingredients. The cookies didn’t last long but the youngsters were able to take butter home to share with their families.

The short week wrapped up with a trip to Nash’s Organic Produce where they were given a tour and saw the thriving garden of summer produce and herbs. They were very excited to pick out their own basil plants to share with their families at home.

Junior Rangers

Thanks to an award from the National Parks Foundation to Olympic National Park, the club is able to get youths out on the trails this summer exploring the “Big Back Yard.” Rangers from Olympic National Park facilitate a series of recreational experience for a group of club members.

The rangers visited the clubs and gave a classroom presentation overviewing the Junior Ranger program and exciting young members to participate. The summer program will have Sequim and Port Angeles youth taking hikes of varying difficulty through three of the main ecosystems of park.

The members also will canoe on Lake Crescent, raft the Elwha River and swim at Sol Duc Hot Springs before summer concludes.

Last week, 16 members went up to Hurricane Ridge on an all-day field trip where they summitted  Hurricane Ridge Hill before coming back down.

Summer Lunch Program

The club had a very successful launch to its summer lunch program and has just completed two weeks serving USDA approved meals to all children under the age of 18. In Sequim, lunch was at noon  not only at the Boys & Girls Club but also at Elk Creek Apartments and at Carrie Blake Park.

Last year the program not only won the USDA’s Western Region Sunshine Award for community involvement but also national recognition for the innovative model of using faith communities and civic organizations to help keep costs low.

This year, based on feedback from last year’s volunteers, games and other activities are available as another opportunity for the volunteers to interact with the children.

Another addition this year is that from time to time, there will be “entertainment” at the sites. Storytellers, musicians, representatives from the libraries – again, all volunteers — will come to the sites and engage the children.

These activities give the children further incentive to participate at the sites; and the club can reach more children with not only food but positive interactions with adult role models.

Call the club (683-8095) if you’d like to volunteer to help with the program.


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