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B&G campers go ball-parking, ‘Out of This World’
“You’ve Got to Move It” was the title of our Brain Gain week focused on fitness. We all know that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and here at The Boys and Girls Club we are preachin’ it and doing our best to help kids live it. Members spend lots of time engaged in sedentary activities, like watching TV and playing games on the computer or other devices. We all do that!
So this week we learned that our bodies work better—and that to live longer and healthier lives it’s important to eat healthy foods and stay active. We learned how to set fitness goals for ourselves, brainstormed and made a big list of all the fun types of exercise that we’re more apt to do if we like to do it, like basketball, dancing or skating. We learned about B.A.S.E. — which stands for Balance, Agility, Strength and Endurance — and worked with partners to find specific exercises which will help us develop all four of those characteristics.
Wednesday was Challenge Day when we had a blast going through the challenge course set up in the gym. The challenge course included jump roping (endurance), hula hoop hop (balance and agility), ball toss, carrying two weight balls through a figure-eight course (balance and agility) as well as shooting hoops, a sack race and everyone’s favorite, the belly scooters. We have small scooters on wheels similar to skateboards but wider which the kids laid on and then used upper arm strength to propel themselves down the course. We all learned it looked easier than it was!
We visited the track one day and learned how to check our heart rates before and after exercise and ran or walked a few laps. It was a great week for Brain Gainers.
“Out of this World” from sun to the entire universe …
This week expanded upon last week’s theme to include the entire galaxy. The young members used jars filled with corn syrup, glow-in-the-dark stars and glitter to make their own mini starscape. Members learned this week about different constellations and made their own pretend telescope with a constellation design on the outside.
Before the week was finished the kids made moon sand, comets, painted planets and designed rockets. Michele Hagberg took first place and Kyra Cartwright took second in the judging completion for their rockets.
What a whirlwind weekend of purple and a big event for the Boys & Girls Clubs. Our organization was hired by both associations to run the in-city shuttle transportation all three days. You may have seen the buses rolling through town all weekend. Trey Manor, a long time club member, rode our larger bus all weekend as a tour guide and friendly face for all the visitors. In addition to the in-city bus route, the club and its members were very busy with activities at the Sequim Lavender Festival Street Fair.
The Sequim Lavender Growers Association hires the club and teens to assist with production of the three-day event. Staff, volunteers, parents and kids all rallied together to set the scene for the 18th annual event. The group worked hard to set up tents, tables, banners, signage, fire extinguishers and all the tables and chairs — not to mention tearing it all back down again on Sunday.
The Teen Club from Sequim parked cars by donation in the adjacent club parking lot raising money for a culminating summer field trip; while the teens from Port Angeles walked up and down the street managing garbage control all weekend. Members demonstrated wonderful character and integrity while working with vendors and guests and learned what it meant to work hard and stay dedicated to a task.
Out on the green field you may have noticed the club youth development staff and our artistic teens putting on “Festival Fun For Kids.” The young festival visitors were given the opportunity to participate in a scavenger hunt and dip in the prize treasure chest.
They visited the kid area for face painting, hula hooping, button making and so much more. Every hour on the hour the youngsters were rallied by our youth development staff to participate in a gunny sack races, tug-a-war, pie eating contest or other old-fashioned carnival games.
The love of baseball runs deep through the entire Boys & Girls Club movement. Boys & Girls Clubs of America has a wonderful national partnership with Major League Baseball. MLB and BGCA have established more than 100 new RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) leagues and more than 200 Rookie Leagues (machine-pitch instructional programs).
Did you know that baseball great Jackie Robinson was once a club kid?
Last year Boys & Girls Club of the Olympic Peninsula was selected to participate in the MLB “Wanna Play?” program in an effort to improve the overall fitness of youth. The “Wanna Play?” program encourage club members to realize the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle through physical activity and improved nutrition education. During the 11-week program members participate in a variety of fun, engaging activities and games to learn about ways to improve their fitness, nutrition and hydration; as well as learn basic baseball and softball skills and knowledge.
With all of the equipment and continued passion the clubhouse continues to have baseball fun. Last September members participated in a World Wide Day of Play loading the playing field up with excited children.
The enthusiastic baseball fans took a long field trip this week over to Seattle on the ferry to watch the Seattle Mariners host the New York Mets. The young members proudly sported their new club T-shirts and walked around on the field at the organization’s invitation. While down on the field they were able to stand next to the celebrity athletes and even collect a few autographs.
This week the club kicked off a healthy lifestyles program with our licensed Zumba instructor Gabi Marcy. Gabi is a student at Eastern Washington University and elected to run this fitness program for our club members. Zumba is a global lifestyle brand fusing fitness, entertainment and culture into an exhilarating dance-party workout. The members have a blast moving across the floor listening to the entertaining music.