Last week was a wild one! We had many irons in the fire that are outside of our everyday mission. We started the week in our usually routine but come Thursday it was all hands on deck to execute Lavender Weekend, a Rotary Luncheon, a celebration of life and a couple fundraisers.
We were quite honored to host the celebration of life for Billy Nagler, past board member and lifetime Club supporter.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday our bus rolled tourists around the city with our complimentary shuttle, and we could be found out at the park with a booth sharing activities with the youth visitors of the Lavender Festival. We had corn hole, Frisbee, jump ropes, hula hoops and classic carnival games like can knock- down and a ring toss in our booth with a button making art activity. It was great sharing the Club experience with locals and visitors.
Kids were invited to find their inner Picasso this week, exploring all different art mediums. Kids did self-portraits, made patterns with shape pieces, made their own edible sculpting clay and did some watercolor painting. They researched cubism, Picasso and other artists and dabbled in theatre arts with some improv skits. They wrapped up the week with some jewelry making with beads donated to the Club over the years.
There has been a lot of talk about all the grey skies and lack of sunshine on the Peninsula this month. This time it worked out to our advantage. We took our junior rangers out to the Hoh Rain Forest and it was raining cats and dogs, but absolutely beautiful.
Our kids got the full rain forest experience. They walked through the tall trees and turned the corner into the awe inspiring wall of moss, it was a sight to see in all its glory.The kids walked silently through the forest soaking up the sounds of wildlife, and even had a few giggles listening to the native tongues of the foreign visitors.
Our ONP Ranger played a fact or fiction game with the hikers, listing attributes of native animals, and the kids had to determine if it was fictitious or real wildlife. They saw loads of banana slugs on this hike.
Our Club Director Dave Miller has taken on the instructor role for this summer’s Brain Gain session with the kids. Brain Gain runs daily at the Clubs and incorporates group project based learning into a weekly theme. The purpose of this program to is to keep youth stimulated over the summer to help prevent summer leaning loss.
While more affluent youth spend time traveling, hitting museums, zoos and attractions they absorb knowledge and keep their brains sharp over the summer. Some of our kids at the Club would often have no experiences over the summer if it weren’t for the Clubs. Our enrichment programs and field trips really fill a vital role in their academic success.
Last week in Brain Gain the members learned the important role of rules in society. Dave handed them a pair of dice and told them to play a game. The kids quickly learned without some rules or boundaries they weren’t going to have a successful game.
The group of members also discussed what rules are effective at the Club and with Dave’s leadership they created 10 new Club rules to help promote a safe, bully and harassment free environment. They then put together a skit and demonstrated their new Club rules for the rest of the members.
For more information on the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, call 360-683-8095.