Shifting from school year to summer programming can mean a lot of different things: maybe you start seeing fewer members at the Club due to family or community trips, maybe you see many more members signing up for Club summer camps, or maybe your Club itself shifts locations and program hours. While staff and youth adjust to these changes, there are some great ways to keep them connected to one another, and your Club, even in the summer months.
One of the best ways to ensure a smooth transition to summer is to prepare your staff, volunteers, and youth for the transition. In the context of mentoring programs, this can be as simple as meeting with your matches to help them plan out when they can meet at the Club over the summer, or finding some fun, safe ways for them to communicate throughout the summer. See the latest Native Mentoring Newsletter for some other helpful tips. Hosting a summer kick-off event is also a great way to help families learn about summer opportunities at the Club, and introduce youth to any new staff or activities.
For other Club programs, summer can be a good time to explore community partnerships that can either provide physical space for activities or offer field trips, programs, or guest speakers that can come to you. Volunteers who may be busier during the school year may be on vacation just like your youth, and summer is also a good time to connect with other youth-serving organizations that may be able to share transportation or other resources with your Club.
Whether you have local sports organizations that you can partner with or not, don’t miss out on the opportunity for youth to spend their summer outdoors and engaged in physically active activities that support a healthy lifestyle. Recent NAClubs.org Funding Opportunities can even help you find grants to start sports programs at your Club. Caring for a Club or community garden, playing team sports, and exploring the local environment on hikes or paddles are all great ways to get youth outdoors and learning about how to take care of themselves.
Throughout the month, visit NAClubs.org for more ideas about summer programming and healthy lifestyles. Please also share photos of what your Club youth are up to this summer by using #NativeClubs on Twitter or Instagram!