Oklahoma Native Clubs Learn How to State their Case

Workshops are always a great opportunity for Club professionals to continue learning how to advance the mission of their Club. The NSU holds several training opportunities throughout the year to provide these opportunities on topics that specifically relate to Native Clubs.

Earlier this fall, CPOs from Native Boys & Girls Clubs across Oklahoma participated in a workshop led by Carla Knapp, the newly named National Director of the NSU. In this two-day training, participants learned how to write an effective case statement. Why? To demonstrate to their local communities and national audiences why their existence is so important.

Knapp talked about four key elements that build a compelling case statement:

  1. The need of youth in the community
  2. How Club programs impact that need
  3. What the Club’s results are
  4. The Club’s mission and vision – where have you been, where you are, and where you are going, and what it will take to get there

Three Native Clubs Receive BGCA Award for Impressive Club Attendance

This year at the Southwest Leadership Conference, three Native Clubs were honored with the Gateway to Impact Silver Award. This award is given to Clubs that have made important strides to increase their average daily attendance (ADA) and capacity utilization.

Boys & Girls Club of Durant, Boys & Girls Club of Nowata, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware County all received this award this year for their work in these categories. The Boy s & Girls Club of Durant reached an ADA of 150 members, and their total membership by the end of August was 464 youth, nearly reaching their goal of 480. Maintaining such high membership allows these three Clubs to reach even more youth with their cornerstone programs, such as the OJP Federal Mentoring Grant.

The Boys & Girls Club of Nowata accepted their award at the Southwest Leadership Conference from BGCA President Jim Clark. Director of Organizational Development for the Boys & Girls Club of America Native Services Carla Knapp recognized all three Clubs during the Oklahoma Area Council State Alliance Meeting to showcase their great work.

Photo – The Boys & Girls Club of Nowata proudly accepts their Gateway to Impact Award at the Southwest Leadership Conference.


Keeping Youth Active with Sports Leagues

Keeping our youth motivated to exercise and be active can be a challenge, but the Boys & Girls Club of Tahlequah has been doing so for 12 years. Through various community partnerships, this Club is able to keep many community youth active with their fun and engaging athletic programs.

“The Boys & Girls Club of Tahlequah is basically the Parks & Recreation for the whole community,” said the Club’s Chief Executive Officer, Dennis Kelley.

With tackle football as the longest standing athletic program at 12 years, the Club has had basketball for 11 years, and swimming, baseball, flag football and youth wrestling for almost 9 years. All of the programs allow ages 12 years and under to participate, aside from swimming, which allows all ages through high school to join.


Youth Explore Wilderness and Culture at the Passamaquoddy Boys & Girls Club

With autumn underway, youth from the Passamaquoddy Boys & Girls Club in Indian Township, ME are reminiscing about summer. Club members traveled to two camps this summer that allowed them to explore the scenic forest lands and waterways of Maine’s wilderness. By the glamorous sea sides of Winter Harbor, ME a total of 60 youth attended Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), where they participated in sessions on identifying medicinal and edible Native plants and on orienteering with maps and compasses. The weeklong camp was a cultural exchange program with guests from reservations in New York (Onondaga, Mohawk, and Seneca).

The Passamaquoddy youth also joined in Back to Basics, a camp held in Houlton, ME that focused on alcohol and drug prevention, safe dating, and many other topics that plague many tribal communities today. Coordinated by the University of Maine - Bangor, Back to Basics brings together youth from various reservations with college students who provide mentorship on transitioning from reservation life to college. Kyle Lolar, who currently serves as a Boys & Girls Club in Indian Country AmeriCorps* VISTA member at the Passamaquoddy Club, recruited youth to participate in the camp this year, and facilitated some programming. He first got involved in the camp while still a student at the University of Maine. Through his participation, he met peers from other reservations who are also still involved with the camp today.

“This camp makes it possible that our tribal youth could become leaders within their own communities and bring awareness home. College Students are able to help youth face what they need to face when they transition away from our reservation into college life. The students assuage their fears. Youth learn that not all of the obstacles they imagine are real.” - Kyle Lolar, VISTA member at the Passamaquoddy Boys & Girls Club

Photo Credit: Kyle Lolar


New Doors Open at the Boys & Girls Club of Moody County

The Boys & Girls Club of Brookings - Moody County Unit, SD, has moved from five different temporary locations since they opened their doors in 2007. A change came this August when the Club opened the doors to a brand new, permanent home!

Generous support from the community made it possible to construct a 12,000 square foot building for the youth of Moody County. For the first time, the Club has separate spaces to implement a variety of impact programs. The new building offers youth an art room, a science and technology center, a games room, and a quiet space for tutoring and homework help. The building also includes a teen center, which allows the Club to create programs specifically for middle and high school populations for the first time.

The new facility, in conjunction with funds granted by the Larson Family Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program, provides the Club a new capacity to help youth succeed in school and in life. Grant funds will be used for a tutoring program, mentoring program, and a career builders program. Each program will be implemented through a strong collaboration with the schools in the area and other community resources.

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BGCA Native Services Unit
Dallas Service Center
2107 N. Collins Boulevard
Richardson, TX 75080

Direct: 972-581-2374