Boys & Girls Club of Darlington Using Strategy to Retain Teens

At the Boys & Girls Club of Darlington, CEO Pam Silk has created an uncommon solution to the all-too-common challenge of engaging pre-teens and teens in Club programs. Silk says she looked around and saw older youth present but not necessarily engaged in Club activities. In an effort to hear what might interest her Club members, Silk created a survey featuring fifteen new activity options. All 7th and 8th grade Club members were asked to rank the activities offered using a scale ranging from “very interested” to “will not attend”. Silk was careful only to offer realistic, inexpensive options that would be possible to implement.

The results of the survey were surprising. The most popular option was a creative writing workshop, followed closely by archery lessons, then cooking club! “All of these are do-able”, says Silk, “And we plan to get started right away.” Silk hopes the new programming will still allow her older Club members time to “hang out and talk”, but will also engage and inspire them in new ways. We can’t wait to check back in soon to hear how this retention strategy works out!