National Director Recognized at NCAI Annual Conference

Congratulations to Carla Knapp, National Director of the Native Services Unit (NSU), as she was recently awarded the prestigious Chairman’s Leadership Award during the National Congress of American Indians’ (NCAI) Annual Conference in Phoenix, AZ. The award, a surprise, was announced to all tribes who attended the conference!

The Chairman’s Leadership Award is presented to individuals who have provided extraordinary service and are true champions for Native communities. The award recognizes Knapp and the NSU team, who were a special guest of Walmart, for their ongoing efforts to enrich the lives of Native youth in all 90 communities we serve!


2016 Regional Learning Events

Over 252 professionals comprised of Club staff, leadership, and board members from a total of 49 Native Boys & Girls Clubs gathered together for five regional cluster trainings throughout the year of 2016. This inaugural set of Learning Events provided opportunities for Club youth development professionals to network with others in their region, and to learn strategies and techniques to better serve the youth in their communities.

By offering a diverse range of sessions, professionals of all backgrounds were able to participate in meaningful learning experiences that were applicable to their daily lives. Participants were able to sustain and respect each community’s unique cultural values, traditions, and ways while building upon the shared vision of the Native Services Unit (NSU) and practicing integral concepts of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) movement. The event offered programmatic and grant administration sessions on topics such as planning for safety, managing federal grants, working with teens, infusing cultural values into programming, dealing with conflict, developing resiliency in youth, and learning effective Club leadership. Through these Regional Learning Events and other initiatives, the Native Youth Services Unit provides support and addresses needs specific to Clubs on Native lands.


Share Your Story


It may be hard to believe, but after a wonderful summer full of enriching and inspiring programming at Boys & Girls Clubs all across the country, it is time to kick off another great school year! While Club kids consider new activities and opportunities to take advantage of during their time at the Club, staff have the chance to publicize programs and events to the wider community that encourage new youth to check out the Club and re-engage families as the school year starts.

We know that marketing matters. How you spread the word about your Club and its activities will vary depending on where your Club is located, the community you serve, and what you are offering at various times of the year. But we know one thing for sure: you have a lot to offer! Now is a great time to focus on your Clubs’ strengths and make sure that families, schools, and community partners know about them. Gather with your team to consider what you do best. Do you have a great volunteer base that loves working with your youth? Do you have a couple of programs that exceed expectations because of great leadership, activities that resonate with kids, or the support of local partners? Are you creating a fun and welcoming atmosphere? Whatever your strengths may be, here are some ideas for how to share them:

  • Create customizable flyers that highlight your Clubs’ programs (templates available through BGCA Marketing).
  • Continue to engage families by inviting them to events and sending materials about Club programs home with your youth.
  • Share the impact of your Club with current supporters and potential funders by inviting them to events, providing them with impact reports (templates available through BGCA Marketing), and including them in publications.
  • Spread the word on social media using #NativeClubs.
  • Share program highlights on by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

We hope you all have a fantastic start to your school year and we can’t wait to hear your stories!


Under Armour Donation Supports Native Youth

We would like to thank Under Armour for their donation of event apparel given directly to youth participants during the 2016 National Native Youth Summit recently held in Washington, D.C. During the 4-day program, 120 youth were trained as Native Youth Ambassadors and instructed on developing leadership skills to implement community development projects upon their return to communities across the country. Participating Boys & Girls Clubs members were from Cherokee Nation (OK), Nez Perce (ID), White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa (MN), Gila River (AZ), Lumbee (NC), and Ohkay Owingeh (NM).


New Teen Resource to Help Clubs Recruit and Retain Teens

The Native Services Unit has created a new resource, adapted specifically for Native Clubs, to share event ideas that attract teens and their families to the Club. This great list of ideas can help your team create wonderful experiences for your youth. By hosting events centered around social activities, sporting events in the community, college and career readiness, service, and other topics that really matter to teens, you can establish the Club as a perfect place to learn, grow, and have fun.

Click here to read about these great event ideas, and how to market them.