We love supporting the Boys and Girls Club, as it brings a sense of community and belonging to our youth in Surrey, BC. This program is near and dear to our hearts as it is helping to shape our worlds future leaders.
We had a great term at the Surrey Club, filled with fun activities and leadership opportunities for our youth. Here are some highlights and successes:
Pink Shirt Day
One of our biggest highlights this term at Surrey was Pink Shirt Day, and we ran anti-bullying and inclusion programs all month long at the cub. Our youth really stepped up and took the lead in these programs. From submitting some amazing entries in our “What does anti-bullying mean to you?” contest to making posters to put up around the club to encouraging kids to participate in any and all of our inclusion programs, you could see how much the youth cared about making sure the club continues to be a place where everyone feels like they belong. One of our youth even made a mini version of this year’s pink shirts, encouraging others to lift each other up.
Youth Program Planning
This term at Surrey we wanted to find a way to give our youth even more opportunities to develop their leadership skills. So, in our Youth Council program, we introduced the idea of having our youth plan and run their own programs for the younger kids in the club. They were so excited that they immediately started brainstorming tons of different ideas! We were expecting each group to pan one program and some groups make up to five! Over the next few weeks, the youth made a list of all the supplies they would need, wrote out their plans step by step, and finally began leading their own programs in the club. They really enjoyed the responsibility and had a great time leading programs like “Slime”, “DIY K-pop stickers”, and “Mini Doughnuts”, “Tostadas”, and “Ice Cream in a bag”!
Pink Pong Table
This term at Surrey, we had a stellar practicum student who really connected with a lot of our youth. During her time at the club, she learned how to plan and run programs and as her legacy projects, she planned and ran a program with the youth to make an awesome ping pong table! We used to use a plain piece of wood to play ping pong on occasion, but the youth turned it into a masterpiece and a very popular activity. On our weekly pre-teen nights, the youth primed the table, picked the colours, painted may coats, and then participated in a friendly ping pong tournament. Afterwards the youth felt a sense of accomplishment from making something themselves that would make the club more fun and live in our club for a long time!
It was floor hockey season at the Boys and Girls Club and our Surrey Sonics team was practicing twice a week as soon as they could in anticipation of their upcoming games. The youth love the opportunity to go to other clubs, meet new people, and play floor hockey to their heart’s content. Many of our seasoned floor hockey players were off to high school this year, so we had a lot of new players on our team. It was incredible to see the amount of mentorship that our experienced players offered the newer players. Win or lose the youth helped to train the new members, encouraged them to keep trying, and offered them positivity and support. By the end of the season, not only had the Surrey Sonics greatly improved but more importantly they were showing amazing teamwork and sportsmanship skills!
The youth at Surrey love to be involved in holidays and Valentine’s Day was no exception. The youth enjoyed our ore-teen programs like “Candy Grab ‘n’ Go Bags”: they sewed up their own bags, stitched hearts onto them, and filled them with all sorts of valentines treats. They helped decorate the club – even making their own decorations – and also helped with programs for the younger kids. The youth worked with the kids to spread kindness and love by making valentine’s day cards and crafts for their friends, families, and even surprising he staff with some!
Club Role Models
Though the youth at Surrey Club are always good role models, this term they made it official! Pre-teens have certain privileges at the club but in order to maintain them, they need to act responsibly and show leadership and role-modelling to the younger kids. One pre-teen night, they decided to make a list of all the things they do for the club and all the ways that they are expected to lead. This included things like; always clean up after ourselves, cooking ourselves dinner for pre-teen night, and helping the younger kids whenever we can. Once they finished, all the youth signed it and we laminated it. Now it hangs in the pre-teen lounge to serve as a reminder to everyone of how much the youth do for the club, and how much we appreciate them for it.
Zaeem has been attending our programs for as long as any of our staff can remember. He has always had challenges with controlling his emotions and sometimes letting them get the better of him, particularly when he was younger, largely because of this, he hasn’t always enjoyed group activities and/or team sports and has often declined to participate. However, one thing that grounds Zaeem and seems to keep him going despite any challenges he may be going through, is our floor hockey program. When Zaeem is participating in floor hockey, he excels. He words towards his goal, uses strategies we’ve come up with to regulate himself, and thoroughly enjoys the games and even the practices. Afterward, he talks about games for days on end. This is a remarkable improvement for Zaeem and allows him to develop coping skills that he will use for the rest of his life. Sometimes, all it takes is one program or one connection to help set a kid up for success.
Aarrna is newer to our club and a newcomer to Canada in the past years. Part way through the year, we noticed that Aarrna had stopped attending our programs and reached out to figure out why. It turns out, she has a big family and they were struggling to make ends meet. They didn’t want to send Aarrna to the club without being able to afford what they agreed upon at the beginning of the year, so they stopped sending her. Of course, at BGC we never want any family to feel like they can’t participate because of financial barriers, so we called her family right away to remind them of that. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, like you, we were able to make a plan for Aarrna to return to the club immediately without putting an extra burden on her family. Since returning to the club in early January, Aarrna has been thoroughly engaged without youth council, leadership, and pre-teen programs and has been building very strong connection with many of our youth. We are so happy to be able to provide her, and many other youths, a place where they can belong no matter what they’re going through!
On behalf of all the youth we serve at the Surrey Club, thank you for your generous support!