When I was working as Education Director at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Smoky Mountains, I was constantly scouring the EVERYWHERE for activity ideas and suggestions and anything else I could find. Working at the Club was unlike anything I’d done before, and particularly different than my former life as a middle school teacher. So I adapted some things from Pinterest, dug for files on bgca.net, and came up with an arsenal of go-to plans. It worked for me, but man was it a lot of effort. I found myself wishing that there was an easy to navigate place with ideas right from Clubs.
In October 2016 I made the move from my cozy Education Room in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, to a cubicle at BGCA in Atlanta. I’m now the Knowledge Manager in the Planning & Measurement department, and tasked with discovering ways to share ideas and plans and all kinds of goodness about the Club Experience. Thus, this blog! And the YDToolbox app!
We know that when our kids have a great Club Experience, they do better. Their grades improve, they feel safe, they make healthier choices, and they have more fun. And we know this because *they* tell us. Isn’t that awesome? We are building an entire strategic plan around what our members tell us. Improving the Club Experience is essential and challenging and exciting and will require us to be intentional in every choice and interaction that takes place in our Clubs. And it is going to require some learning and planning and tools. This blog will be a place you can find some of those. Each post will be categorized, giving you access to a storehouse of ideas. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this page to subscribe to posts via email so you don’t miss any of the fun.
My hopes and dreams are for this space to be a place where you can hear from people across the Movement, from our colleagues here at BGCA to those running programs daily with kids. A place for activity ideas, for training resources, and for bright spots of inspiration and fun. Guest posts will be common, and I’ll be all up in the comments looking for wisdom to share. This is for you, to support you and hear from you and most importantly, to empower you.
I am so excited, and I can’t wait to get to know you.