This is no April Fool’s Day Joke! This year, the College of Physicians is kicking off Teen Health Week, taking place April 1-7, 2019. This week is all about encouraging teens to take charge of their physical and mental health, and to facilitate healthy habits that will carry throughout their lives. It is the perfect opportunity to host special events and activities that focus on teen issues, and encourage positive health behaviors. We are posting this information for you in honor of Teen Health Week, but you can host related events or dive into healthy lifestyles issues with your teens at ANY time of the year!
Each day has a theme of an issue that affects teens. Here are the themes, with links to resource lists where you can learn more and get facts and ideas and even some lessons:
- Gender & Sexual Development
- Nutrition & Oral Health
- Preventative Care & Vaccines
- Violence & Mental Health
- Substance Use & Misuse
If you are interested in diving even deeper, they’ve put together more resource lists separated out by audience like Teens, Out-of-School Time Program Leaders, and Caring Adults, AND are also recording a series of webinars! So! Many! Resources! These are great places to increase your knowledge, or to use to support program planning or even grant applications.
To get your brainstorming started, here are 10 11(!) ideas for events you can host at your Club! Whatever you choose to do, be sure to include your teens in the planning process.
- Teen Health Fair: Invite local community partners and businesses to set up tables and host an event.
- Teen Town Hall/Roundtable Discussion: Allow teens to pick the format and topics and invite expert speakers.
- Top Chef or Chopped Cooking Challenge: Host a special event where teams have to cook using a limited list of ingredients. Here’s a blog post explaining how one family did a Top Chef style challenge, and here’s one about Chopped.
- Teen-Led and Produced Variety Show: Have teens host and perform in an entertainment show made up of a variety of acts including musical performances, sketch comedy, magic, etc. To support the theme, have the performances be tied in some way to health.
- Teen-only Game Night or Lock-in: To support the theme, be sure to have healthy snacks and fitness activities planned
- Meatless Monday Challenge: Learn how to make vegetarian or vegan recipes, then challenge teens to post their favorites on social media with a custom hashtag.
- Teen-only Fitness Challenge: Have teens develop a list of daily challenges and post about it on social media with a custom hashtag. Be sure to include adaptations for all fitness levels to encourage participation.
- Field Trip to a Local Gym: Partner with a gym to bring teens for a session with a trainer. They can explain the machines, and even have teens join a class.
- Nutrition Q&A with a Registered Dietitian: Invite them to visit and make some healthy recipes with teens, and teach them how to make eating plans.
- Yoga night: Turn one of your rooms into a Yoga Studio, and invite a local yogi to teach mindfulness.
- Movie night: Watch a health documentary and discuss key learning points. Ideas include What the Health, Food Inc., and Rotten.
Need more ideas? Triple Play, with support from the Anthem Foundation, includes sessions specifically for teens! Boys & Girls Club staff can download all of the Triple Play materials at BGCA.net/TriplePlay.
How do you support teen health at your Club? What are your favorite Healthy Lifestyles programs, events, and activities? Share by commenting below, on the BGCA Youth Development Facebook page, or by emailing ClubXBlog@bgca.org!