9 Low-Cost Ways to Recognize Youth

A couple of weeks ago we posted a list of free ways to recognize youth, but sometimes you have a little bit of budget and you want to do something more out of the ordinary. While physical gifts and treats should not be the only way we do recognition (they shouldn’t even really be the primary way, as we want youth to develop intrinsic motivation, or an internal reward system, rather than always expecting treats), they can be a fun part of a balanced strategy for recognizing youth’s achievements. Here are 9 low-cost ideas to use or to inspire your own!

  1. Host special dinners with the Club Director, CEO, or other administrative staff.
  2. Give coupons to a local ice cream parlor or other restaurant, or entertainment ideas like movie theaters or mini golf for youth to use outside of the Club. Be sure to give enough for a guardian and youth.
  3. Throw a special party with food. Ideas include ice cream with all the toppings, pizza, popcorn, donuts, hot chocolate bar, cookies, pancakes, and small cereal boxes and juice. Consider asking local restaurants to donate.
  4. Give small prizes or toys, or allow youth to pick from a selection of gifts.
  5. Speaking of gifts, give an age-appropriate book. This has the added bonus of considering books a special treat!
  6. Host a movie night with popcorn and the works.
  7. Have special shirts or buttons made or even unique lanyards for membership cards and keep on hand to give away.
  8. Every month, recognize all members who have a birthday that month. Bring a sheet cake and give each of them a slice.
  9. Buy a red cape or something similar to symbolize a superhero and let a “hero” wear the cape for the entire day on a day when they do something amazing.

(And YES my secondary-because-I-didn’t-believe-they-would-get-it-right prediction for Best Picture Oscar was Parasite and YES I did yell in delight at my TV when it was announced and YES I am part of the #Bonghive forever!!!)

What are your favorite low-cost ways to recognize youth? How do you help youth to develop intrinsic motivation? Let us know by commenting below, on the BGCA Youth Development Facebook page, or by emailing ClubXBlog@bgca.org.

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