2021 Year in Review

I can’t even believe I’m writing this. Cannot BELIEVE it is the end of another year. I literally just wrote the 2020 Year in Review like four months ago I SWEAR.

Waiting Patiently GIF by Justin - Find & Share on GIPHY

And at the same time? Whew I know we felt every minute of this year. Both because it was intense but also because we continued to SHOW UP for the young people in our communities. The best part about being at the BGCA National Office is that I get to connect with so many Club staff around the country, and it has been so inspiring to hear the myriad ways that you keep being creative and supportive and doing the good work of positive youth development.

And it has been my absolute privilege to share even more of your stories than ever before here on the Clubx Blog! This little corner of the internet continued to be a place where we could gather and learn and share and I just love it. And because we love data at BGCA, here’s how we ended the year:

Those numbers cover so many highlights! We featured a ton of fun ideas, highlighted new resources from BGCA, and started building a Trauma-Informed Approach to youth development. I always enjoy seeing what the top new posts of the year end up being, and thought you might like it too. So with no further ado, here’s a countdown of the Top 5 2021 ClubX Blog posts:

5. Ideas for Black History Month: Highlighting monthly observances and holidays is a fun way to both honor traditions and keep things fresh in programming, so we put together some round-ups of ideas for a few this year, including Black History Month…

4. Ideas for Women’s History Month: … and Women’s History Month! We’ll highlight others in 2022, and add to these existing posts if we come across any other great ideas. 🙂

3. Five Issues Teens Care About in 2021: I’m so happy this one made it to the top 5. Each year the Keystone Conference Planning Committee gets together to decide what topics will be covered and it is such great insight to the kinds of things teens are thinking about. And if they care about them then we should too.

2. Among Us STEAM Adventure: Toni from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tipton County STAYS one of the most creative YDPs in the game, and she is also so generous to share the super fun activities she creates! This series of STEM challenges based on the smash hit video game was well loved by many Clubs this year.

And the top new post of 2021? How a Little Free Library Can Promote Literacy! The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama and my colleague Susan brought us this Club Story about how their literacy initiatives paired with community service projects have brought big change to the Mobile area, and gave some specific tips for how to start your own. It’s a perfect idea for your Torch or Keystone Clubs in 2022.

Interestingly, the top viewed post for the year wasn’t published in 2021. In fact, it’s an old post from 2019, but I think it’s popularity right now speaks to the time we are in. In 5 Easy Emotional Check-ins, BGCA’s Kate Endries shared quick ways to find out how youth are feeling. 2020 and 2021 have been emotional rollercoasters for all of us, but especially for young people who are still learning how to recognize and regulate their feelings. This work is going to continue in 2022, so rest assured that we will be back with more on how you can best support your members.

I am so grateful for all of YOU and your continued support of both the ClubX Blog and of the work we do on the BGCA Youth Development team. I can’t wait to share all of what is new in 2022 with you right here and over on the BGCA Youth Development Facebook page. And if you aren’t already, be sure to join the Youth Development Community over on Facebook so that you can directly connect with your colleagues across the Movement.

And no matter WHAT 2022 throws at us? We will be here, doing #WhateverItTakes to change the lives of youth, right alongside each other.

Happy New Year Celebration GIF by Omer Studios - Find & Share on GIPHY

What are your 2021 highlights? What goals do you have for your Club in 2022? We want to hear! Comment below, on the BGCA Youth Development Facebook page, or email us at ClubXBlog@bgca.org to share.

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