2022 Year in Review

Only a day and a half left in 2022, which means it is time for . . .

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As a Movement, we spent another year showing up for youth across the country and on US Military installations around the world. It feels like 2022 was really about settling into our new normal, figuring out new rhythms and ways of working. For some of us, that has involved a lot of change. I personally moved into a new role at BGCA this year (connect with me for all your Program Quality needs 🙂 ), and the youth development team at BGCA welcomed lots of new faces, many of whom were featured on the ClubX Blog! And I know from connecting with so many of you that your Club organizations have experienced much of the same. But through it all, hard work, creativity, and dedication to empowering young people stayed our North Star.

I really have to pinch myself sometimes that my job gets to be hanging out in this little corner of the internet, sharing your stories, the goofiest ideas, and learning more about the ever-evolving cultural landscape and how it affects youth and teens. We’ve had another great year on the ClubX Blog, and I just love looking back to see which posts resonated the most with you. Jumping on the year-end list bandwagon, here are the Top 5 2022 ClubX Blog posts:

5. Ideas to Celebrate the Lunar New Year: We love celebrating full stop, but when those celebrations correspond with rich cultural traditions? Perfection. One of those is Lunar New Year, celebrated by more than 20% of the world, including most likely some of your Club community! In 2023 it will be on January 22, so grab some ideas for your Club sites in this post.

4. IT’S CORN! Activity Ideas From a Viral Video: When I said “goofiest ideas,” this is what I meant lolol. Inspiration for fun and learning in the Club can come from anywhere, even Tiktok. If you somehow missed Corn Kid, you should click through for instant serotonin.

3. 5 Low-Prep High-Yield Activity Ideas: Speaking of ideas, we are ALWAYS on the lookout for activities you can easily implement in your program spaces. This roundup in particular is focused on the times when you have an unexpected shift and need something QUICK. And for even more, check out last week’s blog with 5 Games That Don’t Need Supplies.

2. Developing a Staff Training Plan That Deepens Impact and Reduces Burnout: HIRING AND STAFF TRAINING!!! Two of the hottest button issues in youth development as a whole right now, including at Boys & Girls Clubs. That’s why we were thrilled this year to feature a resource from our friend Carlyn Andrew at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley about that very thing.

1. Five Issues Teens Care About in 2022: Love to see this annual post pop up again, and in the top spot this year! Each year the Keystone Conference Planning Committee gets together to decide what topics will be covered and it is such a great insight into the kinds of things teens are thinking about. And since this was our first Conference back together in person since 2019, it was THE BEST EVER! These posts are a new annual tradition too, and I hope on December 30, 2023 I get to look back on it again, because if they are thinking about these issues, we should be too.

And as an added bonus, again this year’s most read ClubX Blog post wasn’t written in 2022. In fact, it’s a REAL THROWBACK to 2018! As I said in the original post about the engineering challenge Can You Save Fred?, it is “1) easy, 2) involves candy, 3) gets the brain working, 4) works for multiple ages, and 5) is STEM related! The quinfecta!”

On behalf of the BGCA Youth Development team, we continue to be grateful for all of YOU, and we love being partners with you in this good work. I can’t wait to share all of what is new in 2023 with you right here and on our other channels, including the BGCA Youth Development Facebook page, the BGCA Tap In Instagram, and ClubPrograms.org. 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 (answer the questions so I can let you in! 🙂 ).

May 2023 bring more joy, more growth, more impact, and more beautiful things. Happy New Year!

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What are your 2022 highlights? What goals do you have for your Club in 2023? 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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