Get in the game with these tips for starting esports at your Club.
The Spring Semester Guide to Helping Youth Prepare for College
Learn what high schoolers should be doing in the Winter and Spring to support their college goals.
Creating Club Experiences Where Trans Youth are Expected, Respected, and Connected
Learn more about creating safe afterschool environments where trans youth can thrive PLUS learn how Tier 2 National Trainers can be entered to win $500 for completing the new LGTBQ+ specialization.
How to Host a SMART Girls Expo
Get inspiration from this year's SMART Girls Expo to host your own event, with top tips from the organizers.
Understanding the World of Tweens
Tweens are undergoing a LOT of changes, physically, socially, emotionally, and more.
Talking Voting Rights With Teens
Get tips for helping teens understand the importance of using their vote and how they can get involved in the democratic process.
Fall Checklists for College-Bound Teens
Learn what high schoolers should be doing in the Fall to support their college goals, from their Freshman to Senior year.
Five Ways to Combat the Online Radicalization of Youth
Learn the warning signs of online radicalization, who is at risk, and how to prevent it in this new ClubX Blog post.
Five Issues Teens Care About in 2022
Teens have a lot on their minds, including these five topics chosen by the 2022 Keystone Conference Steering Committee.
5 Low-Prep High-Yield Activity Ideas
Five ideas for high-yield activities you can use with youth that require little to no preparation.
New Data on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health And What We Must Do
New data from The Trevor Project on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health shines a light on why Pride is still important, plus resources from BGCA and others to support your work.
My Hair, My CROWN! Free Self-Esteem Workshop Resource
Learn more about an exciting resource that supports youth self-esteem and confidence from our partners at Dove.
Responding to School Shootings
Resources for those who work with youth on coping with crisis for teens, younger youth, and en Español
Ideas to Get Kids and Teens Writing
Activities that will empower youth to be creative, express themselves, and have fun through writing
Incorporating Workforce Readiness Into Summer Programming
Get youth of all ages making career connections this summer with these three great ideas.
Adulting Day: Life Hacks for “Almost” Grownups
Learn more about Adulting Day, the Boys & Girls Club of Vernon's powerhouse annual event for 12th graders
Bringing Club Voice to Congress
Hear stories from BGCA's 2022 National Days of Advocacy plus get leadership and service resources you can use with youth
Inspire Change Town Hall: Justice For All
Learn more about events on MyFuture, including the recent town hall sponsored by the NFL
Exploring Career Opportunities Through Self-Discovery
Four ideas for helping youth follow their passions and explore career opportunities for National Careers Week
Seven COVID-Friendly Ideas for Summer Fun
Ideas from Clubs for field trips or special events that are COVID-friendly for summer programming
Making Financial Literacy FUN With Money Matters
Hear Boys & Girls Clubs of Milwaukee staff Nancy K.'s top four tips for running Money Matters with teens in this new ClubX Blog post.
Supporting Youth When School Shootings Are In the News
Resources to help guide youth through tough conversations about school shootings, featuring Be There and others from BGCA
Catch A Vibe With Tie Dye Activities!
Tie dye is back in fashion and allows for lots of creativity as a fun arts project with youth. See some of our favorite ideas in this link roundup!
Keeping Teens Safe on the Road
More than 2,000 teens aged 16–19 lost their lives in car crashes in 2019. Learn more about keeping teens safe on the road from the BGCA UPS Road Code National Ambassadors!
Social Media’s Impact on Young Women: Understanding the Headlines
News about the impact of social media, particularly Instagram, on the mental health of young people has recently made headlines. But what does it really mean, and how does it impact our work in afterschool?
6 Tips for Creating a Culture of Workforce Readiness
Six ways to incorporate Workforce Readiness programming and principles throughout your afterschool program.
How a Little Free Library Can Promote Literacy
Read how one Club is putting books in their community's hands and how you can start a Little Free Library through your afterschool program.
How Should You Respond to Youth Behavior?
The three categories of youth behavior and ways afterschool professionals should respond, featuring BGCA's Behavioral Support Toolkit.
Five Ways to Enhance Your Passport to Manhood Program
Find ideas on making your programming more dynamic and relevant than ever, including two new Passport to Manhood resources.
Self-Harm: When Emotions Leave a Mark
Some reports suggest there may be a rise in self-harming behaviors in youth. Learn what self-harm is, why some engage in it, and what we can do to help.
Five Issues Teens Care About in 2021
Five topics that today's teens told us they care about and why, plus how afterschool can cultivate youth voice.
Tips for Retaining Tweens
One strategy for increasing teen membership afterschool is to invest in tween members now. Learn about four areas to keep in mind as you develop a tween strategy in this new ClubX Blog post.
Supporting Youth When Police Violence Is In the News
The high-profile violence against Black Americans during interactions with police continue to occur. Get resources to support the youth in your care, featuring the Passport to Manhood and NEW Smart Girls Growing Up Black Discussion Guides.
How to Get Your Teens Engaged in Programming
Learn more about how to get teens excited and engaged afterschool, with tips from six Teen Centers!
“The Hill We Climb”: Youth Voice Shining Bright
Video and text of the poem performed by the National Youth Poet Laureate at the Presidential Inauguration
Teens, Emotional Health, and What We Can Do
The latest research on teens and how they are coping with COVID-19 plus the new BGCA resource SMART Moves: Emotional Wellness Teen Expansion Pack that can help.
How to Stay Non-Partisan When Talking About Elections With Youth
Tips on how to talk about elections and politics with young people without crossing ethical or legal lines.
5 Ways to Bring Workforce Readiness Online
Today we are joined by Kate Buechner, member of the Workforce Development team here at BGCA, to learn more about how career programming doesn't have to stop even if we can't be physically together. In youth development, we talk a lot about meeting youth where they are. So, what do we do when where they are isn’t at... Continue Reading →
Racial Trauma, Healing, and Youth Advocacy
The high-profile violence against Black Americans during interactions with police continue to occur. When it occurs in our local communities, youth may be directly impacted. Increasingly, the trauma has expanded across the country with social media and news coverage. Either way, part of our role as supportive youth development professionals is to help youth to... Continue Reading →
Three Steps to Becoming a Youth Advocate
We are SO EXCITED for the 2020 National Virtual Keystone Conference! To get us motivated BGCA's Senior Director of Programs Val Killebrew is here to give us guidance on how to help youth take action about what they are passionate about. Youth of America are purpose driven and motivated to act on causes they believe... Continue Reading →
Why Teen Voice Matters
Tiffany Thornton, BGCA's Senior Director of Youth Development Services, brings a powerful story of lifting teen voice today. Our nation has been surrounded by images of protests, calls for change and an increased awareness of the prevalence of bias, injustice and systematic racism. The teens at the Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis in Oregon... Continue Reading →
Teens Take the Lead on Safe Driving
At Boys & Girls Clubs of America, we offer many Targeted Programs to support our three Priority Outcome Areas of Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles. Programs like Summer Brain Gain, Keystone, and Triple Play. One of my personal favorites? UPS Road Code! If you aren't familiar, UPS Rode Code is BGCA's... Continue Reading →
This blog post was written by Stacy Ruff, BGCA's Director of College & Career Programs and includes a free excerpt on the traumatic impact of racism on young people from the American Academy of Pediatrics upcoming publication, Reaching Teens, 2nd Edition. I certainly can’t speak for everyone but for me last week, and particularly this... Continue Reading →
Addressing Current Events
Tips for having conversations with youth about difficult topics in the news
Club Story: Staying Connected to Teens
Beethoven Felix is a Senior Director of Teen Services for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. BGCA's own Laurie Rodriguez chatted with Beethoven about how he has stayed connected with his teens during this pandemic. Beethoven’s Keystone Club (Barker Interact Keystone Club) received the highest honor a Keystone Club can receive at the... Continue Reading →
7 Things to Consider About Teens and Virtual Club
This post is part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak. One of the most common questions being asked about virtual programming right now is “What do I do with teens?” And there isn’t a simple answer. Teen programming has always been opt-in for many of our members, but that is true now more than ever. As you make your program plans,... Continue Reading →
We Are Grieving
This post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was co-written by BGCA’s own Brian Hill and Kate Endries, both members of the National Alliance for Grieving Children. The coronavirus pandemic has stopped the world in its tracks and required all of us to question the safety and security of things we once... Continue Reading →
Club Story: Project Crane
At the 2019 Keystone Conference, we met the teens from the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Youth Center in Hawai'i, and learned about their Project Crane. To say we were moved is an understatement, and today I'm absolutely honored to bring you their story, written by the teens themselves. An origami paper crane flapped its... Continue Reading →
3 Games Teens Love
BGCA sunset the Year of the Teen Director’s App to consolidate practices, tips, and all other content in the YD Toolbox app and here on the Club Experience Blog. We will be featuring some of the articles that appeared in the app here (with updates!), as well as content just for staff who work with... Continue Reading →
Setting SMART Goals
As youth development professionals, there is a LOT we want our young people to learn. We want them to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrate good character and citizenship, and live a healthy lifestyle. We want them to be kind and empathetic and explore their passions. We want them to... Continue Reading →