Now that the weather is getting warmer, I am starting to plan what to do with the girls now that we can get outdoors more. As I plan, I have been thinking back to when I was child and what things my parents (mainly my Mom) would plan for my brothers and I do, for April vacation, summer camps, day outings, etc. One place we frequented often was our local Boys & Girls Club of America. While my brothers were enrolled in the basketball and other sports program there, as well as spending time working out in the gym, I would opt for indoor activities like arts and crafts, drama, and helping others with homework, as well as hang out in the game room, playing board games and video games. On occasion, I would have my mom sign me up for the girls' basketball program -- that was if my friends were doing it, too. And, every summer, instead of being sent away for summer camp, we loved being enrolled in the Boys & Girls Club summer programs. Not only were we close to home, but we got to spend most of our summer days with friends and classmates who were also attending Boys & Girls Club programs. I especially loved the day trips to the Museum of Fine Arts, the Boston Museum of Science and Kimball Farms to play mini golf, ride the go-carts and have ice cream, to name a few places.
Thanks to the Boys & Girls Club, I was able to grow as a person, learn and try out new things that I would have otherwise tried like girls' street hockey and lacrosse and the drama club, all while building lasting friendships. Yes, I had friends from school that would attend programs with me, but I also had to work with other classmates I would not have associated with outside of school, oftentimes finding we had a lot in common. These are some of the friendships I carry with me to this day.
If it wasn't for a family friend introducing my mom, and then my brothers and I to the local Boys & Girls Club, we would have missed out on a lot. My parents joined us on occasion when they had family movie nights and events, which were always fun. If you are not familiar with the Boys & Girls Club of America, I am excited to announce that between April 7th - April 13th, you can take part in "Open the Door and Take a Tour" at our local Boys and Girls Club, during the National Boys & Girls Club Week! If taking a physical tour isn’t possible for you, but you want to learn more about the Boys and Girls Club, click here to take a virtual tour of a Club: http://bit.ly/13MnTzU.
"National Boys & Girls Club Week will be held April 7-13, 2013. A virtual Club tour is available at great futures .org throughout the week long celebration. In addition, Clubs across the country will plan fun daily activities for Club members, their parents and the entire neighborhood to enjoy. These events include teen forums, carnivals, health fairs and so much more. Many Boys & Girls Club leadership and service groups (such as Torch and Keystone Clubs for tween and teen Club members) also use the week as a chance to give back to the community by volunteering at homeless shelters or assisted living facilities.
The schedule for this year’s celebration includes the following:
• Monday, April 8 - Open the door to education.
• Tuesday, April 9 - Open the door to technology.
• Wednesday, April 10 - Open the door to character and citizenship.
• Thursday, April 11 - Open the door to healthy lifestyles.
• Friday, April 12 - Open the door. Take the tour.
To help kick-off this week long celebration, Boys & Girls Club alumnus Misty Copeland (www.bgca.org/whoweare/alumni/AHOF/Pages/MistyCopeland) will visit a local Boys & Girls Club in Manhattan on April 3 , 2013 during a special Open House. Misty will participate in key activities with Club youth as well as share her personal Boys & Girls Club story. Visit http://youtu.be/gL2rTNoi5XQ to get a sneak peek of Misty sharing the impact her Club has made on her life."
To learn more about the National Boys & Girls Club Week, to find a club near you, or just learn more about all that the Boys & Girls Club has to offer, click here now -- http://bit.ly/127pDm. Even though my girls are too young to enroll in programs right now, I can't wait until they are old enough, so that they can experience the same fun I had as a child, being apart of the Boys & Girls Club of America family.
Don't forget to follow the Boys and Girls Club of America on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/bgca.clubs) and Twitter (@BGCA_Clubs)
Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.