Table of Contents
There are various reasons as to why organizations are established. Some are set to enrich individuals, while others strive to improve the world. In the case of the Boys and Girls Club, the main reason for its existence is its contribution and role in the redemptive plan of God for His creation. This paper delves into the history of this club, as well as examines reasons for its founding, vision and mission, and activities that are carried out by its members in various parts of the world. The programs, which are offered by the Boys and Girls Club, are geared towards building responsibility in youth through prevention of such vices as gang violence and drug abuse by engaging them in different programs and initiatives.
History of the Organization
The Boys and Girls Clubs was founded in 1860 by a group of women. They believed that those boys roaming the streets could be engaged in something else, which would be constructive and interesting. The idea spread quickly across the United States of America and went even further; as a result, the club was formed. Its activity was geared towards changing the humankind according to the redemption plan of God. In fact, the first club to use the title “Boys Club” was founded in Australia in 1876; at the time, the organization served only boys (Kennedy, 2004). By 1906, the already formed 50 clubs had joined hands to form the National Boys Clubs of America. The Federated Boys Clubs in Boston had more than 50 members. Evidently, every activity of Boy’s Club, as is described in details further, strived to improve the quality of the living standards of the people. In such a manner, the organization acted to fulfill God’s redemptive plan for the humankind that had remained unchanged since the creation time.
In the 50th anniversary celebration, the Boys Clubs of America was awarded a Congressional Charter; the same was achieved by few organizations within the country (Smith & Rooney, 2007). This positive step caused the growing interest of Americans in its services and made the club open its doors to girls in 1990. This event marked the turnover. The organization changed its name to the Boys and Girls Clubs with a view to expanding its scope of operation and demonstrating the own willingness to serve girls, as well. This organization has more than 4,000 club locations, including military bases in the US. Divisions of the club were established in all 50 states, as well as some countries of the world.
In Parr, the club is a nonprofit organization that is governed by the Board of Directors that should consist of both businessmen and leaders of the community. Since its inception in 1983, this particular club has helped the youth in Parr and its environs to keep off trouble by staying at schools and thus increasing their chances of success in life (Kennedy, 2004). Over time, the Parr’s club has grown from a single-standing unit to the two after-school club sites and five in-school sites where members meet. Programs, which are offered by the club, are geared towards the prevention of the gang violence and drug abuse, as well as towards the development of athletics, recognition, homework help and art programs. All these initiatives are life-enrichment programs to the youth. In fact, it is reported that the Club in Parr is serving more than 4,500 children and youth in the age of 7 and 18 from the city and its suburbs (Kennedy, 2004). Most kids come to the club several times a week and participate in various activities the Club offers. It is so popular since it provides participants with a pleasant home-like environment.
The Reasons for the Establishment of the Boys and Girls Clubs
On the one hand, God is a merciful father who sent his Son to conquer death and save humanity; today, every person must decide whether to come to light and accept this salvation or stay in the darkness. On the other hand, he is the upright judge and will judge each son and daughter by deeds. In this regard, the Boyd and Girls Clubs strives to improve the quality of life of every young individual to help them become people that deserve to enter the Kingdom of God.
The primary aim of this club is the provision of a special place for kids and the youth. Its services and programs are geared towards the boys’ and girls’ development, thus instilling usefulness, competence, and belonging. In most cases, these clubs are located in locations that are disadvantaged in one way or another way. This Club runs club houses within their jurisdictions and communities that they serve. It means that the purpose of its activity is to design programs that will help the youth develop in all areas of their lives in order to become adults, who are competent enough to meet the expectation of their respective societies.
These clubs are usually opened on weekdays for the evening classes after school and on weekends so that all children can participate on their free time without any problems. This strategy has helped ensure that these clubs effectively serve the purpose, for which they were founded. The club strives to improve the standards of living of the youth in order to transform them into people that the society expects them to be. Also, in such a way, they create people that follow the redemption plan of God. In particular, young individuals are supposed to become adults that act godly and make a positive contribution to the world.
Lastly, the club was started to reach out to the youth who might not be in a position to access programs offered by the community because of not being able to afford such services. It is the reason as to why activities of the Club were made available to all interested children and youth. In such a manner, important skills required in life could be developed in them (Smith & Rooney, 2007). The programs offered by this club teach people, especially the youths, how to influence their environment in various areas, for example, the education, careers, health, and leadership. As a result, this particular club was founded and, thus far, had been able to prepare young individuals to grow in a way to match the expectation of the society and God.
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Vision and Mission of the Boys and Girls Clubs
One of the key issues in the mission statement of the Club is the idea to enable young individuals to develop their potential. Ultimately, it strives to help them become productive adults, responsible members of the community, and caring citizens of the country (“About US,” n.d.). For this aim to be achieved, education, recreation, and other positive experiences are required (Harris, 2009).
The vision of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America is to provide the first-class experience to the club members so as to enables every young person to have a clear plan for the future (“About US,” n.d.; Harris, 2009). It is possible through the demonstration of good traits and healthy lifestyle. This vision is slowly but steadily being achieved since more and more members have been able to avoid such vices as violence, as well as drugs and alcohol abuse, and become responsible members of the society instead.
Strategies of Boys and Girls Clubs
The strategy that this club utilized is based on the idea of providing the youth with a sense of belonging, usefulness, power, competence, and influence. It is the only way to make young individuals deserve the Kingdom of God (Swigert & Boyd, 2010). In such a manner, there are various tools to be implemented. Notably, the noble mission required aggressiveness in the first year of operation so that the program’s quality was strengthened and improved altogether. For example, the program set both short and long-term goals for the targeted number of the youth members to be reached out in the nearest future.
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The experience as the indicator is very critical in the quality determination of services offered by the club; however, it is neither the only factor nor the only way, through which the success of this young generation can be measured. Thus, it is important to note the need for the success of each component of the plan to be measured. It will be done with benchmarks all along the way to allow for the continuous monitoring of the progress of the program and improving it (Smith & Rooney, 2007). In such a manner, the very first step would be to collect and share data concerning the practices of the high performing clubs. Apart from these step, there would be a need to identify those clubs which have members with the optimal experience. Their identification would improve the quality of programs since activities will focus on interventions that can help address specific challenges and problems. The process will require the on-site employees’ observation, continuous review of the programs being offered and; lastly, training the staff as well as the development of the professionals.
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By this kind of work, promising practices can be captured from the top performing clubs based on the members, who are being served, the club budget, and its size, as well. So far, the local club has started studying, adopting, and improving the promising practices of the club. There is also the need for the club to replicate the practices for improving the client experience, an advice that has been given by BGCA (Harris, 2009). Moreover, BGCA has also promised that they will support those high performing clubs so that they can influence both boys and girls in the most positive way. In order to achieve this instrumental growth in the club, the primary focus must be made on the improvement of quality and strengthening of the organization. In addition, the need to seek more opportunities and reaching out to more young individuals would also enhance the establishment of a strong organization and close relationships with the youth. Finally, the club must define possible stakeholders; it can be done through a baseline study. The survey can help the club know what has been done in an attempt to achieve the same goal, the organizations involved and some of the challenges that it faced and the strategies that were used to overcome them. It will be done with the view to not only increasing the number of members within such youth clubs but also improving the effectiveness of strategies being employed.
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Activities of Boys and Girls Clubs
The very first activity that is meant to be done by the teens in such youth club is to obtain the required guidance in terms of sports, the use of computers, and workshops which will help to address the most important issues of life that young individuals are likely to face in their respective communities (Kennedy, 2004). This step can make the club become a drop-in organization that is accepting everyone who desires to join it for the own future prosperity.
Another activity that is done by this club is civic coaching of the young generation; this particular club promotes the community development and empowerment with the view to making young individuals productive citizens and godly sons and daughters of God (Swigert & Boyd, 2010). To achieve this aim, the club has been electing proper leaders that can be role models, offering different community services for the young generation that can improve the living standards of people.
Also, the club offers work opportunities that can be accepted by the youth. For instance, they can become staff members, and this way, they will earn their living while exploring more career opportunities in other areas of interest (Kennedy, 2004). Through the clubs, young people receive a chance to become professionals or participate in the development activities for skills-building and earn valuable experience. It reveals the importance of community services, especially in the young generation.
Additionally, the club gets involved in different sports activities, for example, the leagues organized by its members. There exists a number of in-house sports leagues, which allow the member to take part in some interesting activities (Harris, 2009). They do not expose boys and girls to harsh conditions of the hostile environment but provide a valuable experience of competing. This initiative has positively influenced the performance of the young generation in sports activities.
Again, the club is involved in the art performance. Through singing, digital equipment, spoken word, and musical instruments, the club members have proved develop their creativeness and expression. Thanks to it, each team member can improve own confidence and skills of collaboration (Swigert & Boyd, 2010). In fact, the program schedule is made in such a way that it provides members with time to practice. It helps them become true artists. Their example demonstrates a positive example, thus benefiting both the club and the society as a whole. It is achieved through their artistic works, which influence lives of the youth that involves in such activities.
At the same time, once the youth has successfully undergone through the program in the Boys and Girls Clubs, they continue communicating about the programs, promoting services offered by the organization, and talking about the academic success of its members while also imparting and encouraging strong moral character among their fellows. They also are able to set own life goals and develop public speaking skills, which are crucial both in life and career (Smith & Rooney, 2007). The program of this club is a year-round tool that improves the life and attitude of the youth, hence, contributes to their personal growth and development of leadership qualities that would be of great help to them in the future.
It can be concluded that the Boys and Girls Club has been greatly contributing to the redemption plan of God by improving the life of the youth and teaching them on how to act properly. Today, various parts of the world have recognized the soundness and effectiveness of such an approach and founded their own ones in order to influence the environments. It has been possible through the application of the right strategy to the implementation of activities, in which the club involves, as well as its mission and vision.
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