New Adventures: Exploring Yellowstone

"Hiking into the wild, not knowing exactly what might be found; grizzly bear tracks, the bond of shared experiences or the simple pure joy of being with friends." -Julian

“Hiking into the wild, not knowing exactly what might be found; grizzly bear tracks, the bond of shared experiences or the simple pure joy of being with friends.”

After a full summer of successfully fulfilling their duties as youth leaders and exceeding their goals at their respective Clubs and Gates Camp, ten Club Members were rewarded with an unforgettable week of exploring Yellowstone National Park. Thanks to Yellowstone Adventures, these Club Members got to learn copious amounts about the history and landscape at Yellowstone.







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An Academic Success Story

Diotto helps Katelyn with her homework.

Diotto helps Katelyn with her homework.

Once a day in the afternoons, Power Hour strikes putting a brief pause to all activities non-school related. During this time, all Club Members are required to dedicate one hour straight to working on an academically focused endeavor. Connecting with many promising students, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver has helped many students realize their full potential in the academic world.

At Place B&GC, last year Power Hour was led by Tadeo and Diotto, two student peer leaders who have attended the Club for several years. Eventually, their increasingly veteran status helped transition them into more of a leadership role within the Club. Starting as volunteers and then receiving paid positions, Tadeo and Diotto filled their afternoon hours running the Power Hour Peer Leaders program.

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Healthy Food Rocks!


Musician Jack Johnson spends time with Club members in the Learning Garden

This past Monday, Club members at got a special surprise when musician Jack Johnson visited Vickers Boys & Girls Clubs at the Nancy P. Anschutz Center. He was in town to kick off his latest tour at Red Rocks and stopped by to hang out with some very lucky kids to help harvest food from the Club’s Learning Garden.

Jack Johnson joined Club members for a garden scavenger hunt lead by The Kitchen Community. They collected items from the garden that were all part of a recipe that they learned. After the scavenger hunt, they snacked on the fresh veggies they collected and tasted smoothies. Jack then surprised everyone with an impromptu performance and taught a few kids how to play the ukulele! The kids each went home with a bag full of fresh veggies and a new recipe to try with their families.

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National Fine Arts Winners

Congratulations to our 2014 National Fine Arts winners! Competing against artists across the nation, this year the following four Club members from the Denver Metro area were honored for their advanced artistic visions:

 Maboni Abdikadir – 8 years old from Commerce City

Monica Garcia – 15 years old from J. Churchill Owen

Lilianna Wickliff – 13 years old from Cope Branch

Malaya Hollins – 10 years old from Jefferson County Branch

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Helping kids navigate the grief process

by Tina Martinez, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver Vice President of Program Operations

Boys & Girls Clubs are often the first place families turn when they need support. Whether it’s a safe place for children to go after school, a hot meal at night, homework assistance or development of a new talent, Clubs provide a multitude of services for youth and families. At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, our professionals are trained in youth development and help our members find solutions to some of life’s most challenging situations. Sometimes, however, the youth we serve struggle with situations that even our highly trained staff is unable to fully address – situations like the loss of a parent or family member, the suicide of a friend or fatal violence in their neighborhood.

Read more in the Spring 2014 issue of Boys & Girls Clubs of America Connections Magazine

Thanks to our summer program partners

summer-learning-partnersFriday, August 1st marked the closing day for all Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver’s summer programming. From rocket launches to wooden car races, the 2,000 kids we serve each day were given access to engaging activities to continue the learning process throughout the summer months.

We would like to give a HUGE THANKS to all of our partners who made our summer programming possible. We could not have done it without you! Below are details about a few of the countless program partners and volunteer groups that we have been fortunate to work with. Continue reading

Escaping the Concrete Jungle

GatesCamp“Camp allows me to just get away and have a week where I can just relax. I don’t have to deal with the worries I have in the city.” Arath, age 13

Drive west for roughly fifty miles while gaining over 4,000 feet in elevation and Denver’s sky scrapers will quickly morph into trees while the street lights blinding glow diminish revealing thousands of twinkling stars. This summer 544 Denver kids got the opportunity to leap out of their comfort zone and explore nature’s playground at BGCMD’s Gates Camp. For many, this is a week full of firsts: first time spending consecutive nights away from home, first time hiking, first time rock climbing and much more.
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Students get a jump start on their college education

For many households served by Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver (BGCMD), sending their children to college can seem like an unattainable goal due to limited financial circumstances. Recent reports have shown that 71 percent of new bachelors degree graduates had student loan debt averaging at nearly $30,000.

Several months ago, BGCMD CEO John Barry participated in a CNN story about an exciting program happening at schools in the metro Denver area. The concurrent enrollment program allows high school students to take college courses for credit and these courses are being offered free of charge.
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