Character & Leadership
Good Character & Citizenship programs offer our members opportunities to develop leadership capabilities and make a difference in their community.
- Promotes the development of a positive self-image and strong character
- Teaches positive and effective strategies for responding to conflict
- Encourages the development of meaningful relationships with others
- Empowers youth to support and influence their Club and community
- Teaches respect for both their own and others’ cultures
Service projects are faciliated on a weekly basis. These efforts encourage members to become caring, responsible members of their community, while young people cultivate their leadership skills by organizing clothes and food drives, fundraisers, volunteering at public events or support municipal services, leading projects in their neighborhoods and schools. Our teen members participate in the Youth of the Year program, the premier national recognition program for Boys & Girls Clubs of America members, which honors and celebrates young people who have distinguished themselves by rising above challenging circumstances. Below are some of our program highlights:
Passport to Manhood
Passport to Manhood promotes and teaches responsibility in Club boys ages 8-17. Passport to Manhood consists of 14 sessions, each of which concentrates on a specific aspect of manhood through highly interactive activities. Each Club participant receives his own “passport” to underscore the notion that he is on a personal journey of maturation and growth. Passport to Manhood represents a targeted effort to engage young men in discussions activities that reinforce positive behavior. Passport to Manhood is an excellent complement to SMART Girls.
SMART Girls SMART Girls is a small-group health, fitness, prevention/education and self-esteem enhancement program designed to meet the developmental needs of girls in three age groups. Through dynamic sessions, highly participatory activities, field trips and mentoring opportunities with adult women, Club girls explore their own and societal attitudes and values as they build skills for eating right, staying physically fit, getting good health care and developing positive relationships with peers and adults.
Torch Club Torch Clubs are chartered small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11-13. A Torch Club is a powerful vehicle through which Club staff can help meet the special character development needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their development. Torch Club members learn to elect officers and work together to implement activities in four areas: service to Club and community, education, health and fitness and social recreation. The Torch Club Awards are presented annually to Torch Clubs with outstanding programs and activities in the four areas. Each year, Torch Club members from all over the country take part in a service-learning experience through the National Torch Club Project.
Keystone Club Keystoning is the Boys & Girls Club Movement’s most dynamic teen program. It affords teens an opportunity to gain valuable leadership and service experience. They conduct activities in three areas: academic success, career exploration and community service. Aaron’s Inc. sponsors the Keystone Club program as part of a multi-year teen initiative; a strategic partnership between Aaron’s Inc. and BGCA provides Clubs with the tools and resources to create a positive place for teens as well as for kids.
Youth of the Year
Youth of the Year Since 1947, Youth of the Year has been Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier recognition program, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of Club members. Each year, one exceptional young person from a Boys & Girls Club rises to the role of National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year serves as both an exemplary ambassador for Boys & Girls Club youth and as a strong voice for all of our nation’s young people.