Leaders in Training at the Boys & Girls Club

Summer—it feels like it takes forever to get here and once it’s here, often teens get ‘bored’ quickly.  At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Vestar Branch, we have a Leaders in Training (L.I.T) program that keeps those teens busy!  The L.I.T program is designed to give teen members an opportunity to spend their summer being productive and volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club.

The application process for the 2019 LIT program is already well underway with weekly meetings at the Ellie & Michael Ziegler Teen Center.  Interested teens begin the process, by participating in “Career Launch”, an eight week program that helps them explore different career paths, learn about resume creation and job application completion, and practice important interview skills.  These skills will then be put into action as the teens must submit a resume, complete their online application, and participate in an in person interview with Club staff.

Last summer 22 teens were selected as Leaders in Training and spent their summer gaining important job skills as they volunteered in the youth summer camp.  Each week the LITs had to follow specific schedules, practice accurate time keeping, complete assigned tasks, and learn to work cooperatively with a diverse group of people.  Over the ten weeks of summer camp, these 22 teens volunteered over 3,000 hours of their time.

The Vestar Branch has a robust summer camp that the LITs play a very meaningful role in. One of the important components of their job is to interact with the members and help make their summer a memorable one.  When one prospective L.I.T. was asked why he wanted to be an LIT, he said that he ‘wanted to help make sure kids had the best summer and were able to make memories like the ones he has of when he was on the youth side.’  The members on the youth side are put into groups based on their grade and then spend most of their day rotating through all of the different program areas, including computers, art, STEM, and gym.  Each week has a different theme that activities are planned around and every Friday, the week culminates with a special event and themed dress up day.  Throughout the week, each cabin works on a chant to be performed at the chant off Friday morning.  Being able to help the youth work on these chants is one of the highlights of a lot of the LITs’ summer.

After a long summer of working hard, the LITs have to have some time for their own fun and will join LITs from all nine Branches of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Clubs on a trip to California.  The group of teens and their staff advisors will visit a college campus, spend a day at an amusement park, and of course make a stop at the beach. The teen’s look forward to this trip all summer and it is a great way to show them that hard work pays off.

Being able to participate in the L.I.T. program is a great opportunity for those teens.  They are able to gain valuable experience that will be beneficial in their future, while at the same time having a memorable summer.  One former L.I.T. said that one of her favorite parts of being an L.I.T. was the bond that she formed with the other L.I.T.s and having such a fun summer.  The Leaders in Training program is one of many impactful programs that is offered at the Boys & Girls Club. For more information on summer camp visit vestarbranch.bgcs.org as registration opens on April 8th.