Club lighting a torch under today's youth
Alicia Wiseman (left) and Abby Schonnop, members of the Boys and Girls Club of Pembroke's Torch Club, set up a bowling game for the members during recreation night at Fellowes High School. For more community photos, please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca.
The Boys and Girls Club of Pembroke is giving youth an introduction to volunteering in the hopes they will continue as they get older.
This is the first year the local club has run the Torch Club, a program for children aged 11 to 13 funded nationally by the CIBC Bank. The club provides opportunities for kids to be leaders from a young age and serves as a stepping stone to get them involved in volunteering, said Bonnie Schryer, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Pembroke.
The club kicked off in November and the members have already been involved with community organizations including the Salvation Army and TV Cogeco to learn about volunteer opportunities in their community so they will have an idea of places they can acquire volunteer hours when they get into high school, Schryer added.
The club has an executive including a chairperson and vice-chairperson, secretary and treasurer. It provides a look at the inner workings of a non-profit organization, including accountability and transparency. The hope is that those involved in the club will blossom into junior leaders and ensure the longevity of the Boys and Girls Club.
The program is an extension of a one-week leadership program offered by the Boys and Girls Club last summer, where the participants worked at the soup kitchen.
“We want the youth to be aware of the needs around us so they can start to learn about the impact they can make from an early age,” she said. “It is a good self-esteem builder to learn to do something positive that isn't for themselves.”
For anyone with a child that may be interested in becoming a part of the Torch Club, there are still limited spaces available. Following the holiday break, the club resumes Jan. 15 at Fellowes High School from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
There are also spots available in the Boys and Girls Clubs' floor hockey league which also takes place at Fellowes on Tuesday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The league is for 10 to 15 year olds serious about floor hockey as it is the only activity occurring at that time. Participants are divided into teams according to skill and age and regular games are played each week. The league resumes Jan. 15.
Wednesday recreation night remains the club's most popular and longest running program. It is held at Fellowes for kids aged 6-12 and it includes sports, crafts and games and a special event once a month. Everyone is welcome.
Access Hockey resumed Jan. 5 It is a program for kids aged 6-12 who've never skated or had an opportunity to play organized hockey. The program runs one sessions each weekend at either the Pembroke Memorial Centre or Pembroke and Area Community Centre. Limited spaces are still available.
For more information about any of the programs, call the Boys and Girls Club of Pembroke at 613-735-1933.
Tina Peplinskie is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist