Notes from Camp Hercules

This is Miyanna – When I first got on the airplane I was scared. It was the first time I flew on an airplane. I as really scared when we got in the air. We waited at the airport for our second plane. After we landed, we got to the airport and got our things. We got on the bus and went to the hotel to begin Camp Hercules! I like flying!

Miyanna & Jamerrick in route to Camp Hercules in Mystic CT Miyanna & Jamerrick in route to Camp Hercules in Mystic CT IMG_2045 IMG_2077 - Copy

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Camp Hercules Bound!

BGCCM Club members Miyanna, 11, and Jamerrick, 11, fly out today to participate in a Camp Hercules in Mystic, CT. Their participation in the Immersion Mentoring Initiative at their Club, and funding from FirstPic Inc., is allowing them this wonderful opportunity to experience some hands-on science and exploration as they visit Mystic Aquarium, participate in a coastal field study and go on an oceanographic cruise! Immersion is a program to help kids understand the roles that science and technology play in their everyday life. Follow Miyanna and Jamerrick’s adventure on bgccm.org, Facebook and Twitter!

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King Takes Interim Helm at Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi

Larry King, V.P. of Operations at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central MississippiLarry King, who has served for the past five years as Vice President of Operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi (BGCCM) is now stepping into the role of Interim Chief Professional Officer (CPO).

This move follows the Board of Directors accepting the resignation of former President/CEO, Billy Redd. Mr. Redd served the organization tirelessly for 16 years, seeing BGCCM through tremendous growth and impact.

During this time of transition, there will be no disruption of service at any of BGCCM’s four club locations, or the camp facility. Summer is a busy time for BGCCM, with youth out of school and even more in need of the resources, support, and positive environment provided by the clubs.

The mission of BGCCM is to provide a safe place for young people to learn and grow through life enhancing programs while building ongoing, healthy relationships with caring adults and peers. Since 1936, BGCCM has been the leading youth organization in the region, serving approximately 2,200 youth annually. The young people who enter their Club’s door are more likely to stay off the streets, stay in school, and grow to become productive, contributing, satisfied citizens. In fact, BGCCM boasts a 92% high school graduation rate, proving that the youth impacted by this organization have brighter futures.

Those brighter futures of youth throughout the metro-Jackson area will continue to be the focus of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi, this summer and in the school year ahead, and for many years to come.

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Bikes Donated to BGCCM Children!

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of D. Noblin, Danny Gray, owner of D. Noblin Furniture and D. Noblin Mattress Firm, donated bikes through the Salvation Army to area organizations including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi. The D. Noblin Tikes, Trikes and Goodnights event Saturday was wonderful. Thank you Mr. Gray and Salvation Army!

Salvation Army

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St. Dominic’s Care-A-Van Visits BGCCM

St. Dominic Health Services, Inc. Care-A-Van and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi are partnering to provide free heath screenings to BGCCM kids. Members of the Care-A-Van team worked with Canton Unit kids today, checking their height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure, heart rate, vision and hearing. St. Dominic’s and the BGCCM are working hard to keep our Club members healthy! The Care-A-Van will visit the other BGCCM Clubs later this month. Thank you St. Dominic Care-A-Van team!

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The Phoenix Club Visits Our Club!

BGCCM Capitol Unit President Talia, 11, Vice President Kaleb, 11, and their Executive Assistant Jennifer, 11, host a tour of their Club for Phoenix Club of Jackson members Thursday. The Phoenix Club, the sole purpose of which is to fundraise and support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi, has contributed more than $155,000 since it’s inception in 2007. You’re always welcome at the BGCCM, Phoenix Club members. Thanks for your support!

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BGCCM Kids Get Healthy, Bright Smiles

The RDC Mobile Dental Clinic team works with the kids of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi, giving them free dental screening during the first few days of summer session. The screening includes a cleaning, digital x-rays, and fillings, sealants and referrals if needed. The RDC Mobile Outreach Program promotes excellence in oral health, providing dental services in non-traditional settings to patients who may not have access to regular to dental care. Thank you RDC Mobile Dental Clinic team. The BGCCM appreciates what you’re doing for our kids!

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BGCCM Kids Head to CRSF Badges for Baseball Camp!

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi kids and staff, along with Jackson Police officers Tonia Louisville-Jones and Fredrick Suttles, get ready to fly out of the Jackson-Evers International Airport heading to the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation Badges for Baseball camp in Aberdeen, Maryland. They, along with over 50 Club members and staff from across the state, are excited and filled with anticipation about the five-day CRSF experience filled with fun and activities! Kids will work with coaches, using team sports and the Ripken Healthy Choices, Healthy Children curriculum to teach important lessons about teamwork, communication, respect, and leadership that can be used both on and off the field.

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We’re Getting Ready for Camp!!!

Camp John I. Hay Director Charles Jackson and his team are working hard to get the camp ready for our kids. Even before they arrive, Camp Counselor Kismyu Griffith of Jackson volunteers her time cleaning up the girls’ cabin so it will be all set for an influx of young ladies ready for fun. The boys’ cabin will get a good cleaning, too. The pool at our BGCCM camp in Hazlehurst is getting refurbished, thanks to the Camp John I. Hay Pool Restoration Project, made possible through a $13,915 grant from the Finish Line Youth Foundation in Indianapolis. IN. The first round of campers are heading down for a week of fun in the beginning of June!

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Dr. Mentor Visits Immersion Mentoring Program at Sykes Unit

Dr. Susan G. Weinberger, also known as Dr. Mentor, president of the Mentor Consulting Group in Norwalk, Conn., jots notes in a spiral notebook while moving from table to table watching the Immersion Mentoring program at Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi Sykes Unit as it’s in full swing. Pausing to visit and ask questions of both mentors and mentees, the children are engrossed in an activity called Layers of History.

As they learn about the stages of volcanic eruptions, Dr. Weinberger learns more about the program she helped design. “I designed the mentoring portion of the Immersion Mentoring program as we know it today, and I’m here to see how the program is being carried out,” explains Dr. Weinberger. “I’m going to ask the staff what challenges they’ve have and what successes there have been, and if they got the chance to get more funding to redesign the program, how would they do it differently.”

After the tour, I’m going to talk to staff to really flush out with them to see if the design that’s on paper really works in terms of practice. What we hoped for and what is actually happening may not be quite the same thing. We may need to tweak it a little bit.

I’m really thrilled to be here.”

To the children, Dr. Weinberger is just someone interested in what their doing. They answer her questions politely, then get to work. Using food products with different textures, from crushed rice crispy cereal to Grape-Nuts and mini chocolate chips, they pour material in a specific order, into clear drinking bottles to simulate the stages of volcanic eruptions. Layers of “rock, ash and other materials” appear before the children’s eyes. A small wad of paper simulating a house, placed in the bottle near the first layer, was soon covered under the layers of “volcanic material.” Mentors ask how they would feel if that was their house. Would they like to go back to it? The children respond with an emphatic, “No!”

The kids understand. “They get it,” Dr. Weinberger says.

After the lesson was over, the layers of history became a great-tasting granola. What a treat!

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