Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Operation: Military Kids

A group of military youth in our clubhouse have been participating in a special media project in conjunction with Hawaii's Operation: Military Kids. On Friday we had a wonderful volunteer, Jen, lead the group in a "Speak Out for Military Kids" session to get them thinking about what it means to be a military kid. The youth are now taking what they learned from those discussions and activities and creating a movie for other military youth as well as professionals in the military to share their thoughts with others! Part of the video will include clips of drawings and pieces of advice that the youth felt would benefit other military kids, which I'd like to share here:

"Be what you want to be." ~Aleigha

"Go with the flow." ~Kylar

"Write a letter and stay in touch." ~Sheldon

"Follow your dreams...never give up...and never say never!" ~Maria

"Be yourself." ~Courtney

"Don't be shy." ~Brianna

Stay tuned for when we post the final video so you can see how everything ties together in the end!

~Natalie, Program Director

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

BGCH Cheers on UH Wahine Volleyball

The Oahu BGCH was given free tickets to the UH Wahine Volleyball game on Saturday evening at the Stan Sheriff Center. Five of our Aliamanu youth joined the other clubhouses to cheer on the Rainbows as they took on BYU and won all three matches. For Natalie, the best part was seeing the five members spend time together and get to know each other in ways they hadn't before at the clubhouse after school. Also, some of the youth took turns using the clubhouse camera to capture some sports photographs! Courtney snapped this awesome shot!

Enjoy the following accounts of the game!

"Hey. This is Courtney. I am going to write about the experience at the volleyball game. It was UH against BYU. When we got there we found our seats and then went and got snacks. After that we came back and watched the game. UH won all three of them! They threw volleyballs, dropped money, and BLASTED tee shirts! (We didn't catch anything though.) Also they played a game called Bunches and the two winners got $100 gift cards! They are lucky, wish that was me. Then we went back to the clubhouse and got picked up. I had an awesome time and I think everybody else did too!"
~Courtney N., 7th Grade

"Going to the UH game was fun because I got to watch UH win and I got awesome pictures of the game and of my friends. Also, the garlic fries and brownie that Courtney bought were really good. Though there was a lot of garlic that me and Natalie didn't finish! But the best part of the game was when UH won, even though we didn't get any prizes."
~Shantae D., 8th Grade

"The field trip to the volleyball game was cool. They cheerleaders were throwing all kinds of cool things. There was a balloon from Jack in the Box dropping money. The UH team won the game, they were good. I liked the game and I would do that again!"
~Dominic D., 8th Grade

LITs Get Their Hands Dirty at Hanauma Bay

On September 18th, which was a beautiful Saturday, starting at 8:00am in the morning, me (Huni), Justice, Alvin, Shantae, Nat, Rob, James, Nick, Clement and Jake went on a wonderful field trip for the LITs to Hanauma Bay. When we arrived at Hanauma Bay, this nice young lady that works there started guiding us around. She introduced us to Hanauma Bay and brought us inside. She showed us an awesome video about the fantastic ocean. Then she started talking about the types of fish they have, and showed us some amazing fish bones and a huge turtle shell. After we had to go and help our native plants of Hawaii by pulling the other plants from other places. The reason why we were pulling other plants is because it is out growing our native plants. Next we walked down to the cool, refreshing ocean. We played some fun games like "Tag," "Animal or Vegetable?" and "Never Have I Ever."
~Huni P., 8th Grade

Taking on Manoa Falls...

On Friday the PhotoShoot! program geared up for the Manoa Falls hike to get some exposure to nature photography. Charles, a 7th grader, wrote about the field trip. "My favorite part of going on the field trip was looking at the waterfall. I took pictures of bushes, trees and plants. I liked the field trip, but the bad part is that my shoes got muddy and dirty. It took so long to go where the waterfall was--an hour!" Justice agreed that both the ground and all the rocks were really muddy, and it made the hike a bit challenging. But he enjoyed looking at the scenery and taking photographs. Justice remembered that "there were stairs that looked like the Great Wall of China and there was a spot that looked like a door that led into a fantasy." Guided by photography volunteer Sandra, media mentor Franz and program director Natalie, the 9 youth explored the forest and learned different photography skills like taking focused pictures and even experimenting with depth of field! The youth took turns using the club's new Digital SLR camera as well. The youth will have a chance to share their photographs at the year-end media festival which will feature a photography gallery. Franz also gathered video footage of the event as well to document the trip and will later make a montage using the youth's photographs.

"Voice for the Animals" Media Project

Last Wednesday we made a special visit to the Hawaiian Humane Society to shoot footage for our "Voice for the Animals" media project. The HHS is hosting a language arts competition that encourages youth to speak their mind and share their thoughts on animals rights. Our youth are working together to make a short film to teach others how to adopt stray animals. The HHS was gracious enough to let us come shoot on their grounds and even lent us a few volunteers and animals to star in our film. Esther, one of the youth who acted in some parts of the movie and filmed other parts, shared that she liked working with the different kinds of animals, especially the dogs! "I liked how we got to shoot scenes and actually touch them!" When the video is completely edited, we'll be sharing the footage online, so stay posted!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Place I've Never Been...

Today's Blogger Battle topic asked the youth to get creative and share a story about a place they've never been (much trickier than writing about a place they have been!)

The place I have never been, but I want to go is Paris because I like the nice lights and the nice bright bridge and the beautiful view. I want to go to Paris also because I want to experience the people living there and the type of stores (shopping)! But the one thing I want to go there for is to stand on the highest building in Paris and watch the beautiful night sky and the bright lights and wonderful peaceful music. That's my major goal to go to Paris...also I want to try the amazing food! Mmmmm...good! :) I love Paris!

~Esther S., 7th Grade

We All Scream for Ice Scream!

Aliamanu Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii Video Blogs - Ice Cream! from Franz Schmutzer on Vimeo.

So we finally got last week's Ice Cream Blog edited and ready to share on our website. Please enjoy the very first video blog we've ever made! Basically by doing this activity it allowed the youth to get comfortable talking on camera, helped them to learn from experience about camera angles and positioning and gave them a chance to have some FUN in the media center!
~Natalie, Program Director

**If you're having trouble viewing the video, make sure the HD setting is turned off (white, not blue HD letters).

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Our Bake Sale Was a Success!!

Since we did a modified blog this week, a video blog, it's taking a little longer to post. In the meantime, I wanted to take a minute to write about our fundraiser that we had last night at the Radford Football game. We were fortunate enough that Radford Athletic Director Kelly Sur was willing to let us set up our photo booth and sell baked goods at the games. We were even luckier that the Junior ROTC helped us unload all of our supplies (including a very heavy background panel for the photo booth)! We weren't sure what to expect, but before we were even finished setting up, we had plenty of customers. Students and parents alike were lining up to enjoy all sorts of baked goodies that were donated by the parents of our Aliamanu members and the staff as well. We sold Rice Krispie treats, cookies, brownies, mini blueberry-banana pie cups, chocolate covered pretzels, Puppy Chow and Chex Mix, and my personal favorite, Krispy Sushi! One of our creative parents designed little "sushi" rolls with rice krispies, fruit roll ups and Swedish Fish.

We had 6 Leaders in Training helping us to sell goods by walking through the stands with their hands full of treats and drinks. Additionally, other Aliamanu Middle School students joined the group to support our efforts! It was great to see them all working together and having fun at the game, raising money for their favorite after-school spot!

In addition to selling treats, we set up our photo booth and encouraged youth to grab all their friends and take photos with their friends. It was a huge hit this time and I was busy all night snapping shots of teens having a blast! If you want to check out all the photos, take a look at our album. We're looking forward to returning to Radford on Friday October 1st for the Homecoming Game!

~Natalie, Program Director

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Chinatown Photo Field Trip

On my field trip to Chinatown we had to take pictures of interesting things. We also got a treasure hunt list. It was really fun. I enjoyed my time there. Some things that were on our list is: bare feet, a flag, your favorite color, things that make us uncomfortable, an abandoned/damaged building, wind, food, a puddle, toys, crying kids, etc. Some pictures that we took were funny/hilarious! We saw a lot of different/cool things. Who knew Chinatown could be so fun? And awesome! There was also some egh/gross stuff over there. Like we saw a lot of dead/raw pigs! Awww! Poor pigs! And Chinatown's food looks mmm/delicious! Ah, I had a wonderful time!

~Huni P., 8th Grade

Where Did August Go?

I can't believe it's already September! But you know what they say...time flies when you're having FUN! We've had lots of fun at the club this past month...and the last few days didn't disappoint. On Friday we took the photography group on their first photo excursion to Chinatown. Huni wrote a fantastic blog that I will post separately describing the trip! After Chinatown, I took another group of youth to the Spalding Clubhouse teen dance. Although there weren't as many youth as we had expected, we still managed to have a lot of fun with the teens that were there. Aliamanu operated a photo booth that was just as fun for the staff as it was for the kids!

And then yesterday, Rob & I took 8 LITs to Target to study gender stereotypes. The boys and the girls broke into two teams to take photographs of products that are marketed towards men and women. We used the photos as a discussion tool and it helped the teens to discover different social rules. For example, they realized women are able to be more flexible on the scale between femininity and masculinity, while the rules for men are much more rigid. The girls' group got really into the project and even went so far as to try on a few outfits. Check out the photographs for yourself!

All in all, I think our first month was a huge success and I'm confident that the rest of the year will only get better!

~Natalie Pawluk Moore, Program Director