Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Fun at the Club!

To start off the Halloween week and get in the spirit of the fun holiday, the youth had the chance to try their skills at bobbing for apples and showed off their artistic personalities while painting mini-pumpkins. It was great to see so many youth participating and having fun together! Enjoy the accounts of a few members for today's festivities!

"Wow, bobbing for apples was so much fun! Although I took like 7 seconds to do it. And besides that, I got apple stuck in my braces but it was so much fun! Hope I get to do it again!" ~Sarah G., 7th Grade

"Bobbing for apples is very hard to play and a little disgusting! First you dump your head into a bucket of water. Second, you try to chase the apple. Last, bite the apple and take it out!" ~Patrick S., 7th Grade

"Today's game was about apples. The rules were to try and bite the apple without using your hands. Also the apples were in the water. Some people were really quick!" ~Caitlin M., 7th Grade

"My pumpkin painting was fun. I made a pumpkin with a happy face and a hat. After I was done Miss Dani said that it was nice and that I was artistic! After we painted, I helped clean up the table and the floor and earned extra Power Hour points for community service." ~Brian A., 7th Grade

"Hey...this is Courtney! Today I am going to talk about the pumpkin painting. Everybody had a blast! We mixed colors to paint cool looking pumpkins. I had a really mini one that I painted teal green and a bigger one that I painted blue and black. There were a lot of cool looking pumpkins that other kids painted. :) I hope we can do other art projects that are similar to this one! :)" ~Courtney N., 7th Grade

To check out more photos from today, view our Picasa Album!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pinhole Fun at the UH Photo Lab

Our photo program provided our youth with a really unique experience this month. At the club, Sandra helped our youth create pinhole cameras out of shoe boxes! We made the boxes completely light-tight by taping all of the edges. We also spray painted the insides black so that there wouldn't be any light reflection inside the box. Then we made apertures with pinholes on pieces of heavy-duty foil. After two program sessions of preparation, the shoe boxes were ready for the trip to the UH photo lab.

The lab supervisor Mike gave us a tour of the photo lab, including the film developing room, the darkroom with the enlargers and trays for developing photos, and the room with all of the drying racks. He also showed us some unique photographs and cameras too. When we were in the darkroom at the photo lab, we were able to load the cameras with a sheet of light-sensitive photographic paper and then we used the cameras to take photos on the UH Manoa campus.

Alvin M., 8th Grade, took this photo of a tree in the morning light.
The image on the left is the negative and the positive is shown on the right.

The youth then went back to the lab to see their photographs appear in the developing tray. The photos they made were actually "negatives," so they had to turn them into a positive by reprinting them over another sheet of paper. After this part, the youth then used plants they found outside to make photograms. Basically, for a photogram, youth placed objects on top of the light sensitive paper and then exposed the paper with the enlarger. The objects blocked the light from hitting parts of the paper, making interesting white shapes on a black background.

Sharlene T., 7th Grade, created this simple but elegant photogram.

Thank you to Mike and all of the other helpers at the UH Manoa Photo Lab for making this field trip possible!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Speak Out for Military Kids Premier!

This Wednesday we hosted a small premier at the Aliamanu BGCH Media Lab for our Operation: Military Kids Speak Out for Military Kids media project. Several representatives from OMK made the effort to stop by after work to view the film that the youth had worked on for a week to create, as well as the some of the youth from the film and their families. It was really special because it was the first time that the youth had seen the completed project as well!

BGCH staff commented that the film brought tears to their eyes as they saw the youth being very honest on film, but also having a lot of fun together.

OMK representatives noted that it seemed like the youth had known each other for years the way they interacted on camera, but really they had just become so close throughout the project.

What I thought was most remarkable about the film was that even though the youth all spoke to the challenges and obstacles of being a military youth, it was evident that they are all well-adjusted and happy children. Hearing the youth share their stories helped me to see how much we adults really do have to learn from our kids, if we only take the time to listen.

SOMK Staff Jennifer, Brianna B., Courtney N., BGCH Media Mentor Franz, Aleigha B. and Zackary H. posed at the premier and then insisted on a silly picture!

Please enjoy viewing the film and pass the link on to others so that they, too, can hear the message that these talented youth have to share!

~Natalie, Program Director

Speak Out Military Kids - Aliamanu BGCH from Franz Schmutzer on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ice Palace Extravaganza!

Courtney, our youth who loves to Blog, had a great time at the Ice Palace this past weekend:

"I had soooo much fun at the Ice Palace! In Boys and Girls Club, if we recruited a friend to join (and they came at least twice a week), we and our friend got to go to Ice Palace for FREE! Everybody that went had a blast. We skated and played games, played ice tag and we ate. I hope we can do something like this again (maybe next time Wet 'n Wild). Also, they had a media crew that took a lot of pictures and videos. They interviewed the people who came and stuff like that! Can't wait for the next field trip!"

Zeren M., 7th grade, was one of the many youth who had some hands-on experience handling the HD camcorder. "Ice palace was AWESOME!!! Skating there is so cool! And the media program took interviews and it was fun!"

Kevin C., a 7th grader who participates in the photography program, used his knowledge of composition and framing to take this great shot with the club's new digital SLR camera. He was really able to capture Zeren's concentration as she was filming the interviews and he gave us an interesting perspective of what it's like to be in front of the camera. He also skillfully eliminated background distractions by using a creative angle while capturing the shot. Great job Kevin!

To check out more photos from the event, you can view our album at Picasa.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

BGCH Supports AMS Volleyball!

This Saturday was the first volleyball game of the season for Aliamanu Middle School. Even though our club doesn't have an athletics department and its own team, we have a lot of members that are part of the school volleyball team. Since the BGCH supports our youth finding positive activities to encourage their development, I thought it was important to be there to cheer them on for their first game and to get some action shots (click the link for more pictures) of them during the games!

The Panthers put up quite a fight against the Wahiawa Lancers! I was completely impressed with the way both the boys' and girls' teams played. There were people with some powerhouse serves, awesome sets and even better hits! And it was great to hear everyone encouraging their teammates to try their best and work hard together.

Great job to all of the AMS volleyball players and especially those from the Boys & Girls Club!! Good luck in the upcoming season!

Awesome spike by Jamal!

Great serves Michelle!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Teaching Tolerance

Our members in the BlogSpot program at Aliamanu today discussed how to teach tolerance for gay youth in our schools and communities. The topic was brought up in light of the recent surge of young suicides around the nation due to bullying of gay youth. Although the BGCH does not support any particular political agenda, we do believe that it is important for all youth of any race, sex, gender, ethnicity, nationality and sexual orientation to feel safe and welcome in their communities. And since most of the cruelty that gay youth experience is actually from their peers, we felt the need to educate our youth about tolerance and acceptance of other diverse children.

It was encouraging to see our youth sharing ideas and being honest about the experience of gay youth in schools, as well as brainstorming ways to inspire others to become more tolerant of their classmates.

Shaqera W. and Carla T., both 8th graders, collaborated on their blog to come up with some useful insights:
"If I were to talk to a guy or girl that was being bullied for his or her sexual orientation, some things that I would tell him or her is's okay to be gay, straight, lesbian or bisexual. And the reason is because we are all people and we are all different in many ways, and it shouldn't matter because we were all put on this earth together so we should all love each other." They also felt that it wasn't fair to judge people because you probably don't know the person well enough to judge them just based on what you've heard about them.

Jamal O., a 7th grader, had some helpful advice to youth who may be bullied. He said that "if you are being teased just ignore it and keep on walking because being different is really fun and exciting! So keep on being happy!"

And Kylar S. and Zack H., both 7th graders, shared that they think "it's alright to be gay" and "if you are gay you don't have to feel different from others." They said that "it's okay who you like whether it is a boy or a girl. The reason people like another person is because they make you feel good inside."

Their reflections are aimed to help other people see that gay youth are really kids just like anyone else and they deserve to be treated with respect. What matters about a person is not their sexual orientation, but rather their personality and how they treat others.

Restoring the He'eia Fish Pond

On Saturday the Aliamanu & Spalding LITs headed up to the Windward side of the island to help restore the historic He'eia Fish Pond. After gearing up in gym shoes and walking across the slippery path, they made it to the other side of the stone wall that they were working to restore. Our teens worked alongside UH students and Kamehameha alumni, helping lift heavy stones from one end to the other.

It was great to see them working with the college students to accomplish a common goal. After we finished our work, He'eia treated us to some ono eats and said a special Hawaiian prayer to thank us for our help.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Radford Homecoming Fundraiser

Our second fundraiser at Radford was another success! We raised even more money than the last time, selling plenty of cookies, brownies, Rice Krispy treats and more. A big thanks to our LITs who worked hard, selling treats throughout the stands. We also had a customized photo booth background created by Kenny, a staff at the Spalding Clubhouse, featuring "Radford" scrawled across the top and a ram below it. Students had fun with all the different props and signs, creating lasting memories with their friends!

Kawehi was one of our LITs that helped out that night...but she doesn't give herself enough credit because she's worth way more than a dollar!

I want to give a big shout out to my awesome program assistants who dedicated their time and energy to supply baked goods (in addition to the parents) and hang out with me all Friday night to run the booth. Thanks so much Bri and Dani!

LITs & CARE - Unite!

Hey this is Courtney and today I am going to talk about our beach cleanup day at Ala Moana Beach Park last week. It might sound boring, but I assure you that it was a lot of fun. We did it for an L.I.T. (Leaders in Training) and C.A.R.E. program field trip. We cleaned up the beach for about half an hour. The weirdest thing that I think we found was a deck of cards that was under a tree protector. We found a lot of napkins and plastic too. Most of the garbage there was from parties. Oh, it was kinda funny Mr.Rob climbed down the rocks and got a plastic box thingy and there was still cookies or some unknown thing inside. After we were done cleaning up, we all played around in the water and hit the volleyball around. Everybody was trying to be a ball hog and float on it and ask where it was, just because they had it.... That was hilarious! I am glad that we cleaned up the beach and I can't wait till we can do something like that again!!!!!! :)
~Courtney N., 7th Grade