Friday, November 5, 2010

BE GREAT is Makin' Waves at Aliamanu

I must admit, I'm in love with the Boys & Girls Club of America's new BE GREAT campaign! I think it's such a great way for youth to think about and articulate their unique personality characteristics and strengths. I've been trying to find ways to incorporate the new BE GREAT campaign into our clubhouse, but it's a little tough when we can't do much to decorate or change the atmosphere because we use space within the middle school. Realistically though, all that really means is that we have to be inspired to think a little bit outside of the box and come up with some creative ways to help our youth make the club feel like their own.

So for the last few years I've had a junky surfboard that barely floats sitting around in my house. I've contemplated just leaving it up on the North Shore for someone to use for part of a fence or to try to fix it up, but never got around to doing it. Thank goodness I didn't! Our clubhouse turned it into an awesome art project that encouraged many of our youth to be engaged and contribute to its design.

So I started it off by creating a blank canvas with two words written across it: BE GREAT. We gave youth a few different paint colors and just asked them to think of other things that they wanted to be! It was really interesting to see how creative the youth really can be with such little guidance--within a few hours they were swirling colors, using the back end of the paint brushes to write with thinner letters and coming up with some really unique phrases. Each child's phrase really spoke to who they were as a person and I think it really helped them value the unique aspects of themselves. I'm so excited to display the surfboard and it's messages for years to come!

~Natalie, Program Director