FALL 2009/WINTER 2010

by Lily and Ally
Walking into the Boys & Girls Club during the Halloween Carnival
was like walking into a fairytale filled with monsters and princesses! All around are scary faces, pretty dresses, and loud music. This is an exciting event, and the Witchcraft and Hawthorne Licensed Child Care Program kids take the bus here to be part of the party! The Torch Club, our leadership club for ages 8-12, was very helpful during this event. They ran most of the games and prize table. There was apple bobbing and participants were soaked head to toe. A lot of people participated in bowling. You got one ticket for trying, and 10 tickets for a strike. Another event was Fishing for Tickets, with a kiddy pool filled with paper squares that had different numbers on them. The number that you fished out was the amount of tickets you won. Most of the little kids participated in face painting, run by Erin and Kayla. You had a choice of many things painted on your face, such as lions, cats, butterflies, hearts and cheetahs. There was a costume contest which the kids’ love. It is a way for them to show off their newest garb, Boys & Girls Club kids celebrate after winning mummying Christine. and see everyone else’s! Everyone marches around the gym, and Jodi, the Program Director, has kids sit down until only the top 10 costumes are still standing. The top 10 earn tickets and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place are chosen by a round of applause. The scariest event of all was- the Gypsy Fortune Teller, run by Lily. When children entered, all they could see was smoke and fog and Lily got to jump out of closets and scare the children. After she would scare them, she would sit down and use her magic ball to tell the children their fortunes. Other fun activities included ring toss, football toss, snake toss, shuffleboard, musical chairs, bingo and marshmallow decorating. At all Brothers Radhmee & Radhlen line of these games kids earned tickets for prizes, which included Halloween up for the parade. theme bouncy balls, playdoh and playing cards. One lucky person won Guess the Candy Corn, and instead of earning tickets they got to take home the whole jar with hundreds of candy corn. One of my favorite events of the day is mummying the staff! Kids are very creative with streamers, toilet paper, caution tape, masks and more! Every kid gets involved and finds a way to make the staff member look as silly as possible.

Above: Bzzz Julianna, Yibelis, and Gabriely Right: Scream for the Camera: Ryan!

Nahaly, age 10, was a bride at the carnival this year because she liked how pretty the costume was. Her favorite candy is Kit Kats because it is chocolaty. Her favorite activity was bobbing for apples. She loved the carnival because it was a lot of fun and it was her first time. Her favorite prize that she won was blue cotton candy. She also won vampire teeth and a kazoo. She estimates she eats almost 20 pieces of candy each day since Halloween! Lisabel, age 9 was a trendy witch at the carnival because she is into fashion but wanted to be scary at the same time. Jolly Ranchers are her favorite candy, except for the blueberry ones. One of her favorite activities was earning tickets for prizes, because she loves to get free stuff. She won jelly bracelets, a jump rope and a glow stick. She had a dentist appointment the day after Halloween so she only ate three pieces Halloween night. the Haunted Happenings Parade, you may have had some nightmares or good dreams! There were monsters, ghosts and bumble bees everywhere! They were just costumes, of course. Some were princesses and fairies while others were dead! Every school in Salem walks in this parade. Even the marching bands showed up, and the loud instruments sounded like surround sound of a car. Cape Cod Chips, candy and plastic spiders were being thrown around at this spooky spectacular! Some of the kids were holding the banner, which thanks Salem Park & Recreation for all they do.

BOO! Did I scare you? Well I should have! If you were with the Boos & Ghouls Club at

And that was how Salem’s most memorable parade went to start off all of the festivities of Halloween!
Right: Isabella & Lily had amazing matching costumes for the parade. Far Right: Sisters Magdalana & Aguiel look beautiful for the carnival.

Left: Scary or just cute?: Jayla grrrs for the camera.

CHECK INSIDE FOR MORE COOL STUFF: Hey, where’s the junk food...Cafe Gone Healthy? Harlem Rockets vs. Boys & Girls Club All Stars...who won? Dancin’ in the Club! Check out all the cool things we did last summer. Youth of the Year Nominees represent the Club. Who is your hero and why? Who said homework can’t be fun? Club members from the Dominican Republic find a second home at the Club and MORE!


Community Partner Shout Outs!
Special thanks to these community members who generously gave of their time and resources to benefit programs at the Club. We couldn’t do what we do without you! Salem Five, for their networking meeting for the Club. Eastern Bank employees, for painting on a Saturday. Salem Plumbing of Beverly, hot water heater. Plumber Al Bell, fixing oven, stove, installing hot water heater. Salem School Superintendent & Principals Dr William Cameron, Mary Manning and David Angeramo for supporting Project Learn. New England Kayak & Fishing, for their generous donation. David Ives and Northshore International Insurance Services for a yummy Thanksgiving feast. Kenny Rothwell, for a great Christmas dinner. Karen Brooks and Comcast, for supporting this newspaper program. Yoga Satki, for a party with meal & presents for 11 families. Carrie Post, Blue Ribbon Cakes for donating cakes. Rob Lianni, Coffee Time Bake Shop for donating yumminess. Cinema Salem, for their generous $1000 Grant. Monetrics, for supplying school back packs with supplies. St John’s Prep, for spring cleaning the Club and holiday toy drive. Ward 2 Social Club, VFW, Lafayette Club, Polish-American Club, for donating proceeds from fundraisers to the Club. Essex National Heritage & National Parks Services, for camp scholarships to Schooner Fame and First Bloom. North Shore Medical Center, for a grant for our new food program. Teen Program Volunteers Jay Simon, Sharon Hunt, Zina Gerolimatos and Charles Von Bruns. Administrative Volunteer, Chris Coleman Wicked Running Club members who donated holiday gifts. Salem State College Bertolon School of Business, for working with the Club this school year. Suffolk University “alternative spring break” students, who spent a weekend assisting the Club and donated $1000. ”The Ladies in the Cellar”, for their holiday gift basket donations. 99 Restaurant, for hosting our Youth of the Year dinner. Carter’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry for their recent raffle $ donation. Salem Waterfront Hotel for providing rooms for the Harlem Rockets.

By Ryan & Gabriely

Joseph Gibbons is the President of Salem Five Bank, and has been on

the Club Board of Directors for just over a year. He expects great things for the Club. “The Club creates a nice environment to go to after school and it’s very safe for the kids.” Joseph joined the board after watching the organization and the other members of the Board, and seeing it as a great cause. He volunteers at the Club because he thinks it has an important mission, and believes it’s helpful for the community to support the Club. We asked him why he volunteers at the Club and he said “I feel that its part of my responsibility, and important to give back”. If he could have joined a program at the Club, he would join the Keystone leadership program but also said “If I was a member when I was a kid, I would have joined the basketball team.” One of his goals for the Club is for the finances to get better. We asked him what he would change about the Club, and he said he doesn’t know yet as he needs to be here longer to see what needs to be done. “Be Great” is the slogan for the Boys & Girls Club of America, and we asked him what Be Great means to him. “Be Great is being a good person, having integrity and being responsible.” For the final and most important question, we asked him his favorite color and he said “blue” with a great smile on his face. Growing up, he wanted to be a doctor but instead went to Bentley University for Accounting, and to Suffolk University for Business.

Fun facts about Joseph Gibbons:
He grew up in Saugus, but has since traveled to Europe, Canada, Mexico and the USA. His birthday is September 25 and he is a Libra. His favorite part of Salem is the history, and he thinks downtown is a great place to wander.| Thank you for helping the Boys & Girls Club!

Are YOU inspired to help some GREAT kids?
Contact Executive Director Joanne Scott at (978)744-0915 or email jscott@bgcgs.org.

Café Gone Healthy! (?)By Ally
“Good Afternoon. This is the moment you have all been waiting for. The Café is now open!” Kids rush up the stairs and line up like a herd of wild
animals. Like hungry gorillas, they order and pay for their food at the first counter and pick it up at the second counter. Working at the Café is a fun experience and only those who are older, more responsible and behave can help. It helps my math skills because you need to quickly figure out what the change is when they pay. Setting up is fun because it is like getting ready for an attack! Get into your position, and be ready for madness. We set up all of the food so kids can see their choices, then after the Café and ‘organized chaos’ subsides, we clean up and spray down all the counters and tables. It is like a miniature restaurant and you even get paid with one free snack after you have completed your assigned duties The Boys & Girls Club’s Café has taken a new direction. The food they sell is healthy and delicious. There are bagels, fruits, vegetables and cereal - all for under a dollar! Here’s what some customers have to say about it: Allison said she really, really misses the old Café a lot, especially the chocolate goodness. She doesn’t really like it now because she has to eat healthy foods at home and sometimes she just needs a break, but she says she does like the bagels. I asked Caroline if she likes the new and improved Café, and she answered, YES! She loves the new Café because they sell her favorite foods such as apples, oranges and French toast bagels. She doesn’t miss the old Café because she hated most of the food. Derek said the new Café is “OK” because he only liked a few things like the bagels, fruit snacks and yogurt. He misses the old Café but at least they still sell food! The last person that I interviewed was Mary-Ellen, our Performing Arts & Education Director. She said she likes the new Café better because a lot of the food is healthy, and sometimes half of her lunch comes from the new Café. Her favorite items are apples, oranges, string cheese and yogurt.

A Club Thanksgiving
By Yibelis & Coral On Tuesday, November 24, 2009 the kids and staff at the Club enjoyed Thanksgiving Dinner thanks to North Shore International Insurance Service who sponsored this memorable event. They served us steamy pieces of turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, delicious stuffing, and a delightful vanilla cake for dessert. Throughout the dinner, many activities were held. Mary Ellen’s Dance Girls performed to “Stomp It to My Beat” and “Jai Ho”. It was a lot of fun since parents also attended to watch the performances. For many girls, this was their first time on stage performing for an audience. They wore colorful skirts with leggings, patterned tops, and fun bright blue gloves.

Derek & Jackson content after a delicious meal and seeing their friends perform.

Thanksgiving at the Club was a huge reunion since all the sites come together for this event. Awards were announced for Torch of the Month and Youth of the Month for Salem and the Higgins School in Peabody. One member had a blast at her Grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving, where she played all night with her cousins. For dinner, everyone pitched in and brought something. They had delicious turkey slices with mashed potatoes, accompanied by “the best corn ever” as she claimed. Her mom made the mashed potatoes. She was stuffed after eating at both of her Grandmother’s houses. During dinner they sat around the table and each of them gave thanks to God for something they were grateful for. She was grateful for being able to spend time with her family and the delicious food.


Cheerleading for the Salem Witches
By Ashley E.
I have been a Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem member for five years, and cheer for the Salem Witches, which is part of the North East Conference Youth Football League. We practice at Witchcraft Heights Elementary School 3-4 days a week. We have games each Sunday and cheer for the Salem football team. We also compete in competitions. At practice, we work on our routine for competition and practice cheers for games, like my favorite called SALEM which goes like this:

Do You Have Mad NBA Skills?
By Jamyel The NBA basketball skills event is an exciting event at the Boys & Girls
Club. On our first half day of the year, everyone went to the gym to sign up for a skills test that was put on by the NBA. The rules of the game- they have to make a lay-up, go for two shots, dribble, then pass it to a staff and go in for another lay-up. Everybody did really well. Andrew, from the Witchcraft program, was fast and did really great. Justice, from the licensed program at Hawthorne, was awesome and fast and he is only eight years old! Michael had speed and was also great at shooting. Zachary was nervous, and made a few mistakes; but had fun while he was doing it. Kyle was amazing! He made every single shot and had a good chance of winning. When it was my turn to go I was so excited. I think I did really well, especially with my passing. I don’t think I won, but I had a lot of fun as did most of the kids I talked to. The winners of the competition got to see the Boston Celtics practice and won 2 tickets to a Celtics game. They also got to move on to compete in another competition, and maybe compete in Texas after that. Some of the winners were Caroline, Kyle and Alexis. They had a blast with the Celtics, earned cool shirts and are excited to go to a Celtics game. This was a really fun event and we are lucky to get the chance to participate in these tests with the chance to win amazing prizes. I hope that all of the winners of the Salem Boys & Girls Club do really well in their next competition and can move on to the finals!

At cheerleading, I met some close friends. Some I knew before cheerleading and I convinced them to join, and others I met for the first time. We got new uniforms this year and instead of being all black with some red and white they are all red with some black and white.


Harlem Rockets vs. BGC All Stars
By Randy The charity basketball game between the Harlem Rockets from NYC and the Boys & Girls Club was a great success. The day started with the Rockets coming to the Club and spending time with the kids. There was an assembly in the gym to talk to the kids about how to be respectful to themselves, the staff, their friends and their parents. They also spoke about what it means to be a role model, Above:Athletic Director Matt is used to running how important a good education is, and how dangerous drugs and alcohol games in the gym not so used to running on the court. Below: Ariel, a starter on the 18 & Under basketball can be. Instead of leaving right after the assembly, the Rockets chose to spend their day getting to know the kids and playing everything from pool team had fun showing his skills. to connect four with us.

Tip off was at 7:00 pm at the Salem State O’Keefe Center. The Harlem Rockets played against the Salem Boys & Girls Club All Stars which was a combination of alumni, staff and our very own 18 & Under Travel Team. The score was close at times, but it seemed the Rockets were just too much for the Club. I have never seen Matt, our Athletic Director, run so much, but he was the leading scorer for the All Stars. It was great to see some high flying fun, and it wasn’t all on the Rockets side. Eric Downie, one of our staff at Higgins and Terrance Williams, the teen study mentor and coach of the 12 & Under Travel Team both had some dunks! Although the Club’s All Stars lost, it was a great experience for the kids and staff.

Connor spins a ball on his finger, who knew he was such a pro?

Teens Have a Place to Call Their Own
By Eric & Lindsay At the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem you
can do a lot of different things; that is why I like it here. In the teen center you can hang out with your friends, play guitar hero, ping pong, foosball and board games. My favorite thing to do is play pool. It is nice to have a separate area from all of the little kids, with our own spaces. We never had a teen room just for homework with our own computers, until now. The teen study has really nice furniture, looking more like a real office and Terrance, the newest addition to the Club staff helps Marc & Jonny with homework. allows us to do our work and have our own homework New rule for the travel teams: all teens must room staff, Terrance who was just hired. Any teen on complete 4 hours of homework to participate a basketball team must do 4 hours of homework each in games and practice of following week. week to participate. This is a new rule at the Club, which has been a shock to many team members but overall is working out. Michael, age 14, loves coming to the Club and never misses a day. He gets help with his homework here, but his favorite thing to do is play basketball on the 15 and Under Travel Team. When the teen study first opened, we had an event with a few different speakers about career exploration. I learned a lot when Orlando Pacheco, Tony Vargas and Krazy Kulo spoke about the future and making good choices. Orlando Pacheco is the Town Administrator of Lancaster, MA, Tony Vargas is a barber with his own barber shop in Peabody called Exclusive Hair Design, and Krazy Kulo is the producer of the morning show on JAM’N 94.5. Before they got to where they were today, they were kids who grew up in circumstances like most of the teens here, some even from Salem’s “Point” neighborhood. They did not have it easy growing up, but they worked hard to make the best of it, becoming successful men. They told us we need to work hard and make smart decisions today which will affect our future. The speakers inspired us all to work harder to better ourselves.

By Yibelis & Coral December 23 was a huge day for the kids here at the Club- the day the Club celebrated the holiday season. St. John’s Prep does a toy drive throughout the whole month of December to earn a ‘dress down’ day. It was a great opportunity for them and an honor that they choose us for their donation. Not only do the St. John’s Prep students collect toys, many came to our dinner to help out. Before dinner, we had a huge game of dodgeball, the Club vs. St. John’s Prep. The Club won of course. A lot of Club members got to know students at St John’s Prep playing pool, connect four and other games. During the dinner, they helped serve food and even cleaned up after the event-WOW!! Thanks to St. John’s Prep, Santa was able to give every kid two presents, including the kids from our child care programs at Witchcraft, Hawthorne and Higgins in Peabody. We were also able to give presents to many other organizations including Pathways for Children in Gloucester, Salem Community Child Care, the Food Pantry, and provide 15 Club families with gifts for the their children. All of our teens received gift cards to go shopping- what could be better? At the party, we gave over 250 kids gifts! We also received supplies for our programs for arts, athletics, games and prizes. Guy Robinson, who works in our after school program, was the DJ and Mary-Ellen’s dance group gave another outstanding performance.


After School Program Fun for All!
By Lily

Inside the Insiders Program By Gabriely
The Insiders is a group of girls who go out to eat at restaurants with Boys & Girls Club Program Director, Jodi. We go to the 99 Restaurant and other places that many of us haven’t tried in Salem. While we are together, we talk about programs, school, issues going between friends, boys and other things that are on our mind. On another fun night we stayed at the Club and had dinner with one of the Board members, Beth, and a few of her friends. It was exciting to be able to have two different “girls groups” come together.
The group was formed because the girls thought it would be a safe and comfortable place to talk without being judged. Since there was already a younger girls group called Smart Girls for 6-8 and 9-11 year olds, Jodi thought it would be a good idea to have one for older girls ages 12-15. We chose the name “The Insiders” because everything stays between us. Even though we may not all be best friends outside of the program, once the program starts we are all encouraging and kind to one another. I interviewed one member of the girls group, Monique, who said that she liked being in the group because all the girls get to go out to eat and have fun while having girl talk. Some of the stuff that we talk about is girl stuff, and whatever we say never leaves the table. It is a helpful and fun group to be a part of. Some issues we have talked about include self-esteem, short and long term goals, role models and family problems. I agree with Monique that the group is fun, because we get to go out to eat which is always fun. This program is beneficial, because it helps us bond with other girls, get things off our minds, and solve our problems together. You not only discover new things about yourself but also about other Club members.

The Boys & Girls Club offers many after school programs. Matt, the

bus driver who is also the Athletic Director, drives around every school to pick up the kids for an after school adventure. Each site offers the same home-like feeling, but are unique in their own way. The first site is at the main Club at 13 Hawthorne Boulevard. Downstairs is for kids 8 and older. We provide a gym with many in-house and traveling teams, a joyful game room with loads of tournaments, a creative art room, a computer room, and an educational homework room. Upstairs is the Hawthorne site for ages 5 to 8 where they can express themselves in ways they’ve never done before. The little kids get snacks, and have crazy and fun staff such as Ashley, Guy and Kathy. Ashley says “Its fun working with the little kids because they make my day! I’m always extremely nice to them. I run a program called Club Read for Kindergarten students that don’t have any homework. I bring them into a quiet room during power hour and read them a story, and every other day I do an activity with them.” Ashley also runs a dance program for the little kids. Guy’s choices of words were “Kids Club is made from the best stuff on earth.” Kathy is a great down to earth staff member who runs Junior Achievement with activities such as basketball, football and art projects to keep the kids entertained all day. They have two rooms, full of excited, loud, friendly children. Many of the kids in this program have brothers and sisters in the downstairs program. Many will “graduate” to go downstairs in a year or two. Our 3rd site is the Witchcraft Heights Elementary School, another fun, exciting learning experience. At both programs the kids get a snack each day, usually healthy but yummy! The kids also get to visit Peabody Essex Museum and do interesting projects there.

By Ashley C. & Coral Witch City Dance is a program started by the Kids’ Club staff Guy and Ashley. Ashley is the choreographer and ‘Pretty Boy’ Robinson (Guy) is the DJ. This dance group was made for kids in the dropin program at the Club at that “in between age”- not ready to be a teen but not wanting to stay downstairs with the little kids. The staff saw a need because these kids weren’t participating in other programs, and they wanted to give them some fun and excitement!
26 kids joined the program when it started, and everyone was interested in the types of music we were going to dance to, and where and when we were performing. Many of the kids are Hispanic, and grew up in a Spanish speaking neighborhood, so most of them had things in common. Much of the music was reggaeton and Spanish Hip Hop. The girls have become really close, even if they are different ages and races and hadn’t hung out in the Club before. The first day of the program, the kids brainstormed about the songs they wanted to dance to then they got into a big circle and free danced. This allowed the kids to express themselves and have their fun. This program helped many Club members to find their niche, and it’s also a good workout! Many of the kids took learning the choreography seriously, practicing in and out of the Club. The kids who were the strongest stuck with the program and performed on many occasions. The girls went through rough patches but they didn’t let their team down. They help each other to better themselves instead of giving each other negative comments when mistakes are made. They are constructive and teach one another. The girls don’t move on until everyone understands the dance moves. Early 2009, the girl’s preformed at Salem State College at half time of the Boys & Girls Club’s basketball team home games, and in the auditorium at the Club at the Champion’s Dinner where all of the programs around the Club are celebrated, and at the Dance Spectacular, where many different groups performed. The girls wore graphic sweat pants and t-shirts that had tiger scratches on it (home made of course) and put their hair up in color coordinated ribbons.

Well that’s the scoop on the after school programs at the Boys & Girls Club. Sign Up!
Left, Hailey, age 5: “I love being upstairs so much because we get to do girls dance. I like the staff because we do lots of activities. Guy is just so funny!” Right, Justice, age 7: “I like when we do cool activities and sometimes basketball games. I also love my staff because they are nice and they help us do our homework and sometimes they play with us!”

Here are the faces behind the stories, each with their own story...
Ally, Age 12: Favorite food: chinese. Favorite book: Twilight. Loves video games. Lily, Age 11: Loves theatre & dance at the Club. Favorite food: seafood. Michelle, Age 12: Loves art. Every program at the Club is her favorite! Saira, Age 12: Loves to dance. Favorite food: pizza. Has 2 sisters at the Club. Coral, Age 14: Loves to dance and hang with friends. Enjoys teen cooking & helping at Club. Yibelis, Age 17: On BGC staff. Loves R & B & hip hop. Favorite food: pizza. Gabriely, Age 14: Loves to dance. Favorite food: chinese. Her sister also attends the Club.

Additional Contributors:
Ashley C, Ashley E, Bridget, Chaterine, Eric, Jamyel, Lindsay Randy and Ryan.

Thank you to Comcast for making this program possible.


First Bloom Program Grows At Club By Michelle
The First Bloom Program
is run by the National Parks Service and Mary-Ellen Hickey. This Branch in the tree of First Bloom is held at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem. There are 14 kids ages 8-12 in the program. This group has gone on field trips to learn about plants and animals. One of these trips was to Green Meadows Farm, where the group enjoyed learning about the plants and animals there. Another trip was to Topsfield Fairgrounds, where the animals fascinated us! Some of the larger bunnies looked like cats, and the chickens were loud! We even got to watch baby chicks being born. The trip to the Salem Maritime was exciting. First Bloomers helped plant herbs, decorated miniature boats, participated in ship building activities and even got their faces painted! During Summer Camp at the Boys & Girls Club, campers went to a national park each week, including: Saugus Iron Works, the U.S.S. Constitution Ship and Minute Man National Park. The National Park Service has become an exciting partner of the Club. Other great activities included making a journal out of cereal boxes and recycled paper, collecting cans and bottles to create artwork and going to the Farmers Market to talk with local farmers about the foods and plants they grow. MJ, age 10, says First Bloom is one of his favorite programs at the Club. The more field trips, the better because you can see the plants and animals instead of just learning about them on paper. His favorite field trip was the farm, because he liked the animals. Lilah, age 9, enjoys the field trips because you talk and learn about nature and other outdoor activities. Her favorite part is learning about helping the environment. The types of seeds she collected were poppy, hitchhiker and iris. Her favorite field trip was the farm. “I liked the baby chickens and baby ducks.”

Summer Fun At The Boys & Girls Club

Schooner Camp Sets Sail By Michelle
Through a grant with the National Parks Service, the
Boys & Girls Club awarded 20 scholarships for kids to attend the Schooner Fame Camp for free. The Schooner Fame was a schooner boat in 1812, and a replica is in Salem Harbor. Each day during the summer, a group of kids would go sailing. There is a gold watch and a blue watch. The blue watch is for the younger kids (8-10), and the gold watch is for the older kids (11-13). On the boat, you learn how to tie the basic knots: square knot, figure eight knot, and the bowlin knot. We learned how to steer the boat and navigate through the water. One day, boaters went to Misery Island and walked around looking at the ancient ruins. Others went around the island studying the shape of the island. By the end of the week, these groups were expert navigators and even made maps of the island with a key. Each day they would keep a log of everything going on, and about 3 times a day, they would write the wind’s direction, the direction they were heading, and the weather. Each day on the boat we would switch watches every few hours. First blue watch would steer, trim the sail, and be on bow watch, and then the gold watch would switch with them. To steer, you would use the tiller, which is at the end of the boat, also the compass. To trim the sails you would need many people because one sail was way too heavy. On bow watch, two people would sit at the bow and watch out for lobster traps. Captain Mike runs the camp and helped build the boat about seven years ago. The staff was nice. They played games with the campers and taught us how to make bracelets. Although everybody was sad they had to leave, they all had a boating experience to remember forever. Alexandra, age 10, liked camp because it was the only camp she went to this summer. She enjoyed jumping off the boat and hanging out with friends from the Club, many of which she doesn’t see all summer. She learned a lot about the boat and how to sail. She loved Misery Island, even though it was freezing when she swam. She also liked walking in the woods and meeting other groups on the beach. Isabella, age 11, liked Schooner Camp because of the nice staff and because it was a lot of fun. Her favorite thing was learning to tie different knots with rope and then jumping rope after tying them all together. She enjoyed learning about Misery Island, and going in the dingy boat.

You can see excerpts from our blog at www.first-bloom.org.

Dear Mom: We Loved Summer Camp at the Club! By Saira & Yibelis
you should definitely consider coming next year! Each week has its own theme. During Holiday Week the kids were able to bring back the theme of Christmas and Hanukkah. They could even wear their Halloween costumes to the Club and have an Easter Egg Hunt -isn’t that cool? Adventure Week, the kids went to the movies to see The Tale of Desperaux and checked out Castle Island. Sports Week, kids showed their team pride by wearing team jerseys and hats and having relays and other games. Entertainment Week, kids got a chance to show off their singing and dance moves in a talent show and go to Water Country. Kids went all out on two of my favorite days: Rockstar Day and Greek Gods & Goddesses Day. Safari Week, the kids saw some wild animals at Stone Zoo. Olympic Week, the kids researched their country and went the Summer Expo at Nashua NH to meet other Boys & Girls Clubs. History Week, we visited Devereux Beach and dressed like Greek Goddesses. Back to the Future Week, kids visited Wingaersheek Beach where the sand was snowy white and the water was clear as can be. Wacky Water Week, members made their annual Canobie Lake field trip. Kids would earn points by dressing up on theme days such as Pajama Day, Twin Day, Pirate Day, Cowboy/girl Day, and Decade Day where everywhere you turned you saw someone from the 60s and 70s. If your team is in first place, you would have an Ice Cream Sundae party with ALL of the toppings. The kids got really into the themes, and a lot of friendly competition was demonstrated throughout the whole summer.

Have you ever been to the Boys & Girls Club Summer Camp? If not,

We also went to places such as Salem Willows, Salem State, Dane Street Beach and Lynch Park to swim. The kids also went to Winter Island almost every Wednesday for Girl Scouts where girls made lip gloss and fruit kabobs, and boys played ‘capture the flag’ or ‘tag’. Sometimes the kids would go crab hunting for points, and I was impressed by the number they would find filling many of our sand buckets. Most of the kid’s favorite spot was Salem Willows, because they had varieties of foods to choose from and many games to play like Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero. While some enjoyed playing, others sat at the beach eating popcorn or fried dough. The kids also enjoyed going to Roller World. Some were able to face their fears without hesitation, while others struggled to learn how to skate (including the staff!). This summer we had a new partner: The National Park Service. Every week National Park Rangers would meet us somewhere, and the kids would learn more each week so we wouldn’t forget what we learned during the school year, trying to keep our brains sizzling with intelligence. We visited Saugus Iron Works, the USS Constitution, Salem Maritime, Gloucester Maritime and Minute Man National Park. Summer Camp continues to engage children in fun and laughter but is also a safe place to try many new things.


Manny Cruz, 2009 Youth of the Year, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem
In most movies about an inspirational story the protagonist
This year, I became one of the captains of the 18 and under basketball team. Being so, I have learned the importance of respect and loyalty. I also learned that no one person can change the tide of a game- it takes a group effort. Just like in life you can’t always do everything yourself, you need people you can rely upon. Through the team, I become a harder worker and want the best for my teammates and myself. We share a bond that makes us as close as brothers. Without this Club, I would have never been able to connect with my team as I do now. If we didn’t all decide to show up to those try-outs none of us would be in this brotherhood and learn what loyalty and respect really are. But the most important thing I have learned is that everything I learn from our team doesn’t just apply to basketball, it applies to life. You’re always going to be around people and by giving them respect you learn the proper way to succeed. Through communication, we all learned that success is possible even when the situation appears to be dim. None of these changes that have taken place in each of us would be possible without the Club. As I said, every protagonist has a place of inspiration and this Club is mine. Most of it is due to the staff. They have such a positive vibe around them; I can’t help but take it in myself. They see my potential and believe in me. They brought the best person out of me, which is all I ever wanted for myself. One of the people who contributed to this is my coach. His words are all I needed to become inspired. He told me that people aren’t scared of failure but are afraid to succeed. He tells the team that we need to put our best foot forward and seize every opportunity. He also made me see the potential I had to be great. Before I met him, I was unmotivated and never tried my best. But one day he coached one of our games and for the first time in a long time I wanted to prove myself to someone. The game was a blow out, the opposing team was up twenty points; worst of all it was 4th Quarter with 4 minutes to go and everyone had a defeatist attitude. They started showing off and he told me that “I cannot believe you’re letting them do this to you, it’s just disrespectful.” It was in that moment something inside of me sparked and I knew that if I didn’t step up, nobody would. I ended up inspiring the rest of my team to play as hard I did and we brought the game to within seven points. On the ride back, even after the loss, Coach told me he was impressed with how I played and he underestimated me. It felt good to prove myself to him, and from then on I always wanted to work hard to earn his praise. I saw the effect I had on people when I worked my hardest and knew this is what I wanted for myself. Without the Boys & Girls Club, I would have never met Andre and probably never would have been so inspired to be great. This Club has shown me some of the good people of the world and I am looking forward to meeting the rest of them and bringing out the good in everyone else. Without this Club I would have never had so many amazing opportunities, like meeting so many good people. I never had a good sense of direction, and I never used to capitalize on every opportunity. But since I have come to the Club those opportunities have been brought to me. Things like auditioning for the Comcast Fancaster for the Celtics and winning. Before, something like an audition for television seemed far away, but the Club has brought the things I thought were so far away closer to me. If I were to give a teen advice on how to become a better person or how to find good opportunities, the first place I would tell them to go to the Boys & Girls Club. If a place like this can change my life for the better, I know that it can do it for others. I hope that anyone who has a chance to come to the Club feels the same way I do, and hope one day I can help the Boys & Girls Club, the same way it has helped me turn my life around.

always has a place he goes to find his encouragement and motivation. For me, that place of inspiration would be the Boys & Girls Club. This place has become a lot more than just a place where I go to hang out. This place has taught me life lessons and inspired me to become a good person. It has become a place in which people believe in me. Other than my family, I never found a place that gives me such support. It has become a second home to me. The positive vibe I get when I step through the doors can only be described as amazing. More than anything, this Club has been a place of opportunity, a place of learning, a positive environment and most importantly; my outlet to any of the problems in my life. Most kids my age choose to do other things that impact their lives in a negative way. Since coming to this Club, I have only been affected in a positive way. Before I came to the Club I had a negative outlook on life because of all the things going on at the time. I brought this negative attitude everywhere I went, from school to my own home. I didn’t feel comfortable no matter where I went. After hearing about a try-out for basketball at the Boys & Girls Club, I decided to go. Midway through the season I started noticing that this place was a good place for me. It was keeping me off the streets and helping me deal with my attitude. Just by walking in, I always found myself smiling because I knew I would be received here with a smile. I felt like whenever I came to the Club, nothing else mattered- not my situation at home, school or anywhere.

Excerpts from 2009 Youth of the Year Candidate Essays
Ashley Colon:
“Growing up at the Club, I always looked forward to having fun each day and learning something new. The Boys & Girls Club was my second home and still is.
I want every child to boost their self-confidence as I did when I was younger, and meet new friends around the Club. Together we’re one Club, so together we’re one family.”

Yibelis Pena:

2009 Youth of the Year Candidates Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem
L to R: Ashley Colon, Yibelis Pena, Alex Moreta and Manny Cruz, 2009 Youth of the Year

“The Boys & Girls Club is a great after school activity. It is shown to keep lots of
kids off the streets. In two years I plan to attend college and major in Child Psychology. Working at the Club helps me get a clearer view of how kids think and act. I am positive that I want to work with kids. Therefore, I am proud to wear my staff shirt.”

What is the Youth of the Year?
by Yibelis

Youth of the Year is an opportunity to demonstrate your speaking, writing

Alex Moreta:
fun. To me, the Club means responsibility to my community and family to become a better person. The Club helps me with socializing, decision making, sportsmanship and more. When I’m at the Club I feel like I’m at a safe home. If there was no Boys & Girls Club, I don’t know what I would do.”

and leadership skills throughout the Boys & Girls Club. Candidates write two essays, one about the Club and what it means to you, and one about why college is important to you. You also get interviewed by six staf members on topics from home and family to your life goals. Each of the four nominated youth go in front of a panel of judges and one youth is chosen as Youth of the Year to represent the Club. The winner competes against other Club winners across the state, then maybe across the country. This competition is truly a way to realize the significance of the Club in our lives and to become a role model for other Club members.

“The Club means more to me than just


Power Hour Helps Make Homework Fun! By Ally & Bridget
Who said homework can’t be fun? At the Boys & Girls Club, we get prizes for our efforts. Power Hour is the first activity of the day and for many kids, their
only time to get their homework done with people there to guide and help them. A room is dedicated for quiet concentration on even the hardest subjects and staff and volunteers help whenever you don’t understand something Christine is in charge of the room, keeping track of everyone’s points. Each sheet of paper earns you 5 points, but on Friday it is double! If a Club member is committed to doing their homework each day, they can earn 100 points or more, putting them in first place. Every other week the top 20 point earners take part in an exciting event everyone wants to be a part of, and prizes from board games and stuffed animals to sports balls and magic kits are on display to choose from. When Jodi announces your name and what place you came in, everyone cheers and you get to pick your reward. Hopefully your teacher gives you a lot of homework, and you are motivated to do it all at the Club and earn lots of points! Jordan, age 11, does Power Hour just for the fun of it! He has won Power Hour twice so far. He won a laptop case and a mini Tech Deck skateboard. He admits, “When you do your homework you get to win cool prizes! I like Power Hour because you get prizes for doing something you don’t like.” He gets help on math, not his favorite subject. Chrishae, age 9, just started at the Club but likes Power Hour because she gets help and understands her homework more. She likes that her homework is always right, so she does well in class. She hopes to earn a prize someday, but for now she is just excited to be someplace new where there are a lot more choices of what to do during the day. Brad, age 8, screams “I do Power Hour to win stuff!” He has never won Power Hour but he keeps trying to win “super coolio” prizes! Brad does not like doing homework because it is boring, but he thinks it is good because he gets a lot of help and can get it all done before he goes home.
New Club member Chrishae puts the final touch on her homework.

Lili, age 11, does Power Hour to get prizes for homework. She has won Power Hour once, and won a beanie baby snake! EEK!! Power Hour teaches kids that if you do your homework and get help you can get good grades and sometimes earn cool prizes like backpacks, shirts and stuffed animals.

Christine Moulton has been working at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem since December 2008. She helps kids with homework by sitting with them and working through each problem. She likes helping kids and remembers a lot from when she was in school, although sometimes it can be a challenge. For her, the most difficult subjects are science and math. She loves working here, and misses it when she isn’t at the Club. She proudly tells us that almost 100 kids participate in the Power Hour homework program. Although she didn’t go to a Boys & Girls Club growing up, her dad did but then it was called The Boys Club! Christine is from Northboro, MA and is now in her third year at Salem State College. She majors in Social Work. Before the Boys & Girls Club, Christine worked as a lifeguard. Christine has a dog Bailey, a brother and a sister. She loves to travel and some of her favorite trips have been Ireland, Aruba and Hawaii. We are happy to have such a fun and dedicated staff at the Club.

Brad has faith he will win Power Hour someday!

Dominican Republic Club Members Try to Make Themselves at Home at the Club
By Chaterine & Yibelis The Boys & Girls Club believes in providing a positive and safe environment
for every child regardless of race, language, and income. We have kids from all around the world, with a large number of emigrants from the Dominican Republic. Although some staff have trouble understanding and communicating with these kids, they learn more and more everyday. explore the world. Dahiany’s last choices of words were: “Vive la Vida Paso a Paso!” (“Live life step by step!”) Chaterine is 13 years old, but has been here since she was 9. The day she arrived she walked downtown with her cousins and got familiar with the place. Her cousins helped by teaching her a few English words a day. Seven weeks later she felt as if she were home again. When asked to describe her first few days here, she remembered being shy. The only word she knew was ‘hi’, and she was teased by boys at her school. Her first day of school was nerve wracking. She spoke fondly about her native home, saying she misses her friends, family, environment, the pools and most of all the beaches. When asked if she would return if she could, she didn’t hesitate to answer “Yes! Because I have a lot more fun.” Chaterine understands it might take a while, so she is willing to make something out of her life while being here. “Here I wish to accomplish my dreams of becoming a model and learning more English.” Cristin, is 8 years old and the sister of Yan Carlos. When introduced to her family in Salem, she was in shock at how many relatives she didn’t know she had. She emigrated here to be with her dad. Her first few days were strange. She felt out of place as she was spoken to in English and had no method of responding. She was made fun of by the girls at school, but she never let that faze her. In the future she plans to take ballet classes. When asked of how she felt today, she responded happy she loves the new environment. She claimed she definitely prefers the cold weather over the heat, because it’s a change. She believes the most important words she has learned have been “I am sorry” because it can help her in any given situation. Cristin has a good head on her shoulders, and said: “Seguir para alante, y nunca Club Member Chaterine: “Llegando a este dejes que las palabras te afecten.” pais, yo aprendimuchas cosas que me ayudan (“Sticks and stones may break my conocer a mas sente.” (Coming here has bones but words will never hurt taught me how to interact with people from me.”). other environments.)

When a new Spanish-speaking child comes to the Club, the first instinct is to introduce yourself and ask about them, which is difficult if you don’t know Spanish. Matt Carr, the Athletic Director, says his only concern is how fast they speak. His favorite Spanish phrase is “como estaba la escuela hoy?” (How was school today?) because it helps him learn a few new words and about their day as well. Matt understands some Spanish but finds it extremely hard to explain the rules of a game sometimes. That is where Ryan or Yibelis come to the rescue, both native speaking junior staff members. When there’s a problem around the Club, or a parent needs questions answered, they take over. Ryan was born here and learned Spanish from his parents, and likes being able to help. Having these kids around has helped the staff learn not only the language but their culture. Yan Carlos is 14 years old and emigrated 2 months ago from Santiago in the Dominican Republic. His first steps in the US were mixed, sad but happy. His father brought him and his siblings here for a better future. Yan Carlos is in the 8th grade and claims his first day wasn’t scary at all because he was confident, and met new friends right away. He prefers tropical weather over the weather here. When asked if he had the chance to return to his home country, would he take the chance? He replied “Yes” because he misses his friends, family and the atmosphere. He finished by saying what he hoped to accomplish now that he was here; “Espero ayudar a mi familia economicamente en lo que yo pueda.” (“I hope to be able and help my family economically in the future.”) Maria is 15 years old, and emigrated 4 months ago. She was brought here by her dad who has lived here his whole life. Her mother stayed behind in DR but she speaks to her everyday. Marie is proud to be here, because she was one of the ‘chosen few’ to have the privilege of coming to the US. She is excited about her first snowy Christmas, and dreams of becoming a Pediatrician. Maria’s final words were: “El bien estar mio, es el de mi familia.” (“My success is my family’s well being.”) Dahiany is 13 years old and arrived in the US 3 months ago with her mom and finds it hard to engage in new routines and atmospheres. She’s not a big fan of the cold weather; and not looking forward to snow. In the future she plans to


CLUB Q & A by By Saira & Yibelis

We asked Club members: “Who is your hero and why?”

Adrian, age 8: Spiderman, because he has really cool superpowers.

Hector, age 12: Michael Caroline, age 8: My Jordan, because he is good at brother, because he basketball. always looks out for me.

Jan Carlos, age 13: Kobe Bryant, because he is the man. Jay, age 12: Manny (Summer Camp JR Staff & Youth of the Year 2009), because he teaches me right from wrong. Lisabel, age 9: My mom, because she can tolerate so much, like 4 children including me.

Eric, age 11: My dad, he raised me and brought me up into this world

Jayla, age 5: My mom, because she does my hair.

Jesse, age 17: Superman, because he is strong, fast, and a good leader. Omar, age 7: My dad, because he helps me reach things.

Maryvette, age 6: My mom, because she protects me.

Jane, age 9: My dad, because he achieved his dream and became a graphic designer, my inspiration.

Kama, age 8 ½: Brianna, because she is my best friend and we always have fun. Manny, age 17: Andre (Teen Director), because he inspires me and makes me believe in myself.

Hailey, age 5: Princess Presto, because she has a magic wand and she is my favorite superhero with cool shoes and a pretty dress.

Kolten, age 8: My cat, because she had a kitten. Kasey, age 8:Cameron, my brother, because even when I annoy him sometimes I know he still loves me.
What’s the Word is a publication of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem made possible by a generous grant from Comcast. Stories & photos by What’s the Word Staff, Design & Layout: Beth O’Grady, Printing: Gannett Offset, Executive Director: Joanne Scott, Program Director: Jodi Sperling. Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem, 13 Hawthorne Blvd., Salem, MA 01970 978-744-0915, www.bgcgs.org

Yaffel, age 12: My mom Sindy, age 9: My mom, and dad, because they love because she is really smart and me and get me things I need. helps me with everything.

William, age 6: Pokemon, because they have a lot of strategy and I wish they had real live Pokemon.


13 Hawthorne Blvd. Salem, MA 01970

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