The Ballard Club Weekly Show

Most summers, the Ballard Club is filled with over 200 kids every day. Club staff coordinate activities like a well-rehearsed dance number with groups of kids weaving in and out of spaces at synchronized times.

And every week, all of the members across the Club gather in the gym for announcements. It’s an opportunity for all the age groups to come together as one Club.

This summer, as large numbers of people can’t gather together, Club staff have had to get even more creative. Club kids are separated into small group sizes in different spaces throughout the Club, and large groups can’t gather together for announcements.

The Ballard Club’s Operation Director Don Lathrop came up with a solution to safely spread a feeling of togetherness throughout the Club and to make it fun!

Kara and Don Weekly Show1

Each week over summer, Don and Program Director Kara Spoelstra host a virtual event – the Ballard Club Weekly Show – that’s broadcast into the different rooms throughout the Club.

Announcements include topics like what’s for snack, what are the activities of the day, and which times each group can come to the Club store to spend their “Ballard Bucks”.

Don and Kara also use this time to interview someone who is doing a great job at the Club. At one show, Kara interviewed a counselor-in-training (CIT) Mina. Mina talked about how she’s become more confident since her first summer as a CIT last year, and how it’s been her dream to be a CIT and then a counselor since she was a young Club member.

Don and Kara Weekly Show

Next, Don and Kara host a game for all the groups to play in each room. For instance, one game is called “Good Morning!” Blindfolded, Kara has to guess which of the kids in her group says: “Good morning, Kara!” Giggles ensue whether she is right or wrong, and next up is a counselor in the Wallabe Room.

The next Ballard Club Weekly Show activity is shout-outs! Counselors recognize Club members and fellow staff members for doing a great job – things like being flexible, helpful, positive, and friendly.

Once the shout-outs end, it’s time for lunch, and the Ballard Club Weekly Show wraps up.

During a time when so many people are isolated, the dedicated staff at Boys & Girls Clubs are working hard to find solutions to bring people together and maintain a strong sense of Club community.