Sunday, January 22, 2017

Community Event Youth Activity, Claremore

Claremore Elks Lodge #1230 and Volunteers for Youth, Rogers County, partnered to host a family-oriented community event in and outside the lodge building. This is an effective model to adapt for other towns and mentoring organizations.

Through a grant from the Claremore Elks, Volunteers for Youth and the Elks worked together with business, public safety, and Pryor's Thunderbird Academy to produce an interactive, something-for-everyone youth mini-festival.

Inside the Elks Lodge were food, hands-on activities, and a haunted house. The Halloween theme added to the festivities, and children and adults had the option of wearing costumes. "Trick or treating" for candy changed to generally healthier food, often decorated by the kids.

Volunteers for Youth logo with cut-outs for faces.
Clever photo op marketing!

Lowe's provided "Build and Grow" work aprons,
safety goggles, tools, and a build-a-boat project
with instructions.

Intently building their boats

A cadet from The Thunderbird Academy
oversees decorating small pumpkins.

Cadets also used the popcorn popper to
pop, bag, and hand out popcorn.
Note the large cardboard decorated boxes.
On a nearby tables were Elks-sponsored coloring books for the Drug Awareness Program and DINE-osaurs coloring pages from as well as crayons.

Jack-o-lantern half with a pretzel stem
Boomer Sooner photo op

Apple slices
Spider web with spider chocolate pudding
and decorating a banana ghost with raisins

Grape eyes

Making your own granola buffet & & end product

Warm caramel sauce for apples

Haunted House (a.k.a. Spook House)

Scarier in the dark, foggy with a fog machine, and noisy with typical spook house sounds, creative, applause-worthy!


The black plastic defines the flow of traffic
and allows creatures to surprise thrill seekers.

Lurking behind is the chain saw monkey. Its close-up on the right


Imaginatively created cemetery, especially trees and fencing
Activities Outside

Although inflatables drive up expenses, many of the activities cost relatively little. Having public safety officials allowed friendly conversation and learning up close in a positive fashion.

The Elks campaign for drug awareness/education.

Soccer game and old-fashioned sack racing, i.e., two people,
each with one leg in a sack, racing another team.

"Princess" playing golf

Thunderbird Youth Academy cadets supervising a ball toss

Team Oklahoma, led by Coaches Gundy and Stoops,
Coaches' Mentoring Challenge, mentor recruiting

Even though cadets volunteered for all activities and clean-up/take down, Thunderbird Academy had an information booth, led by Stacy Fuller, a veteran herself and the recruiter for the Thunderbird Youth Academy. The cadets with whom we visited were intelligent, personable, fun, motivated young women and outstanding ambassadors for the program.

"Drunk" goggles, also called impairment
goggles, were a hit. Wearers tried to perform
routine tasks "under the influence" of
alcohol or other drugs.

Celina Davis, PAL Project Mentoring Program Director,
and Chris Butler, Executive Director, Volunteers for Youth.

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