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Flashback Friday

On Fridays, we play Warball.

Warball is a dodgeball variation game that heavily emphasizes team play, strategy, and communication. It has become Club tradition to play the game on Friday afternoons to celebrate the coming weekend, and I’d argue that if asked, a large majority of our Club members would name it as a favorite game that we play at BGCP.

It’s been weeks since the normalcy of dozens of pounding feet dancing and dodging stormed above the Learning Center on a Friday afternoon. Would you believe it if I told you that I miss the noise? Because I do. Immensely. I miss our kiddos and staff and the unremitting sounds that serve as reminders of joys and successes at the Club.

For over five years, Club has been a constant in the lives of so many in the plateau community. To the giant tulip poplar off Horse Cove Rd, five years is like the blink of an eye. But in that time, our Club has been busy steadily taking root and growing. We’ve grown in size – both physical space and persons on campus. More members, more staff, more volunteers. We’ve grown in programs – enhancing the old and encouraging the new. More field trips. More arts. More opportunities.

In the beginning of 2020, Balsam group took on the challenge to share their ideas on news, Club activities, and other philosophies by publishing a Club newsletter. The “journalism team” met on Mondays and Wednesdays and consisted of all Balsam members and their leaders, Bianca and Tate. Cameron and I would often join these sessions as we all worked together to navigate deadlines, pitch articles and stories, and plan other relevant content. Bella was the cartoonist. Anderson wrote crossword puzzles. Austin and Cameron R. were in the process of drafting incredibly interesting editorials, and we were on track to publish just after Spring Break.

Before the world changed, Abigail, Jayden, Jenny, Kylie, and Christian were writing a piece on how BGCP has transformed over the years. All contributors on that article were original Club members – they’ve been here since the very beginning. They wrote how schedules have changed and certain rules have changed. They reflected on different staff members over the years and had fun reciting memories from hikes with Derek or talks about music with Julian or dodging Jake’s curveballs in Triple Play. Jayden, Jenny, Abi, Kylie, and Christian couldn’t remember when the Warball tradition began, but they knew it was some time when I was the leading gym activities.

The group recalled that in the first year, we did not have a Learning Center. That area used to be the thrift store, and members did their homework in all available spaces including a meeting room at the firehouse and in the gymnasium. They discussed on how strange it was to try and focus on math problems on the basketball court and how it seemed like so long ago.

When we did not have adequate classroom space for Power Hour then, and we adapted. When the thrift shop was remodeled into our Learning Center, we grew and evolved with the space. Over the last five years, Abigail, Jayden, Kylie, Jenny, Christian, and I have watched as Club has evolved and grown. A short five years for the tulip poplar, maybe, but enough time for the Club to strengthen roots, grow taller, and branch out.

Now, in the midst of a pandemic, new programming has developed overnight to continue our mission. In partnership with local restaurants, we are helping to provide food security to those who need help getting dinner on the table. We’re sending STEM kits, crafts, and other projects home with dinners and working on providing more virtual programming. Currently, Instagram is the Club’s primary social media focus for Club insights, but BGCP TikTok is up for discussion. It isn’t the same as watching members complete homework each day or practice free throws. But it is the same in that we are still here to serve, especially those who need us most.

Looking forward to future Fridays when we can play together again,

Ms. Vivian

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