Helping youth become responsible, caring citizens and acquire skills for participating in the democratic process is the focus of our Character & Leadership programs. These programs seek to develop skills in leadership, planning, and decision-making.
+ Keystone: The Ultimate Teen Program
Keystoning is the Boys & Girls Club Movement’s ultimate teen program.
Keystone is BGCA’s premier teen leadership program. Founded in 1964, Keystoning meets teens’ vitally important need for positive group experiences. With the guidance of Club staff, teens are given opportunities to make leadership decisions, serve others, and engage in academic and career experiences.
The goal of the Keystone Club is to promote character and leadership qualities among Club teens; to provide awareness and impact in the areas of community service, academic success and career preparation. The Keystone Club serves BGCA members ages 14-18.
+ Torch Club
Torch Clubs are chartered, small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11 to 13.
Torch Clubs are chartered small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls. The program is a powerful vehicle through which Club staff can help meet the special needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their development. Torch Club members learn to work together to plan and implement activities in four areas- service to the Club and community, education, health and fitness, and social recreation.
Through service activities, Torch Club members identify Club and community needs, develop programs and activities and actively participate in their community. These activities also provide experience of value to others, such as peer mentoring programs, adopt-a-grandparent programs, food and clothing drives, community cleanups and beautification projects and environmental awareness campaigns.
Torch Club members also take part in educational activities that focus on personal development. These activities develop socialization, problem-solving, communications, goal-setting and decision-making skills. The objective is to have teens develop a moral compass and value qualities such as honesty, justice, fairness and a respect for self and others.
+ Youth of the Year
Youth of the Year is Boys & Girls Clubs of America's premier recognition program for Club members
Since 1947, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year recognition program has provided scholarships annually to youth at the state, regional and national levels.
BGCA members ages 14-18 compete on the state, regional and national levels for Youth of the year titles, while younger members, ages 6-13, compete on the local Club level for Youth of the Month awards.
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+ Project ACES AmeriCorps
Project ACES (Accelerating Children through Education Support) AmeriCorps members serve in Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Indiana as positive role models, offering support and guidance.
Project ACES AmeriCorps has 165 members who serve at Boys & Girls Clubs in Bloomington, Ellettsville, Goshen, Middlebury, Nappanee, Elkhart, Evansville, Columbus, Franklin, Marion, Greenfield, Corydon, Crawford, New Albany, Jeffersonville, Bedford, Lebanon, Madison, Michigan City, Crawfordsville, Mooresville, Muncie, Noblesville, Rushville, South Bend, Tipton, Richmond, Hagerstown, Zionsville, Whitestown, and Culver.
The members are positive role models for underserved children. The program offers homework help and supports healthy lifestyles, character and leadership development, and volunteer recruitment and management for Boys & Girls Clubs across Indiana.
Thanks to the AmeriCorps members’ support in the past year, more than 19,000 children completed education programming and more than 16,000 improved their performance in literacy and/or math. More than 60,000 children increased the amount of time they spent in physical activity. Members recruited more than 3,500 volunteers who gave more than 20,000 hours of service in youth development programs such as homework help and coaching.