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Youth Learn, Grow, and Contribute Through New Summer Enrichment Program

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by

Allix Catlett, Director, Summer Enrichment Program 

Youth Learn, Grow, and Contribute Through New Summer Enrichment Program

Boys Town for many years has provided our youth with opportunities to learn and grow over the summer months. In the past, the kids were involved in a program that was lovingly referred to as “Summer Work.” The boys and girls learned job-related skills by lending a hand in the Horticulture, Garden, and Farm Departments, helping to beautify the campus by planting flowers and completing landscaping projects. They also maintained a large garden, harvesting and selling vegetables at a Farmer’s Market, and cared for small farm animals that also called Boys Town their home.

This year, however, brings some exciting changes to the summer routine, starting with a new title: the Summer Enrichment Program.

In the Summer Enrichment Program, we have expanded the areas youth will participate in so they have even more opportunities to develop and build their social skills, life skills, and job-related skills. Youth will rotate weekly through the following 10 different session areas, enjoying fun and educational activities that will help them grow into well-rounded individuals.

  1. Independent Living: Youth will learn about budgeting and managing their finances, renting an apartment, caring for a vehicle, properly cleaning and maintaining a home, and the ins and outs of pet ownership.
  2. Hobbies & Leisure Time: Youth will participate in free time activities like going on a field trip to the public library, playing board and outdoor games, and doing arts and crafts.
  3. Health & Nutrition: Boys Town is partnering with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Office to provide our youth with the Choose Health: Food, Fun, and Fitness curriculum. Youth will participate in interactive nutrition activities, food preparation, active games, and more.
  4. Outdoor Education: Boys Town is partnering with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to provide youth with an exciting Outdoor Skills curriculum. They will learn about common fish and wildlife found in Nebraska and go fishing in the Boys Town Lake; practice packing a hiking bag and go on an actual hike; learn map-reading skills and create their own map of the Boys Town campus; and learn how to pitch a tent, set up a campsite, and follow the “Leave No Trace” rule.
  5. Character Development: Boys Town’s Protestant pastor and his wife will lead this session, which focuses on religious education and activities. Youth also will have the opportunity to participate in Christian community service at Heartland Hope Mission in Omaha.
  6. Physical Fitness: Youth will participate in a wide variety of activities that encourage them to live a physically active and healthy lifestyle. They will be playing kickball and racquetball, and doing yoga and aerobics. We also are partnering with The First Tee Omaha so youth can work with golf coaches and learn the basics of the game.
  7. Environmental Education: Youth will learn about endangered species, types of energy, and pollution. They will discuss ways they can give back to the planet and make it a great place for future generations. Also, a guest speaker from DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge will talk to youth about endangered species in Nebraska, pollinators, and migratory birds.In the final three session areas, the boys and girls will carry on the traditions of the original “Summer Work” program.
  8. Horticulture: Youth will do their part to beautify the Boys Town campus by planting flowers, caring for flower gardens, and doing landscaping projects.
  9. Garden: Youth will maintain their garden, harvest vegetables, and help run the Boys Town Farmer’s Market.
  10. Farm: Youth will help care for animals at the Boys Town farm and assist with general upkeep around the Boys Town campus.

We are all looking forward to a great summer for all of our Boys Town youth!