Club Development

Leaders’ Clubs are the lifeblood of Blue Ridge Leaders’ School and we are dedicated to their success throughout the year. The success of BRLS depends on the mission and lessons of the school being taken back home and implemented in the communities in which our leaders live and serve.

Below you’ll find plenty of resources to help grow a Leaders’ Club, or start a new one, as well as a space to communicate with other clubs and leaders across the southeastern US. Click any of the links below to download the document.

New to the club?

Advisors

This is a consistent adult willing to meet weekly with the teens. This can be a volunteer or staff and should be at 21 years of age. They should also know the operations of the YMCA so they can help connect the Leaders’ Club program into youth sports, aquatics, day camp, etc.

Organization Standards

I. The experience is based on membership in a small group (club) for youth between the ages of 12 to 18 (generally 25 or fewer members). (Hint: make an effort to balance membership between grades to ensure the longevity of the program and reduce class dominance.)

II. A caring adult role model, preferably a volunteer, works with the group of teens. (In some cases, especially when first starting a club, the advisor may be the YMCA professional staff person).

III. The group meets regularly for an extended period of time (9 to 12 months; there are incentives and opportunities for continued involvement beyond that time frame. (Hint: the journey is more important than the destination; growth opportunities occur through regular interactions at weekly or bi-weekly club meetings.)

IV. The group’s activities lead up to at least one major event involving teens from other areas (Hint: Blue Ridge Leaders School is built in as this opportunity but do not stress this as the reason to be in the club. It is a goal to achieve but still only one component.)

V. All activities address at least one of the four goals of YMCA teen leadership programs: leadership training, personal growth, service to others, and social development. (Hint: the growth process enabled by Leaders Club should be well rounded, addressing a teen’s spiritual, mental, and physical development.)

VI. Teens assume responsibility for planning their own activities under the supervision of caring adult role models. (Hint: train the officers as SERVANT LEADERS, mentor them regularly, and trust them to run the club). This includes raising money to help pay the direct costs of the program. (Hint: there are life lessons to be learned when a student must take responsibility for their own participation.)

Parents

Parents will need to know the expectations of the club in order to support the Leader with transportation, priority setting, budgets, etc. Education about how the volunteer service hours within the YMCA programs will build and advance their teens speaking skills, leadership traits and confidence will be a key component of a successful partnership.

Leaders

Looking at the club as just another service club is a common mistake. The purpose of the club is to build real skills of leadership and communication, the service hours is just one of the ways into this growth. The best frame of reference might be to look at the club like a Varsity sport, or travel team model. We work with folks committed to excellence in service and those dedicated to improving themselves and others.

Find a Leaders' Club Near You!

Upcoming Events

ARE YOU HOSTING A RALLY OR EVENT?!

Please send your rally dates and information to Jessica James at jejames87@gmail.com to be included on this website as well as the “Upcoming Events” section of the BRLS Express.

Club Highlight Submissions Needed!

Is your Club working on an impactful project for your Y? Do you have a Leaders’ Club member who is going above and beyond in the home Y and community? Does your Club have a service project coming up that you’d like BRLS to lift up? If so, please send a brief summary and any pictures you may have to Molly D’Avria at mdavria@gastonymca.org so we can feature your Club on the BRLS Facebook page!