Knoxville, Tenn. (October 6, 2016) ―As kids headed back to school this fall, Boys & Girls Clubs across Tennessee converged in Knoxville for a statewide All-Staff Retreat. Nearly 475 employees, from 19 different organizations, ranging from part-time Youth Development Professionals to full-time Management Professionals took part in the two-day training held at West Park Baptist Church, home of the Middlebrook Boys & Girls Club.
Each day featured morning and afternoon sessions that focused on training for three priority outcome areas: Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles and Good Character & Citizenship. Sessions provided by Club professionals and/or local community partners included: Leadership, New Professionals Orientation, Social Emotional Awareness, STEM & Lego Robotics, Fine Arts, Gym Games, Team Building and more.
Sessions were also provided by National Training Associates from Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). BGCA sessions aligned with the national push to support teen programming with Year of the Teen. Sessions included: They Vote with Their Feet: Addressing Teen Retention from the Beginning, Set Up for Success: Ensuring Teen Accountability, Community Catalysts: Using Community Assets to Support Teen Engagement and more.
The Keynote Address was delivered by Tennessee’s Director of Organizational Development, Chet Nichols. Nichols also presented Program Honor Awards to several Clubs across the state for excellence in program implementation and performance. Tied for the Character & Leadership award was the Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County’s Murfreesboro Unit for their Enrichment Focus Group and the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains’ Sevierville Unit for their Lead to Feed program. The Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains’ Pigeon Forge Unit was awarded the Education & Career Development Program Award for their Productive Futures program. For Health and Life Skills, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ocoee Region received the Program Award for A Passport to Manhood Experience. The Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County received the Sports, Fitness & Recreation award for hosting and implementing the Summer Olympics – BGC Style. The Arts Program Award was given to the Boys & Girls Club of Pulaski for their OpporTUNEity Music Program.
Professionals were also recognized individually for their outstanding effort during the past year. Fourteen part-time professionals and 11 full-time professionals were honored for their work.
Tennessee All-Staff Retreat is the largest statewide professional development opportunity within the Boys & Girls Club Movement.