Programs in this core area empower youth to support and influence their Club, foster community development skills, and provide opportunities for responsible decision making.
Character & Leadership
Youth of the Year
This program is designed to promote and recognize service to the Club and community, academic performance and contributions to family and spiritual life. The local Club selects a Youth of the Year who competes in a state competition. State winners enter the regional competition and Regional winners go on to compete in a National competition. The National Youth of the Year receives a $10,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States.
Torch Clubs are leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11-12 which focus on character development. Torch Club members learn the democratic process by electing officers while working together to plan and implement activities in four areas: Service to Club and Community, Education, Health, and Fitness and Social Recreation. Yearly, Torch Club members from all over the country take part in a service-learning experience through the National Torch Club Project.
Keystone Clubs are leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 14-18. Keystone Club members elect officers and design and execute their own activities in six areas: Service to Club and Community, Leadership Development, Education and Career Exploration, Unity, Free Enterprise, and Social Recreation. Keystone Club members and their advisors are eligible for nomination to steering committees which organize regional and national TEENSupreme Keystone Conferences attended by thousands of Keystone members each year.
Youth of the Month
Every month, BGCDOC recognizes a youth from each age group who exemplifies superb behavior, improved educational performance, dedication to community, and unequaled peer assistance. Once chosen, that youth gets his/her picture framed and placed on the BGCDOC Wall of Fame. Youth of the Month selectees from the teen group have the opportunity to be chosen as the Youth of the Year.
In order to instill responsibility into our youth, BGCDOC has a Junior Volunteer program where teens between the ages of 12 and 18 contribute to the operations of the Club. Through answering phones, assisting program leaders, and keeping the Club safe and clean, teens feel needed and wanted while developing a sense of pride by participating in the ownership of the Club.
Community Service Projects/Connecting Communities
Club members and Duke students work in tandem on Saturdays improving our community. Some of the community service projects they have completed are cleaning up the Eno River and Central Park in downtown Durham, planting flowers with SEEDS, and assisting the Food Bank of Durham with acquiring and distributing donations.
Youth Councils/Youth Speakers
Members join Council to promote their public speaking skills and encourage an understanding of world events and topics. Through participating in Council and becoming a Youth Speaker, members are exposed to issues outside of their individual neighborhoods, thereby garnering an insight into how the outside world works impacts their own communities.