October 28, 2010

Beacons Leadership Camp!!

Hello Blog friends!

Every fall, Minneapolis Beacons pack their things and head up to camp for
Leadership Camp. We pack our warm clothes and sleeping bags and head up
to camp for a weekend of fun, singing, games, challenges and leadership
activities. This MEA weekend we brought over 250 youth from all nine
Minneapolis Beacons to YMCA Camp Ihduhapi. Camp is separated by grade
levels: Wednesday was High School, Thursday & Friday was 3-5th grade,
and Friday & Saturday was 6-8th Grade.

Here is an overview of all the things we did at camp this year!

The first night was High School camp. High School is our smallest
group, with only 25 participants. All of our high schoolers applied,
interviewed, planned and trained for camp this year. Our first night at
camp was all about our individual leadership styles.

We played games

We talked in a big group
And we worked on our leadership profiles. Everyone worked on their own
leadership profile poster (working on posters) Each poster had
information like "Things I'm Excited For", "Things I'm Nervous About",
"What I Hope to Take Away", "My Super Power", "My Dangers", and "What
Questions I Still Have".

After everyone finished, we presented back to the group

Then we played some more games & sang some songs

Then we went out the amphitheater to practice the songs and skits for campfires
later in the weekend

The next morning we woke up early (breakfast is at 8am), ate breakfast
and prepared for the 3-5th graders to arrive.

When they arrived, they loaded their belongings into cabins and came
down to the amphitheater for our opening session. The high school
leaders led the opening session. We sang songs, learned about the
expectations at camp and got hype!

One of our amazing Beacons alumni Judy worked with the facilitation
group ("faculators") to perform this amazing opening.

The elementary campers got to do a lot of different things during their
time at camp!
They played teambuilding group games.
They did an amazing race activity, where they had to run around camp
passing challenges to earn letters to spell the word LEADERS.
They had a crazy campfire and slept in their cabins.

The next day, it was time for 3-5th graders and 9th graders to head
home. We had a blast and said goodbye until next year

Then it was time for 6-8th grade.
We still had our 10-12th graders there
to lead the opening. Here are some photos of them preparing with Judy.

One of the differences between elementary and middle school camp is
workshops. The 6-8th graders got to choose between workshops like How to Lead a Focused Conversation, How to work with other leaders
and a Youth Issues Forum.
The youth came up with four main issues: . These 4 items will be the
focus of this year's city-wide youth-adult Beacons Leadership Team

After a super hype campfire, and meaningful Choppin it Up sessions, we
got some rest for one of the most anticipated parts of 6-8 Leadership
Camp: the High Ropes. Each young person at 6-8 leadership camp gets the
opportunity to challen
ge themselves on one of the many high rope
challenges at Camp Ihduhapi.

I followed the Sheridan group and the High School leaders.

We hung around and played games for a little while waiting to start

Then everyone met with their Ihduhapi staff to go over expectations and
talk about what to expect

First thing is first: everyone has to wear a harness:

We learned to belay, then, it was time to put helmets on, check your gear and head up!

Climbing is all about support! Our team supports us with advice and
kind words, but also by holding the rope and keeping us safe:

The Sheridan group was on the traditional climbing wall, while the high
schoolers were on the Zip Line. Here's how it works:

First, you climb the ladder

Then you hang out at the top, trying to build the nerve for the next part:

Once you're on the ledge, you can choose how you want to jump off...some
people sat, some people jumped and some people leaned off. Either way
it was awesome!

Everyone made it to the top of the ladder. Many
people got nervous or
scared at the top, but almost everyone jumped. Everyone who jumped off,
said that they were glad they did it. Here are some photos of people as
they sailed down the zip line

After high ropes it was time to eat lunch, pack up and head home. The
High School leaders were completely wiped!

The very last thing at Leadership Camp is the closing session, where we
gather all campers together to celebrate and reflect on all of the
things we did over the weekend.

Every year, Beacons Leadership Camp sets the bar for Beacons Center
leadership throughout
the school year. When the youth get back to
school, they can't help but to spread all the songs and skills they
learned at camp. Even the Sheridan K-2's are pumped!!

There were so many other things that happened at Leadership Camp! I'll post more of our camping adventures next year...or maybe YOU should come next year and see for yourself!!

October 13, 2010

Food at Beacons!

Hello Blog world!!

It's week two at Sheridan Beacons, so program is rocking at full speed. I just wanted you to see some of the food themed activities we have been working on this week .

Two of our Beacons groups made their favorite foods this week. Below you will find a photo...
Okay, I'll warn you: looking at this picture might make you feel pretty hungry.

Okay, I suppose you probably noticed that it's not real food... The youth made their favorite foods out of inedible materials! Our young people used their creativity to make foods out of felt, yarn, paper and other materials. Below are some of the highlights:

Here are the chicken legs:

Spaghetti & Meatballs:

A hot dog with chips:Tacos!
Pepperoni Pizza:

But we don't just make fake food at Sheridan Beacons!

One of our 3-5th grade groups is called Sheridan Chefs. They learn to work together to create delicious foods! Today they made fruit pizzas!

They cut up fruits like apples, strawberries, grapes and more:

Then they spread a delicious cream cheese spread on the crust
All of the pizzas looked different when they were finished. Here are the final results:

Well, I think that's it for today's update! I will leave you with the question we ask daily at Sheridan Beacons:

October 5, 2010

We're BaaAAack!

Happy Fall everyone! It's Beacons time again, and while we were setting stuff up for the session, we found our camera from last year. It had a bunch of pictures from the last few weeks of Beacons! I thought I'd share them with you!

Let's take a trip down memory lane...

Shane got a pie in the face...hilarious! But he doesn't look too happy!
BAH (Beacons After Hours) planned an awesome carnival for the last day! We had a lot of fun activities:
We set up a photo booth outside

We had an AMAZING Sponge Bob jumping structure set up in the gym. We were able to get such a cool jumping structure because our Blizzard Cup team, the MIND BOMBS won $1,000 in December at the First Annual Blizzard Cup! They used some of their winnings to put on this awesome carnival!

We look forward to another awesome year at Sheridan Beacons! Stay tuned for more shenanigans!