Character and Leadership Development

Helping youth become responsible, caring citizens and acquiring skills for participating in the democratic process is the main thrust of these programs. They also develop leadership skills and provide opportunities for planning, decision-making, contributing to Club and community and celebrating our national heritage.

All programming includes an element of character and leadership development. The following programs specifically focus on these goals.

Keystone Club

This is one of our most dynamic teen programs. Keystone Club is a chartered leadership and service club for boys and girls ages 14-17. Keystone Club consists of an adult advisor and approximately 8-15 young men and women who elect their own officers, and plan and implement their own activities in six core areas: character and leadership, service to club and community, education and career exploration, free enterprise, unity, and social recreation.

Our local teens have received national recognition for community service and leadership. Their signature event is the annual Haunted Jailhouse, staged at our local Sheriff’s Station. This community-wide event attracts thousands of people and provides a safe, fun Halloween experience for Santa Clarita families.

Being part of a national charter entitles the Keystone Club to participate in regional and national Keystone conferences, which broaden horizons and help develop young leaders.

Torch Club

This small-group leadership development and service club is specifically designed for boys and girls ages 11-13. The program is a powerful vehicle through which Club staff can help meet the special needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their development.

Torch Club members learn to work together to plan and implement activities in four areas: service to Club and community, education, health and fitness, and social recreation. Torch Club encourages adolescents and tweens to find their voice within their Club, home, school, and civic communities.

Leaders in Training (L.I.T.)

Leaders in Training is a development program for teens ages 13 to 17. L.I.T. helps empower our members to become caring, productive and responsible leaders through training and positive experiences achieved by the following guiding principles:

  • Character Development
  • Volunteer Service in the Club and Community
  • College Career Readiness
  • Community & Cultural Awareness
  • Team Building.

Youth of the Year

This recognition program is the cornerstone of The Club’s Character and Leadership Development program. It promotes and celebrates young people’s service to the Club, community and family; academic performance; moral character; life goals; poise and public speaking abilities.

A mainstay of the Boys & Girls Club experience, the year-round program helps young people focus on personal development areas needed to be successful Youth of the Year candidates and productive adults.

Youth of the Year nominees compete with nominees from other Clubs. State winners receive a plaque and a $1,000 scholarship, then enter the regional competition. Each of the five regional winners receives a $10,000 scholarship and enters the national competition held in Washington, DC. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 scholarship, totaling $26,000 in scholarships, and is installed by the President of the United States.

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