An annual tradition at the Augusta Boys and Girls Club is to have a Thanksgiving Dinner the Tuesday before the holiday with the youth, their families, volunteers, staff, board members, and other connected supporters to the Club. This year we had a crowd fed by the Kennebec Valley Chamber’s Kennebec Leadership Institute Class of 2015. And just like their name, we had a mouthful of wonderful food. Participants share what they are thankful for in 2015 and there were many themes of family, friends, food, housing, and the Club. This special night is a favorite moment in the year for many involved.
Leaving the party, 11 turkey baskets complete with all the trimmings were donated to families from JS McCarthy and Augusta Elks Emblem Club. With much gratitude, we thank all our supporters who help the Club and the youth that connect to the Augusta Boys and Girls Club.
-Photo courtesy of Eric Kilby
Venture Crew 684 which meets at the Club on Wednesday afternoons is a Boy Scouts of America program that is Co-ed for teens 14 and up. The Crew is celebrating its one year anniversary and during the weekend before Thanksgiving was able to do a weekend camping trip in Acton, ME at Camp Nutter of the Pine Tree Council of Maine. The weekend was spent completing a leadership training course, and on having extended fun during the two nights together. ABGC Board Member, Dr. Roy Miller was a chaperone and reported back that he was impressed with staff and crew by their dedication to learning, teamwork, patience, and good humor. This was 2015’s third camping trip. Crew members have advanced in skill building such as First Aid/CPR certification, safe gun practice, and leadership. The Crew welcomes any interested teen to join on the adventure.
On November 12, Ryun Anderson, Director of Operations for the Restorative Justice Institute of Maine, Jan Rollins Cony Assistant Principal and ABGC Board Member, and Darren Joyce, Program Director of Augusta Boys and Girls Club gave a presentation to the Augusta City Council on Restorative Justice practices in Augusta, focused on diverting youth who have committed a chargeable offense away from the juvenile justice system and into community supports.
In 2015, the ABGC entered into a relationship with the Restorative Justice Institute of Maine to help bring restorative practices to Augusta. A dedicated Community Justice Collaborative was formed by Jan Rollins (an ABGC board member), Mayor Rollins, Representative Pouliot, District Attorney Maloney, Kennebec Sherriff, Augusta Police Deputy Chief Mills (another ABGC board member), Department of Corrections and members from Augusta City government, Augusta Schools, mental health, Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, ABGC, Rotary and more. Since May the group has been able to connect youth to restorative practices with a great deal of success.