Youth Diversion Program

Brooke Reidburn, Youth Diversion Coordinator

In partnerships with the State of South Dakota and Codington County, the Boys & Girls Club welcomes Brooke Reidburn as the Youth Diversion Coordinator. Reidburn is a recent graduate of the Law Enforcement program at Lake Area Technical Institute.

The Youth Diversion Coordinator is a newly created position that is a state-funded contracted service through the Boys & Club of Watertown. The position will support juvenile diversion alternative services divided into three responsibilities: Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) coordination, Teen court operations and diversion services, and the case management, referral and data tracking and analysis.

In her role, Reidburn’s services will enhance the juvenile justice services in Codington County and will provide consistent and reliable solutions for youth. The Youth Diversion Coordinator will promote collaborations between juvenile court officials in Codington County, probation agencies, the State’s Attorney’s office, schools, and other youth advocates. The goal is to prevent or divert youth involvement in the juvenile justice system and minimize disproportionate minority contact. Reidburn will focus on prevention and intervention for youth engaging in behaviors putting them at risk for justice system involvement. The JDAI collaborations in the county will work to create an effective, fair, and efficient system that produces positive outcomes for youth, families and communities while protecting public safety.

Codington County has been a JDAI site for almost two years. The JDAI collaborative includes the juvenile judge, juvenile prosecutor, sheriff, detention administration, high school administration, local service providers, court services, county commission, and law enforcement. The collaborative identified the Boys & Girls Club of Watertown agency to house the Youth Diversion Coordinator position as it blends well into the infra-structure of the organization and aligns with current diversion and prevention options through Teen Court and other programming at the Club. The Boys & Girls Club has overseen the Codington County Teen Court program since 2007.

Mr. Caden – Teen Coordinator

The Boys & Girls Club of Watertown is proud to announce the promotion of Caden Wollschlager to Teen Coordinator. Wollschlager started with the Boys & Girls Club in August of 2017 as a Youth Development Professional and was soon promoted to the Social Recreation Coordinator. As Teen Coordinator, Wollschlager will develop, plan and implement quality program plans and special events that adhere to the Boys & Girls Club mission, goals and objectives for our members in 7th – 12th grade. Wollschlager will be responsible for recruiting and retaining teens. He will finally be tasked with the programs of Youth of the Year, Career Launch and Keystone programs which conduct activities in the three areas: academic success, career exploration and community service. He is excited to start his new position, and said, “I love watching the teens grow, not just in their height, but emotionally and mentally too. Seeing them go from only caring about Fortnite and football to creating great friendships and figuring out their bright futures.” Wollschlager is a recent graduate of Lake Area Technical Institute with an Associates Degree in Law Enforcement. 

The Boys & Girls Club’s Fiscal Partnership with the City of Watertown

History

The Boys & Girls Club of Watertown is different than other Watertown non-profits receiving City support, as the organization has a 99-year lease that was signed in 1984 which was developed by City leaders to ensure the Club will receive the on-going support of the City. After failed attempts to build a Recreation Center due to lack of community support, the City needed the help of the Club to raise the funds. The mayor at the time, Herb Jensen, would only agree to this if future support to the Club was guaranteed based on revenue to the Recreation Center, hence the 99 year lease.

When the Club planned for expansion, a business plan was developed to estimate projected budgets after the renovations. The annual City payment was included in future revenue projections. At no point during the capital campaign process did the City dispute the validity of the lease. 

In 2019, City officials moved the Club lease payment line item from the BBB (Bed, Board and Booze) sales tax fund to the general fund. Thus, after 34 years, the Club was placed in the external organization category of the general fund. The lease payment was never intended to be a line item in the general fund. The City’s unilateral move gives public tax payers the perception that continually funding the Club will impact essential services. That is simply not the case and is intentionally misleading.

Legal

The City takes the position that they cannot enter into an addendum because even a short-term one cannot “bind” future councils.  However, this City Council is not binding future councils. The City is already bound by the existing lease. Entering into a 1 year addendum allows the Council to guarantee funding for that specific year without affecting future Councils’ ability to negotiate a different figure each year.

Club officials have contacted the South Dakota Department of Legislative Audit. The  Auditor General is not aware of any concerns that have been raised by the lease agreement or its addendum. In addition, state law allows the City to enter into a lease of 99 years.

When requested by the City or the Recreation Center the Club has consistently and reasonably taken more responsibility for the financial obligations created by the lease. Since 2001, the Club has saved the City $1.8 million.

Funding

City officials have stated there is no plan to cut funding. However, the City continues to request the Club take responsibility for a greater share of expenses historically paid by the City. The City clearly states an intent to reduce funding and terminate the guarantee of funding provided by the lease. The Boys & Girls Club has a strong and sustainable financial position, but if funds are cut, the Club will have no choice but to cut programs. This will be detrimental to over 2,500 youth served and over 350 Watertown businesses that rely on programs and services provided by the Boys & Girls Club.

GPAC Awards!

At the end of July our organization attended the Great Plains Area Council (GPAC) conference which encompasses Boys & Girls Clubs from SD, ND, and MN. Not only does this conference give us the opportunity to learn new things and collaborate with others, we also celebrate achievements.

Our Board Member Julie Feurstenau received an Outstanding Board Volunteer Award for South Dakota. This award recognizes outstanding contributions by a Board Member who selflessly gives back as an advocate for our organizational mission. Julie has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2009. Julie has served numerous roles on Board committees. Whether Julie is recruiting volunteers for a project, soliciting businesses for a donation, or leading a committee, her enthusiasm overflows and is truly contagious!

Julie is also an engaged parent, as she has a daughter currently enrolled in our Kidscope after-school program. She always ensures that our programs and staff members have the day-to-day tools and supplies to execute our programs. Her generosity shines as she recently donated a play kitchen set to the pre-school, board games, furniture and a TV for our new 5th and 6th grade room that was introduced this summer. Julie will be a Board Member who continues to contribute to building great futures in our community.

Our Club received the Outstanding Marketing & Communications Award for our work on the Open Doors Capital Campaign.  Right from the start, we had three positive aspects for this campaign. First, we set the stage by having a great story to tell about the need for renovations and additional space. The second involved the volunteers who gave their time to the campaign. Their enthusiasm and support were vital to our success. And the final one is that community embraced this project and we were fortunate to have some significant contributions to get us started off very positively.

Overall, our capital campaign had 213 donors, with 56 new donors to the organization. The Capital Campaign was a big success for our organization in many ways. Not only did we surpass the goal, we engaged many community members, created new lasting relationships, and continue to use many of the new policies and procedures set for the campaign.

Finally, Jodi Driscoll, was inducted into the inaugural class of GPAC Hall of Fame! The Hall of Fame recognized individuals from each state who have made a difference not only for their Clubs in their community, but have influenced our Boys & Girls Club Movement. As a long-standing Board Member of the Boys & Girls Club of Watertown, Jodi has been involved in it all. Jodi has brought volunteer leadership within the Boys & Girls Club of Watertown to a new level through her time, talents, and personal contributions. Jodi has proved herself to be an influential pillar within the Boys & Girls Club Movement serving locally, on the Great Plains Area Council, and on the Boys & Girls Club of America’s National Area Council Committee, where she worked to implement programs to expand the goals of the Movement nationwide.

This past year, Jodi served as the Chair of our Open Doors-Capital Campaign fundraising project. She was instrumental in the success of the project. The fundraising goal was exceeded, much to do with Jodi’s work ethic and drive. Jodi is an inspiring individual who not only helped solicit donations large and small, but recruited volunteers to help with key decision making and gift solicitations. The Hall of Fame also recognized Jeff Amy, who was an Executive Director with the Boys & Girls Club of Watertown in our very early years and now Jeff works with the National Boys & Girls Clubs of America in Chicago, IL.

Transforming Lives!

Julie Fuerstenau, Board Member of the Boys & Girls Club of Watertown was presented the 2017 “Transforming Lives Award” at the January 18 Board Meeting. This award recognizes outstanding contributions by a Board Member who selflessly gives back as an advocate for our organizational mission. Julie has been a member of the board of Directors since 2009. She has served numerous roles on committees including: Human Resources, Camel Races, and Capital Campaign Marketing. Julie has volunteered her time as a Youth of the Year Judge for our local competitions and has assisted with special events including our Halloween Party and Tackle Football Extravaganza.

Julie is also an engaged parent, as she has a daughter enrolled in our Kidscope program. She always ensures that our programs and staff members have the day-to-day tools and supplies to execute our programs. Her generosity shines as she recently donated a play kitchen set to the pre-school, helped equip our 5th and 6th grade area, and provided 25 wrapped gifts for our staff holiday party.

Julie is a tremendous public relations arm for our organization. Whether she is recruiting volunteers for a project, soliciting businesses for a donation, or leading a committee, her enthusiasm overflows and is truly contagious! Julie has truly rolled up her sleeves and gone to work for the Boys & Girls Club of Watertown. She has an incredible attention to detail and a big heart in giving back to children. In her time on the Board, Julie has contributed hours and hours of her time and talents. Julie will be a Board Member who continues to contribute to building great futures in our community.

Week 2 of Summer Programs–Healthy Living

We have a full summer planned with fun activities and learning opportunities. Each day we will provide breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack. Meals and snacks are included in the membership fees. To help against “summer learning loss” each day we offer D.E.A.R., where all our members and staff “Drop Everything And Read”.

During the summer we plan activities around a thoughtful theme. This year we are focusing on the Storybooks. Each week we will highlight a new genre and book theme.

June 5th – 9th will be health where we will be focusing on things like eating well and exercise.

In the Educations Center we will activities like yoga and meditation, My Plate Trivia, and Heathy Pictionary! The Education Center is a great quiet area in the Club where friends can meet to play board games, cards, or put together puzzles as well.

The Art Room is the place we encourage our members to be creative and have fun with new projects and activities. This week our members will make their own chef hats, make a fruit mural, and learn about parts of a plant—just to name a few of the fun things we have planned!

In the Social Recreation area, we will have fruit and veggie relays, Air Hockey tournaments, musical chairs, and card games among many other fun games and activities. Our Gamesroom is always a buzz with many activities and fun. We offer our youth freedom of choice to play with their friends in an organized and facilitated fashion.  Some fun activities this week include super silent speedball and puzzles!

In the Gym to focus on the health theme, we will have fitness stations set up, relay races, and many versions of dodgeball. There will also be opportunities for open play and many trips to the park!

Upcoming Important Summer Dates:

Friday, June 23rd: Retirement Celebration for Linda Schoepp at the Elk’s 5:30pm.

July 3rd and 4th: All Programs are CLOSED.

July 18th and 19th: Tackle Football Registration Nights for in-coming 5th and 6th graders.

Wednesday August 9th:  The Optimist Club Family Pool Party for Club members at the Watertown Family Aquatic Center.

Friday, August 11th: Last Day of Summer Programs for Kidscope and The Boys & Girls Main Site.

August 14th-23rd: The Boys & Girls Club Main will be Closed while moving to our temporary location, Garfield Elementary.

Summer Week 1: Travel!

Our first week of Summer Programs will begin Tuesday, May 30th. We have a full summer planned with fun activities and learning opportunities. Each day we will provide breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack. Meals and snacks are included in the membership fees. To help against “summer learning loss” each day we offer D.E.A.R., where all our members and staff “Drop Everything And Read”.

During the summer we plan activities around a thoughtful theme. This year we are focusing on the Storybooks. Each week we will highlight a new genre and book theme.

May 30th – June 2nd will be travel where we will be focusing on things like journals and maps.

In the Educations Center we will activities like travel themed Pictionary, States BINGO, and trivia games! The Education Center is a great quiet area in the Club where friends can meet to play board games, cards, or put together puzzles as well.

The Art Room is the place we encourage our members to be creative and have fun with new projects and activities. This week our members will draw their dream vacations, play charades, make their own maps—just to name a few of the fun things we have planned!

In the Social Recreation area, we will have legos, Air Hockey tournaments, doll houses, and card games among many other fun games and activities. Our Gamesroom is always a buzz with many activities and fun. We offer our youth freedom of choice to play with their friends in an organized and facilitated fashion.  Some fun activities this week include super silent speedball and magnatiles!

In the Gym to focus on the travel theme, we will play Ships Across the Ocean, of course, along with trying different popular sports from around the globe like soccer, Chinese Jump Rope, rugby, and lacrosse. There will also be opportunities for open play and many trips to the park!

Upcoming Important Summer Dates:

Friday, June 23rd: Retirement Celebration for Linda Schoepp at the Elk’s 5:30pm.

July 3rd and 4th: All Programs are CLOSED.

July 18th and 19th: Tackle Football Registration Nights for in-coming 5th and 6th graders.

Wednesday August 9th:  The Optimist Club Family Pool Party for Club members at the Watertown Family Aquatic Center.

Friday, August 11th: Last Day of Summer Programs for Kidscope and The Boys & Girls Main Site.

August 14th-23rd: The Boys & Girls Club Main will be Closed while moving to our temporary location, Garfield Elementary.

A Storybook Summer!

Can you believe it’s almost Summer? Neither can we, but we have been busy coming up with great summer programs to keep kids active and learning the whole time. Our summer theme this year is: “Storybook Land” each week we will highlight a new genre and book theme. May 30th – June 2nd will be travel where we will be focusing on things like journals and maps. June 5th – 9th we will focus on Health with activities such as gardening, cooking and sports. June 12th – 16th we will dive into fairy Tales. The week of June 19th – 23rd will be filled with mystery. June 26th – 30th will explore science fiction. July 3rd – 7th we will find out how the West was won by discovering the best in westerns. We will laugh our way through July 10th – 14th with a focus on comics. To be or not to be coming to the Club on July 17th – 21st because this week we will learn about the Classics and focus on Theatre. Don’t be too afraid to the come to the Club July 24th – 28th because this week we will have some fun with the horror genre. July 31st – Aug. 4th will bring us on many adventures as we make our own action & adventure. Finally, our last week of Summer, Aug. 7th – 11th we will focus on great series of books like Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narina, and A Series of Unfortunate Events. It’s going to be a great summer!

Here are some special dates to note regarding the Boys & Girls Club Summer Schedule: 
Thursday, May 25th: The Boys & Girls Club Main Site will be open for the Watertown School District’s Early Dismissal Day
May 26th-May 29th: All Boys & Girls Club Programs will be Closed.
Tuesday, May 30th: All Summer Programs Begin!
Friday, June 23rd: Retirement Celebration for Linda Schoepp at the Elk’s 5:30pm.
July 3rd and 4th: All Programs are CLOSED.
July 18th and 19th: Tackle Football Registration Nights for in-coming 5th and 6th graders.
Friday, August 11th: Last Day of Summer Programs for Kidscope and The Boys & Girls Main Site
August 14th-23rd: The Boys & Girls Club Main will be Closed while moving to our temporary location, Garfield Elementary.

C.A.T. Program

C.A.T. (Club Against Tobacco) is a program provided for 3rd-7th grade youth at the Boys & Girls Club. At an early age, our Club members learn the negative effects of tobacco and learn how to avoid these products in the future.

Did you know it takes 48 hours for smell and taste to improve once all the nicotine leaves the body? This is just one of the facts youth members learn in our C.A.T. Program. Through role playing and games our Club members learn to say “no thanks”. “We equip youth with the tools to say ‘no’ if presented with these negative situations in the future,” explains Kyle Thyen, Director of Program Services at the Boys & Girls Club of Watertown.

The program consists of six 2-hour sessions which includes hands-on activities, role playing, experiments, and incentives along the way. Once members have completed their 12-hours, they celebrate with an interactive game of Jeopardy and a pizza party. The program is hosted throughout the school year and runs in conjunction with the national “Kick Butts Day” which takes place on March 15th this year.

Programs at the Boys & Girls Club of Watertown are certainly more prevention based than they have been throughout our 40 year history in the community. Our organization wants to set our youth up today for a greater future by showing them healthy choices today, rather than correcting it in the future.

Christmas Break Activities

The Boys & Girls Club of Watertown will be open for all day activities December 27, 28, 29, 30th. Join us for fun as we celebrate Christmas Vacation! Each day we will provide breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack. Meals and snacks are included in the membership fees.

Day passes are available for $2. Main Club Site hours are 7:30am-6pm.
To help against “learning loss” each day we offer D.E.A.R., where all our members and staff “Drop Everything And Read” for 30 minutes.

In the Art Room we will be making chalk art, perler beads, and rubber band bracelets. We will perform with puppets, play charades, and create our own winter wonderlands. The Art Room gives our members the opportunity to be creative, try new things, and explore new ways of thinking!

The Education Center will have opportunities for our members to write Christmas present thank you cards, play card games, and make New Year’s resolutions. The Education Center is quiet place where our members can check out a book, play educational games on our computers, or play board games will their friends.

In the Gamesroom we will be building with K’nex, playing Be Great Table Tennis, and watching Christmas movies. We will also make balloon portraits, play Just Dance, and Minute to Win games! We strive to make the games room a warm and inviting environment where young people learn social skills, such as making friends and how to interact positively with other youth members.

Besides Open Gym, our gym programming will keep our members active through games like kickball, floor hockey, ships across the ocean, and never ending lightning. We will also play one of our new favorites games: Finding Nemo!

Finding Nemo is similar to a game of tag except when a player is tagged they go to a middle circle marked by cones. Tagged players may be pulled out of the circle by the other “fishes” to get back into the game. The 3-4 taggers will play till time is up or all fish have been captured. Pick new taggers and start the game again. Our sports and fitness programs offer a positive use of leisure time, reduction of stress, appreciation for the environment and social and interpersonal skills. We strive to reach out to in-active members and work to reduce childhood obesity by encouraging our members to participate in at least 60 minutes of activity a day.

December 23rd & 26th: The Club Programs will be CLOSED for the Christmas Holiday.

Monday, January 2nd: The Club Programs will be CLOSED for New Years.