Character & Leadership  

Keystone Club

Mentored by Charlie Camp

Keystone is a Boys and Girls Club of America’s Premiere teen character and leadership program. The program helps to develop good character and positive leadership skills for young members ages 14-18. Teens learn the value of good citizenship and community service and are allowed to participate in activities in four key focus areas:

Community Service:

Keystoners are taught the value of being a contributing citizen, and are allowed to experience the satisfaction and benefits derived from helping others while serving their Club and Community. Challenging projects give keystoners opportunities to use newly acquired skills in real life situations so they will gain team building and problem solving skills.

Participating in a program called Teens take the lead (Million Hours of Service) is where keystoners will talk about their passions, community needs and concerns, research the root cause of the concerns, and implement a plan of action to help serve their community’s needs.

Academic success

Keystoners are taught the value and importance of graduating on time. Boys and Girls Club promotes learning and sets a high value on education with a vision for ensuring that Club members who graduate from high school are ready for college, a trade school, the military or employment.

Keystone will accomplish this by engaging in:

Helping out during power hour

Mentoring a younger member

Program called Diploma to Degree (D2D)

Career Preparation

Keystoners are exposed and given the chance to receive an in-dept understanding of the education required for specific careers. They are encouraged to explore various vocational resources, colleges and job fairs that will equip them with the necessary knowledge to make informed career choices.

Keystone will accomplish this by engaging in:

Field trips that will lean towards different careers like Corning Museum of Glass

Program like Career launch

Teen Outreach

Participating in a program called WeOwnFriday the keystoners will brainstorm a theme for each month and create/participate in that activity once a month for a teen outreach of the community and find other potential leaders. Activities include but not limited to: Open House at school or the Boys and Girls Club, Setting up at a Football game, Prep Rallies, Homecoming, Holiday Celebrations, and so on.

National Keystone Project

Emotional Wellness – 2018-2019 National Keystone Project


It’s a broad topic, but it’s a the core of who we are. It’s how we balance life, school, home, family and the Club – with the tears, joys and everything in between. It really comes down to our wellbeing.

Right now youth, as well as adults, are facing an increasing amount of stressors in our lives so elevating well-being and designing projects to address it is important.

Some of our young people have to take on adult resonsibilities before they need to and before they are ready. this impacts their energy and their ability to maintain commintments that are important to them at school, in the community and at the club. Other youth are missing family members – mothers, fathers and aunts.

Some of the Topics we will address are:

Being your best self

Practices – such as improving sleep quality, proforming physical exercise, eating healthy foods, and Practicing mindfulness such as meditation or yoga.

Regulating Emotions

By effectively managing and responding to an emotional experience. For example, noticing when you need a break.

     Managing Stress

By setting priorities and deciding what must get done and what can wait.

 Building Supportive Relationships

By having a network of family and friends for social support who can encourage healthy choices and behaviors.

Using Conversation Starters

 Other topics we will address are:

Stomp out Bullies – Be a STAR program


About Keystone

Keystoning is the Boys & Girls Club Movement’s most dynamic teen program. It affords teens an opportunity to gain valuable leadership and service experience. They conduct activities in three areas: academic success, career exploration and community service. Aaron’s Inc. sponsors the Keystone Club program as part of a multi-year teen initiative; a strategic partnership between Aaron’s Inc. and BGCA provides Clubs with the tools and resources to create a positive place for teens as well as for kids.

Keystone Club members and their advisors can be nominated to steering committees that organize regional and national Keystone Conferences attended by thousands of Keystoners each year. Keystone Club Awards are bestowed annually on Keystone Clubs that implement programs and activities that best promote the Keystoning principles. Each year, Keystoners develop a National Keystone Project. The combined action of hundreds of local Keystone Clubs results in a service project with a national scope. Taco Bell Foundation sponsors the national Keystone Club program as part of the multi-year teen initiative, a strategic partnership between the foundation and BGCA that equips Clubs with the tools and resources to create a positive place for teens as well as for kids.

Torch Club (Geneva Ages 11-13)

Torch Clubs are chartered​ small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11-13. A Torch Club is a powerful vehicle through which Club staff can help meet the special character development needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their development. Torch Club members learn to elect officers and work together to implement activities in four areas: service to Club and community, education, health and fitness and social recreation. The Torch Club Awards are presented annually to Torch Clubs with outstanding programs and activities in the four areas. Each year, Torch Club members from all over the country take part in a service-learning experience through the National Torch Club Project.

Youth of the Year

Youth of the Year is BGCA’s premier youth recognition program for Club members.  All members can benefit from participation in this program, which promotes and celebrates service to Club, community and family; academic performance; moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. The Youth of the Year program is most effective when used as a year-round tool for fostering young people’s character, personal growth and leadership qualities. Local Clubs recognize members ages 14-18 that were Youths of the Month and select a Youth of the Year, who then participates in state competition. State winners, who each receive $1,000 scholarships, participate in regional competitions. Five regional winners each receive an engraved plaque and a $10,000 scholarship and compete on the national level. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States. Reader’s Digest Foundation has sponsored the Youth of the Year program for more than 60 years.