On July 28, 2008 Club members from the Lakewood Boys & Girls Club had an awesome time job shadowing with Old Navy employees. The day gave them a glimpse into what it is like to work, earn money, and be responsible. The program is called, “Camp Old Navy,” and is a nationally held partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. It creates an atmosphere for store employees to become more involved with Boys & Girls Club teens in their community at local Clubs all across the country.
The Club members who participated ranged in age from 14-16, which is nearing the time that money and independence collide, and the need to earn your own wage becomes critical. This experience gave the teens a chance to see how work gets done in a retail environment. They all had a turn running the cash register, delegating customers into fitting rooms, organizing the clearance racks, and greeting customers as they entered the store.
“Camp Old Navy” couples well with many of the programs offered to members who attend the Boys & Girls Clubs. Members, ages 12-18, can take their knowledge of the Clubs and become part of the junior staff team. This gives youth the opportunity to go through the interview process, help out with activities, gain valuable office skills, and learn how to run an effective program. Career Launch is another great program which is part of a multi-million dollar commitment sponsored by Gap Incorporated. The program is designed to enhance employability and provide teens with a focus on career options in fashion retail. The main goal of Career Launch is to serve as a link between teens that are just starting out in the work world, and adults who can serve as “career coaches” to assist them with the many questions and obstacles they may run into.
Having the Boys & Girls Clubs team up with “Camp Old Navy,” instills the fact that “real world” experiences are very helpful for teens because they reinforce the importance of punctuality, politeness, and drive to reach goals. Plus, the camp also gives insight into what future employers might be looking for in a qualifying candidate. Delbert Wong, Teen Program Director of the Lakewood Branch said, “Every little bit counts in changing or molding a teen in a positive way.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound benefits over 11,800 children and teens at eight branches and 14 outreach sites in Pierce, Mason, and Kitsap Counties. The Clubs offer programs designed to enhance personal growth and education, tutoring, computer skills, delinquency prevention, the arts, sports training, league involvement, and much more. Through quality professional staff and a fun, positive environment, the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound assist thousands of kids in developing much needed life skills, self-esteem, and positive values. For more information on the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, please call (253) 502-4600 or go online to www.bg-clubs.com.