Let’s travel to Green Bay, Wisconsin, for this month’s spotlight on the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay.
In its inaugural year, Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay hosted an extremely successful Badges for Baseball program and directly impacted hundreds of youth in the community. The Badges for Baseball program opened the doors for youth and staff members alike to spark dialogue and to engage officers in a variety of activities. Green Bay Police Department officer presence in the clubs quickly became the norm. GBPD officers routinely attended Badges for Baseball sessions as well as monthly family events and question-and-answer forums to better the relationship between law enforcement and the community. BJ Kolb, the Badges for Baseball program leader, and Officer Kevin Warych, GBPD, took some time to highlight the program at the club.
BJ on the Badges for Baseball program:
For being my first year running the Badges for Baseball program, I believe the program ran a really well. Our members built positive relationships with the law enforcement officers that joined us both in summer and fall. In both the summer and fall programs, our officers were the leaders of the different teams the members were split into. My favorite part of the program was watching the members build these positive relationships with the officers. I think we were blessed having two officers show up almost every week, which aided in building these relationships. It was really cool to see these relationships form from the awkward “I don’t know what to say” phases to seeing the members flocking the officers as soon as they enter the doors because they have something the need to say to them, or just to say hi.
Officer Warych on the Badges for Baseball program:
The Badges for Baseball program has yielded results that were unforeseen. The relationships made will be lifelong and the Green Bay Police Department is eager to continue on with the program.
BJ on Quickball:
I remember our first time running Quickball, some of our members were scared stiff to run after and get the ball, because when we played regular baseball some kids would say comments about these members because they struggled in the field. Midway through the second “inning” of our first game of Quickball, these members were running down Quickballs and throwing them to the player next to the bucket, and the best part was even though they were still sometimes missing the ball, or throwing a little off, no one said anything negative to these members because everyone was too busy chasing down Quickballs.
BJ on CRSF Camp:
Although I can confidently blame the CRSF camp for my new found love for coffee, the members that joined me on this trip loved it. This trip was packed with “first’s” for most of the members that joined me: it was the first time these members traveled out of state, the first time in an airport the size of Milwaukee, the first time on an airplane, and for some, the first time at a baseball camp. Although the camp was loaded with memories, such as climbing the rock wall, the team building activities, swimming and playing baseball during the days, what stuck with my group of boys the most was the bonding they had with our roommates after all the activities were done.
Thank you to BJ, Officer Warych, Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay staff, and Green Bay Police Department for all that you do!