2016-2017 National Youth Activities Ambassador
Youth Activities: Opportunities to Involve Youth This Fall
Fall is here! The air is a little crisper, leaves are beginning to turn colors and our Youth Activities program is in full swing!
Many of you are fans and supporters of local youth sports teams that play under the “Friday Night Lights.” Contact your local high school and ask if your Post and/or Auxiliary can present the colors before a game, sponsor a night in the concession stand (you could offer to double or triple the receipts for that game!), or if your community has a homecoming parade, find out if your Post and/or Auxiliary can provide a color guard or float.
With fall also comes Halloween, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, all of which offer opportunities to connect with youth in your community. Below are several ideas for Halloween and Veterans Day. I’ll share Thanksgiving ideas in my next blog.
- If your community hosts a Halloween event or Harvest Festival, sponsor a booth and hand out treats labeled with Post and/or Auxiliary information. Be sure to have fliers about your Post’s and/or Auxiliary’s family-friendly events, volunteer opportunities and scholarship contests to give to parents.
- If your Post and/or Auxiliary is hosting a Halloween event or Harvest Festival, check out 130 ideas to make your Halloween event or Harvest Festival a hit with great crafts for kids, party games, pumpkin decorating ideas, sweet treats, good eats and more! https://www.pinterest.com/vfwauxiliary/all-about-halloween/
- An alternative to a larger party or festival is a Halloween-themed movie night and/or a youth pumpkin decorating party. There are many lists of age-appropriate Halloween movies, but some good ones are:
- It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (ages 4 and up)
- The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (ages 4 and up)
- Monsters, Inc. (ages 4 and up)
- Hotel Transylvania (ages 6 and up)
- Casper (ages 7 and up)
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (ages 7 and up)
- The Addams Family (ages 10 and up)
- Hocus Pocus (ages 10 and up)
- Does your Post and/or Auxiliary participate in a Veterans Day parade? Ask youth to walk with members and hand out flags to parade goers or ask members of the JROTC to participate.
- Contact local elementary, middle and high schools and ask if a member of your Post may speak to students about what it means to be a veteran.
- Involve families in “Buddy”® Poppy drives; ask if “Buddy”® Poppies can be distributed at high school or club sports events.
- Invite youth to create a craft and/or write a thank you note that will be given to a hospitalized or home-bound veteran. Need some crafty inspiration? See nearly 100 patriotic crafts for kids here: https://www.pinterest.com/vfwauxiliary/patriotic-crafts-for-kids/
- Check out more Veterans Day ideas here: https://www.pinterest.com/vfwauxiliary/patriotic-holidays-memorial-day-fourth-of-july-vet/
I look forward to hearing how your Auxiliary involve youth in patriotic activities this fall!