America Challenge 2017
24th August—14th September 2017
A nomination for the America Challenge should be regarded as one of the highest honours a Club Leader can award to a Senior Member. It is granted only to Senior Members who, in the opinion of the Club Leaders, are considered to be outstanding club members with a high degree of leadership and a sense of service.
The Challenge enables Senior Members to gain experience of different approaches to youth work and attitudes to the outdoors, with the task to spread the message to other young people.
The challenge is a 3.5 week trip to Tennessee, to experience The Great Smoky Mountains, The Appalachian Trail and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The young people also complete their John Muir Award, which focuses on appreciating wildernesses areas and receive a certificate.
Reports and photos of the 2015 trip can be found here >
AC2015: Watch Amber’s Story
AC2015: Read Lauren’s Story (pdf) >
AC2014: Read Sean’s Story (pdf) >
The challenge is open to young people from the club network who are nominated by their Club Leaders for their potential to represent the Boys and Girls Clubs network overseas and do their clubs proud.
- Applicants must be aged 18 + by the day we leave for America.
- Applicants must be, or be prepared to become, physically fit enough to take on the challenge.
- This is a no smoking trip.
AC2014: Watch Katie’s Story
The Selection Process
- Young people must be nominated by their Club Leader using the Nomination Form.
- Nominees will be invited to apply with their CV and a short letter explaining what they hope to get out of the trip and why they should be considered for the challenge and to represent their club.
- Selected nominees will be invited to a Selection Weekend at our centre High Row in the Lake District on 28th April – 30th April 2017.
- Applicants will be informed whether they have been selected for the trip by 5th May 2017.
- Participants will be supported during a series of meetings (physical and/or remote via Skype) to ensure they have a fitness plan and a fundraising plan. Club and County Association are expected to support this process.
- Participants meet at EBGC HQ in Chelmsford the night before flying to America.
- On return, all participants produce or present a report to their club and their county association.
AC2014: Watch Joey’s Story
There are a minimum of 3 places available to Essex Boys and Girls Clubs affiliated members at £1,000 per person. There are a maximum of 3 places available to the National Association of Boys and Girls Clubs network at £1,900 per person.
Participants are expected to raise the necessary funds through a variety of routes, including work, traditional fundraising activities and applications to potential funders. Fundraising advice and support will be provided.
The trip costs include flights, accommodation, food, activities and staffing. The only thing not included is transport to Chelmsford Boys Club, personal spending money (ie: for souvenirs or treats) and personal kit (certain items may be available to borrow).
The trip is led by two experienced staff from EBGC.
Mandatory Selection & Training Weekend
The Mandatory Selection & Training Weekend is held 28th April – 30th April. Participants can join the minibus from Essex or meet us at High Row, Cumbria. The weekend will involve outdoor activities, team challenges and presentations. This is an opportunity to practice your skills and show what you can bring to the team.
Provisional Trip Itinerary
Late April – Selection Weekend
Mid May – Team Selected / Flights purchased
May to August – Discovery / Training / Fundraising
Very late August – meet at Chelmsford Boys Club at 5pm for a Kit Shakedown
Day 1 – fly Heathrow to Knoxville
Day 2 -3 – The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tennessee Valley All-Staff Conference Day
Day 4 – Day spent with The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tennessee Valley
Day 5 – Food Shopping at Walmart
Days 6-14 – Conservation week
Days 15-22 – Hiking week
Days 23 – Day with Knoxville Boys and Girls Clubs
Day 24 – fly Knoxville to Heathrow
Within 2 weeks of returning – deliver final report to EBGC.