Club Beyond: More than a milkshake
MISAWA AIR BASE - A garbage can sat in the middle of the Edgren High School cafeteria after school on Feb. 1, but something was a little off. It was not filled with trash, but instead contained unexpected creamy milkshake goodness.
More than 70 middle school students poured into the cafeteria to get their "Garbage Can Milkshake" during the first Club Beyond meeting to kick off the year. Club Beyond, sponsored by the 35th Fighter Wing, is a community and chapel based program that is team oriented.
"Club Beyond staff and volunteers are positive role models who are available to journey with teens through the hard challenges of adolescence, providing a place of acceptance, community, love and support during their parent's overseas assignment," said Dave Kanelos, Club Beyond director.
Since 1980, Club Beyond has served teens on over 45 military installations in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
"We want to support the kids, and through our program, make them feel like they can make friends with adult mentors who will be able to listen to them and help them out," said Kanelos.
The club provides a place for the teens to gather weekly to play games, eat food, socialize and develop friendships among their peers. During the meetings, a short discussion is held to discuss issues that teens are facing such as identity, friends, transition and peer pressure among other things.
"Our Club meetings are on Mondays and Fridays," said Kanelos. "We like to make sure they are fun, so what we do is play games, have skits, music and food. During these meetings, the kids talk with their volunteer leaders and we also have serious talks about life issues and those types of things as well."
Special events such as trips, retreats and service projects are also offered by Club Beyond to give teens an opportunity to get away from their daily pressures and have fun, explore new places, experience adventure, meet new friends and serve others.
Club Beyond meetings are held for high school teens on Mondays from 6-8 p.m. and on Fridays from 5-7 p.m. for middle school aged youth. If your child is interested in attending Club Beyond you can get more information by contacting ClubBeyondMisawa@gmail.com. If you would like to attend a meeting with your child to see what Club Beyond is all about, feel free to.
"We always like to invite parents to come and visit," said Kanelos. "We don't want to be strangers. If their kids come to the club meetings, it's an open invitation for the parents to come as well. They can come before or after the meetings to talk or sit through the club to see what we do."