Boys and Girls Club marks another year
By Jerry W. Kram
It actually was a dark and stormy night, but that didn’t stop members of Fort Berthold Boys and Girls Club from traveling to New Town from as far away as White Shield and Twin Buttes to celebrate the club’s 13th Anniversary.
Ryan Eagle, executive director of the club, said this year’s anniversary was marked with a youth powwow and celebration. The celebration was a part of the club’s attention to traditional culture, which Eagle said would be a priority for the club in 2015.
"Last year we did an style show and that was a big success," Eagle said. "This year we wanted to do something a little different. It was a good opportunity for us to do a traditional powwow for the first time. We were able to highlight our youth by having them come out and celebrate. The weather didn’t cooperate as much as we wanted, but it still turned out pretty well."
Eagle said the annual celebrations were an opportunity for the club to thank tribal leaders, donors, parents and the public for there support throughout the years. Eagle said without public support, the club would not be nearly as successful as it is.
"Within the last year, I am proud of the consistency of services we provide across Fort Berthold," Eagle said. "In the coming year we will be focusing on the prevention of binge drinking. That is our new big initiative. We are collecting data and we will be focusing on our communities to address youth and binge drinking. We have found that to be the heart of most problems – including crime and drugs – have their roots in alcohol."
This was a very good year for the club, said Coby Rabbithead who oversees the club’s staff and programs. She said membership was up in most of the reservation communities over the last year. Community involvement is also up. She cited the clubs concentration on traditional culture as one of the factors that increased participation.