From Riverside Review
The Northtowns Boys and Girls Clubs’ (BGCNT) Torch Club is one of 250 Clubs across the country that has set out to participate in the 2014 National Torch Club Project – ENERGY STAR Heroes: Be Your Own Amazing.
This year’s theme is how saving energy can protect our environment and impact climate change, and challenges clubs to create a project that protects, cares and creates awareness for our environment.
Torch Clubs are small-group leadership and service clubs open to boys and girls throughout the organization. Through service activities, members identify club and community needs, develop programs and activities and actively participate in their community.
As a participant in the Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Torch Club program, the NorthTowns Boys and Girls Clubs have submitted a project in hopes of receiving the winning prize; brand new toys donated by Mattel for all members of the winning club.
One Wednesday June 11, 2014, Rob Gauchat of Solar Liberty came in and introduced the Torch Club members to a wealth of knowledge to kick-state their project planning.
Solar Liberty, locally owned and operated, is the largest installer of solar energy systems in New York State. In fact, Solar Liberty has installed eight solar systems for Boys & Girls Clubs in WNY.
The kids had an opportunity to see a small-scale solar panel, learned about cells, modules, panels and arrays. Rob gave club members industry knowledge in a way they understood, which will make them stand out in the competition.
In addition, Torch Club members plan to visit the University at Buffalo’s 1,400 square foot solar powered “GROW House.” Through creative and interactive discussion, Gauchat gave club members a strong foundation of knowledge regarding saving energy and fighting climate change.
Prior to Gauchat’s visit, BGCNT Torch Club members began to track their carbon footprint, led by Youth Development Assistant, Opportunity Corps AmeriCorps Member, Jesse Warner. “The idea is that the kids learn and visually see the impact they have on the environment,” said Warned.”
After seeing their own effect on the environment, the kids are setting out to educate family and friends on how to use alternative energy resources and minimize their carbon footprint.
The mission of the BGCNT is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.