At the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri, staff focus on three main pillars for member success – Academic Success, Character & Leadership Development and Healthy Lifestyles. While all three are equally important to the development and growth of Club members, Healthy Lifestyles programs help members prepare for a future of health.

In 2014, Club members took part in more than 58,000 hours of physical activity, much of it during the Energy In/Energy Out Program.

“One of the biggest reasons Energy In/Energy Out is important is because when the kids come to the Club, they’ve been cooped up in their classroom for the last few hours,” said Director of Operations Stoney Hays. “They need to expend some of that energy before they can refocus for an afternoon of Club programming.”

While Energy In/Energy Out programs vary by site, all encourage Club members to get moving. At a recent program at the Washington Site, members were divided into age groups then had to get back and forth across the gym floor – by skipping, crab walking or jogging. The Club members saw it as a fun game, but they were also burning off a little of that energy, and calories, while doing it.

W Crab Walk1

“Sometimes during Energy In/Energy Out kids will learn about good eating habits, other times it’s a chance to play on the playground,” Hays said. “I think any parent knows that sometimes kids just need to run and play. We take that idea but also combine a healthy lifestyle element to it.”