Thank you to all of our donors, sponsors, and partners for your support. Stone of Hope Youth has finished another great quarter. As we mentor our youth, we work very hard to build positive relationships and trust on a weekly basis. We have been extremely fortunate to have such a great team of volunteers and directors on the Stone of Hope Youth team. We are always seeking new mentors through different avenues such as the University of Utah Bennion Center, local churches, word of mouth, etc. All of our mentors go through a thorough background check and training before they step foot in the schools to mentor our amazing kids!
During our mentor sessions this quarter, we have begun implementing the 5 C’s Positive Youth Development Framework. This is a strength-based approach that focuses on the positive attributes of a person or a group rather than the negative ones. Ex. leadership, resilience, communication, etc. As we implement the 5 C’s framework, Stone of Hope Youth is creating our own curriculum based on this data driven approach. The 5 C’s are Competence, Connection, Confidence, Character, and Caring. This quarter we have implemented the 1st C which is Competence. Inside of the 1st C we have focused on social and cognitive skills with the boys. Our lessons have been geared towards changing their mindsets about themselves first and foremost. One of our multi-week lessons was Reframing your thoughts and how to talk positively about yourself and others, especially when situations do not happen the way you like. Another lesson we worked on was Locus of Control. This lesson taught the boys that you have 2 control patterns which are Internal and external. Internal locus of control focuses on taking ownership of your own actions whether good or bad. External locus of control is when you blame others for negative outcomes instead of yourself. As we developed activities and games around these topics, the boys began to believe that they DO have control over their own life and behavior. We are excited to refine our curriculum for the boys as we begin the 2021-2022 school year!
Our Financial Peace for middle schoolers classes have been incredible. David, our Director of Mentoring, has been leading the lessons and has our boys excited about building wealth, saving, spending, and giving! We have boys already talking about starting their own businesses. Along with our financial class, we have had really fun games and tournaments this quarter. We had a 3 on 3 basketball tournament, soccer games within the boys groups, and a new game called “Will Ball.” We always implement life skills such as controlling your response when you are losing and how to be a gracious winner. The boys and mentors had so much fun! To add on to the fun, we celebrated Cinco de Mayo with tasty Mexican sweet bread.
This quarter we were able to have our Rock Climbing Mini Camp at Momentum Climbing gym. We chose to do this mini camp different and invite the boys fathers to attend. Those of our boys without fathers had their mothers attend. The parents took the role of holding the rope/ belaying for their child as they climbed up the rock wall. This takes a lot of communication and trust on both ends. A lot of our boys were scared at first but when they trusted that the rope was secure and that their parents would not let them go, they had the time of their lives! The purpose of this mini camp was to teach them trust and that it is possible to do hard things and be successful.
Lastly, with COVID restrictions lifting we were able to run our full Summer Leadership Camp in June! In 2020, we were heartbroken that we had to cancel our leadership camp due to the pandemic. Once we received the news that Utah opened up summer camps we were cautious. We read all CDC guidelines before our board of directors made the decision to move forward. Everyone was excited including the parents. We run our summer camp at Camp UTABA every summer. They have beautiful facilities and an awesome reservoir where the boys can swim and canoe. In previous summer camps, we focus on one SOHY Value per day. This year we added one of the 5 C’s along with our value of the day. Marrying these two together each day helped our boys to positively reframe their thoughts and actions as they accomplished each activity. The boys were divided into 3 tribes this year which were the Wildcats, Cobras, and Jinchūriki.
Day 1 We focused on Confidence and Trust. The boys did a ropes course and later learned how to tie a line of the hook before we spent the rest of the day fishing.
Day 2 We focused on Teamwork and Competence. We did our annual second day Orienteering where the boys learned to navigate a hike up and down the mountain as a team. We then did a scavenger hunt around Weber State University and capped it with Ice Cream at Farr’s Creamery. After dinner the boys trekked the canoes and kayaks up to the reservoir to learn how to canoe correctly and as a team.
Day 3 We focused on No Quitting, Character, and Gratefulness during hard times. Third day is our big obstacle course day. All of the leadership activities the boys did throughout the first 2 days helped to prepare for the obstacle course. The boys and mentors split into their tribes to construct their portions of the obstacle course. Check out our social media and website to see them competing in the obstacle course! We celebrated with our big BBQ cookout hosted by our Board of Directors. Every last night we teach the boys how to properly assemble a tent to sleep in that night. The boys loved it! At the end of the evening we had our award ceremony so that we could highlight the boys who exceeded expectations in leading their tribes. We capped off the night with a “Knighting” ceremony for our 8th graders that are going into high school. This was very powerful as these boys have worked so hard in our organization the past 4 years. We presented them with a custom Stone of Hope Youth scarf that they will wear at every event that we hold.
Day 4 We focused on Good Decisions and Caring on our last day. After having breakfast, breaking down the tents, then cleaning the campgrounds, we left Camp UTABA to celebrate at Lagoon Theme Park. What a great way to end our 2021 Stone of Hope Youth Leadership Camp! We all had fun riding roller coasters and eating lots of pizza. The smile on our boys face was amazing!! At the end of our Lagoon Day we dropped the boys off at the local elementary school where their parents greeted them.
This year we noticed more teamwork and less complaining. More positive talk and less negative talk. More caring for their fellow campers and less bickering. This year's camp was special and we can’t wait for next year!
We want to end this newsletter by letting you know that our SOHY family has suffered an indescribable loss. One of our youth was recently lost in an accidental shooting. It's overwhelmingly tragic, but we want to honor the young man he was. A spirited, loving, and determined youth. He made us laugh often and now we cry for the absence he leaves in our lives. We love you and your family. Rest In Peace.
Due to this dreadful loss, we plan to address and educate our youth in gun safety, connect with local gun safety partners, and work with local law makers to make a difference so that other families will never have to experience a similar loss.
We'll continue to pray for peace for his family.
Thank you again for supporting Stone of Hope Youth. We are looking forward to the 2021-2022 school year! Please continue to pray for us as we continue to grow and mentor more boys. Please consider becoming a monthly donor to help our cause in building great leaders in underserved communities!
The Stone of Hope Youth Team