Character & Leadership Development


These development programs empower youth to support and influence their Club and community, sustain meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self-image, participate in the democratic process and respect their own and others' cultural identities.

Keystone Clubs
Keystoning is the Boys & Girls Club Movement's most dynamic teen program. Keystone Clubs are chartered small-group leadership and serve clubs for boys and girls ages 14-18. Keystoners elect officers and plan and implement their own activities in six areas:
  • Service to Club and community
  • Leadership development
  • Education and career exploration
  • Unity
  • Free enterprise
  • Social recreation

Keystone Club members and their advisors are eligible for nomination to steering committees which organize state, regional and national TEENSupreme Keystone Conferences attended by thousands of Keystoners each year. TEENSupreme Keystone Club Awards are bestowed annually on Keystone Clubs that undertake programs and activities that best promote the principles of Keystoning. Each year, Keystoners select a National TEENSupreme.

The combined action of hundreds of local Keystone Clubs results in a service project with a national scope.

Torch Clubs
Chartered small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11-13 focusing on character development. A Torch Club is a powerful vehicle through which Club staff can help meet the special needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their development. Torch Club members learn to elect officers and work together to plan and implement activities in four areas:
  • Service to Club and Community
  • Education
  • Health and Fitness
  • Social Recreation

Torch Club Awards are presented annually to Torch Clubs with outstanding programs and activities in the four areas. Each year, Torch Club members from all over the country take part in a service-learning experience through the National Torch Club Project.

Youth of the Year (YOY)
A recognition and awards program that acknowledges outstanding members in the Clubs. YOY helps youth to develop their leadership and communication skills through an extensive application and interview process that is held during the annual competition. Junior (10-13 years old) and Senior (14-18 years old) Youths of the Month can compete at a Club and City level. Senior winners can advance to the state, regional, and national competition.