When I was in middle school at the Boys and Girls Club, I didn’t know any better. I knew that there was a vending machine for soda and chips. What I didn’t know that it was easy to ask my mom to pack me a box of crackers or fruits. I didn’t know that it was important to frequently exercise and that PE at school wasn’t enough. I wasn’t educated, I wish someone taught me what I know now, and because of that, I set a goal to be that person for other kids who might make the same mistakes, so I did.
My name is Vivian Thong and I am an ambassador in Troop 515. For my gold award project, I went to the Boys and Girls Club of Huntington Valley Pacific Life Branch and worked with their middle schoolers to tackle the issue of child obesity.
I set up workshops to come in twice a week for four weeks. Wednesdays were educational days, complete with a powerpoint presentation and activities. Fridays were cooking days. There was a total of 15 kid who participated. However only 6-10 showed up per day.
I also thought that this information would be helpful to pass onto the younger scouts of Troop 515, so I arranged with the leaders to have mini workshops with the Juniors and Cadettes. They learned a lot of new things about the different food groups and its nutrients and enjoyed a nice yogurt parfait treat.
With the expertise of my project advisor, Alexia Hall, a dietician at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), the kids learned all about the different food groups and its nutrients, different ways to get active, and how to lose or gain weight the proper way. Although they claimed to not be excited about learning to look cool, they showed interest in all the new things they learned.
I started them off with a Food Group Activity, where they had to match the different foods to the correct food groups. The next week, they followed along to some workout videos. I learned that these kids are very active in the different sports they’re involved in, but getting everyone to do something like squats together proved to be difficult. They learned how much sugar is in one can of soda and we ended things off with having some fun decorating their folders.
As expected, the kids were very excited about the cooking classes. We made breakfast quesadillas, yogurt parfaits, blueberry banana smoothies, and peanut butter banana toasts. I wanted them to know that there were better things to put in their bodies besides a bag of chips and a can of soda. During these cooking classes, with the help of some cooking assistants, I went into detail on what they should look for on nutrition labels. For example, if someone wants to gain weight, he or she should look for milk labeled “whole-fat” vs someone looking for milk labeled “nonfat/low-fat” to lose weight. Through these cooking classes, they showed that there are many different ways to incorporate a single ingredient into different meals.
Although my name is under the name of the project, none of this would have been possible without the help of the Boys and Girls Club, Alexia Hall, Lien Doan Lac Viet, and my friends and family. Thank you for helping me make a difference in our community and the world.
If you would like to see the powerpoint presentation or the recipes that I used, please check it out below.