Young men from Youth Shelter Program of Westchester join BYSC for a weekend at Brant Lake Camp

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residents of the youth shelter program of westcher at brant lake
Young men from the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester at Brant Lake Camp

Earlier this month, Backyard Sports Cares coordinated an extended weekend to Brant Lake Camp in the Adirondacks for 12 teen residents from the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester. For many of these at-risk young men, it was their first time officially camping, and for others, it was their first foray out of an urban environment and into nature.

The Youth Shelter Program of Westchester is a residency program that serves as an alternative to incarceration for young men between the ages of 16 and 21. The shelter provides residents with the critical support they need to turn their lives around, including schooling, mentoring, and counseling. The average stay is 12-18 months.  Upon successful completion of the program, participants are given a second chance to rejoin their community as citizens with new coping skills and without the long-term stain and disadvantage of a criminal record.

 

Boys slept in bunks and participated in a variety of activities, such as hiking, swimming, community building, and organized sporting events, including hockey, basketball, and softball.  Their free time was filled with leisure activities, such as ping pong and GAGA. One of the highlights of the weekend was a hike up Mt. Stevens, where the boys were treated to a magnificent view of the Adirondacks.

atop Mt. Steven, Brant lake Camp

In just a few days at the camp, the boys and their chaperones developed a new appreciation for the outdoors and the beauty of a world outside of their urban environment. Elijah, one of the participants in the program, shares his experience in the video above.

Brant Lake Camp is a private boys camp located approximately 200 miles north of Westchester.  The owner directors generously offered their property to host this event. Backyard Sports Cares has been running special summer camp programs for disadvantaged youth with Brant Lake since 2012.

Youth Soccer Participation has Fallen Sharply — Cost of Entry Among Principle Causes

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This past week, the New York Times published a story about the decline in youth soccer participation in the US. According to the report, over the past three years, the percentage of 6- to 12-year-olds playing soccer regularly has dropped nearly 14 percent, to 2.3 million players. The number of children who touched a soccer … Continue reading “Youth Soccer Participation has Fallen Sharply — Cost of Entry Among Principle Causes”

BYSC Joins Foundation for Life for Annual Surprise “Bike Day” Giveaway

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Bike Day gives gift of first bicycle to dozens of Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club kids  Beaming faces and squeals of joy and amazement could be seen and heard from across lower Westchester County last Saturday, June 9th. It’s no wonder when dozens of children from the Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club received brand … Continue reading “BYSC Joins Foundation for Life for Annual Surprise “Bike Day” Giveaway”

100 kids celebrate victories and teamwork on final Saturday of BYSC White Plains Basketball League

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Last January, with generous support from Backyard Sports Cares (BYSC) partner, Advocate Brokerage of Scarsdale, BYSC kicked off the organization’s first basketball league in White Plains. Approximately 100 fourth and fifth-graders from five local elementary schools participated in the league, which culminated in a jamboree finale on March 23rd, 2018 at SUNY Purchase. Participating schools … Continue reading “100 kids celebrate victories and teamwork on final Saturday of BYSC White Plains Basketball League”

Discussing racial diversity: BYSC student leaders, Iona Prep students and White Plains Youth Bureau talk about race relations

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“This was a great experience and it felt great knowing that I was doing something to help make a change.  I really got a lot out of it, and can’t wait for the next dinner.” — Jake Meyrowitz, BYSC Student Leader On January 22, 2018,  Backyard Sports Cares and the White Plains Youth Bureau initiated … Continue reading “Discussing racial diversity: BYSC student leaders, Iona Prep students and White Plains Youth Bureau talk about race relations”

#MissionGaGa takes flight at Mt. Vernon Boys & Girls Club

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As part of Backyard Sports Cares’ Mission: Gaga 2018 initiative, BYSC, in conjunction with host families, will be donating a portable gaga pit to the Boys and Girls Club so they can enjoy the game all year-round. To get the kids formally introduced to gaga action, Backyard Sports Cares hosted a Gaga Day on Thursday, January … Continue reading “#MissionGaGa takes flight at Mt. Vernon Boys & Girls Club”

Productive Discussion: BYSC brings local at-risk youths together with role models from the Westchester Knicks

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How do you get at-risk youths in crisis to open up and take some hard-won advice? If you’re Backyard Sports Cares, the answer is pizza…and a few local heroes from the Westchester Knicks! This past week, Danny Bernstein, executive director, Backyard Sports Cares, decided to add a unique dimension to the recreational programming that the … Continue reading “Productive Discussion: BYSC brings local at-risk youths together with role models from the Westchester Knicks”

GaGa Plays Key Role in Ambitious Mission for Spring 2018

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Volunteers and Vested Supporters are Invited to Join this Important Initiative with Backyard Sports Cares Backyard Sports Cares is embarking on an ambitious mission to bring kids from all socioeconomic backgrounds in Westchester together — and GaGa is the lynchpin. Last week, BYSC Executive Director, Danny Bernstein, hosted a kickoff conference with BYSC’s stakeholders and … Continue reading “GaGa Plays Key Role in Ambitious Mission for Spring 2018”

Backyard Sports & Foundations for Life Bring “Bike Day” Giveaway to White Plains Youngsters

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      Once again, Backyard Sports in connection with Foundations for Life presented 25 White Plains youngsters with a brand new bicycle at the organization’s annual “Bike Day” event.  Temple Kol Ami of White Plains provided the facility space. Led by volunteers from Foundations for Life and the Backyard Sports Cares Junior Board, the … Continue reading “Backyard Sports & Foundations for Life Bring “Bike Day” Giveaway to White Plains Youngsters”

Game, Set and Match! — An Interview with BYSC Tennis Coach Rita

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By Arden Franklyn Although some believe tennis is an exclusive sport, it’s actually largely recognized around the world as a mainstream activity that can be played by virtually anyone.  I recently caught up with Coach Rita, who leads the Backyard Sports Cares’ afterschool tennis program every Thursday at Ridgeway Elementary. The veteran tennis coach typically … Continue reading “Game, Set and Match! — An Interview with BYSC Tennis Coach Rita”

BYSC Celebrates February Birthdays with Coachman Family Center Kids

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Last Sunday, Backyard Sports Cares visited the Coachman Family Center to brighten spirits of homeless children through sports and play. Based in White Plains, the Coachman Center is home to more than a dozen families in need of shelter due to various and unfortunate circumstances. Although the families live at the center in White Plains, the … Continue reading “BYSC Celebrates February Birthdays with Coachman Family Center Kids”

Backyard Sports Cares Announces Sponsorship Alliance with PM Pediatrics

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Pediatric Urgent Care Provider to Help Sponsor Afterschool Recreational Programming at Mt. Vernon Elementary Schools Backyard Sports Cares (BYSC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing high quality sports programming to young athletes with limited access to community programs, announced today a strategic partnership with PM Pediatrics, one of the nation’s largest providers of specialized … Continue reading “Backyard Sports Cares Announces Sponsorship Alliance with PM Pediatrics”

A Bounty of Bicycles Give Kids Something to Smile About

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For the second year in a row, Backyard Sports Cares collaborated with Foundation for Life to give deserving kids one of the most basic staples of childhood, a bicycle. We presented a soccer clinic and distributed bicycles to 20 youngsters from the Coachmen Center in White Plains, NY.  Assisting the efforts were Backyard Sports volunteers, Harrison … Continue reading “A Bounty of Bicycles Give Kids Something to Smile About”