Keeping up the uncommon all year long

Sep 06, 2016

Editor’s Note: Mikkel Patterson is the Athletic Director at the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County, which is a Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation program partner.  This past August, at camp, Mikkel mentioned the #Uncommon Board, and I asked him what it was.  He graciously shares what it is and how his organization uses it to recognize and encourage kids doing uncommon things.  It’s a great way to reinforce lessons learned at camp over a summer or throughout the school year! – Janice Chan

In the gym, we have a board known as the #uncommon board. It's an opportunity to recognize kids that are doing uncommon things at the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County. Every time we witness a kid being uncommon, he or she will put their autographs on the board for everyone to see. Every two weeks we will do a drawing for a prize for the uncommon players/members. At the end of the summer, we take a vote of all of the uncommon kids on the board, and recognize them at our annual summer family night at the end of the summer, as our #uncommon winner for the summer.

Every time there is a winner every two weeks, we take their picture, print it, and make a sports card to give to them (with their prize too) and put a copy on the board as well, that will stay up during the next two week session of uncommon kids.

By having the kids give us their autograph, rather than us just writing their name ourselves, they have a sense of belonging, and a sense of pride of doing the right thing at the Boys & Girls Club and anywhere else in their life. They feel like a professional, a hero, and a superstar. When they see their name on the board, it motivates them to do more uncommon things in their life, which then turns into something common. We've been doing this for the past three years now and it has been very successful every year!

Here’s a picture of the Henderson County #Uncommon Board ready with a clean new slate ready to be autographed by kids doing uncommon things:

Have you ever done something like this at your organization?  Share how or share other ideas for positive reinforcement in the comments section below.