Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What Golfing has to do with a Happy Thanksgiving

White Bear Lake High School Class of '77 Golf Outing

November 24, 2010, the day before Thanksgiving . . .

“Hi this is Scott. Just wondering if you are home. I have something to drop off for you.”

“Yes, we’re home,” said the boys mother, “Just knock, the doorbell doesn’t work.”

I hop in the car on a snowy Thanksgiving eve in Minneapolis. Just one more thing to do before a few days off. A volunteer came into the office earlier wanting to make sure that the family of the boy she tutors would have a great Thanksgiving. So she dropped off a gift certificate for a local restaurant that would feed his whole family. She wanted to make the gift anonymously so that she wouldn’t receive any credit or accolades for the gift. She wanted it to be a gift that was just kindness to a family at Thanksgiving time. No strings attached, no ulterior motive. So I brought the gift card over to the house on the night before Thanksgiving.

It turned out to be a lovely time of visiting with this boy’s family. We learned a good deal about each other. The boy’s mom said she was taking him out of school and looking for a new school. “They just don’t understand him because he has ADHD.” It was hard for her to make that decision for her son, but she felt it was the right thing. It was great to affirm the boy’s leadership qualities in front of his mom and brothers. Not everyone sees that, but we do, and his Tutor can really see it.

“So here’s why I’m here,” the mom gulps anticipating more bad news for her family, “A volunteer stopped by today and asked me to give this to your family. It’s just a gift from someone who thinks highly of your son.

“OH MY GOSH! NOBODY HAS EVER DONE ANYTHING LIKE THIS FOR ME BEFORE! NOBODY HAS EVER JUST GIVEN ME SOMETHING! I thought you were coming because he was going to be in trouble.” She was very THANKful at Thanksgiving time.

The legacy of doing things for people quietly; no strings attached; kindness for kindness sake actually goes way back at DinoMights. If you’ve been reading these letters for a while, you have heard about Greg Carroll. He was our mite coach that really epitomized that kind of kindness. When he passed away a few years ago we named our Learn 2 Skate, Greg Carroll Learn to Skate to honor Greg’s legacy of service.

Due to the efforts of Greg’s friends and family Greg Carroll Learn 2 Skate has tripled in size in the last three years. One such effort is the White Bear Lake High School Class of ‘77, of which Greg was a part. They get together to golf every fall and to raise money for Greg Carroll Learn 2 Skate. The boy in this story entered DinoMights as a direct result of the expansion of Greg Carroll Learn 2 Skate, which the Class of ‘77 golf outing is helping to provide. So in a round about way, and I’m sure this wasn’t on their mind at all, while they were shooting for par, the class of ‘77 golf outing helped connect a caring tutor to a family that really benefitted from a special boost on thanksgiving. They did it Greg’s way too. No strings attached, just kindness for kindness sake.

Consider joining DinoMights year end Fundraising team if you're interested in helping kids just like Greg! http://www.razoo.com/p/holiday-26-dinomights

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fundraiser Sponsors: The Kelly Phillips Foundation

The Kelly Phillips Foundation is near and dear to our hearts here at DinoMights. Since we began our relationship two years ago, KPCF has engineered an equipment drive, sent numerous volunteers to Learn 2 Skate, and supported our fundraiser. Not to mention that Dan Phillips, of the Kelly Phillips Foundation is one of our tutors! So we are very thankful to once again have the Kelly Phillips Foundation supporting DinoMights.

The Kelly Phillips Foundation is dedicated to the legacy of an amazing young woman, Kelly Phillips. She lived her life by the values of Faith, Compassion, Service, and Academics.

Our students had the chance to learn about Kelly's life this summer at Impact Hockey Camp in Minnetonka. Here's what Hector and Francisco had to say,

"Coach EJ taught us about Kelly Phillips. She died at age 17, but helped a lot of people during her life. When kids from Edison lost their equipment in a fire, she raised money to help them. She had great leadership. She's also part of the reason we got to come to this camp. Thanks to Kelly."

We hope you will consider visiting their website to learn more.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fundraiser Sponsors: NHL

We are very thankful for this year's Annual Fundraiser Major Sponsor, The National Hockey League (NHL).
DinoMights has been an affiliate the NHL Hockey is for Everyone Initiative since 1996. Hockey is for Everyone provides support and unique programming to non-profit youth hockey organizations across North America, such as DinoMights, that are committed to offering children of all backgrounds opportunities to play hockey. The initiative is supported by NHL member clubs, players, NHL alumni, and fans. To date, Hockey is for Everyone has exposed close to 45,000 boys and girls to unique hockey experiences.

To celebrate this initiative, the National Hockey League hosts the annual Hockey is for Everyone Month in February. The league-wide initiative includes numerous activities to promote the diversity of the game that involve our clubs, players, alumni, fans, and grass-roots diversity programs, all with the goal of raising awareness and celebrating the growth of the game.

To learn more and see links to Hockey is for Everyone Videos please click here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fundraiser Sponsors: Imaging Path

One reason why our Annual Fundraiser will be a success is the generosity of our corporate sponsors. So for the next few days, I'd like to introduce you to some of our sponsors. We really hope you will consider visiting their web sites, and that you will feel good about those organizations' contribution to the community through DinoMights.

This year's Presenting Sponsor is Imaging Path.

As the Presenting Sponsor, Imaging Path ensures that all the proceeds from our event go directly to DinoMights programming. That means that, thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, your gift does not go to pay for room rental or food at the DinoMights event. Instead, whatever you give will go right to things like ice time, books for tutoring, community service projects, or summer camp. So a VERY big thanks to Imaging Path, the 2010 Presenting Sponsor.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Big EVENT: First Day of Practice

I recently called a new student to let him know that I would be coming to pick him up in the DinoMights van. He was so excited that he hung up on me.

Saturday was the first day of practice for the majority of our students. You really can never lose the joy of seeing wobbly little people just learning to skate. Mix the joy of something new with the excitement that hangs up on a caller in the middle of a phone conversation, and you definitely have a Big Event.

All fall, leading up to this day, we get phone calls in the office,

"When is hockey going to start?"
"Did you get the letter that we sent with a schedule?"
"Uh, I don't know."
"Well we sent you a schedule and hockey will start in three weeks."
"Aww, that long?"
"It will be here before you know it."

"When is hockey going to start?"
"Did you get the letter?"
"Uh, let me check the mail. Oh, here it is."
"O.K., that says when your practice is going to be. Two weeks away."
"Aww, that long?"
"It's really not that far off."

ANOTHER WEEK LATER (I call this time)
"Hello, this is Scott"
"Oh, hi Scott."
"I'm calling to let you know that I will be there to pick you up for hockey tomorrow morning"
"Hockey is tomorrow?!?!?!?!? Hey mom, I got hockey tomorrow, oh I can't wait until" CLICK

Imagine what he felt when he saw the ice, when his coaches said "hello, so glad to see you," when he finally felt the cool breeze against his face as he sailed across the rink.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BIG EVENT: First Day of Tutoring

This might surprise you, but kids love tutoring. If I had to say why the first thing that comes to mind is that their tutors love them. The dinos know that they are going to be loved at tutoring. Each week there is someone who has set aside time to read especially with them. In some cases we have kids with the same tutor for 5, 6, 7 years! Talk about volunteer commitment!

I'd like to think that students like tutoring, because they can see that it helps them. Don't get us wrong, we aren't replacing school. However, just one day per week spent reading and doing homework with a caring committed adult goes a long way in supporting the learning that takes place in school.

DinoMights is super proud to announce that this year we will have two DinoMights high schoolers tutoring young second graders. Sandy and Paola both had their own committed tutors back in the day. Now they are following in those footsteps.

Please say a prayer for DinoMights students and tutors today!

Longtime tutor Leah, with James at graduation 2009.

Monday, October 18, 2010

This is not officially about DinoMights, but I just couldn't resist posting it here. She's prepping to be a DinoMight. Hockey and Reading. That's my girl.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Special Guest: Minnesota Wild

Before the Minnesota Wild ever took the ice as an NHL hockey team they sought out worthy causes in the community to support. At that time DinoMights was in its early grassroots phase as well. Two Wild execs came to meet with John Foley, the founder and original director of DinoMights. After a nice lunch and conversation about how the Wild might be involved with DinoMights, the group was driving through the neighborhood back to John's office. There on the street were three boys playing street hockey with sticks that they had formed from temporary no parking signs. John said, "stop the car, I've got to sign these kids up." 12 years later, both that group of kids and the Minnesota Wild are still involved with DinoMights.

The Wild helps out DinoMights in numerous ways, but one is supporting our fundraiser. They always donate autographed items for the silent auction. This year they are donating a pair of game tickets, with a Zamboni ride at the period break! They also come to the event and share in the program.

Brad Bombardir smiles with DinoMights girls at a donated suite for a Wild game

Brad Bombardir, former player and current Director of Community Relations, is a regular presenter at the event. For the las few years he has presented our annual academic and service awards. In addition he has given those award winners a behind the scenes tour of Xcel Center on a game night.

So we are glad to continue a wonderful relationship with the Wild, and glad that they will once again be involved with our fundraiser.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Special Guest: Alyssa Grogan

As the starting goalie for one of the nation's premier hockey universities and for the USA U22 team, Alyssa Grogan has traveled all over the country playing hockey. There is one place that she has traveled that none of her U of M or National Team teammates have been . . . The Basement of the 4-plex!

U of M Gopher goalie, Alyssa Grogan, 2010 fundraiser guest, at the "4-Plex" donating hockey equipment to DinoMights.

And she is still our friend, despite the overwhelming "hockey smell" of our equipment storage.

A few years ago we had a call in the office from a High School senior who wanted to do something for the DinoMights. Alyssa Grogan, one of the top High School goalies in the state, engineered an equipment drive for DinoMights before going on to play for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Alyssa really exemplifies the mission of DinoMights to develop Physical, Academic, Social and Spiritual excellence. She has had a lot of success playing hockey as a college student. She was also the goalie for the USA U22 team that represented out country in Lake Placid New York last summer. She was an academic all conference selection for the WCHA. In addition to all her on ice success, Alyssa has maintained her concern for the community and her dedication to her faith. She also came out to Learn 2 Skate this year along with a few other Gopher players and head coach, Brad Frost. She is also an active member of the U of M Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

One of the DinoMights' big events this year is the unveiling of our newest team: a girls team for 3rd through 5th graders. We believe that it is very important to be giving girls the same opportunities as boys in the sport of hockey. So we are very glad to welcome Alyssa Grogan to tell us of the importance of giving the opportunity of hockey to young girls, and also the importance of developing not just physical excellence, but Academic, Social and Spiritual excellence as well.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Special Guest: Stanley Cup

DinoMights Board member John, wife Cherie, and DinoMights participant, Miguel with the Stanley Cup at the 2009 Fundraiser

We have a returning guest to our Fundraiser this year. The Stanley Cup was so popular we just had to invite it back again.

As a kid I competed for the Cup repeatedly in my basement. I fired tennis balls and plastic floor hockey pucks at my less than willing younger brother. Those series rarely ended in glory. Usually, they ended with my sibling choosing to simply walk off the ice. To be fair to my bro, those contests were mostly fixed in my favor. I just enough older to know how to win every time. At any rate, lifting the Cup after nailing your little brother in the face with a tennis ball really isn't that sweet. But, I did want to taste that sweetness somehow. Being up close to the real thing brings me back to the best part of those days. My imagination for greatness is sparked by the Stanley Cup.

I love to watch the clinching of the Cup every year when it is awarded to the NHL Champions. It doesn't matter to me who wins. Even if my favorite, hometown team loses, I love to watch the very end of the Stanley Cup playoffs. There is just no celebration quite like in hockey. The players raise their hands in the air to signal victory; their sticks and gloves fly in the air, and they go to pile on top of the goalie. (For a hilarious Goalie pile FAIL watch this video about 2/3 of the way through.) I'm pretty sure that's what the angels in heaven were doing when Jesus walked out of the tomb.

I've accepted that my name will never be etched into the Stanley Cup. I can live with that, but visiting with the Stanley Cup reminds me that Teams can achieve great things together.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I'm a very linear thinker. One thing at a time suits my brain best. But October is the month that challenges my brain to keep things straight at DinoMights more than any other.

You see, we are on the verge of a big event. Well to be more clear we are on the verge of several big events . . . many big events.

In just a week, we will start tutoring, then the first hockey practices. We are kicking off some new programming for High School aged students this month. And of course, our big fundraiser event is coming up on Monday November 15.

So here's the challenge: Keep it all straight and be sure to tell the stories.

(Do I really want to do this?) Yes. I'm doing it. I'll post every weekday from now to the fundraiser on the 15th. There's so much on which to keep you updated.

Please stay tuned, and get active with the DinoMights this month!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Volunteers Needed

Hello Friends of DinoMights,

If you were inspired by Mike's post (August 30), then consider applying to volunteer or pass the info to a friend.

Everything you need to know is posted at http://www.dinomights.com/getting/involved

We're starting up soon, so don't delay!

Monday, August 30, 2010

From a volunteer's perspective

The following post is from Mike Ervin, a coach for our Mini-Mites team of beginning hockey players. I love how honest Mike is about his experience as a person who has not grown up in an urban setting. I also love how he speaks of the new experience of walking alongside. It is also interesting to note that Mike talks (like many volunteers have over the years) not so much about how the kids have been changed by him, but rather how they have changed him.

“Hockey is a sport for rich white kids, and poor city kids and minorities just don’t play.”

That is that stereotype that I have lived with for my entire life, and I suspect that it is a stereotype that others who come from the suburbs hold. Working with Dinomights this year helped me break that stereotype for good and it is helping to break that stereotype for others as well. Dinomights brings a diverse group of kids together to discover and share a common love of hockey. And it turns out that kids who you wouldn’t associate with hockey have a great deal of talent.

After growing up in Bloomington and going to Jefferson High School (capitol of high school hockey in MN!), I came to the city with a full set of biases about what city kids are like and about who belongs on an ice rink. But getting to know and love the kids that I worked with at Dinomights helped to break down some of the stereotypes that were bred from ignorance in my upbringing.

You frequently hear the phrase, “don’t judge someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes.” This year, I had the chance to skate a mile alongside of the kids of South Minneapolis, who break all of the stereotypes that I carried with me from the suburbs into the city. They were both talented at hockey, and also responsive and respectful to coaches. They will be good ambassadors to the game and positive influences on their communities!

God is moving in the city, and He is using Dinomights to connect himself to the kids of Minneapolis and work to break down the stereotypes and prejudices that people from the suburbs may hold about who plays hockey. I’m grateful for the opportunity to connect with Dinomights this year, and I’m lucky to have gained some exposure (through UrbanHomeworks) to the kinds of organizations that are working for the Lord in Minneapolis to protect, develop, and enrich at-risk communities.

DinoMights is currently seeking new volunteers. If you have been inspired by Mike's story, or you are just generally interested in volunteering for DinoMights visit www.dinomights.com/getting/involved

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stanley Cup

Stand by for a very special announcement to make:

Drumroll . . .

The Stanley Cup will be returning to the DinoMights Annual Fundraiser on Monday, November 15, 2010! Mark your calendar. If you didn't get your photo with the cup last year, you will have another chance.

Board Member, Gracia and PeeWee, Lucy pose with the Cup. © Photo Richard Westley Wong

We are also expecting (barring class schedule conflict) Minnesota Gopher and member of the US Women's U22 National Hockey Team, Alyssa Grogan. Also you can expect a presence from the Minnesota Wild. Our good friend Brad Bombardir is a regular at our event each year.

It's looking like it will be a star studded evening. Save the Date and we hope you can join us.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Video Voices

Please enjoy watching this award winning local documentary produced by our own alumnus, Kayla. The video was shown on public television and won a Hometown Video Award from the Alliance for Community Media.

The video really captures a lot of important things about DinoMights. I love how they spent time talking to people. It was especially touching to hear from parents how the program benefits their kids.

Leave a comment to let us know your reactions to the video and to say thanks to Kayla for putting it together!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Congratulations to Coach Jeremiah!

Jeremiah was a DinoMights coach for 4 years. During that time he was a helpful servant and mentor to many kids. Today we're happy to share with the DinoMights family that Jeremiah and his wife Mandy have adopted a daughter named Gabby.

Mandy and Jeremiah with their new daughter, Gabby

We know Coach Jeremiah will be a great dad. He was already sharing his parenting skills as a Dino Coach with us, and now we are sure that Gabby will have a great family!

If you want to give a shout out to Jeremiah, or say how he showed his parenting to you (or your children), feel free to leave a comment!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hockey In the Hood Camp: Why I love these images (Part 3)


The reason I entitled this image, "Smells," is because that is the very first thing that pops into my mind when I look at this image.

Here's what you see: 8 brand new DinoMights about to ride home in the DinoMights van (There are 8, one is tucked way back and you can't really see him in the picture). You see smiles. You see seatbelts (That's very important in the DinoMights van). And you see Hockey bags piled up in the back of the van.

You see the joy of kids that have just enjoyed a new sport for the first time. They are mostly Latino in this case and they have no idea that Latinos have not traditionally played this sport. They also have no idea that there are like 2 professional Latino Hockey players. They don't care. Bottom line: They are kids who have had fun playing.

You see kids about to laugh and enjoy the van. The van is actually part of the fun. We tell jokes, try tongue twisters, and tell funny stories. The kids don't seem to mind that it takes a little extra time to stop at every kid's house. In fact, they usually don't want to be the first one out. It's fun to be together whether it is on the ice, in the hot summer, or riding home in the van.

What you don't see is . . .

How stinky those hockey bags are!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hockey In the Hood Camp: Why I love these images (Part 2)


I'm entitling this post: Connections. It's the first thing that came to my mind related to the above image. That is Old School DinoMights Coach, Cody, tying the skates of brand new DinoMights participant, Javon.

I don't think I know anyone more connected than Cody. He hasn't been a Dino coach for about 6 years, but he is still very connected. In fact, this last week we added a whole host of new connections for Cody.

This is current Coach, Mike. He is an Urban Neighbor living in an Urban Homeworks home. Cody is the Community Development Director for Urban Homeworks. So Cody is constantly hooking DinoMights up with new coaches, like Mike. There is no contest. The person who has single handedly connected DinoMights with the most volunteers is Cody.

In fact, Cody connected me to DinoMights 10 years ago.

In fact, Cody connected my wife to DinoMights 10 years ago.

In fact, that's how I met my wife. So you could say that Cody connected me and my wife!

So it is really meaningful to me to have Cody come and tie some skates at Hockey in the Hood Camp. I thought it was pretty cool when one of the new girls told me that she baby sits for Cody's son and daughter.

But, that wasn't the end of the connections. One of the students that Cody mentored over the years was a boy named Jesse. One of the brand new students we added this year is Jesse's little cousin, Javon. The same boy, whose skates are being tied by Cody in the above picture!

Quite a connection.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hockey In the Hood Camp: Why I love these images (Part 1)

Last week we completed our biggest Hockey in the Hood Camp ever! We had 26 brand new hockey players on the ice. That is our biggest group of new students ever.

There are a lot of wonderful and lasting images in my head from the week. I'd like to share them with you over the next few days, and explain what the images mean to me. Please feel free to leave a comment if you are touched by any of these pictures and stories.

This is a picture of Salma and Charlin hugging on the ice. If you could browse our pictures, you'd find at least a dozen pictures of these two friends hugging. One of the most meaningful things about our Girls team is the close relationships they form.

One girl, named Emily, moved last spring. She has been very concerned that she might not get to be a part of DinoMights anymore. She was able to come to Hockey in the Hood Camp. When she saw Charlin in the parking lot they hugged and cried, because they were so happy to see each other. That is an image that will stick in my mind for a while.

One thing we are very excited to report is the number of new girls in the program. DinoMights has had girls teams for a long time, but we are really making a push to improve our girls teams this year. We added 17 new girls this spring. I'm really looking forward to seeing them enjoy a lot of hugs over the next few years!

Thursday, June 10, 2010



• All DinoMights fans will be interested to know that the car wash raised $700. The kids washed seven cars in the rain for an average of $100 per vehicle.

• DinoMights has broken the record for most new DinoMights. We are up to 23 and counting! That breaks last year's record of 20.

Stay tuned for news from Hockey in the Hood Camp next week!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Washing in the Rain

It rained the whole time . . .

They didn't wash that many cars . . .

But they worked hard . . .

And asked everyone they saw to help them go to camp . . .

In the end they raised $600! I'm very proud of our campers. They really took ownership of the trip they are going to enjoy in a few weeks. They weren't ashamed to work hard for something important. Thanks to those of you that helped out.

* By the way it's not too late to help support the cause. We've raised $5,500 specifically for camp this year, which is GREAT! The whole summer budget, not including salaries and administration costs, is about $15,000. Anything helps. Who knows maybe someone out there is so inspired by kids who will wash cars in the rain, that they would like to give a big gift to ensure that the DinoMights summer is fully funded.

Car Wash for Camp

UPDATE: A donor has agreed to match the first $250 raised in the car wash! Please come out or make a gift to the car wash to help raise funds for KAA and help us earn the full match.


Today 18 DinoMights who are planning to attend Kids Across America Camp in Southern Missouri are holding a Car Wash Fundraiser. The kids are very excited, both for camp and for their own efforts at raising funds towards their camp tuition. There are a few ways that you can help us out.

The wash will be held at:

Minikada Mobil Station
at the intersection of Excelsior and France Ave.
3500 France Ave
St. Louis Park
10 AM- 4 PM

The kids are hoping to raise an average of $10 per car and they are hoping to wash 50 cars for a total of about $500. However, with poor weather predicted, they may really need the help of people that really love DinoMights and don't need their cars washed that badly.
You don't even have to come to the car wash to make a gift to camp.

• You can visit the DinoMights webpage or use the paypal tab below and make an online gift. Gifts don't have to be big to help with this effort. Give whatever you would give it you actually came to the car wash. Anything can encourage the kids. Of Course, if you are interested in making a large donation the per kid cost of Kids Across America is about $300, and we are bringing 18 total students.

• You can visit the DinoMights website and sponsor a particular student who is attending camp.

• You can pledge a small amount per car that the kids wash
Write me back with a pledge. If you pledged $1 per car washed and we washed 50 cars, then it would end up being a $50 gift.
It will be a real encouragement to the kids to know that some people are already behind their efforts.


Thanks so much for your time reading this message and for your support of DinoMights

Monday, May 31, 2010

Please Support Sandy

Name: Sandy S.

Age: 15

Camp Attending:

Kids Across America (KAA)

KAA is a Christian Sports Camp located in Southern Missouri. The camp is dedicated to building Christian leaders by encouraging, equipping and empowering urban youth and their mentors through sports camping.

My Camp Favorites are:

Getting to know others from all different states; learning about God; having Bible Study; and the various athletic activities

A few things learned at camp:

God is our father; he died for us on the cross and saved us from our sins. He’ll be there for you, and answer your prayers.

Ways you could pray for me while I’m at Camp are . . .

Pray that I’ll be safe, make new friends, learn more about God and grow in faith. Pray that I won’t be the “shy girl” at camp.

• $300 or just $25 per month can support Sandy’s full KAA costs including transportation and tuition.

• Special gifts of any amount are investments in the lives of urban youth by sending them to camp.

To sponsor Sandy with a full or partial camp scholarship please click the donate button below, and type "Camp Scholarship for Sandy," in the description line.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Please Support Paola

Name: Paola F.

Age: 17 years old

Camp Attending:

Kids Across America (KAA)

KAA is a Christian Sports Camp located in Southern Missouri. The camp is dedicated to building Christian leaders by encouraging, equipping and empowering urban youth and their mentors through sports camping.

My Favorite thing about camp:

My Favorite things about going to camp are:
The sports and the people.

One thing I have learned about God at camp:

I have learned a lot about God at camp.

One way you could pray for me while I’m at Camp is . . .

Pray for my faith. Pray that I will become closer with God.

• $300 or just $25 per month can support Paola’s full KAA costs including transportation and tuition.

• Special gifts of any amount are investments in the lives of urban youth by sending them to camp.

To sponsor Paola with a full or partial camp scholarship please click the donate button below, and type "Camp Scholarship for Paola," in the description line.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Please Support Treveon

Name: Treveon M.

Age: 17 years old

Camp Attending:

Kids Across America (KAA)

KAA is a Christian Sports Camp located in Southern Missouri. The camp is dedicated to building Christian leaders by encouraging, equipping and empowering urban youth and their mentors through sports camping.

My Favorite thing about camp:

Learning about God and meeting new people.

One thing I have learned about God at camp:

I learned that God is our Saviour and died for our sins.

One way you could pray for me while I’m at Camp is . . .

Pray that God will protect my family, because I won’t be there to protect them.

• $300 or just $25 per month can support Treveon’s full KAA costs including transportation and tuition.

• Special gifts of any amount are investments in the lives of urban youth by sending them to camp.

To sponsor Treveon with a full or partial camp scholarship please click the donate button below, and type "Camp Scholarship for Treveon," in the description line.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Camp Scholarships

Many of the young adults that grew up attending Kids Across America or Silver Birch Ranch with DinoMights say that those experiences were the most influential moments in their childhood. Not only were they places of great joy, but they were also the places where they became grounded in their faith.

Camp is one of the main "Spiritual" aspects of DinoMights' programming. Students who choose to attend camp will enjoy unique recreational activities away from the city, a strong sense of Christian Community, and learn about the good news of Jesus.

Here are a few ways that your donation can help out:

• $3000 can pay the full tuition for all the campers attending Kids Across America Camp

• $300 can support the full transportation and tuition costs for one camper.

• $25 per month pledge can support the full transportation and tuition for one camper.

• Gifts of any size are a great investment into the lives of DinoMights Youth!

We will be highlighting the kids who are attending Kids Across America over that next few weeks. They will be telling you in their own words what camp means to them and how you can help them out. We hope that you will consider supporting the cost of camp for some of our wonderful kids!

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to support the cost of DinoMights camp, please click the pay pal button below.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Consider Investing

Maurice, a sophomore at Notre Dame University, leads young DinoMights on the "Slip-N-Slide" at Silver Birch Ranch

Consider this: if a 20 year-old was to invest $40,000 over the course of 20 years, and let it grow at a yearly rate of 10% until age 65, that investment would grow to $1,007,805! Think about that, invest $40,000 and end up with a million as long as you hang in there long-term.

DinoMights was founded on a similar principle; that long-term relationships between youth and positive caring adults pays big dividends. So, as I was considering the costs of summer programming, the thought occurred to me, “What is a DinoMights summer worth in terms of an investment? What long-term rewards are there, if we hang in there over time?”

Up front we are going to invest about $15,000 in summer programming for 2010. Practically, it pays for things like transportation and fees to Kids Across America and Silver Birch Ranch; ice time for two hockey camps; materials for Academic Power Camp; and printing costs for our yearly publication, the Dino Update. However, when we look at the summer with a long-term perspective we envision a huge payoff.

Consider how valuable it is to invest in DinoMights summer hockey camps. The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE 2006) reported that 18-25 year-olds that participated in sports during their youth, “were more likely than non-participants to be engaged in regular volunteering, registering to vote, feeling comfortable speaking in a public setting, and watching news . . . more closely.”

Consider how valuable it is to invest in DinoMights summer Academic Power Camp. 85% of DinoMights graduate from High School compared to 55% from Minneapolis Public Schools (MN. Dept. of Education 2005). That is particularly powerful when one considers the impact of high school drop outs on all of us. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education (2009), “Dropouts from the Class of 2008 alone will cost the nation more than $319 billion in lost wages over the course of their lifetimes.”

Kissely age 7 and Faith age 9 play word games at Power Camp

Consider how valuable it is to invest in the social side of DinoMights’ camping experiences. The trips to KAA in Missouri and Silver Birch Ranch in Wisconsin are the memories that DinoMights never forget. The bonds forged traveling in busses and vans over the summer become unbreakable. Grown up DinoMights stay in touch on Facebook, live as roommates, and stand up in each other’s weddings!

Consider how valuable it is to invest in the spiritual lessons learned at camp. There is no price tag on young, mostly low income kids from the Phillips, Powderhorn and Central Neighborhoods knowing that there is a God that loves them unconditionally, who will never leave them or forsake them. Jesus paid a price with his death on the cross, but truly it was an investment that would keep paying off forever. 2000 years ago someone was dying, for a group of hockey playing inner-city kids that hadn’t even been born, so that they could have life to the fullest. (John 10:10)

When we really consider it, our investment does go a long way! Please consider investing in urban youth by sending a special gift to support Camp Scholarships. Please tune in over the next few days to hear about how you can invest in the lives of DinoMights attending camp.

Joeny, age 16 leads creative activities in her cabin with younger DinoMights at Silver Birch Ranch

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Learn To Skate

Every year DinoMights partners with local schools to do the Greg Carroll Learn 2 Skate program. It is a five week program that gives first graders in the area the opportunity to learn how to skate. It is DinoMight's major community service project of the year and many members of the DinoMight community get involved to help out. DinoMight coaches, alumni, highschoolers, and grade school participants are stepping up to the plate to volunteer this year and it has been a blast so far! I have had the pleasure of leading a group with my older brother Jesse (We are both pictured above as young DinoMight players). It is awesome to be able to do something I love alongside my brother and we both appreciate the opportunity to give back to DinoMights. Jesse currently works for Minneapolis Public Schools in their after school program. I guess he decided he isn't around kids enough because he committed to 5 Wednesdays of learn to skate :) We were grateful for the help of DinoMight highschoolers Joeny, Sandy, and Trey today. The first graders think highschoolers are so cool and enjoyed having their attention! I am looking forward to two more weeks with these awesome kids and volunteers!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Calling all High School DinoMights

Calling all High School DinoMights!

We want your feedback on two ideas that we are very serious about.

1) High School DinoMights retreat at a cabin (a nice cabin-not roughing it) probably MEA weekend in October.

2) Rink Rats
Weekly hockey and available homework help at a park during Dec, Jan, and Feb.

Two questions:
1) Would you come to these things?
2a) If you would come what would make these things awesome?
2b) If not why and what would make you come?

Chime in by making a comment here or on the DinoMights Facebook Group.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Interning at DinoMights

Every Tuesday I meet with a group of Social Work students at my school and we discuss what is going on at our internship placements. It often turns into somewhat of a group therapy session as students share the challenges they are going through. The most common frustration that students talk about tends to be dealing with their supervisors. Many feel that their supervisors do not understand the purpose of the internship and assign them tasks simply to keep them busy rather than tasks that truly foster learning. Others say that their supervisors do not have time for them, and that they are left to figure things out on their own. There are some students that even feel resented and unwelcome at their internships.

I am grateful to say that their experiences are nothing like what I have experienced interning at DinoMights. From day one the staff has made my learning a priority. I have to admit that I was pretty sure of myself when I began working here. After all, I had been involved in DinoMights for almost my whole life, there couldn't be that much that I didn't already know. That notion was quickly put to rest as I realized there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that as a program participant and even as a volunteer I was never aware of. For example, it is a lot of work to coordinate rides! I had no idea as a kid that there were calls, emails, and spreadsheets involved in getting my coach to my house every Wednesday morning before practice.

Even beyond the countless hours of quality youth work experience I have gained over the school year, I have been introduced to a lot of helpful new skills in the DinoMights office. I have had the opportunity to help plan a major fundraising event, edit video footage, record financial information, recruit volunteers, learn how to use complicated computer programs, test student's academic skills, and connect our program with other community resources. The staff has even been trying to teach me how to drive! I can't say how much I appreciate Scott, Pa Kou, and Eric's willingness to teach me. There have been many times when it would have been easier (and faster!) for them to complete a particular task themselves but they took the time to show me how to do it instead. I don't feel the same pressure that many of my peers feel at their internships about perfect performance. I want to do my job well, but I also know that mistakes are a part of the learning process and that no one here is going to reprimand me if I mess up. I feel free to ask questions and have always felt very supported by everyone in the program.

I am so appreciative of the diverse experiences and learning opportunities that I have had so far here at DinoMights and am looking forward to continuing that during the rest of my time here!

Monday, March 8, 2010

March Girl's Group Fun!

Every month the fourth grade girls get together to do a fun activity. The purpose of this group is to nurture the girl's friendships with each other while building relationships with the adult leaders and to provide more ways to stay connected with the program when they are off the ice. This month we decorated Easter eggs. It was even warm enough for us to do a hunt outside! It was a beautiful day with some beautiful DinoMight girls :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Behind the Scenes with Brad Bombardir

Jalin, Sierra, and Preston earned a very special experience at a recent Minnesota Wild game. Jalin was the winner of the John Foley Excellence in Servant Leadership award and the others were the Hockey in the Hood Cup winners for Academic Excellence. As a reward Brad Bombardir, Director of Community Partnerships and former player for the Minnesota Wild, rewarde the winners with a special Behind the Scenes tour of the Xcel Energy Center before a Wild home game. A very special Thanks to Brad and all the special people at the Minnesota Wild that make us feel so important. The experience was amazing! The kids were grateful and learned a lot.

Below are some of the highlights from our trip.

Preston and Sierra pet a Bhrama Bull in the lobby before the game. The Bull was there to advertise for an upcoming Rodeo. It was an unexpected way to begin our journey.

Brad took us down to ice level through the players' entrance. We saw the Zamboni Machines up close. It really is fascinating how they work.

We met the game officials. These guys travel . . . A LOT! After that we watched warm-ups from the ice level (Picture at top).

Brad took us up to the Press Box where we met Tom Reid, former North Star and WCCO Radio Play by Play announcer. We also got to go on the FOX Stage and say the "Let's Play Hockey Cheer" with Brad.

Next we went to the control room. This is where everything from the scoreboard to the horn to the cameras are controlled. It was really mind blowing how much stuff happens during a game. The kids learned a lot in here. The began to understand that "Hockey Player" is not the only sports career.

We got to watch the team take the ice from right outside the locker room. One of the players said to Brad, "I'm going to go CHEESEY." Later we asked Brad what he meant. Brad explained that "Cheese" is a French Canadian slang term for shooting the puck in the upper part of the net. Finally we got to watch the game. We were shouting "CHEESE" every time the Wild got a chance to shoot. The Wild won 5-2. Most of all it was a win for three kids who have worked hard to serve others and do well in school!