BBBS SUMMER PICNICS!

When: Monday, July 19, 5:30-7:00 pm
Where: Lions Park (550 Pine St., Foley)
Who: All Matches and waiting Littles. Littles must attend with a Big or parent/guardian.
What: Join us for a night of tie-dye and yard games! This is a great opportunity to connect with other matches in person again. A snack will be provided.
*Be sure to bring a white item if you plan to tie-dye!*
When: Thursday, July 22, 5:30-7:00 pm
Where: Pierz Park (603 Park Ave, Pierz)
Who: All Matches and waiting Littles. Littles must attend with a Big or parent/guardian.
What: Join us for a night of tie-dye and yard games! This is a great opportunity to connect with other matches in person again. A snack will be provided.
*Be sure to bring a white item if you plan to tie-dye!*
When: Wednesday, July 14,  6:00-8:00 pm
Where: Millstream Park (725 County Road 75 W, St. Joseph)
Who: All Matches
What: Come join the St. Joe Lions as we learn and play the game of disc golf! Discs, food and beverage, and a speaker will be provided. 
When: Sunday, July 25 4:05 pm game
Where: Joe Faber Field (near the MAC in St. Cloud)
Who: All Matches, waiting Littles, and families of Littles. All Littles must be accompanied by an adult. HS Bigs are able to attend on their own.
What: Our BBBS group will be sitting in Your Home Improvement Co. Lodge above the Rox dugout! Food, soda, and water will be provided through the 7th inning.
Limit: 48
When: Wednesday, August 11, 5:00-8:00 pm
Where: Summerland (1050 28th Ave NE, Sauk Rapids)
Who: All Matches
What: Come for a fun night at Summerland! Mini golf, batting cages, go-carts, and more. Food will be provided.
RSVP: Mary@BigDefenders.org
Limit: 70 people
Hey Bigs,
Experience and Explore JA
with your Littles!
Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest is excited to offer a virtual programming experience for Bigs and Littles sponsored by Federated Insurance. Along with this fun, virtual opportunity, you will get a bag filled with swag, activities, and goodies to share with your Little!
JA Virtual Program Options
(Choose program based on the age of your Little)
JA BizTown Adventures
Grades 4-6
 
In JA BizTown Online Adventures, students will explore aspects of running a business as they take on the roles of chief executive officer, chief financial officer, marketing director, sales manager, and consumer via five engaging online, self-guided adventures.
 
During each adventure, students will have an opportunity to solve problems, make business decisions, weigh saving and spending choices, consider risk management and insurance strategies, and make personal and business-related financial decisions. Each Big/Little team will receive a JA BizTown in a Box kit with hands-on activities and fun items for your JA BizTown Adventure.
 
JA Finance Park Virtual
Grades 7-12
 
In JA Finance Park Virtual, students will explore careers, develop personal money management skills, and prepare for financial decisions and challenges in their adult lives. During this virtual experience, students assume family and income scenarios and visit businesses to gather information for their personal financial decision-making. They use bank services; contribute to charities; purchase housing, transportation, furnishings, food, health care, and other expenses; and make investment decisions, while working to balance their budgets. This engaging virtual program is Adulting 101! Each team will receive a JA Finance Park kit with resources and a treat to share!
 
JA Bags will be picked up at your local BBBS Office. Once you register, your local BBBS Program Coordinator will be in touch with pick up details.

Click here to see welcome video from Julie Rethemeier, Director of Public Affairs and Advertising at our sponsor Federated Insurance.
QUESTIONS? Contact your area BBBS Program Coordinator
St. Cloud: Mary Bellefeuille  | mary@bigdefenders.org
Sponsored by Federated Insurance Company 
JULY 14TH IS NATIONAL MAC & CHEESE DAY!

Made with macaroni noodles, cream or milk, and the golden goodness of cheese, mac and cheese shines as a side dish while also standing on its own as a main dish. This meal reminds many of us of home while also teaching us the basics of the kitchen. Besides being simple to make, mac and cheese enables us to experiment with other flavors we enjoy. You can mix up the cheeses or load up on seasonings.

Mac and cheese offers a multitude of ways to enjoy it, too. As a soup, it warms us up after a long day. Stuff it inside a meatloaf or a burger for a meal made for a hungry, busy family. Roll up bite-sized bits in bread crumbs and deep fry for mouthwatering appetizers. Whether we like it mild or spicy, mac and cheese has us covered

Enjoy some mac and cheese! Experiment with different cheeses or try it with toppings. Don’t hesitate to break out of your normal routine. This is no time to be ho-hum. It’s a celebration of a food that’s not only convenient but is versatile and delicious, too. Click here for mac and cheese recipes.
Skatin' Place - Little is free with the paid admission of the Big. Friday night is excluded because of wristband.
Cold Stone Creamery - 2 Like it Create your own Ice Cream for $6.00).
UPDATES TO COVID-19 IN-PERSON MENTORING GUIDELINES
 
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) have updated their COVID-19 guidelines for in-person interactions, including recommendations for persons who have been fully vaccinated (defined as being more than two weeks out from receiving either the single-dose vaccine or their second dose of a two-dose vaccine). Accordingly, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MN (BBBS) has updated its guidelines and recommendations for in-person match meetings.

When considering whether or not to meet in person, or what to do together, BBBS asks you to consider the following:

  • Is everyone in agreement and comfortable with meeting in-person? If not, please continue to meet virtually, BBBS is not requiring in-person meetings at this time.
  •  Have you talked with your child’s Big or your Little and their parent/guardian(s) about masking expectations and what types of activities and locations are acceptable? 
  •  Is the Big or the Little, or anyone in their household, at increased risk of severe illness due to COVID-19? If so, please practice the highest level of caution when deciding where/how to meet, including wearing a mask at all times. 
  •  Is the Big, Little or anyone in either household sick or have had recent direct exposure to COVID-19? If so, please delay your in-person match meeting until it is safe and appropriate to get together.
  •  Have you signed the BBBS COVID Waiver?  If not, please sign this waiver. If you have already signed this, you DO NOT need to sign this again. If you are unsure if you have signed it please check with your Program Coordinator.

If you’ve passed the above checks, below are BBBS’ guidelines for in-person match activities and meetings:

All matches are encouraged to carry face masks with them on any match outing in order to comply with different masking requirements throughout our community. 

For Fully Vaccinated Matches: If the Big and the Little are both fully vaccinated, then they can gather outdoors or indoors without wearing a mask, including in vehicles. If anyone in the match is more comfortable with masking, please respect that and wear a mask.

For Non-Vaccinated Matches and Partially Vaccinated Matches: An important part of mentoring is modeling healthy behaviors and establishing good boundaries to keep oneself and others safe. As part of this, we are strongly encouraging and recommending that everyone wear a mask while indoors in public spaces, including vaccinated adults, as long as any member of the match or outing is not fully vaccinated.  

  •  Outside: Masks are encouraged but are not required to be worn outside if everyone is able to maintain 6 feet of social distancing. 
  •  Inside Private Locations with Less than 2 Households Present: If adults are fully vaccinated, masks are not required.
  •  Riding in a Vehicle: Masks are required if all adults in the vehicle present are not fully vaccinated. We also encourage limiting the number of passengers and ventilating the vehicle.

As a reminder, it is important that all participants respect one another’s decisions about meeting in person, including location (indoors/outdoors), protective measures, and activities. These guidelines are minimum expectations. If someone wants more COVID-related protections than CDC/MDH and BBBS are requiring (for instance, everyone wearing a mask outdoors when on a match outing,) please respect that, or continue to meet virtually. If you have concerns or need support with these conversations, please let us know.

Please continue to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota’s COVID-19 requirements to help lower risk of transmission. 

YOU are making THE difference for kids during these challenging times. Thank you for caring about and standing with kids!
  
Ann Matvick
Program Director
Art Fair in the Gardens. Enjoy art, music, food and beverage while taken in the beauty of Munsinger Clemens Gardens. Purchase fine artwork for home & garden from local & regional artist. No cost for admission. Rain or Shine Event! Thursday, July 15th from 10:00am to 6:00pm. Click here for more information.
Millstream Night Market. This New Orleans inspired market will feature local artists, music and food! Family Friendly!
Food from Flour & Flower Bakery as well as Krewe Restaurant! Mondays from June to August from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Click here for more information.
The Wizard of Oz. Follow the yellow brick road in this delightful stage adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s beloved tale, featuring the iconic musical score from the MGM film. The timeless tale, in which young Dorothy Gale travels from Kansas over the rainbow to the magical Land of Oz, continues to thrill audiences worldwide. Pay What You Can - at the door only, (no reserved tickets) for the Friday, July 30 7:30pm performance. Click here for more information.
AROUND CLOUD TUTORS AVAILABLE THIS SUMMER!

Around Cloud Tutors service will be available during the summer for those who will be in summer school or want to brush up on a few subjects over the summer. 

Junior and Seniors who would like help with ACT Prep can also utilize this free service. There are also additional College and Career Advice sessions such as Essay Editing, College Application Assistance and Trades and Skilled Worker Advising to name a few. Please click here for link.
LITTLE BIG VIRTUAL ACADEMY
The purpose of the Little Big Virtual Academy is to keep Littles and Bigs connected during times of physically distancing. When matches might not be able meet in-person, they can continue to communicate and interact via phone and computer. The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota team has compiled a list of fun and interactive activities and resources for Littles and Bigs to do together- click here to link to the website!
PROGRAM STAFF CONTACT INFO
Please contact our staff if you have any questions regarding matches.

Ann Matvick, Program Director  
Ann@BigDefenders.org 320.258.4517
  
Jamie Lodermeier, Program Coordinator
Jamie@BigDefenders.org  320.258.4532
 
Kayla Meyer, Program Coordinator 
Kayla@BigDefenders.org 320.241.7996
 
Mary Bellefeuille, Lead Program Coordinator 
Mary@BigDefenders.org  320.258.4538
 
Rebecca Fonss, Program Coordinator  
Rebecca@BigDefenders.org 320.258.4519
 
Robyn Rieland, Program Coordinator 
Robyn@BigDefenders.org  320.258.4512

Tasha Bruns-Notsch, Lead Enrollment Coordinator  
Tasha@BigDefenders.org  320.258.4516
Hey BIGS!! Do you know someone who would be a great mentor to a child in our community? Use the above Big Nomination graphic by sending it to them. You could message it, text it, print and hand deliver, or post it on their social media. Let them KNOW that you could see them as a BIG! We are now holding Info Sessions online via Zoom- let's create a waiting list of Bigs!
Listed below are several community resources. Please visit our updated BBBS website Resources page for a more extensive listing, including tutors, food and heating assistance, and mental health resources.

Career Solutions - Career Solutions offers career counseling, job search assistance and even potential retraining available at no cost. They are supported by State and Federal funds to help people who are unemployed find meaningful employment as quickly as possible, and can provide information on the Dislocated Worker Program. They serve Stearns and Benton county residents and are one of the partners of CareerForce (formerly the WorkForce Center) – St. Cloud. Click here to learn more.
Contact Jeni or April! 320.308.5320 or info@csjobs.org

Vaccine Connector - Minnesotans can sign up at mn.gov/vaccineconnector. Minnesotans unable to sign up online can call 833-431-2053 for assistance signing up over the phone. Translation is available by phone in all languages. Minnesotans can call the translation hotline at 833-431-2053 for assistance signing up over the phone. 

United Way 2-1-1 Resource Hotline - United Way is encouraging anyone who may be in need of assistance accessing food, rent, mortgage, utility assistance or any other essential service, to dial 2-1-1 or text MNCOVID to 898-211. Click here for more information.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MN | 320-253-1616 | BigDefenders.org