Boys & Girls Club Blog

Club Girls Participate in the 11th Annual Character, Etiquette & Afternoon Tea Program

On July 14th the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh held its 11th annual Afternoon Tea event at the Oshkosh Country Club. The tea event is part of the Character & Etiquette program designed for the young ladies of the Club, ages 7-10. 

Every summer girls in the program (about 50 girls) attend six classes taught by friends of the Club that focus on building positive character and leadership skills. This year’s classes focused on healthy habits, community service, mental health and STEM.

Week 1: Board Member Patty Shea came to talk about mental health. She taught us ways to de-stress our bodies when we are feeling anxious. The girls talked through what it feels like to feel stressed, learned some new breathing techniques, practiced some tai chi, did some meditation and talked about safe people they could talk to if they needed extra help or an ear to share their thoughts. The girls left with many new relaxation techniques. 

Week 2: Boys & Girls Club Director of Development & Strategic Initiatives Katie Talken shared with the girls what to expect the day of the Afternoon Tea and talked about proper etiquette, manners and good hygiene. The girls practiced introducing themselves to people for the first time and learned how to give a good handshake. Finally, we also discussed great ways to say “thank you” to those that support us. The girls all made “thank you” flowers for the women who attended Afternoon Tea. 

Week 3: The wonderful ladies of the Oshkosh Service League discussed ways to give back and why it is important to serve your community. Each girl potted a flower then decorated the pot to give to another person. Many of the girls chose to give their flowers to a father figure in their life for Father’s Day. Service League also gifted each girl with their own flower to take home.  

Week 4: Carol Bredesen of Amcor taught a “Science, Technology, Engineering & Math” class. She discussed STEM careers and the importance of trying new things. She had the girls each test their engineering skills by creating their own packaging to protect a s’more. Each girl was given a budget and could buy supplies from a “store” to make their packaging. When they were done, they tested the heat and water resistance of their packaging to see if it protected their s’more or if it melted or got water on it. They then discussed ways to improve their packaging the next time. The girls especially enjoyed taste testing their s’mores after!

Week 5: Julie’s Touch of Silver taught the girls all about leading healthy lifestyles and ways to have fun with fitness. Their amazing staff broke the girls into 3 stations: poms, baton and dance. The girls learned a different routine at each station. We all had a great time moving our bodies and learning something new!

Week 6: Lizz Redman from the new Oshkosh Food Co-op talked about healthy eating and fueling your body. She explained the purpose of a food co-op, why eating local is important and how to look for healthy foods. The girls also learned “5 tips to fuel your body” such as eating fruits and veggies and mindful eating. The girls ended the class by enjoying a snack of hummus, cucumbers, carrots and watermelon.

The Afternoon Tea event, presented by Kimberly-Clark Foundation, brings together the girls and women in our community to sip tea, enjoy a light lunch, get to know each other and celebrate the girls’ completion of the classes. It is a great opportunity for the community to see the difference the Club makes in the lives of youth! The girls got to feel extra special by picking out a brand-new sundress and flip-flops and getting their hair styled.

The event featured a positive and inspiring message from the speaker, Mona Dixon. Mona was homeless sleeping on the streets and in shelters until age 13. A few short years later she received the coveted Boys & Girls Clubs of America “National Youth of the Year Award,” and was appointed to serve as the youngest member of the U.S. Presidential Committee. 

It was a truly beautiful day for all in attendance! See photos from the Afternoon Tea event on our Facebook page.

Thank you to our Afternoon Tea Sponsors: Presenting Sponsor: Kimberly-Clark Foundation, Empower Sponsor: Oshkosh Corporation, Speaker Sponsor: Silver Star Brands; Great Futures Sponsors: Michael & Vicki Krueger, Lee Beverage of Wisconsin, McClone, Carol Meeuwsen-Jones – In memory of Norris W. Jones and Nicholas J. Meeuwsen, Old National Bank, and Roberts, Ritschke & Tyczkowski, ltd., Flip Flop Sponsor: Darren & Kathy Lett and Bob & Sidonia Burnell; Class Sponsors: Kaldas Center, Marcia Smith Leslie, Diane Lowe, Oshkosh Public Library and Shea Electric & Communications LLC.

Club girls ages 7-10 who would like to take part in next year’s program will be given the opportunity to sign up at the beginning of summer programming. If you would like to support our Character, Etiquette & Afternoon Tea Program you can learn more at or contact Director of Development and Strategic Initiatives Katie Talken at (920) 233-1414 ext.129. or