American Parkour Forum

Parkour and Freerunning => College, University, and High School Parkour Clubs => Topic started by: Alissa J. Bratz on April 03, 2009, 07:29:54 PM

Title: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Alissa J. Bratz on April 03, 2009, 07:29:54 PM
Hello, all. Many of you in high school are trying to start parkour clubs. This is very cool but be aware that you will have challenges especially with regard to the liability piece.

I am trying to establish a parkour club at the school where I teach and have just started the process. I have submitted a constitution draft to our activities director and haven't yet heard back. However I will keep you updated on the process and how things go.

Here is the draft I submitted... feel free to use this and adapt it as necessary for your own school's policies. As the process goes along for me I will update this thread and make changes to the draft, etc. Hopefully this will serve as a guide for those in HS trying to start clubs.

Hope it helps! Here is the draft:

Advisor: Alissa Bratz

Purpose: The purpose of the MHS Parkour Club is to provide organized, safe parkour training for MHS students, to promote the practice of parkour, and to encourage the values of pakour: safety, responsibility, cooperation, mindfulness, citizenship, respect, healthy living, usefulness, and community.

Objectives: safe, progressive parkour training, participation at school functions in an exhibition capacity as needed, the encouragement of safe and mindful practice of parkour, and the general positive representation of parkour within the community. Activities will include weekly training sessions and community service (Leave No Trace), and may also include film and video screenings, travel to other communities for training and other opportunities, as well as hosting visiting groups for training and parkour “jams.”

Parkour has cross-disciplinary applications to French, anatomy/physiology, health, physical education, FACE/nutrition, psychology, and other subjects. Parkour is a non-competitive physical discipline that instills self-confidence, respect, responsibility, community, cooperation, physical fitness, and perseverance.

The MHS Parkour Club will charge dues at the rate of $5 per year. This will cover the cost of general supplies such as printing/flyers, snacks, etc. The MHS Parkour Club may engage in fundraising activities as needed for such activities as travel, hosting jams, creating t-shirts, etc. Fundraising activities will be conducted per district and building policy. Dues are non-refundable.

The MHS Parkour Club will elect officers from among its student members. Officer positions include: president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Duties are described below:

President: Leads meetings, positively represents parkour within the community, can make an executive decision in the event of a tie vote. Must attend all meetings and training sessions (maximum of 2 absences allowed per year).

Vice President: Assists the president with his/her duties, fulfills the president’s duties in the event the president is absent. Must attend all meetings and training sessions (maximum of 2 absences allowed per year).

Secretary: Maintains meeting agendas and minutes. Distributes agendas and minutes to membership in a timely fashion. Maintains membership contact/email list and is responsible for managing all communication between officers, advisor, and general membership as needed. Updates weekly training program and distributes to all members. Must attend all meetings and training sessions (maximum of 2 absences allowed per year).

Treasurer: Maintains accurate and up-to-date records of all club finances and transactions. Must attend all meetings and training sessions (maximum of 2 absences allowed per year).

Attendance training, and other policies:

For general membership, a maximum of 4 absences per year are allowed. Extenuating circumstances must be discussed with the advisor. For officers, 2 absences per year are allowed.

Official club training sessions will be held on at least a once-per-week basis. These weekly sessions are considered “club-sanctioned” practices. The club is not liable for training that occurs beyond these sanctioned training sessions.

Members are expected to maintain good academic standing, good school attendance, and to behave in a manner becoming to the discipline of parkour at all times.

Members are expected to show respect to other members of the community using the spaces in which we train, respect to law enforcement and security personnel, and respect for our fellow traceurs/traceuses, our bodies, and our training environments at all times.

Members are expected to abide by parkour’s “Leave No Trace” initiative by respecting public and private property, maintaining a clean and orderly training environment, and being respectful of architecture and landscaping elements. The MHS Parkour Club will engage in two “Leave No Trace” events per year, involving cleaning up litter, repainting surfaces, general groundskeeping, etc. Specific Leave No Trace activities will be decided upon by the club in conjunction with school maintenance staff and/or the City as needed. Attendance at and participation in both Leave No Trace events is mandatory for all members.

In addition to the above policies, members of the club are subject to the rules in the Athletic and Activities Code.

Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Anthony "Dasher" Arroyo on April 03, 2009, 08:07:33 PM
Nice! I really want to start a pk club for my school, and it is a private school, and I have connections with the people who could say yes or no. So, I really hope to get one started for next year.
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Alissa J. Bratz on April 08, 2009, 05:54:11 PM
Awesome! Thanks for the feedback.

I met briefly with our activities director today and he said, "The idea is intriguing but I don't know what parkour is." I said I figured that might be the case which is why in my original email I suggested setting a time to meet. I told him I had some videos I wanted to show him and I asked him if he had Googled it. He said no and I joked with him that that was good, because I said, "If you just went by what came up on YouTube, you'd definitely say no and those videos are NOT a fair representation of parkour!" He said he was concerned about safety and I told him that was perfectly understandable. I guess a few years ago we had a high ropes challenge course at school and a girl fell off of it and was seriously injured and the school was liable, etc. etc. so they are touchy about that kind of stuff.

I told him that 98% of the training we do is at ground level and the other 2% is like what the gymnastics team does on the vault horse/balance beam type stuff; most of our training is calisthenics and conditioning so it would be like any other intramural club.

He definitely seemed open to at least discuss it and we will meet in a couple of weeks (our spring break is this coming week so we will both be out).

I plan to show him Pilgrimage and Jump Westminster. I told him they were both quite long and it may be better for him to watch them on his own and then we can discuss at our meeting; I will be sending him links to the videos in email tonight. I don't know if he will want to watch them all the way through or not but we'll see.

In reflecting on this, here are some things that I think are helping my case, that others may want to consider as they try to get their clubs started:

1. The original club idea is coming from a teacher, not a student (I see this as a huge fortunate advantage)
2. I submitted the proposal without anybody really having done parkour on campus or in the community, so as far as the administration knows, parkour is whatever I tell them it is, since they have no other frame of reference. This puts me in a great position to really stress the safety aspect, etc.
3. I have been talking a LOT to my students about parkour and beating them over the heads with the safety thing, so they are getting "indoctrinated" with this idea that it is all about safe progression.
4. I have worked with at-risk youth groups in Madison teaching parkour and can point to this when I pitch the club
5. I have included a lot in my proposal about positive initiatives like Leave No Trace, etc; as requirements for the club members. So the administration may see it as more of a whole-person, service-oriented, self-improvement thing than a bunch of crazy kids jumping around.

I will keep posting updates as they occur. Feel free to make suggestions/ask questions. Hopefully this will be helpful to other people wanting to start a high school club.
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Alissa J. Bratz on May 05, 2009, 10:03:17 AM
Okay, so some updates on this:

The process at my HS is that the Athletic/Activities director gives the OK for a proposed club to have an orientation meeting. then, if enough people show up to the orientation and it looks like the club will be sustainable (our AAD said there was no magic number to hit, but if I had enough people and enough kids from freshman and sophomore classes where it looked like the club could be viable for several years) then it would be officially approved as a HS club.

He did give me the OK to have an orientation meeting and I have it scheduled for this Wednesday May 6. A lot of my students say they are coming and that they are bringing their friends, so we'll see.

The downside is, our school was closed yesterday and today for swine flu  ::) so some people may have forgotten that the meeting is happening tomorrow. I did put in a couple of reminders to be read over the announcements last week but I'm not sure how effective that was.

We'll see. Maybe our AAD will give it another chance because of the special circumstance of the flu closing.

The other thing is, our AAD is retiring at the end of this year so who knows what his successor will think/do.

So I'm optimistic but cautious at this point.

My principal is really freaked out about it, very worried about liability etc. etc. I told him the AAD is cool with it as long as we have the members fill out the same medical forms that the kids have to use for sports, and also I will probably have Mr. Muse draw up a waiver as well. My principal tends to be a worrier anyhow, but he did say to me, "The only reason I'm letting this get this far is because it's *you* asking for it." So that was very flattering. He said he has a lot of trust in me so that made me feel good.

I will say that Jump Westminster was the video that did it. It got our AAD really interested in parkour and in our meeting he did say that he realized that the parkour club would be a great way to reach a population of kids at school who typically aren't being served well by the school, so that was cool that he "got" that. I also told him that the guys at the beginning of JW have been doing parkour for 15+ years, and that is NOT what the club would be doing. I explained when I showed him the video that they started a program in the UK for disadvantaged kids, and the video shows footage of that program, and THAT kind of stuff is what the club would be doing. It seemed to make a big difference for him to see that we would be starting out on soft mats, low obstacles, etc.

Part of my mind is thinking he has half approved this, assuming it won't fly because of lack of interest, etc. So that way he can still be the "good guy" but the club won't happen. He did say that it would be hard for us to get gym space because a lot of that space/equipment is reserved by other sports/organizations months in advance, so I am bearing in mind that he is assuming it will peter out on its own.

Right now my big priority is to get a lot of kids interested, and we'll go from there. I did spend the past year and a half planting the seeds for interest by showing parkour videos in my classroom and doing a few mini-units on parkour in my various classes. So a lot of those kids are freshmen now, or will be next year. So we shall see. Hopefully we will get a big bubble of interest next fall when the new freshies come up.

I'll continue to post updates as they happen.
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Sparklefish on May 05, 2009, 10:36:43 AM
Nice job Muse!  This is awesome.  Please keep us informed. 

I was going to suggest just showing Jump Westminster, it's a pretty incredible and inspiring movie.  Did you bring any of the articles about PK in English schools?  I don't have a link offhand, but they were APK featured stories awhile back.

Alas, football is a sacrosanct institution but parkour is a scary evil new thing them damn Frenchies do!  Oh, silliness.  One of my student's brother just had another surgery last week to repair damage from breaking his neck in a high school football game last year.  Parkour is so much safer than football. 

Parkour promotes and requires full body conditioning and coordination, ambidexterity/bilateral movement, flexibility, strength, focus and adaptability.  It is a much healthier way to move and train the minds and bodies of young people than traditional competitive team sports.  We train the whole body to work as a unit in a variety of situations, including unpredictable and unique settings, not just to recognize and respond to patterns with specific movements.

Go Muse, Go!!!!!
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Alissa J. Bratz on May 05, 2009, 11:50:10 AM
Agreed, Beretta. :) Thanks for the support. I used Jump Westminster in my meetings and also had the articles/BBC videos about the UK school programs lined up in case I needed them, but I ended up not using them. Our AAD was just so excited that this could connect a lot of our more "at risk" (I prefer the term "at promise") kids to school, and also he was super impressed with the whole respect angle and Leave No Trace. I really wanted to play those up in the club charter and plan to play them up in the club activities. We will do a minimum of two LNT events per year and attendance is required at them. I think those elements had a lot to do with helping get his initial approval.

It's funny because our AAD seems to have really embraced parkour; our principal is very skittish about it but then again he is a Nervous Nellie type anyhow, about just about anything. He used to coach football and he was all, "Well, I have to be honest with you, what happens if you are out training and a kid breaks his leg?" and I responded by asking, "Well I dunno, what do we do during football practice if a kid breaks his leg? I mean, we have policies for that, right?" and he sort of couldn't really respond effectively to that. Don't get me wrong, I like my principal a lot. He is just in his first year at the job and he is very conscientious about wanting to do a good job at it so he's overly cautious about a lot of stuff. But that's cool--at least he wants to do a good job and be a good principal! :)

Anyway the orientation meeting is tomorrow. Last week I put up like 250 flyers all around the school, so we'll see how it goes, especially given this swine flu thing.
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Sparklefish on May 05, 2009, 09:12:51 PM
Bah!!! Cursed swine flu, a wretched pox indeed!  Let not our sweet PK become it's next victim...
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Alissa J. Bratz on May 06, 2009, 06:00:22 PM
heh. Thanks, Beretta1


So my fears about the swine flu closing impacting the meeting were unfounded. I was a little late to the meeting since I had to travel to the HS from another school, and when I walked into the classroom it was PACKED with students!!!! I passed around an attendance sheet and asked them to sign in, and also to put down the names of anyone they knew who was interested but unable to come to the meeting.

In attendance: 28!!!!

Interested but unable to attend: 19!

I was over the moon about it. It was WAY more than I expected and they all seemed really excited about the club.

I asked them how many of them had heard of parkour before, and a few raised their hands; most said they had heard about it either in my classroom, or from a friend of theirs who had heard about it from my class (woot!). A handful of others said they had seen it on YouTube (ugh) or other forms of media.

I talked about how parkour was not an extreme sport, and how the three themes of the club would be Safety, Discipline, and Leave No Trace.

I showed them TK17's "Go" video and explained that Duncan didn't just roll out of bed one morning and start doing parkour like what he was doing on the video. I explained that when he started, he did things very small, like balancing on curbs, etc. and that that was how we were going to start.

Then we talked about discipline. I explained that parkour was not easy, and that in all our meetings we would be training; they should come prepared to work out. I explained that we would work hard, and we would work together. I cautioned them against hearing that and becoming afraid, thinking, "Oh gosh, I should quit parkour now, I can't do pushups!" I explained that it was all about starting from wherever they were, and if they could do 100 pushups or not even half a one, it was cool; it's not a contest and as long as they are willing to work from wherever they're at, they could do parkour. We talked about perseverance and supportive encouragement.

I then talked about LNT and explained that there would be 2 mandatory LNT events each year and that we would decide on what to do for them as a club; but in between times, LNT is about respecting the training environment.

I told the kids that if they were interested in jumping off of rooftops and being extreme and getting into a Mountain Dew commercial, that this was not what parkour is about, and this is not the club for them, and they should leave now.

I told them that if they were not interested in getting stronger, in working hard to improve themselves, that this was not the club for them and they should leave now.

I told them that if they were just interested in doing stunts and climbing all over things without regard for the impact their climbing had on the structures they were using, that this was not the club for them and they should leave now.

No one left. :) They seemed to get it... mostly because I had on my "teacher face" when I said it. ;)

Then I had them do QM around the room just to move a bit and get a taste; some of the kids' shoes left marks on the floor so it was an opportunity to practice LNT, I made them clean up the marks: "Okay, Leave no trace, guys... we have some shoe marks here!" and they all scurried to clean them up. It was great--the kids that are interested in the club seem like a really nice bunch.

I also talked to them about how we were very lucky to have an administration that was willing to give this club a chance, because as far as I knew no other high school in the country has been able to do this (that got a cheer out of the crowd); so I told them we would have to be extra mindful of safety so we could honor the privilege of the trust our administration has in us. They seemed to get it but I still don't feel like I conveyed the idea that if a single kid gets hurt, our club is finished (I probably should have come right out and said that). To be honest I'm worried that some kid is off jumping off of his house this very evening.

I spoke with my principal about it afterwards and he was excited for me but also really really nervous about the safety thing (and he still hasn't watched JW... arg). At this point it's up to the AAD anyhow, and he is supportive; but the principal has final say, of course. Maybe I shouldn't talk to him so much about it. But then again I think it's better to be proactive about the communication.

Anyway that's the latest. I was pretty giddy about the number of kids that showed up though!

We decided on a couple potential dates for our next meeting and we'll go from there, assuming I get the go-ahead from our AAD.

Will post more updates as events unfold.
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Sparklefish on May 06, 2009, 10:01:23 PM
Dammnit!!!  MadPK will expand exponentially now, throwing the Earth out of it's orbit with the sheer mass of their awesomeness!  Way to go Muse!  We're rooting for you!
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Greg Davis on May 07, 2009, 12:02:36 AM
what school is it if you don't mind me asking...
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Alissa J. Bratz on May 07, 2009, 05:17:37 PM
Thanks Beretta. That made me giggle.

I don't mind you asking, and if it were just me I'd tell you, but since it also involves my students I'd prefer to keep that information private, Greg.


Our club got the official approval from the AAD this morning!!!!! Wahoo!!!! He also CC'ed the new AAD on it, the guy who will be taking over his position next year when the current AAD retires, so we should be golden.

That said, my principal is still very skittish, still hasn't watched JW, and has made it clear that the moment a kid gets injured, the club gets yanked.

So my next step is to schedule another meeting, where we will go through our club constitution (text above), elect officers for next fall, and hammer the kids over the head with the Safety idea and related policies. I will also have them fill out the medical cards they have to fill out for sports, for a doctor's signature. (That was a condition of the approval).

Then we'll probably just have a few training sessions to get them into the groove/maintain their enthusiasm before the school year is out.

More updates to follow as we progress.
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Sparklefish on May 07, 2009, 08:25:12 PM
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Josh Lowe on May 08, 2009, 05:48:08 AM
You are probably the coolest teacher ever! Those kids are SOO lucky.
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Alissa J. Bratz on May 11, 2009, 03:45:20 PM
You are very kind. :) Thank you.

Well we are set to go. Our first official meeting as a club will be after school on Tuesday, May 19. I spoke with our Activities Secretary and she and the AAD met briefly to modify the medical cards the kids have to use for sports, so they will be especially for the parkour club. We will get our own special color cardstock and everything. It feels so official! :) Our AAD seems really excited about the club. Too bad he is retiring at the end of this year. :( Hopefully his replacement will be as cool with everything.

Since the orientation meeting, a LOT of kids have been asking about it, and a lot of my 8th graders have told me they plan to join in the fall when they start at the HS. So we'll see what next Tuesday brings. I put in an announcement for the meeting today, so they should be reading that over the PA during announcement time all this week.
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Jordan Strybos on May 11, 2009, 04:49:38 PM
You are probably the coolest teacher ever! Those kids are SOO lucky.

Seriously, I wish any teacher at my school had even the slightest idea of what parkour is.  Can you move to PA and teach here?
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Alissa J. Bratz on May 19, 2009, 07:24:41 PM
Update: 5/19/09

(Thank you, Jordan, for your kind comments) :)

We had our first club meeting today, in an official capacity. There were about 20 people there, and several more who wanted to come but couldn't because of track practice.

We went over our club constitution and rules, and voted on officers. Some highlights:

1. I am requiring good academic standing. I don't have a GPA cutoff because I want the club to be available to anyone, but I do want to hold a standard of excellence in everything; not just in parkour but in hard work in general. I want for there to be a standard of perseverance, etc. So students are not allowed to have any missing assignments, or to get below a C on any test or quiz. If students miss one of these benchmarks, instead of training they will work on makeup work or study to retake tests/quizzes. I will also be available to help them if necessary. We'll see how well this works, but the kids seem willing to try; they seem intrigued by the whole "obstacles as opportunities/perseverance/hard work" vibe.

2. I am requiring attendance at 2 official Leave No Trace events per year, which we will decide on as a club. They seemed pretty excited about this too.

3. Students are not allowed to do parkour unsupervised/outside of official club practices. This was a condition of our getting the club approved in the first place, and is the 'official stance' of the club... ;)

***I will post up the document I handed out to the kids with all this ^^ info in it; right now it's at school. It may be a good resource for others trying to start a HS club.***

We also watched certain excerpts from "Pilgrimage," mostly detailing the hard work ethic, parkour's history, etc. just to give them some food for thought for our next meeting.

At the next meeting, students need to bring:

1. Parent signature stating they have read and agree to the rules/constitution
2. $5.00 annual dues (we need to build up our activity account balance so we can do things like travel to jams, order t-shirts, and other fun HS club kind of stuff)
3. Completed medical card (as described in an earlier post)

At our next meeting we will also come up with the club's Vision, Mission, and Motto as a group, and I will announce the officers. Then we will do a little bit of training, and that should finish out the school year and put us in a good position for next fall.

I'll post that rules document when I get a copy at home, and will continue to post updates as necessary.

I hope these updates are helpful as an example (either of what to do or maybe even what NOT to do in some cases) for others who are interested/trying to start their own clubs at the high school level.

I'm happy to answer any questions or share advice, just ask!

I'm so excited!!! :D
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: James Rivard on May 20, 2009, 08:38:53 AM
Congratulations Muse and all who journey in your path down there in Mad town! I'm super excited for you and the kids and hope to be able to join you every so often. Had an interview at Anytime Fitness today which went well so if income starts to come in those trips to Madison may be in the cards. I also may be updating my embroidery selection in the near future so if logo apparel is in your clubs future I may have a hook up for ya hehe! In any case this news brings joy to countless practitioners around the country as you have begun what may become a national sweeping of Parkour in HS! Muse wins!!
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Alissa J. Bratz on May 20, 2009, 05:05:42 PM
Thanks, James! And I'm glad to hear the good news. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

As promised, here is the document I handed out to the kids at our last meeting. I've included my own side comments in parentheses, although they did not appear in the original doc:




(these three were left blank because the kids are going to come up with those at our next meeting)

We believe...

1. Parkour is not an extreme sport
2. Obstacles are opportunities, whether physical, mental, academic, social, or emotional
3. Our bodies and our training environments deserve care and respect at all times
4. We train to become strong, so that we may be useful

Attendance policy (blah blah)

Academic Standing: You must maintain good academic standing to participate. This means no unexcused missing assignments, and no test/quiz scores below a C. If you drop below these requirements, you will spend training time making up your missing work/getting help on difficult material. Parkour is about being *your* best, and about overcoming obstacles, whether physical, mental, academic, social, or emotional.

Leave No Trace: Leave No Trace means leaving your training environment in better shape than you found it: cleaning up trash, respecting landscaped spaces, not marking walls, etc. In addition we will do two scheduled Leave No Trace events per year to clean up and repair our training environments. We will decide on what to do as a group. *Attendance at both is required.*

(some stuff about dues, medical cards, school activities code regulations, etc...)

Training Rules:
1. Train safely! Check your surfaces, be aware of your surroundings, respect your own limits.
2. Do not train outside of official club practices. No exceptions. (This was a condition of our getting the club approved.)
3. Be on time to training. If you miss warm-up, you may not train.
4. Participate to your maximum ability. Any exercise can be modified. Work within your ability, but do all reps and all sets. No quitting, no giving up.
5. Encourage and support one another. Parkour is non-competitive. Remember, it's about being *your* best, not *the* best.


Again, feel free to use any of this that you like if you're trying to get your own club going.

Comments/feedback welcome.
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Alissa J. Bratz on June 03, 2009, 08:26:18 PM
UPDATE: 6/3/09

We had our first "real" (i.e. not planning) meeting as a club today. There were probably 15-20 kids there. I announced our officers and also created two officer positions of "Event Coordinator" because I realized that our Secretary's job description was way too broad, and two kids got a lot of votes for officer positions but they were just shy of being voted in for the original 4 positions. So they are our Event Coordinators and they will be in charge of arranging stuff for jams, school events that we participate in, fundraising events (i.e. carwashes, etc.) and also general publicity/announcements.

Our VP has a connection to the local paper and he offered to see about getting our club featured in the paper in the fall, so that is super cool.

The kids came up with a Mission Statement, Vision Statement, and Motto. I have them in my notes at school ( :( ) so I will share those later. But they came up with great stuff!

Joey and Travis from PK Squirrel came out to help. So +1's to those guys! :D They answered a few questions and talked about parkour training a little bit. Then we went outside and did a short warm-up, and then trained landings, rolls, balance work on a rail with partners, precisions on parking lot lines, QM, and a game of QM tag. This was meant to just give them a taste and some stuff to work on over the summer. It was a great mix of kids and a few teachers stopped to watch for a little bit on the way back to their cars. It was awesome!

Next fall we will have our official kick-off/training season start; but I wanted to get officers, dues, and paperwork in place now to save time for next year, so all we have to do next year is get all that stuff squared away for the incoming freshmen, but we can hit the ground running nonetheless.
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Alissa J. Bratz on June 14, 2009, 06:56:54 PM
The school year is officially over, but I have a couple of updates for the club.

Firstly, here are the Mission, Vision, and Motto the kids came up with at our last meeting:

Mission: To spread the positive word of Parkour
Vision: To train our minds and our bodies to go beyond what we think is possible.
Motto: Obstacles are opportunities

Secondly, we have a Leave No Trace event tomorrow (June 15) at one of the elementary schools in our district. The school is replacing some of its playground equipment and also the wood chips so the MHS Parkour Club will be there at 8am sharp to help the custodians and some members of the parents group to haul away wood chips, do general repairs, and anything else the maintenance folks and school principal ask us to do! Even though our club is only a month or two old, and even though it's summer vacation, I have a bunch of kids saying they plan to be there.

The weather should be nice. I'm so excited!

I'll try to post up pictures if I can.

In the meantime, it's not likely many updates will come along until school starts again in the fall. That said, I already have an idea for another Leave No Trace for us to do then: cleaning up trash along the Homecoming Parade route after the parade is done. Whee!
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Jordan Strybos on June 14, 2009, 07:56:21 PM
Muse that's awesome that this is coming together so well for you!! ;D
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Alissa J. Bratz on June 15, 2009, 02:43:52 PM
Thank you, Jordan!

Well, only 4 kids showed up, but...

1. they showed up *early*
2. they brought their own shovels
3. only two people from the parents group showed up, and they only stayed a couple hours
4. the custodians weren't there at all (they had a ton of other maintenance stuff to do elsewhere in the district)

So needless to say the principal at the elementary school was sooooo grateful to my kids! We got the WHOLE job done pretty much by ourselves, and we worked so hard! In between shoveling and hauling chips/mulch, we played some hot lava (we were on a playground after all!) and also did some QM, rolls, and handstand practice during our breaks. We also played "The Game," so many pushups were done by all as well.

Good stuff! My upper back is already sore.

So proud of my kids!
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Zachary Cohn on June 15, 2009, 02:54:32 PM
Quote from: Muse_of_Fire
2. Do not train outside of official club practices. No exceptions. (This was a condition of our getting the club approved.)

Quote from: Muse_of_Fire
...This was meant to just give them a taste and some stuff to work on over the summer.

 ::) ::)

But- AWESOME job!! That's so awesome that the custodians didn't show up, so you guys did all the work instead. That's the kind of stuff that'll win you big points!

And glad to see you're still playing The Game... I hope your kids enjoyed it. :)
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Alissa J. Bratz on June 15, 2009, 03:02:48 PM
Heh. They can *condition* on their own, they just can't do any *parkour* on their own. ;)

But thank you for the show of support. The elementary school principal sent me a "thank-you" email to share with my kids and she CC'ed my principal at the HS so that will earn us big points, for sure.

I hope to get the pictures soon, one of the kids took them with her camera phone so I'm not sure when I'll get them.

*happy dances*
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Alissa J. Bratz on September 22, 2009, 07:29:47 PM
UPDATE 9/22/09:

We have about 20-30 members, and we've had two training sessions so far. They are pretty dedicated and work hard. Also, Joey from PK Squirrel is helping out A LOT which helps me since my schedule is so crazy this year. We have had a lot of interest, and so far, so good. We are going to follow the Homecoming parade and clean up debris/trash for our first Leave No Trace event of the year. That will be in early October. The police department and the school administration are totally down with it.

A couple notes...

1. We have a new athletic/activities director. I took the time to meet with him just to explain parkour a bit and do a little pro-active advocacy. He seems cool with it and excited about the club and what it can bring to kids. I figured it was better to meet with him ahead of time and get the good word in first. I invited him to come out and train with us; he seemed pretty interested. We'll see.

2. My principal is still skittish, but supportive. I don't think he has yet watched Jump Westminster which I sent to him last spring. I think he will have to come out and see us training a few times before he is really comfortable with the idea, but luckily he is at least supportive of the club and willing to give it a go.

3. The kids are really excited about the training and especially the LNT event at Homecoming. I think it will earn us huge points with the community and be good for the club. Yay!
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Jeremy Osborn on October 16, 2009, 01:34:36 PM
Wow Muse!! Glad to see its coming along so well!!
The Kenosha scene is growing slowly but surely :)
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: lethalbeef on October 16, 2009, 03:18:24 PM
This is awesome! I hadn't been following this thread but it's really inspiring that you got this far. Almost makes me want to become a teacher so I can start one up myself!

The "no unsupervised training" thing kind of threw me, too, although I totally understand why you'd have to have a rule like that. Who counts as a supervisor? You, obviously, but the guys from PK Squirrel? Outside, experienced traceurs? Perhaps later on kids who have been in the club for a couple years could get that privilege.

How do you monitor the kids' grades and assignments? Didn't know that was something teachers had access to.

Congrats though! I'm cheering for you guys.
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Rebecca Myers on October 16, 2009, 05:24:45 PM
Hey Muse, quick question. A friend and I recently started a club in Ithaca and we are planning to go to some jams come springtime. We want to follow your example and charge somewhere around a $5 due. However, my co-leader came up with a good point: What if they don't pay the $5? Should we not let them train with us? That seems a little harsh to not let them train, but it is only $5. How d'you enforce the dues?

I'm really glad this worked out for you! I know about stubborn ADs and school rules, etc.
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: ☼Nova on November 12, 2009, 08:34:33 PM
You are the greatest.  I think your proposal is very eloquent.  It gives me a new inspiration to continue my efforts at my high school!
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: JimmyD-TPK on December 12, 2009, 07:58:41 PM
Our parkour team at Temecula Valley High School  is Offically set in stone,  we have been fighting for this for 3 years!!!   but we figured it out

every school district has a distrect office or something like it.  thats the place ware they come up with all the school ruels and what not.   well if you are having troble getting permision to have PK sessions on campus go to your schools activites director and ask for lyability release forms  its going to take a while to have them all drawn up,  but its worth it!!

also try to get team shirts!  i found a GREAT websight to do this cheep  and make your shirt look REALLY GOOD     its    make your club knows   you dont want the school staff just seeing you as skater kids grinding up all the rails,  or randon hoodlums jumping over stuff,  be knows to be a friendly determened group of kids.

i got pretty good at finding the loop holes  im the coach for the Temecual Team  if you have any questions just send me an email and ill help you out
Title: Re: Starting a HS Club: draft constitution
Post by: Kyle Relliford on December 14, 2009, 08:17:51 AM
Congrats on getting your club started!!
I've been working on getting a club started at my school as well. I've talked to some people so we already have a club sponsor and the activity director gave us the ok. All we need is a constitution written up ( thank you so much for posting yours!!! =]) then we need to talk to the head of the student govt. If they like the idea our club will have offically started.
I hope I'm as lucky and successful as you have been!!