It’s been another great session! Check out updates from this round of programs! We’ll see you all after the holidays for Winter Session 1! Have a great holiday season and be sure to register for next session here:




Around the World in 4 Weeks

Aroudn the World in 4 WeeksIn this program, Warriors learned about a different country each week through presentations, native guest speakers, and cultural activities. Two weeks ago, we didn’t let a power outage stop us from learning about Kenya through photos and music and fun facts; then the following week we hosted Auxiliary Board Member Ihwan Yoo, who is from South Korea. Ihwan talked to us about South Korean culture, shared a Korean snack with us, and taught us how to play the popular Korean game Ddakji with our own homemade throwers. Thanks Ihwan! Kassica received an award for Respect for her welcoming words, great questions, and enthusiasm.

Cooking 102: Mastering Kitchen Equipment

Cooking 102In preparation for the upcoming OK Chili CookOff, Warriors learned how to make chili powder and then their own chili from scratch. They began by cutting the sweet and hot peppers, where they removed the seeds and chopped them into small pieces. Once they combined these with cumin and other spices, they ground them in a grinder. We compared the homemade chili powder to the store-bought powder and everyone agreed the homemade was much better! The Warriors then chopped the onions, browned the ground beef, opened up the beans and tomato cans, rinsed the beans and finally put all the ingredients, along with the chili powder in a pot to simmer. Everyone was then able to enjoy their homemade dish!

Community Opps

Stay SafeWarriors worked hard preparing for a successful Holiday Breakfast on December 13th! The week after the breakfast, the group helped get the holiday Knock Out Pickles orders ready by labeling all the jars!

Stay Safe (Peer-Led!)

We had a special guest for Beef and Joe’s safety program last week. Elmwood Park Police Officer Steve Messina came in and went over safety tips and talked about being a cop. He demonstrated how to conduct a field sobriety test, went through other basic parts of the job, and answered questions. Thanks Steve!




Greenline Wheels

Greenline WheelsEach week, a different group of Warriors heads to Greenline Wheels in Oak Park for spin classes! “I like going to Greenline,” said Warrior Patrick Milburn. “I like going on the bike…I like to go fast. I like listening to Christmas music while I’m riding.”

Holidays Around the World (Peer-Led!)

Two weeks ago, we learned about Chinese New Year and made lanterns.Georgia earned the leadership away for her hard work at leading her peers. Last week, we learned about Kwanzaa and made a Kwanzaa mat known as a mkeka. Karina won the award for respect.

Yoga (Peer-Led!)

Yoga - Peer LedSarah led a 40 minute Hatha Yoga class part #2 via You Tube, concentrating on breathing, stretching and learning new yoga poses. Sarah did a nice job staying focused for both sessions. The awards went to Eliza and Patrick Milburn. The Warriors did a good job as a whole, but these two really worked hard! In Week #4, Sarah had a 20 minute yoga class focusing on breathing,stretching, and trying different yoga poses. Then she then read the book ” You Are A Lion and Other Yoga Poses” where each each page was about a different animal and a coordinating yoga pose. An example would be reading about cats and then having the Warriors practice the cat pose. Everyone seemed to enjoy this. Maddy Crane and Bill Canavan were both given awards.

Sign Language (Peer-Led!)

Billy and Maddy C have been teaching their friends some basic sign language words and phrases!




Men’s Club

Mens ClubWe’ve been bro-ing out in Men’s Club over the past couple weeks. The Warrior gentlemen spent one Friday learning the rules of billiards and facing off against each other at Circle Lanes in Forest Park. The following week, they competed in the Warrior BROlympics, which included events such as track races, floor hockey shootout, darts, pin the wristband on John Cena, thumb war competition, and fastest partners to set up a family dinner table. Congratulations to Nick Sawyer, the overall BROlympic winner! All these guys have done a great job encouraging each other in these friendly competitions and following the guidelines of the Warrior Gentlemen’s Code they made. “Men’s Club was awesome,” said Milburn. “BROlympics was fun and Billiards is my favorite. I love playing pool. I brought in my own pool stick. We had a lot of fun. We also learned how to be polite and give a nice, firm handshake. Hold the door open for everybody.”

Wellness Warriors

Warrior WellnessWe have been staying active in our Wellness Warriors program with activities such as a Wellness relay races and playing basketball. Last week, Midwestern Occupational Therapy students came and led an activity. We made Santa Grinch Fruit Kabobs with grapes, bananas, strawberries and marshmallows.

Creative Writing

For the past two weeks, we have been teaching the Warriors various writing styles. We taught them various styles of poetry, journal writing, and how to write fiction. Our last session we had Lyndsay Legel come in and teach our Warriors how to creatively write songs. So our songwriting session for creative writing was such a success. Lyndsay taught our Warriors how to write verses and a chorus. She then had the Warriors write ideas down for versus and a chorus about Opportunity Knocks. We all wrote a song about the organization and performed it before family dinner during our last session. It was fun! The Warriors had a blast and so did the staff! We used percussion Creative Writinginstruments while Lyndsay played the guitar. It was pretty awesome!

Breakfast for Dinner

The theme for cooking this session is “Breakfast for Dinner.” We’ve had delicious breakfast sandwiches, french toast, and bacon over the past two weeks!