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Girls “Kick It” at BLS


On January 10th, BLS girls had an awesome time Kickin’ It at the all-girl Focus Group in preparation of the February 7th workshop!

Register for the workshop by following THIS LINK or call Ms. Ariel at 410-263-0050


After a good warm up (including 20 push ups!), we split into teams for an obstacle course and a game of dodgeball. Then we circled up for a discussion of how girls fit into the martial arts world.

The girls had awesome input about their feelings of being a female martial artist, what BLS could do to be more appealing to girls, and how they feel about martial arts in general!


This focus group was designed to introduce BLS girls together and gauge their interest in an on-going all-female program, Kick It! 
They love the idea! The girls are very enthusiastic and eager to hand out invitations for the Kick It Workshop!

During Kick It at Balanced Life Skills, girls will have an opportunity to develop and strengthen  friendships, and they will have a safe space to lay the groundwork for positive self-esteem and how to identify exceptional role models.


Of course, this workshop will be equally as full of fun, laughter, games, and martial arts — you know, girl stuff! Ms. Jen and Ms. Ariel are really looking forward to seeing all the BLS girls, ages 7-12, on February 7th for the workshop, along with a few of their friends! 
Click the image below to print it out!
Kick It WKSHP invite

Holiday Gift Card Collection — Crunch Time!

Very recently, Balanced Life Skills has been contacted by two local Anne Arundel County Schools to support SIXTY homeless students this holiday season. BLS is proud to be recognized by local schools as a community of students and families that give & serve!

$40 in gift cards per student in the next TWO WEEKS.
Due Date: Monday, December 16th by 5:00 pm


Purchase an extra $5, 10, 15, 20, or 25 gift card the next time you’re out getting gas, grocery shopping, or picking up presents from the following places:

Visa Gift Cards
American Express Gift Cards
Westfield Annapolis Mall Gift Cards
Various Teenage Clothing Department Stores


The schools have presented us with a large task and a short amount of time, but it’s The Balanced Life Skills Way to accept a challenge by asking, “what’s great about this?”

We can practice time management, the spirit of giving, and change the holiday for a teen in need by contributing to Balanced Life Skills’ 2013 Gift Card Collection


Suicide Awareness Activities in Annapolis Area

out of darknessStarting Saturday September 7 and for the next week across the country thousands of individuals will be taking part in Out of the Darkness walks and other activities to bring attention to the mental health issues of suicide.  Suicide has been a very difficult subject to talk about, but those times are changing.  In our country in 2010 (latest reports available) suicide has moved to the 10th leading cause of death of Americans.  While the numbers decreased from 1990 – 2000, since that time they have been on a very sharp rise.  With the latest figures we know that every 13.7 minutes someone in our country completes suicide.

The events that shock us the most is when they are deaths of young people and adolescents in the age range of 15 to 24.  But the data shows the highest rate of suicide is males in the age group of 45 -64.  Since getting data is very difficult, I find the attempts of suicide is even more troubling.

In 2010 the reports show that for every completed suicide (38,000 in 2010) there are 12 events where individuals performed some sort of self harm that required a visit to the hospital.  Even more shocking is that while males were 4 times more likely to die by suicide, females attempted suicide 3 times more often than males.

Out of the darknessThe education work, willingness to talk about the subject and bringing awareness to the community is something that all of us can do.  We must educate our young people and those that are in contact with them on a daily basis.  We must take the stigma away from asking what seem to be difficult questions – that when asked may save a life.

Our Balanced Life Skills Team has done well in raising money for the cause, and next week you will have an opportunity to Dine Out to Save A Life.  Three restaurants locally are participating, and our hope is that next year even more will participate.  Killarney House in Davidsonville, Galway Bay in downtown Annapolis, and Brian Boru in Severna Park are all offering a special menu for $25, of which $10 will be contributed to the Youth Suicide Awareness group here in Anne Arundel County.  The money collected will be used in education and in grants to high schools to create their own programs of awareness for their students.

At this point though I would like to invite you to join me at City Dock prior to 11:30 AM just to walk.  No other request.  Become aware of the issue.  Ask questions.  This fall consider learning more at a QPR training at Balanced Life Skills.

You never know when your knowledge may Save A Life.


The Character of Leadership

Brady - ZoeOur conversation this month on Leadership started with asking the students, What is a leader? There were many comments, but all ended that the person had to be honest and “nice” to others. Obviously a leader has to be someone that others want to follow, but why? Why are people willing to follow another person? People are willing to follow others if the leader has a vision or a goal and then is able to make good choices and set a great example.

Leaders have a very strong vision, yet they are willing to listen to the ideas of others, to be fair with others. Their character and values are very high. They are not in their position because they are bossy, but rather because they know how to listen and implement good ideas from others. Everyone’s ideas are important.

Most importantly and the Balanced Life Skills Way, is for leaders to ask, “How can I help you?”. When they can ask that question and then perform by doing something for them, they are in a position to inspire others to action.

One BLS Student this past week collected 4 bags and boxes of shoes for our BLS Shoe Drive this fall. They did it with leadership and the strong desire to help others. Our students are all learning to be compassionate, have awareness and respect for others.  If you want to help here is a flier you can use to collect from your neighborhood.

Shoe Drive Neighborhood Flier


Rubber Duck Fun Race for a great cause – fighting hunger in Anne Arundel County

Quacks for Packs Flyer April 2013The Rotary Club of South Anne Arundel County is sponsoring Quacks for Backpacks on Sunday May 19th from 12:00-3:00 at Camp Letts – 4009 Camp Letts Rd. Edgewater, MD 21037.

100% of the proceeds will benefit the Bountiful Backpack Program, sponsored by South County Rotary. Hunger in Anne Arundel County is unfortunately a grim reality for many area children. Nutritious meals are available at school; however weekends are not covered. In an effort to sustain these children, South County Rotary launched the Bountiful Backpack Program as part of its hunger initiative. The backpacks are filled with a weekend supply of nourishing food for children to take home each Friday. The packs are returned on Monday and re-filled by club members and volunteers for the next weekend. Continue reading