Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General Questions
What is the Brigade?
When is your office open?
Do you offer rentals at the Brigade building or Onaway Island?
Do you offer day care during the summer?

Building Leaders Program
What programs do you offer during the school year?
Are you related to the Boys and Girls Club?
What volunteer opportunities do you have?
How can my child sign up for hobby clubs?
Who should I contact if I want to discuss the program that my child is in?
Do you offer financial assistance?
Do I need to register if I want to sign up as a co-leader?

Onaway
What camps are offered at Onaway Island?
When can I register my child for camp?
Where do I send my camp registration and paperwork?
What is the address to mail letters to camp?
How do I find out what tribe my child is in?
Do you offer financial assistance?

Wreath Sale
How does the fundraiser work?
When can I pick up my child’s wreath packet?
Where is the warehouse located?

Christmas Giving Program
What is the Christmas Giving program?
How do I sign up to receive assistance?
Who do I contact if I have a specific question about the program?
How do I adopt a family?
How do I get involved as a volunteer?


General Questions

What is the Brigade?
The Brigade is a youth development organization for 5th-12th graders. During the months of October-April, Brigade offers the Building Leaders program at their building in Neenah. During the summer, Brigade hosts camps at Onaway Island on the Chain O’Lakes in Waupaca.

When is your office open?
The Brigade office is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. The office is closed on New Year's Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Do you offer rentals at the Brigade building or Onaway Island?
The Brigade does have rooms available for rent in the Neenah facility. Availability is dependent on Brigade programming and other rentals. Contact Tammy at tcoenen@bgbrigade.com or 920-725-3983 to learn more about availability and rental rates. All rentals are required to sign a contract.

Onaway Island does have extremely limited availability for rentals. Availability is dependent on Onaway camp programming and other rentals. Contact Laura at lkemps@bgbrigade.com or 920-725-3983 to learn more about availability and rental rates. All rentals are required to sign a contract and provide a certificate of insurance.

Do you offer day care during the summer?
The Brigade does not offer any day care services in Neenah during the summer. The Neenah Park and Rec department uses our building for their Operation Recreation program for grades K-6. All information and registration is available through Park and Rec.


Building Leaders Program

What programs do you offer during the school year?
The Building Leaders program typically meets October-April each year. Youth attend on nights specific to their grade. Brigaders who cannot make their scheduled night are welcome to come on another night - contact the Brigade office to learn more. Brigaders are placed in groups of 10-15 and experience a number of different physical activities, workshops, guest speakers, small group discussions and more! Our structured program allows youth to explore new ideas, develop new relationships with peers and adult mentors, and challenge themselves to achieve their goals and dreams.

Mondays 6:30-8:30pm – 5th & 6th Grade
Tuesdays 7-9pm – 8th Grade & Company E (for all grade levels)
Wednesdays 7-9pm – 9th & 10th Grade
Thursdays 6:30-8:30pm – 6th & 7th Grade
11th & 12th Grade - Co-lead program on their chosen night

Are you related to the Boys and Girls Club?
We are not affiliated with the Boys and Girls Club nor do we report to an overseeing organization. We do collaborate with many local youth organizations including the Boys and Girls Club, YouthGo, Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha, and more.

What volunteer opportunities do you have?
We have a wide variety of volunteer needs and can find something for you based on your knowledge or skills. All leaders must complete and pass a background check. If you have a skill that you would be willing to share, please let us know!
• Group Leaders (weekly commitment October to early April) – Oversee a group of 8-10 Brigaders while mentoring an 11th or 12th grade co-leader as they put leadership skills into practice with a small group of their younger peers. Group leader's primary role is to get to know and build a positive relationship with the Brigaders in your group as they go through the different activities and workshops offered.
• Workshop Leaders (8-10 night commitment October to early April) - Guide youth in a variety of hands-on workshops including woodworking, metalworking, stained glass, ceramics, beading, scrapbooking, leathercrafting, cooking and more. We are always looking for new ideas!
• Physical Activity Leaders (flexible to weekly commitment October to early April) - Guide youth in a variety of energetic activities including riflery, archery, climbing wall, gym, and more.
• Office Leaders (flexible to weekly commitment October to early April) - Help is needed weeknights in the office answering phones, providing customer service, and performing light paperwork and projects.
• Hobby Club Leaders (flexible according to leader availability) - An opportunity for Brigaders to learn higher level skills over the course of the Brigade year. Clubs typically meet weekly. A few current examples include welding, woodworking, small engine repair, model railroad, rifle, and archery.

How can my child sign up for hobby clubs?
Hobby clubs open to Brigaders the second week of the Building Leaders program. Brigaders should plan on attending the first meeting and will register then. Non Brigaders may join hobby clubs on the following week if space is still available. If your child wishes to join a hobby club after the first week that it meets, please contact the Brigade office to ensure there is still space.

Who should I contact if I want to discuss the program that my child is in?
Each program is led by a staff member. If you have questions about your child’s program or group, please contact the staff program leader. The staff program leader assignments for 2016-2017 are as follows:
6th Grade Boys – Eric Neumeyer
6th Grade Girls – Marnie Spielbauer
7th Grade Boys – Keith McCray
7th Grade Girls – Carrie Walkup
8th Grade Boys – Keith McCray
8th Grade Girls – Marnie Spielbauer
9th & 10th Grade Girls & Boys – Eric Neumeyer
Company E Section (all grade levels) – Keith McCray

Do you offer financial assistance?
We do offer assistance for families who have financial need. A scholarship application must be picked up from the Brigade office and returned with a registration form. The scholarship committee usually reviews applications within a week and sends a letter with the amount Brigade is able to fund. Brigade does not offer full scholarships unless there are extraordinary circumstances; families are expected to pay a portion of the fee. Families are welcome to contact the Brigade office if they need to set up a payment plan.

Do I need to register if I want to be a co-leader?
YES! 11th and 12th graders must register as Brigade participants to be co-leaders on their chosen night. 11th and 12th graders are considered members of Brigade receiving leadership training and guidance. Co-leading does not count as community service hours.


Onaway

What camps are offered at Onaway Island?
Camp Onaway currently hosts four girls camps, three boys camps, Onaway Adventure Camp (OAC), and Leadership Training Conference (LTC). We also offer a Boys' Anchor Camp and a Girls' Anchor Camp for youth who have just completed 5th grade. In addition, several day camps are available for youth who have just completed 4th or 5th grade. To learn more about each camp, click on the appropriate tab above under “Onaway Island.”

When can I register my child for camp?
Registration for summer camps open the first week in January. You can register online at bgbrigade.com or stop by the Brigade office to pick up a registration form. Camps fill quickly, so we recommend you register early!

Where do I send my camp registration and paperwork?
All registration and paperwork should be mailed to the Brigade office:
109 W Columbian Ave
Neenah, WI 54956

What is the address to mail letters to camp?
Letters to your child should be addressed as following and sent at least 3 days before the end of camp:
Child’s Name
Camp Onaway
E1703 Pine Ridge Lane
Waupaca, WI 54981

Please note, packages cannot be delivered to your child. Our mailbox at the boat landing is not large enough to accommodate packages and the USPS does not leave them. Letters that arrive after the end of camp will be forwarded to the camper’s home address.

How do I find out what tribe my child is in?
Tribes for each camp are posted on the Brigade website on the Friday the week before your child’s camp leaves. Visit www.bgbrigade.com/camp-onaway-schedule to view them.

Do you offer financial assistance?
We do offer assistance for families who have financial need. A scholarship application must be picked up from the Brigade office and returned with a registration form. The scholarship committee usually reviews applications within a week and sends a letter with the amount Brigade is able to fund. Brigade does not offer full scholarships; families are expected to pay a portion of the fee. Families are welcome to contact the Brigade office if they need to set up a payment plan.


Wreath Sale

How does the fundraiser work?
In mid-October, Brigaders will receive a packet of information about the wreath sale. Please look through it carefully, as it contains important information. Each year we order wreaths based on the previous year’s sales. Brigaders collect orders for wreaths and then can begin filling their orders by picking up wreaths at the warehouse starting the second Saturday in November. Brigaders can then deliver their wreaths and collect payment upon delivery. The money must then be returned to the warehouse by the last Saturday that the warehouse is open in order to receive commission. Do not turn in any money at the Brigade office.

When can I pick up my child’s wreath packet?
Packets can be picked up starting at 7pm on the third Monday of the Building Leaders program. We are not able to distribute any packets before then.

Where is the warehouse located?
The warehouse is located at 715 Fairwood Drive in Neenah. The warehouse opens the second Saturday in November and the hours are Mondays-Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving Day and the Wednesday before Thanksgiving)


Christmas Giving Program

What is the Christmas Giving program?
The Christmas Giving program serves financially disadvantaged families in the cities and townships of Neenah and Menasha by providing clothing and gifts so they may experience a memorable Christmas. Families are referred to the Christmas Giving program by health and human service departments, schools, churches, and other youth organizations. Families can “adopt” a family or child in need and purchase gifts and clothing from the children’s wish lists. Each family’s information is kept confidential during the adoption process. We also have a list of items needed for un-adopted families at bgbrigade.com/christmas-giving. Gifts are then delivered to the families a few days before Christmas.

How do I sign up to receive assistance?
Families who need assistance must get a referral card from their child’s school, church, health and human service department, or a youth organization that their child participates in. Those cards are then due back to the Brigade by the second Friday in November.

Who do I contact if I have a specific question about the program?
Contact the Christmas Giving office at 920-725-3211 or christmas@bgbrigade.com. Please note, the Christmas Giving employees work limited hours in October but they will respond to your inquiry as soon as they are able.

How do I adopt a family?
Contact the Christmas Giving office at 920-725-3211 or christmas@bgbrigade.com beginning in mid-October.

How do I get involved as a volunteer?
Volunteer opportunities are posted on the Brigade website in October. Sign up by contacting the Christmas Giving office at 920-725-3211 or christmas@bgbrigade.com.