Boys and Girls Club concludes power-packed summer program

For eight weeks this summer, at least 120 youth arrived daily at the Boys & Girls Club for a hot breakfast to start the day in the most structured and diverse summer program in the Club’s history.

The theme this summer was “Body, Mind and Soul,” explained Patrick Creed, Youth Director. Members were taught healthy lifestyles, participated in workshops for specialized skill building, and enjoyed a variety of sports and outdoor activities such as swimming, rock climbing and kayaking.  Much of the program was geared to prevention of summer learning loss to ensure honor roll achievement in the coming school year.

Ulysess Turner, Teen Director, said he was most proud of the community service his teens accomplished this year. “With help from Habitat for Humanity, several building projects were carried out for local churches which will last for years. The teens also visited the local elderly and helped some families in need.”

It was not all work this summer. Sixteen field trips were offered including to the Virginia Aquarium, Agecroft Hall, Tangier Island, Belle Isle State Park, University of Richmond, and several museums.

When asked why this year’s program has been so successful, Mr. Creed responded “It’s due in large part to our partners and volunteers. We are blessed to be in this community”.  Partnering with the Club and  EYPC (Empowering Youth for Positive Change), were Habitat for Humanity, Interfaith, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Bayshore Baptist Church, Rappahannock Area Office on Youth and the Lancaster Juvenile Probation Office.

Margaret Cobb, Director of Education, described the volunteers as the ‘’heart and soul of the club.” Thelma McMillan, Zina Fallin, Suzanne Gallagher, Jeff Rosenfeld, Direthia Thornton, Margaret Webster, Muffin Fitzpatrick, Barbara Sherupski and Sukey Starkey all devoted hours to ensure the success of this summer’s program.  One volunteer, a Northumberland High School student, did not miss a day. AJ (Alonza) Sutton gave up many personal opportunities to serve his community this summer.

School, and the Club’s after-school program, begin September 2nd.  “Please consider becoming a volunteer as a mentor, tutor, or leader of special projects,” urges Executive Director Phillip Mumford.  “Your support will provide the youth of the Northern Neck invaluable experiences they may not have without you.” For further information, please call 804-435-9696 or stop by the Club at 517 N. Main Street, Kilmarnock.

Photo: Taking a break while shed building at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church.  From left:  Marcus Keeve, John Hermann, Richard Walters, and Jonte’ Savoy.