Last summer, the Boys and Girls Club of Carbon County started its summer program. For five days a week for four hours per day, activities were available for the club’s teen members. The members were able to take advantage of a summer reading program, monthly swimming outings, community service opportunities and weekly field trips to the surrounding areas.
Now, the club fears a summer program may not be possible for the upcoming months due to lack of funds.
“We do have minimal funding but we wouldn’t be able to do the type of stuff we did last year,” said Boys and Girls Club of Carbon County Director Josie Luke. When Luke explained to club members the possibility that activities might have to be reduced or discontinued, upset was obvious between the members. “It wasn’t just a disappointment, they were upset. They feel like it is important to them and if someone were to take it away from them, they would be upset.”
One 15-year-old from Carbon High has been attending the local club for nearly four years and has enjoyed the program from its small start at a local school to its transition to the club’s new location in Price. He has taken part in various activities throughout the years, including the summer program last year.
“Club advertises that it’s a safe place after school and I think that’s one of the main reasons I would like to come here during the summer,” he shared. When asked how he would feel if the club had to close for the summer, he said, “I wouldn’t like it. I would be sad. Club has started to become a big family. I’m close to everybody here. If we didn’t have that, if we had to go through the whole summer, we would be going without our family.”
While the Boys and Girls Club provides a safe haven for children throughout the summer, it also aims to give the teens a level of productivity through its summer program.
“There are organizations in the country who can provide a nice place for kids to come and “hang out” during the summer,” Luke explained. “The difference in those programs and the program we propose is that our club is more than a babysitting service. The Boys & Girls Club is a youth-development organization whose purpose and mission is to enable those young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. As an organization, we take that mission seriously, ensuring that when a child comes to our club they receive the best we can give them.”
In addition to fun outings, members of the club also participate in service projects throughout the summer, such as working in the community garden at the Carbon County Food Bank. Members also take time out of the summer for academics.
“The kids who come here are still getting that academic enrichment during the summer,” Luke stated. “At the Boys and Girls Club, our programs are targeted to enable our vision for young people to reach their full potential. We utilize the BGCA Formula For Impact, which is designed to use high-yield activities, targeted programs and regular attendance to produce positive outcomes related to academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.”
In order to keep these practices in place in Carbon County, the club is always in need of donations. While the local club greatly appreciates monetary donations, donations of all kinds are accepted.
“We certainly are always in need of monetary donations because as much as we would like to run this place without that, you literally can’t,” Luke explained. “We are a nonprofit, not funded by the county or any one person. But at the same time, volunteers and materials are extremely valuable to us as well.”
For more information about the Boys and Girls Club of Carbon County or to donate, please call (435) 637-6066.