More than 2,300 youth across Boston and Chelsea were able to attend innovative summer camps at an affordable price this year.
Summer of 2019 is over, but the impact of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston’s network of summer camps will continue on into the school year and beyond. More than 2,300 youth across Boston and Chelsea were able to attend innovative summer camps at an affordable price this year.
Not Your Typical Summer Camp
A typical day at BGCB camp was probably different than what you’re imagining. While our campers enjoy traditional camp activities like swimming, arts & crafts, and athletic competitions, they are also exposed to programs that teach valuable life skills and prepare them for the upcoming school years.
Across all 11 locations in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston network, campers have taken on challenges and activities that develop the three core outcome areas that make up BGCB programming.
Academic & Life Success
Campers enjoyed creative programs focused on academic subjects for several hours every day with the intent to ensure they retain material learned throughout the previous school year and also position themselves for success in the upcoming year.
One example of an innovative math-focused program involved tasking campers to devise a strategy for running a classroom of 20 students with a $1,000 budget to allocate for different kinds of school supplies. This project promoted cooperative group work, problem solving, and the use of the four core math operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
There were also programs geared toward teens who are preparing to enter the workforce, emphasizing professional skills, public speaking, and financial literacy. Some teens received internship opportunities through BGCB’s Youth Jobs Initiative at companies located across the greater Boston area.
Healthy lifestyle building was another key area of focus, with campers enjoying a variety of programs that approach the topic from many different angles.
Diet & Meal Preparation
Some Clubs were able to visit the rooftop garden at Boston Medical Center and learn all about healthy eating habits and the importance of making healthy dishes. Other Clubs benefited from hands-on food prep classes in partnership with organizations like Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and Green City Growers.
Physical Fitness & Exercise
Exercise was a part of daily life for campers this summer, with Clubs incorporating physical activity into daily schedules through athletic competitions, aquatics instruction, and workouts that included squats and sit-ups. Some Clubs were also able to participate in the Red Sox Play Campaign, and travel to Fenway Park for a day of on-field fitness drills and healthy lifestyle tips. Beyond the activities, BGCB staff also emphasized the importance of making exercise into habit that can be maintained through the course of campers’ lives.
Mental Health & Well-Being
Staff and campers also focused on mental health and well-being this summer. Among the list of programming focused on this topic were workshops offered by StrongHER designed to expand girls’ understanding of the complex and powerful relationship between mental toughness and self-confidence, and their essential role in overcoming challenges throughout the adolescent life and adulthood.
Character & Community
Campers were given opportunities to volunteer and develop leadership skills within the communities of Boston and Chelsea throughout the summer. One of the main vehicles for this type of programming was the Young Leaders programs that took place across clubs.
BGCB’s Young Leaders work through a curriculum of activities and workshops focused on personal development, current events, and service projects. As a major part of the program, Young Leaders across Clubs focused on being role models for younger Club members. Additionally, Young Leaders members took a variety of field trips, including a camping trip and hike up Mt. Monadnock.
Curious to learn more about programs at BGCB? Check out What We Do!
The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston is to help young people, especially those who need us most, build strong character and realize their full potential as responsible citizens and leaders. We do this by providing a safe haven filled with hope and opportunity, ongoing relationships with caring adults, and life-enhancing programs.