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Summer Camp 2021: Seven Weeks of Fun and Community

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With fall programming underway, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston looks back at a successful summer camp led by creative, dedicated staff. 

This summer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB) completed a fun-filled seven weeks of summer camp at nine of our Clubs. After a year of diligently following health guidelines to ensure the safety of members and staff, this summer served as a celebration of returning to in-person programming while continuing to go above and beyond state safety protocols. 

Summer by the Numbers 

A total of 1,285 members were served and 159 teens were employed across Berkshire Partners Blue Hill Club, Charlestown Club, Edgerley Family South Boston Club, Franklin Hill Club, Gerald and Darlene Jordan Club, Mattapan Teen Center, Orchard Gardens Club, and Yawkey Club of Roxbury. These campers enjoyed a combination of in-person field trips, enrichment programming, and virtual activities. 

In addition to summer camp programming, Clubs continued to provide support to families at home. BGCB staff distributed 759 produce boxes and provided families with more than $19,000 in gift card aid, generously supplied by donors and community partners. 

Dedicated Community Partners 

Partnerships have always played an essential role in enabling BGCB staff to enhance the depth and breadth of our programs, and this summer was no different. Several of BGCB’s corporate and nonprofit partners employed many of the more than 150 teens who worked in paid positions this summer. Additionally, over 100 members received stipends for participating in summer leadership programs such as Young Leaders, Counselors-in-Training, and MLK Scholars. Read on to learn how our partners made this summer possible by offering programming in our key outcome areas. 

Signature Programming 

This summer, members were able to enjoy the activities and programming that they’d missed over the last year. Now able to play together, share equipment, and collaborate on more activities in BGCB’s key outcome areas: Academic & Life Success, Healthy Development, and Character & Community. 

Academic & Life Success 

Like any summer, BGCB staff created opportunities for members to garner the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue goals and interests—including interests they might not know they have yet. Members enjoyed activities covering STEM, literacy, music and arts, career readiness, and financial literacy. Members at Hennigan Club enjoyed STEM programming hosted by PlayWorks, in which they learned how to use a drone to see their neighborhood in an entirely new way. 

At Charlestown Club, staff led their own Olympics, encouraging members to learn about a new country while supporting and leading each other in physical, academic, and artistic challenges. Learn more below! 

Ready to Work (RTW), BGCB’s workforce development initiative, also had a great summer. 59 Fellows completed Ready to Work University, and 72 members and alumni found paid summer internships. RTW also piloted the Writing Institute, a summer writing program for middle school members in preparation for the debut of Ready to Work Academy, through which members will hone their goal setting, communication, presentation, and writing skills. 

“My internship was the best hands-on experience that I have ever had. Being able to put in my input, help plan events, and getting to know people in the office is a dream come true. They are all doing such great work and I’m glad that I had an opportunity to see what really goes on behind the scenes of such a great organization. I learned a lot about the office world that one day I will be working in. I want to help make a huge impact for my community.” – RTW Fellow 

Healthy Development 

BGCB aims to teach its members how to make and model healthy physical, social, and emotional choices at every age. Members enjoyed age-specific fitness and physical health programming, healthy meals and snacks, and had access to mental health resources from trusted staff. Additionally, members were able to learn how to swim and feel comfortable in the water at their own pace. 

To counter the effects of learning loss and isolation on our members’ mental health, Club social workers and staff offered social-emotional support and socialization opportunities for all members, many of whom hadn’t seen one another in nearly a year. In addition, YouthConnect helped 165 clients secure summer employment or training and provided over 300 therapy sessions. 

At Berkshire Partners Blue Hill Club, members received new sports equipment and frozen yogurt provided by Yasso and Good Sports, Inc. Home Depot built a vegetable and herb garden at Franklin Hill Club, which members and the surrounding community can enjoy. Bruins player Sean Kuraly visited Gerald and Darlene Jordan Club with The Lindy Infante Foundation, providing members with new equipment and a hockey clinic. Mattapan Teen Center members learned to kayak and paddleboard with L.L.Bean. 

Character & Community 

Our staff are committed to supporting members as they develop healthy relationships with peers and adults, while developing leadership skills and becoming role models in their communities.  

At Edgerley Family South Boston Club, members enjoyed a field day hosted by Gillette and Proctor & Gamble. Hale Reservation provided Junior Staff and teens at Orchard Gardens Club with team building activities, challenge courses, and life coaching. At Yawkey Club of Roxbury, BlackRock led teens through activities in money management, daily habits, and goal setting. 

“I loved the opportunity to learn so many new skills and was always encouraged and supported. I also loved getting to meet new people and getting to apply all that I learned.” – Club Member 

Stay in touch to learn more about how Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston’s one-of-a-kind staff are continuing to adapt to serve our members and families!