Every day after school and over the summer, kids in our community have a safe, positive place to go, a place where they feel welcome and have a sense of belonging: their local Boys & Girls Club. On average, a membership to the Boys & Girls Clubs costs just $18 a year, and if a family can’t afford that, we provide scholarships. Fees for other programming and summer camps vary, and scholarship opportunities may also be available for kids in need. At the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, it is our goal to put a membership card in the hand of every child and teen who wants one.
Boys & Girls Clubs has dozens of locations in King, Pierce, Kitsap, Snohomish and Thurston counties, and each one provides guidance-oriented character development programs on a daily basis for children 6-18 years old. Each boasts full-time, professional staff and an array of programming that emphasizes leadership development, education and career exploration, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and above all... fun.
Studies show the most dangerous times of day for kids are the hours immediately after school, from 3 to 8 p.m. These are the hours during which juvenile crime triples, because children and teens are most likely to be left unsupervised. During the school year, our clubs serve more than 30,000 kids during these high-risk hours, giving them a structured environment, caring mentors, homework assistance, athletic leagues, computer labs and much more.
Kids may walk through our doors for the fun we offer, but our caring staff does far more than entertain these youngsters. Staffers are trained to create a learning scenario out of every game, to nurture self-esteem in every exchange with a child, and to boost the confidence that can be so fleeting in adolescence. The relationships they build with kids as they mentor and connect with them is one of the greatest things our clubs offer. It is often that relationship that helps a child feel valued by adults, that makes the difference between graduating and dropping out, and that helps a teen steer clear of bad choices such as drugs and alcohol.
During the summer, our clubs organize a five-star line-up of summer camps, day trips and excursions for kids and teens alike. Boys & Girls Club camps pair high-yield learning activities with unique themes and experiences that appeal to youth and keep them engaged and delighted to be there. The Jedi Training Camp, offered by the Redmond/Sammamish Boys & Girls Club, is one example of how we keep kids active and involved through the summer months. In it, young groups of aspiring Jedi campers make costumes, play trivia and Star Wars memory games and conquer obstacle courses while carrying Yoda replica dolls. Each child is knighted in a celebration at the end of the camp.
Boys & Girls Clubs have served our region’s children and families for more than 60 years. We’re fortunate to have wonderful community support and generous donations that allow our clubs and staff to have an impact on the lives of children each day. For more information about our programs or to support our mission by making a donation, please visit www.positiveplace.org or call 206-436-1800.