Days after summer camp guidance was released and programs were given the green light to operate by the Oregon Health Authority, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend (BGCB) announced that it would reopen on June 15. This opening is one week earlier than planned, for a total of an 11-week summer program, ending on August 28.
“Our leadership team and board have spent countless hours working toward reopening safely and are so excited to welcome our members back to the Club this summer,” shared Juliana Williams, executive director. “We are committed to doing whatever it takes to adapt and innovate so that we can create a safe and fun summer experience for our youth.”
Between now and their opening, BGCB will be busy with preparations, which include securing equipment and supplies necessary to improve physical distancing and sanitization, developing enhanced safety and prevention protocols, reconfiguring physical space and rehiring and training staff. All operations will align with the Oregon Health Authority Guidelines for Summer Camps.
The organization conducted registration in early March before school closures and stay at home orders were announced. Due to the reduced group sizes and limited capacity, the program is already full with a waitlist. They will be reaching out to families who are already signed up to complete additional registration steps starting May 26. Unfortunately, due to capacity constraints under the new requirements, BGCB will only be able to serve 80-100 youth this summer and not all youth who registered previously will have a spot.
“We know that closures have not impacted all of us equally,” Williams commented. “Through our parent survey, we learned that many of our parents have lost their jobs, some aren’t eligible for unemployment, and some have lost their homes. Others are essential workers and can’t get enough hours at work because they don’t have a safe place for their kids. We aim to change that for as many families as possible this summer.”
BGCB programming this summer will focus on providing social, emotional, and academic support to youth who have been isolated and remote learning for the past several months. It will incorporate high-yield learning activities and social engagement within stable groups to provide the most fun and safe experience possible.
Due to the required protocols, the summer program will cost the organization nearly double per child served than the previous summer. Despite this financial burden, BGCB is committed to serving those who need them most during this difficult time.
Want to join them in doing whatever it takes to help youth? Visit bgcbend.org/get-involved/donate-now to make a contribution to their scholarship fund so that youth can access the program, regardless of ability to pay. For more information, contact Juliana Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org