School’s out, we’re in

We have had a great start to the summer! The first full week in the Sequim Boys & Club found us hopping with kids. We had well over 100 children attending morning camp.

The children set off on a field trip to Shane Park and Feiro Marine Life Center where they had hands on sea life. They spent the week learning about the creatures of the deep and doing crafts. This time they got to touch and feel some of the marine life in our waters. In order to not overwhelm the center with 70 club attendees, we took them in two groups, and the members loved the extra time playing at Port Angeles’ beloved park.

Our teens were rewarded for the completion of Career Launch. This program encourages club members ages 13-18 to assess their skills and interests, explore careers, make sound educational decisions and prepare to join our nation’s work force. Club staff help teens build their job-search skills and job readiness by working with teens individually and in small groups. With the help of Boys & Girls Clubs of America Facilitator Guide we successfully completed the program and took all the teens that participated on a fun trip to Trampoline Nation and Chuck E. Cheese’s.

Junior Rangers

It’s always the first expedition of the year: a nice, flat, easy stroll along the lake and not too far away. Our Junior Rangers did the four mile hike on the Spruce Railroad Trail that wraps around Lake Crescent. The kids and staff were educated on the history of this beautiful trail by the park rangers.

The trailhead found in an old orchard meanders along the 9-mile lake. Members were fascinated to learn it was originally a railroad installed during World War I to transport timber, for our country to build our fighter planes from the abundance of Sitka spruce on the Olympic Peninsula. By the time the railroad was finished the war was over and when the track was no longer needed. It was renovated to the present day trail, leaving us a scenic hike with an intriguing story.

The kids enjoyed lunch in a cave like true rangers, and are overly excited for next week’s adventure.

Positive action

This summer unit director Dave Miller leads his members though a popular year-round program, Positive Action. This program is offered twice a week on both Tuesdays and Thursdays and lasts 30 minutes. The sessions are centered on changing self-concept. It works by teaching and reinforcing the intuitive philosophy that you feel good about yourself when you do positive actions.

The first sessions focused on T.A.F. Circle (thoughts, action, feelings). It all starts with thoughts; if you are negative then outcomes will likely be negative, so there needs to be a switch with one’s own thoughts. A positive thought creates positive actions, which makes one feel positive and happy. The lesson teaches youths how to deal with bullies and not let them be affect by them by changing the way the think, act and feel. We are certain that with each passing week participants will be more and more resilient.

Morning Camp

It’s “Up Up and Away” this week and the campers soared straight up to the sky and examine how things fly. The morning included lessons about climate, clouds and rain, as well as air and the effects of pollution. Activities tested their engineering skills with a paper airplane making contest.

The kids spent a day doing hot air balloon art, watched the popular animated movie “Up” and got to experience a hot air balloon. Captain Crystal from Dream Catcher Balloon brought out a hot air balloon. It laid on its side, filled with air and the kids were able to run and play in it.

The club closed for the Fourth of July but the fireworks in the sky fit right in the theme. The campers resumed Friday with a trip to Port Townsend’s Aero Museum. The museum located at the airport has about 30 antique and classic airplanes and gliders. The museum prides itself on the youth mentoring program and we hope to expose some new kiddos to the world of aviation.

School’s out, we’re in