Brain Gain: B&G campers cap one busy summer

The Boys & Girls Club shares its final Brain Gain column for the summer.

Brain Gain

We wrapped up Summer Brain Gain with a bang and had 100 members join in the summer program. In addition to the hour-long project-based learning, they spent time in the Computer Lab participating in Stride Academy with 145 participants. Coupled with the enrichment activities found all throughout the club like Science Club and Robotics Club, Stick Bending and Garden Club, we are certain that our programs and field trips provide that much needed summer stimulation and will prevent summer learning loss for those participants.

We are anxious to see the return of many members to the club after school. We anticipate nearly 400 kids a day. We will continue our academic enrichment program with a plan to offer “Power Hour,” our homework assistance program to all members. The members will break into grade-level rooms and receive support from club staff and volunteers to complete their homework assignments. If you have any interest in volunteering one day a week, contact Dave Miller at 683-8095 or

Morning Camp

The wrap-up week was a chance for the morning campers to repeat some of their favorite stops on their around the world trip. The week consisted of lots of celebrating, they burst open a piñata with toys and candy, got to watch a movie in the teen room and the week culminated with a trip to a different country. Fifteen members went to Victoria, B.C., and hit some of the iconic places. They made a stop at the Royal BC museum and walked the Gold Rush exhibit, the members visited the Parliament building and the government of Canada, they had a brief stop at the Empress and dined at the Old Spaghetti Factory.Summer lunches

Ten sites for 10 weeks — it was no small feat. Children need healthy food all year long. During the school year, many children receive free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch but during the summer these children are at risk of hunger. Hunger is one of the most severe roadblocks to the learning process. Lack of nutrition could set up a cycle for poor performance and with the onset of school, children would be more prone to illness and other health issues.

The wonderful kitchen staff at the club was able to increase what we already were making and serving to our members and included remote sites. By leveraging our wonderful community partners, we used a volunteer model to transport and serve the sack lunches at the remote sites.

The volunteer support from service groups, the faith-based community and businesses afforded the program success by significantly decreasing the staffing and compensation requirements to run a summer food program of this size.

What a week

All week kids were scooting out of the building on field trips, making the most of their last week of summer. Our KinderKids visited Carrie Blake Park and the Dungeness Spit, while the grade-school members were off to Victoria, B.C., and Chief Chetzemoka park in Port Townsend.

Our teens finished it off with a splash, their last hurrah out at Lake Crescent. The weather was very cooperative this summer, allowing them to get lots of swim time in the glacial lake. The jumping from the dock, rowing and lounging on the beach made the time pass far too quickly for their liking.

Several members continued to sort school supplies for the Back To School Fair on Saturday. The amount of school supplies collected from the community was astounding. The fair saw 800 attendees and gave out supplies to over 400 children. Thank you to all those who supported the fair and set the young students up for a successful school year.

The kids were invited by Olympic National Park to its greenhouse where staff harvests seeds, plants seedlings and grows plants. They were filming a documentary and the kids were able to go through some of the steps with the park officials and it all was captured by the film crew.