Boys and Girls Club: Giv­ing youth a brighter fu­ture

Seaway News - - NEWS - Adam Brazeau

CORN­WALL, On­tario – Pro­vid­ing role mod­els for hun­dreds of lo­cal youth in a safe place is all in a day’s work at the Boys and Girls Club (BGC) of Corn­wall/SDG.

At their 506 Club­house (on First Street East) staff, board mem­bers and vol­un­teers wel­comed dozens of guests on Nov. 21. It was a chance to show­case their ser­vices and thank the com­mu­nity for in­cred­i­ble sup­port.

“We served 1,552 kids this year. That’s a growth of al­most 300 per cent in the last four years,” said Jac­quie Richards, BGC ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

A va­ri­ety of af­ter school pro­grams pro­vide kids and teens with home­work help, health and well­ness tips, phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties, healthy snacks and the chance to make new friends.

They op­er­ate pro­grams out of four dif­fer­ent schools, and run eight sum­mer camps through­out Corn­wall and the coun­ties.

The BGC teen pro­gram of­fered at the First Street club­house has a spe­cial lounge ( teens only) with com­put­ers, In­ter­net ac­cess, mu­sic and games. Plus its mem­bers have trip op­por­tu­ni­ties, ac­cess to guest speak­ers and are in­vited to var­i­ous dance events.

“I usu­ally come to have fun with a bunch of friends, for vol­un­teer hours and play games,” said Court­ney Seguin, 14.

She spends nearly ev­ery day at the 506 Club­house as a mem­ber of the teen pro­gram. Seguin also acts as a youth vol­un­teer at BGC for kids in be­tween grades one and six.

Cole Mont­petit, 14, another teen pro­gram mem­ber and youth vol­un­teer loves go­ing there to talk with peers, play pool and reach out to an even younger gen­er­a­tion.

“It’s re­ally fun be­ing at the club­house and vol­un­teer­ing feels great,” he said.

Richards said the teen pro­gram (ages 13 to 18) re­flects what the teens of the com­mu­nity ac­tu­ally want. The cur­rent de­mand is for more phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties. A long­board­ing pro­gram was in­tro­duced in the sum­mer with great re­sults. And weekly train­ing tips from Corn­wall’s Cave­man Strong have also given teens a healthy dose of fun.

“They make the choice to come and some­times vol­un­teer their hours,” she said.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www. bgc­corn­wallsdg.com.

Adam Brazeau

The Boys and Girls Club (BGC) of Corn­wall/SDG have grown over the last four years in a ma­jor way. Pic­tured (left): Jac­quie Richards, Boys and Girls Club (BGC) ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Court­ney Seguin, 14, BGC youth vol­un­teer, Sherry Cor­den Fair­weather, BGC chair, and Cole Mont­petit, 14, youth vol­un­teer.

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