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Boys & Girls Club to debut Aug. 30

CJ McManus and Mallery Dunn of Castle Country Radio stand with McKell Warburton, center, from the Boys and Girls Club of Carbon County, during a fundraising event held at Cold Stone Creamery on Thursday.

Sun Advocate reporter

With the school year about to start, Carbon County teens will be getting back into the school mode of doing homework, reading textbooks and giving presentations. Activities including sports and clubs at the schools will be taking up the extra time of some students after the school day ends.

But for teens in the county who need something to do or somewhere to go after school, there is now another option available to them.

The Carbon County Boys and Girls Club will be opening its doors on August 30, according to McKell Warburton, executive director with the Boys and Girls Club of Carbon County. With no past history in the county, the club will be making its debut as a place for teens 13-18, or teens in grades 7-12 that live in the Carbon County area, to go when the school day ends. The club will be housed at Mont Harmon Junior High with the hours of operation including Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The club is defined as a place where kids can learn new skills, meet new friends and gain knowledge to assist them in the future. The club has four key characteristics that help define it and are critical in having a positive impact on the life of a child. They include having a dedicated youth facility, being open daily, having a professional staff and being available and affordable to all youth.

The goal of the club is to inspire and enable young people, especially those who may need it to become productive citizens in society, Warburton said.

"We focus on the whole child, every need and aspect of their life," said Warburton.

The Carbon County Boys and Girls Club group was started up in May with the promotion and marketing of the group following shortly thereafter. Warburton has been in Carbon County since May and has over six years of experience with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Weber-Davis County in Ogden.

"I didn't know what the club was like before I became involved in it," Warburton said. "It's really a great program. I've seen the work that it does by providing a positive and safe place for kids to go and seeing kids develop over time."

With the club set to open later this month, Warburton said before having the Boys and Girls Club as an option in the area, many children have been left with only two options including recreation activities and 4-H. She said the response from the community for the club so far has been very positive.

"People are very excited for this to be here in the community," Warburton said. "Having more options is better for kids especially in a small town."

While it is a place for kids to go after school, Warburton stresses that the club not be looked at as being a babysitter.

"It will be more of an active program," Warburton said, listing the activities available to the kids including a games room, cooking club, photography, pottery, keystone club (service/leadership program), club tech, sports recreation activities, field trips to local venues and more.

The programs involved with the club focus on five core areas that include character and leadership development, education and career, health and life skills, the arts, and sports and fitness and recreation.

Help with homework and tutoring will also be available each day.

"The kids can look at it as a place for them to get their homework done so they don't have to spend time at home doing it," Warburton said.

The club is hoping to have about 100 teens participate in the program, Warburton said. In the future there is the possibility of having kids from ages 6-12 participate in the club as well but currently the focus is on teens in the area. A Board of Directors for the club was formed with 19 people serving on the board and there is support from groups such as the USU-CEU Sun Center and VISTA to volunteer and provide a helping hand.

During the past week, the Boys and Girls Club have held events including a free swim night at the Desert Wave Pool and a fund raising event at Cold Stone Creamery. Warburton said the funds raised from the event at Cold Stone will go towards helping those needing assistance with the membership fee.

The club is actively promoting itself within the community with a large part coming by way of word of mouth. One of the goals of the club is to have those members tell their friends to come and see what the club is like, Warburton said.

"Give it a couple of weeks and I think things will really blow up with the club," Warburton said. All teens are invited to attend and participate in the club. A $20 membership fee is required to attend and applications can be picked up at 375 S. Carbon Ave, Room 101. For more information on the club or any questions, contact McKell Warburton at (435) 637-5032 ext. 426.

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