Richmond Boys & Girls Club continues to provide hope to youth

By: Katey Sanders

As we navigate uncharted waters during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Salvation Army of Central Virginia is supporting its Boys & Girls Club members by offering a limited-capacity summer camp.

The stresses that are part of the pandemic take a toll not only on adults but young people as well. From not finishing the school year, no longer being around friends or getting to participate their favorite activities for months, the lives of children and youth look drastically different than they did just six months ago. The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club continues to provide positive support for youth in the area, especially when they need it most. The club is offering what they are known for: creating an atmosphere of fun and learning while also providing relief for parents while they are away.

The scripture below was shared with Boys & Girls Club staff in preparation for reopening during these trying times: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

Staff spent the weeks leading up to summer camp learning about all CDC/state health and safety guidelines and revamping protocols to fit the current circumstance. The club has made sure that all individuals will remain safe addressing concerns such as: camper drop off, taking temperatures twice a day, limiting class sizes, ensuring social distancing, planning creative programming, monitoring use of face masks and hand-washing and more.

Summer camp opened on June 22. While initially opening under new circumstances was tricky, staff and participants are now comfortably enjoying camp while remaining safe and healthy. The last few weeks have been full of activities, energy, creative programming, smiles and laughter.

“Staff, parents and club members alike have been getting into the flow of navigating as we provide an optimum club experience once again!” said Hugh Jones, executive director of The Salvation Army Richmond Boys & Girls Club.