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Spring And Skateboards At The BGC

Peggy Decker is the Unit Director of the Oakhurst Boys & Girls Club

OAKHURST – Early spring at Oakhurst Boys & Girls Club (BGC) brought more “Pathfinder” gaming time with volunteer Clay Gilpin, a small St. Patrick’s Day celebration, and National Boys & Girls Club Week.

Monday, Mar. 24 – Friday, Mar. 28, it was non-stop fun events, games and activities the whole week long, even with rainy weather.

BGC Week is a great opportunity to open the doors of our club to the community, as well as have a lot of fun after a long cold winter. The kids enjoyed a different theme every day with activities to go with it.

BGC spring 2014 - photo courtesy of Peggy DeckerWe had Pajama Day, Super Hero Day, Crazy Hair Day with a dodge ball tournament, 1980’s Day with a basketball tournament, Tie Dye Day along with an open house, relay races, and balloon toss. This fun all culminated in a BBQ with ice cream – thanks to Mountain Milk – to top off the amazing week.

Adding to the atmosphere, BGC members’ parents Michele and Julie brought in two kid dairy goats so our youth could interact and play with them. Our members and staff had a blast during BGC Week, and it was really fun to celebrate in conjunction with all the other clubs across the nation and to honor our kids! The event is annual, and you can be sure our Club will be participating again next year!

The beginning of April brought a snow day, along with skating, biking, and scooter awesomeness to our in-house outdoor skate park.

BGC spring 2014 YHS seniors Jared Cordingly and Brent Ezell mentor BGC kids on skateboard safety for senior project - photo courtesy of Peggy Decker

Yosemite High School (YHS) students Jared Cordingly and Brent Ezell are dedicating their time and their YHS senior projects to teaching our BGC members correct technique, safety, and most of all fun when it comes to bikes, scooters, roller blades, roller skates, and different types of boards to go with our skate park. They are also requesting donations of any and all kinds of usable skate equipment for the Club.

If you have any skate items lying around the house or garage you might want to drop off, we would be very appreciative. This is a great opportunity for our members, and it’s fantastic to have older teens teaching younger teens in our Club. I’m really happy the two YHS students picked our Club to host their senior project. They work extremely well with our members, younger and older. Their knowledge of the sport is apparent, and they truly enjoy helping and mentoring our kids.

Jared and Brent’s free classes for BGC members will continue on most Wednesdays and Thursdays at 3:30 p.m., through May.

BGC spring 2014 basketball - photo courtesy of Peggy DeckerThe Club was out on furlough over Spring Break, but returned with a bang to honor Earth Day on Tuesday, Apr. 22, and we celebrated with the help of Yosemite National Park Ranger Christine Raines.

Despite the wet, cold start to the day, our members gave back to their community and our environment by participating in an Oakhurst Creek Community Cleanup for their Global Youth Service Day Project, through BGC National. The kids love to help beautify and clean the area around their Club, and were excited by this opportunity to have it be their National Project, as well.

They all took out gloves and garbage bags and cleaned all the creek areas around the whole facility, picking up about 20 lbs. of garbage. This was done with BGC Program Assistant Brendan Drew, all with smiles and laughter, taking them about an hour.

BGC spring gardening 2014 - photo courtesy of Peggy DeckerThe kids also started vegetable and flower seeds for later in the summer with BGC Program Director Terri Ziegler. Additionally, along with the help of Ranger Christine and the Yosemite National Park Education outreach, BGC members built a new scarecrow and started our on-site half-barrel tomato garden for the season. We offer a special thank you to all of them, along with Oakhurst Feed & Pet Supply, and Western Sierra Nursery for all the generous contributions. It made the day fantastic and the kids had a blast!

Coming up in May, I’ll be headed to the National BGC Conference in San Francisco to attend trainings and classes, and bring valuable information back to the Oakhurst location. This is a tremendous opportunity, as most of the National Conferences are held so far away, it’s not feasible to attend. It’s exciting that I have the opportunity to participate in a National Conference so close to home.

BGC spring 2014 YNP participates - photo courtesy of Peggy DeckerOakhurst BGC will also be representing at the Community Unity Event on Thursday, May 8th, at Oakhurst Community College, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

SAFER Choices Parents night will be at the Club at 5 p.m.on Friday, May 9th.

Our second Junior Ranger class will be Friday, May 16th at 3:30 p.m., led by Ranger Christine Raines at the Club, through the 150th Anniversary Yosemite National Park Grant program.

BGC spring 2014 garden fabulous scarecrow - photo courtesy of Peggy DeckerBGC spring 2014 YNP education - photo courtesy of Peggy DeckerMore events may come up, so please friend us on Facebook to keep updated, or call or stop by the Club. Everyone have a great Spring!

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