OAKHURST – I’ve had many calls recently regarding our summer programs here at the Oakhurst Boys & Girls Club (BGC), with some folks not even knowing there is a BGC in our small town.
Most calls that come in are from those who’ve heard of us through families whose kids are currently members. We’re hoping to spread the word and educate our mountain communities about our presence and all the great things we have to offer youth ages 6-18.
For those that don’t know, the Club itself is located behind Oakhurst Elementary School and before the First Baptist Church on School Road in Oakhurst. Parking for the Club is in the old Oakhurst Elementary School (OES) lot where you access the facility by going across the foot bridge down the hill. The Club is within a short walk of both OES and Oak Creek Intermediate. We’ve undergone numerous external and internal renovations in the past two years, primarily in the last three months with exterior painting, huge new wall murals, new furniture, and playground paint.
During the school year, Oakhurst BGC is open Monday through Friday from 2 – 6 p.m. The Club accommodates minimum day schedules for the Bass Lake School District, and runs year around for after school programs. Children from OES are picked up after school and walked down by Club staff, while OCI/Yosemite High School members can walk to the site.
BGC also offers a nine week Summer Session Monday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m. BGC is closed one day a month for furlough, as well as during some of the holiday breaks when school is out. The Club’s summer schedule includes nine weekly themes, being open additional hours, 16 field trips, BBQ’s, the Book for Bikes Reading Program, sports and tournaments, in-house movies, and lots of action packed fun for all aged members. Pricing for the Club summer program is $100 for nine weeks. Field trips cost extra and are on a first come, first served basis with sign-ups a week in advance. The current summer program starts June 15th and end August 13th.
Staff at BGC comes from a variety of backgrounds, with many years of mentoring and working with kids of all ages. All staff are CPR/1st Aid/AED certified, and background checked. We have expertise in many different areas making a very complete team. The Club also hosts volunteers who help with different activities, who are also background checked, which leads to very well balanced and unique programs running all year long.
Oakhurst BGC offers a wide range of structured activities, for youth and teens, in education and career development, health and life skills, character and leadership development, and the arts. We also focus on sports, fitness, and recreation, all sanctioned through Boys and Girls Clubs of Fresno County, as well as through Nationals Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Some of the daily school time activities include Triple Play, Power Hour homework club, SMART Girls, Passport to Manhood, SAFER Choices, Arts & Crafts, Reading Club, Computers, and Garden Club.
Outside of these activities, we incorporate lots of daily recreation and fun, having a full size basketball court, handball court, and 4-square courts, as well as an in-house skate park used for skating, scooters, and bikes. There’s a garden full of vegetables, herbs and flowers, and beautiful murals painted around the facility. We have a teen room, computer lab, library, and game room equipped with a full size pool, ping-pong and air hockey tables, bumper pool, lots of sports equipment, toys, and activities. The Club also serves snack daily for all its members.
During the year there are Fresno Chaffee Zoo-mobile visits, a Yosemite National Park Junior Ranger Program, Member of the Month, and Youth of the Year: a scholarship program for teens. Past activities have included dance instruction with the Yosemite Dance Company including a recital during the holidays. We’ve also hosted other events including Earth Day, National Boys & Girls Club Week, several environmental stewardship activities, and many holiday celebrations.
Regularly in the school year, for low income family dues are $10 a month per child, and for non-low income children it’s $40 a month per child. Pick up time is promptly at 6 p.m. year round. Memberships applications can be picked up and filled out at the Clubhouse and your child can start the same day.
The Oakhurst BGC is a non-profit with its own local Board. President Bob Macaulay currently running for the honorary Oakhurst Mayor. The Club has many fundraisers throughout the year, including the annual Christmas Tree Auction at Bass Lake, Sounds of Solstice concert at Oakhurst Community Park, as well as dinner at Erna’s Elderberry House, and celebrity bartending at Crab Cakes Family Seafood Restaurant.
If you’re interested in helping with any of the Club’s fundraising events, becoming a Board Member, or would like information on registering your kids at the Oakhurst Boys and Girls Club call (559) 642-4600 or check us out on Facebook at Boys and Girls Club of Oakhurst.