05/18/04 — Boys & Girls Club will extend hours to meet summer crowd

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Boys & Girls Club will extend hours to meet summer crowd

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on May 18, 2004 1:57 PM

The hours have been extended at the Boys & Girls Club for this summer to accommodate increased membership.

Members between ages 6 and 18 can come to the club between the hours of noon and 6 p.m. Hours used to be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"Early birds" can come at 6:45 a.m. if they want to, said Marvin Ford, unit director at the main club on Royall Avenue. He said he expects to reach more children with the extended hours.

"The last couple of summers, our population picked up," he said. He had also noticed that some who were scheduled to leave at 4 p.m. stayed until 6 p.m. Now, he said, the parents have a couple more hours before they pick up their children, and it helps the club, too, when the members go out of town on field trips.

Ford said he has noticed more teen-agers coming. The staff tries to encourage them to become junior staff members and help with the younger members.

He said he is excited about a new 13-member drum line that started playing in November on buckets and tin cans. Within a week, the group was ready to perform in the Goldsboro Christmas Parade.

"We had a concert here, and you could walk in and think it was a high school band," he said. "They're amazing. They use duck tape and masking tape to change the sound. We recently played at Britthaven, and some schools are wanting them to perform."

He said he is trying to get the schools to donate their old drum sticks and straps.

The drum line is now having to use ropes.

His next project, he says, is going to be a chorus.

One of the themes this summer will be "What's Bugging You," a look at nature and collection of bugs, alive and dead. The members will take nature hikes and learn all bugs aren't bad.

Another theme will be "Let's Go Camping" to give the city-bound members a look at roughing it in the outdoors. They'll cook over a propane lantern and stay outside and listen to the sounds you don't hear any other time.

"The first time I went camping I was 14 or 15," said Ford. "I was scared to death of the sounds, and I'm petrified of snakes. I'm trying to bring the city out of the kids and add a little of the country."

The clubs at Mount Olive and Fremont might increase the number of staff members depending on the summer attendance, said Micheal Crumble, the director of operations at the Royall Avenue club.

Traditionally the clubs in Mount Olive and Goldsboro hire more people in the summer due to the popularity of the summer program.

The Goldsboro club provides breakfast and lunch and will have day trips to Emerald Pointe Water Park and Celebration Station.

The Fremont club will provide lunch and field trips and a camp-out.

Mount Olive may move to its new club near the end of the summer.

Those interested in signing up for the summer, may call Ford at 735-2358, Andrea Wooten at 242-3277 or Cent Jones at 658-9836.