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WHEN Bartholomew County students are out for fall break, families can count on Foundation For Youth to provide a variety of activities for all ages of children.
The Boys and Girls Club will again offer a fall-break day camp during the weeks of Oct. 7 and 14, said Jennifer Shaver, FFY’s public services director.
The Foundation for Youth, which serves as the umbrella agency that oversees the Boys and Girls Club, will partner with the Columbus Youth Camp to offer fall-break programming.
Open to ages 5 to 12, the day camp allows kids to choose whether to stay at the club or go to Columbus Youth Camp, said Nathan Larrison, Boys and Girls Club director.
Those who choose to go to Columbus Youth Camp, located 10 miles west of Columbus, can participate in activities such as hiking and canoeing.
A bus will pick up campers at FFY each day at 9 a.m. and drop them back off at 4:30 p.m.
Those who opt for the great outdoors will also have the option to participate in gardening.
The Columbus Youth Camp received a grant through Cummins Inc. to add more than two dozen raised garden beds, Larrison said.
No matter the time of year, the Boys and Girls Club is the most popular program at the Foundation for Youth, Shaver said.
Not only does the fee structure meet most family’s needs, the club’s scheduling is just as flexible by offering a variety of activities from swimming and gardening to sports and arts and crafts, Shaver said.
There is generally a $25 annual fee for members, but during fall break the fee is waived and programming is opened up to non-members, Shaver said.
Members can enroll in fall programming for $25 to $100 per week, depending on income, Shaver said.
Non-members can pay $25 per day, or become a member and be eligible for reduced rates based on income.
“When the kids come to the club, they get to pick what they do throughout the day,” Shaver said. “They are constantly shifting to a different activity that they choose.”
The diverse programming offered by FFY is just one of its many draws, said Abby Carr of Columbus.
Carr’s son, Connor, 8, and her daughter, Lily, 6, have regularly taken part in FFY programming for the past three years.
“They participate in basketball, gymnastics and the after-school program,” Carr said. “We usually take them there on break, and they really enjoy it.”
Another benefit, in Carr’s eyes, is that her children are able to make friends with others their ago who attend other schools.
“It seems like my kids know everybody,” Carr said.
Although down time on school breaks is nice, it’s also good for kids to be out with their friends, Shaver said.
“It’s important to keep kids active, engaged and around their peers,” Shaver said. “And not sitting at home with nothing to do.”
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