Grant helps local youth with outdoor activities, travel
Two local youth organizations are leveraging a recreation grant this summer.
Boys and Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula and YMCA of Sequim continue to offer various camps, trips and adventures thanks to the Summer Experiences and Enrichment for Kids (SEEK) grant worth nearly $210,000 from the Washington Parks & Recreation Association and the Association of Washington Cities. .
Both agencies applied for the grant from the City of Sequim.
At the Sequim Boys & Girls Club, 400 W. Fir St., staff report they are happy to return to field trips and outdoor recreation after two summers confined to the clubhouse and small local destinations.
More than 100 children have signed up for the club’s morning camp thanks to the SEEK grant which reduced camp fees from $15 to $10, said Janet Gray, director of resource development for Boys and Girls Clubs. . She said parents told staff they appreciated the discount.
The Sequim Club’s summer kicked off with a Solstice Field Day and lunch at Carrie Blake Community Park, where the club serves a free weekday noon lunch to any child under 18. Staff have incorporated two field trips per week to compensate for restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kindergarteners and first graders went to Graysmarsh to pick berries, and to the Olympic Game Farm with a few other classes. Older members of the club traveled to Seattle on separate trips for Seattle Mariners and Storm games.
Gray said members of the club’s gardening club received a special excursion to the Woodcock Demonstration Garden with local master gardener volunteers.
The club’s Junior Ranger program started a few weeks ago for 9-12 year olds and they explore local national parks, hiking, beach combing, exploring tidal pools and learning about ecosystems and land stewardship.
The club recently wrapped up water week to stay cool and celebrate Discovery’s “shark week,” Gray said. She said they enjoyed playing in a shark fountain at the Sequim club playground and a trip to Sol Duc.
To learn more about Boys and Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, visit bgc-op.org.
At the YMCA of Sequim, 610 N. Fifth Ave., staff report that their summer programming is going very well. They offer three week-long summer day camps for kids ages 6-12, including one that just took place July 11-15. Camps are full August 1-5 and August 15-19.
The grant-funded Find Your Trail outdoor leadership program includes 25 kids who hiked more than 20 miles and learned about several hiking-related topics, said Sequim YMCA Branch Manager Gail Sumpter.
The club also continues to recruit young lifeguards; find more information at olympicpeninsulaymca.org/careers.