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Boys & Girls Club offering affordable summer enrichment camp for youth

Partnership with School District of Lee County allows club to utilize District resources

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Feb 27, 2024

A high-quality, affordable summer enrichment camp is being offered for youths 6 to 18 at six locations throughout Lee County — one of which is in Cape Coral — with registration currently under way.

“We consider ourselves an organization that comes alongside the schools and helps support our students and we support them when schools are out,” Boys & Girls Club of Lee County CEO Denise Gergley said.

She said it was important to her when she came on as the CEO to create a strategic partnership with the School District of Lee County.

With the school district partnership, they are able to use district resources, such as the school location, classrooms, gym and cafeteria to run their program.

“It’s a great partnership. I have been here about three and a half years. It was the first initiative I worked on. It’s important that all of us work together to help students and families,” she said.

The program begins on June 10 and runs through July 26 with the Cape Coral location returning to Challenger Middle School at 624 Trafalgar Parkway. The last couple of years there has been a waiting list at this location.

The Boys & Girls Club location summer enrichment camp runs from June 10 through Aug. 2.

“We operate on a one-to-15 ratio,” she said. “We are strategically located, there’s a location in Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, two in Lehigh Acres and two in Fort Myers as well.”

Most locations run from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., although some locations vary. The campers will receive a free lunch and snack daily.

It is $59 per week to register.

They offer scholarships to families in need, as well as provide sibling discounts.

The registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Gergley encourages parents to sign up as quickly as possible, as they frequently have wait lists. From a registration standpoint, the camp will attract around 700 participants with a daily attendance of around 500.

With the camp serving ages 6 to 18, they also offer a teens club where they focus on specialized programing.

“They have their own curriculum, their own special field trips,” Gergley said with such places like Top Golf.

The camps are packed with disguise learning to prevent summer learning loss, field trips and guest speakers.

Some of the field trips include Sun & Fun, Dave & Busters, Game Time, the movies, and some clubs partner with Florida Gulf Coast University for a basketball camp.

Gergley said the campers work on creative projects — STEM and art, which really helps them continue to build their skills and knowledge in a fun interactive way. Other activities include reading programs, sports and recreation.

“Our mission is to really provide our kids with the resources and tools for a safe place to go when school is out. To help them reach their full potential,” she said.

In addition, Gergley said they are being productive with their time — avoiding risky behavior, making positive decisions and being around positive people.

To register, visit BGCLEE.org, call 239-334-1886, or email alysha@bgclee.org.