By Craig Marx, Editor
The Boys & Girls Club’s seventh annual Sizzlin’ Summer Camp might be the most successful ever. Setting a record one-day attendence a few weeks ago with 167 kids, the club averaged 138 attendees per daily session last month.
“That’s really good,” program director Dave Corcoran said of the attendance numbers. “When I first came here three years ago, we were averaging about 50 kids a day.”
The summer program includes hands-on learning opportunities and various field trips throughout northern and central Wisconsin, including Lambeau Field last week and Bay Beach Amusement Park later this summer.
“Things are really starting to pick up with our field trips right now. The first few weeks of camp, we were working with the [Unified School District of Antigo] and their summer school program. We tried to schedule our big-time, in-town trips for that time of the season so that summer school students would still be able to be bussed here afterwards and then go on their trips that day,” Corcoran added.
The Langlade County chapter of the Club has appealed beyond its borders, gaining the interest and participation of other clubs from as far away as Michigan.
“We’ve had a couple clubs that have heard about us around the area, even Menominee, Michigan, that want to come here and be a part of our activities for a day. They’ve heard about us through the national recognition that we’ve been receiving at our conferences and they’ve wanted to come and check out our program because of that,” Corcoran said.
The Menominee chapter had been visiting the Green Bay club for years, but after learning of the success of the Langlade County contingent has decided to visit Antigo on August 10. The local club will also make its own trip to a different location, visiting the Boys & Girls Club in Oshkosh in what is a yearly back-and-forth trek to other participating clubs and a chance for members to see familiar faces.
The summer success has even required the hiring of additional staff to help ensure a safe ratio of members to employees. The new staff has been adapting well, with eight of the 13 present summer employees in the middle of just their first season with the Club.