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Tulalip Boys & Girls Club hosts camps
TULALIP — The Tulalip Boys & Girls Club Athletics Program is offering a number of summer activities for youth in the area, including the usual sports-themed summer camps as well as some new pilot programs, beginning on July 9.
“The sports camp is really popular,” said Saundra Wagner, special event coordinator. “We usually get 50-70 kids enrolled in the camp every day.”
The sports camp is one of three themed camps that take place at the club each weekday. The sports camp is held on each Wednesday for two hours and can include basketball, baseball, volleyball, kickball, dodge ball, soccer and more.
“We usually do baseball, soccer, football. One year we did lacrosse and we are trying to gymnastics this year,” said Wagner.
“We have a lot of activities already scheduled,” said Donald Hatch III, athletic director. “Leading Edge Gymnastics is coming in to do a performance. They came in once and did a display and the kids took right to it.”
Since basketball is the most popular sport at the Boys & Girls Club, Hatch is in the process of getting players and staff from Seattle University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams to come and teach a camp for the kids.
“The men’s basketball staff and coach Cameron Dollar will be here anywhere from one to three days,” said Hatch. “The women’s coach Joan Bonvicini is also coming up to teach the kids.”
Hatch is also planning a visit from Jon Brockman, an NBA player from Snohomish, and Darrell Walker, basketball coach at Everett Community College.
Golf is another sport that is getting a lot of attention this summer. Wagner is organizing a new golf academy camp — in conjunction with the Professional Golfers Association — which is the first of its kind in Washington.
“Basically we have five weeks at the club where we introduce the basics, the fundamentals of the sport to the kids,” said Wagner. Those who choose to attend the golf academy will have the ability to use oversize golf clubs and get used to how to swing.
“We are introducing the sport of golf to the kids in a fun way,” said Wagner, who mentioned that they are planning to incorporate games such as “golf baseball” where kids tee off at home plate and then run the bases.
“This is a national program that they just launched this year. There are 10 clubs piloting the program and we are one of them,” said Wagner. On the sixth week of golf academy, the Boys & Girls Club will bring the campers to the Kayak Golf Course for a tour and a chance to hit a few balls at the driving range. “We’ll make it a big end of the year field trip,” said Wagner.
The other sports camp will focus on a different sport each week, so campers will have a chance to be introduced to something new. At the end, the campers get the opportunity to show of the athletic skills they learned during their six weeks of camp.
“At the end of the summer we do a big field day and kids sign up for different events,” said Wagner. “Last year, the kids just loved it.”
One upcoming event that invites all community members is the Bullfrog Contest at 6 p.m. on July 20. “It’s like a bullfrog derby,” said Wagner. “Everyone brings in a bullfrog and they see whose can leap the farthest. Anyone can come to that, from Marysville or Arlington or anywhere.”
Members of the staff at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club have been doing a little extra to support youth activities in the community in the past several weeks.
“We have been donating time at Boom City to raise funds for the snowboarding team,” said Kyle Cullen, games room manager. “It’s outside of the Boys & Girls Club, we just want to keep them on the mountain, being active and staying positive.”
The Tulalip snowboarding team is a division of the First Nations snowboarding team based in Vancouver, B.C.
“All the money we raise selling hamburgers and hot dogs and french fries goes back into the fund to help pay for the kids season passes and travel and everything,” said Cullen. “We just want to keep them drug and alcohol free and have their grades above a C average.”
Building the snowboarding team was an idea that came straight from the kids. “We were really inspired by what the kids wanted to do,” said Cullen. “At first it was a dream, but then more and more people signed up. We are hoping to get 90 kids this season. It’s really amazing.”
The Tulalip Boys & Girls Club summer day camps are free to tribal members and residents of Tulalip. For more information on the athletic programs, contact athletic director Donald Hatch III at 360-716-3400.