While the many of our Club members fall between the ages of 3 and 10, creating interesting and enriching programs for teenagers is an essential part of our mission. Today more than ever, teens need safe, healthy environments in which to meet up with their friends outside of school hours, and West Springfield Boys & Girls Club is always looking for ways to encourage our high school and middle school aged members to come to in-person events, participate in sports and games, and find healthy and interesting outlets for their time and energy. This is why, each Monday at 5:30 PM, West Springfield Boys & Girls Club opens the Sullivan Family Gym to local Middle and High Schoolers for a Basketball Night.
These nights are open to the community, not just to Boys & Girls Club members, and provide an opportunity for kids and teens who might not otherwise get to participate in team sports like basketball to make new friends, learn a new skill, and enjoy a safe, indoor space to practice their chosen sport. Kids who had never played basketball before, said Program Director Ray Sanchez, are getting interested in the sport, with a few regulars showing up to practice and enhance their skills and new players dropping in for a fun evening of exercise and teamwork.
In addition to our Open Gym Basketball Nights, we offer a variety of Clubs and experiences for our teenage members, including two D&D Clubs, and an E-sports Club. West Springfield Boys & Girls Club also hosts a chapter of “Torch Club,” a club-within-a-club for members between the ages of 11 and 13. These Torch Club chapters are a tool for our adolescent members to strength their planning, cooperation and leadership skills through planning activities and events that appeal to their age group. Out Torch Club chapter is currently planning a “Teen Night,” at the Club on January 20th, where our doors will be open late for local teens and middle schoolers to play games in the gym, sing karaoke, and play video games in a safe, supervised environment. They are also planning a “Cupid Bash,” dance night in February, with themed decorations and invitations. Check out the pictures of our D&D and E-Sports clubs below, and keep an eye out for an invitation to the events being planned by this group of young leaders!