Boys and Girls Club of Cape Cod Opening for Phase 3

MASHPEE – As industries and jobs reopen as part of Phase 3, the Boys and Girls Club of Cape Cod is providing families with a safe place for their children.

“We felt it was really important for families whose parents have to go back to work that they have an option where they can send their kids,” said Executive Director Ruth Provost.

The organization said that it is now registering kids from grades 1-9 for an eight-week, socially-distanced summer day camp program that began with Phase 3.

As of reopening, the Boys and Girls Club of Cape Cod had 23 kids registered for the camp.

The camp has been licensed through the Board of Health and will be following the Department of Early Education and Care and Department of Public Health guidelines.

“The board of directors of the Club and myself and my staff have worked cooperatively to figure out how we were going to do it. We worked with the Board of Health to make sure we were following best practices,” said Provost.

Due to the need to socially distance, space is limited to 45 children compared to the 144 children the Club usually registers.

The children will be organized into pods of nine children each with 2 counselors per pod.

Staff and kids in different pods will not be allowed to intermingle, according to the camp.

Each pod will be confined to one space within the building on any given day and all programs will take place either in the pod or outside at the clubhouse.

Masks will be required for the children and they will be seated at least six feet apart at all times.

The Boys and Girls Club will require a health check before kids can enter the building each day, and hand washing will take place hourly alongside frequent wipe-downs and sanitization of program spaces.

“We wanted to make sure that every child and the staff were as safe as we could possibly make them in this time of COVID,” said Provost.

“It’s a very different summer camp experience but our staff has been really working hard to find games and activities that the kids can do. They’re doing hands on STEM programs, they’re doing art, they’re doing reading, and hopefully they’re doing some catching up of some of the academics that they’ve missed since March when schools closed,” she said. 

When the weather allows it, kids will be outside with their own group, however the camp will not be scheduling field trips.

“We have worked with the Mashpee Recreation Department to actually allow the kids to use the playgrounds at two schools which are right down the hill from the Boys and Girls Club, so we have options,” said Provost.

Provost also said that they are planning on all day beach trips in the later summer if conditions at the beach allow for enough social distancing, with parents picking up and dropping off kids at the beach as the Club will be restricted from using its vans to transport children.

Provost estimated that the organization was losing five to six thousand dollars a week due to costs related to COVID-19, however local funds were able to assist in the expenses.

“Reopening costs really were helped by the Cape Cod Foundation and the Cape Cod United Way. I can’t say enough thanks to them for their supports. But we’re really hoping that gap between what the families pay and what we’re expected to pay to maintain the program, the community will step up and help us find a way to stay open, because we’re looking at this scenario in the fall, as well,” said Provost.

Costs include sanitization supplies, personal protective equipment, and replacing chairs and other  furniture that cannot be adequately cleaned.

To help offset costs, the organization has set up a text-to-donate number that can be reached by texting KIDS to 1 (800) 419-9693.

The club contacted parents who had previously signed up to give them first chance at the limited space available, but registration has since been opened up to the general public.

The camp charges a fee of $175 per child.

More information and registration forms are available online at their website.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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