Boys & Girls Club to host summer camps

ALBANY, Ga. -- Even though school will be out soon, the Boys & Girls Club of Albany is not giving up on its mission to keep children off the streets.

The organization is set to kick off its summer programs for club members early next week.

Summer sessions will start on Monday and run through July 16. The program will be conducted from 9 a.m.-5:45 p.m. Monday-Thursday and until 5 p.m. on Fridays.

Some of the activities planned include arts and crafts, field trips, sports activities and swimming lessons. Swimming lessons will be offered for camp participants from 9 a.m.-noon Monday-Friday, and for the general public starting at 1 p.m.

"The (swimming instruction) is for anyone in the city, whether they are registered for the summer sessions or not," Boys & Girls Club of Albany Operations Director Bob Hutchinson said.

Based on program participation in past years, Hutchinson said he would not expect enthusiasm to waver.

"The units fill up quickly," he said. "We are very excited about this."

Hutchinson said the organization's goal is to serve 1,100 children daily. Last year, the club served roughly 1,000 children a day.

Registration fees will be $240 per child, but officials are willing to work with families suffering from financial hardship.

"Our goal is to get kids off the street," Hutchinson said. "We want kids to be in a structured program."

The cost for swim sessions will be $5 per person for a two-week session or $15 for the entire swim season. The two-week blocks will run throughout the club's summer session season.

An early-bird program will be offered to give parents the option of dropping their children off at 7:30 a.m. The fee for that service is $40.

Registration forms will be accepted at each of the three Boys & Girls Club units from 1 p.m.-7 p.m. through Friday. After Friday, forms will be accepted from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. from Monday-Friday.

The Boys & Girls Club of Albany has units on North Jefferson Street, Inverness Street and Holloway Avenue. The location on Inverness Street is open to boys ages 6-13; parents of female participants ages 7-up are encouraged to register through Girls Inc. The other two units are open to boys and girls ages 6-13.

For more information, parents are encouraged to contact the unit to which they plan to send their child. The Jefferson Street Unit can be reached at (229) 435-2546; the East Albany Unit on Inverness Street can be contacted at (229) 439-4386, and the Jane Willson Unit on Holloway Avenue can be reached at (229) 420-5580.