Our Clubs are a safe, positive, fun place for youth to go during after-school, and summer hours. Through regular attendance, youth create lasting friendships with their peers, and can look to staff as trusted mentors to turn to for support. Programs at the Club are choice-based and focus on our three priority outcomes. These programs are designed, through curriculum support from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, to offer fun, with a purpose.
Formula for Impact
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County offers Targeted Programs to meet the significant and specific needs of our members at each of our Clubs. The goal of all our programs, as outlined in the Formula for Impact, is to help our Members achieve success with three Priority Outcomes: Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, and Good Character & Citizenship.
Programs are pulled from our five Core Program Areas: Education & Career, Character & Leadership, Health & Life Skills, the Arts, and Sports, Fitness & Recreation. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County also offers other Specialized Programs. These initiatives focus on meeting additional needs identified within our communities and schools.
To learn more about specific Targeted Programs – use the links under the Learn, Live, Lead icons.
Young People Who Need Us Most
Who are the young people who need us most? At first, we may not know. First, we must provide the opportunity for youth to come through that blue door. We may not see the impact of our Clubs at first, yet the spirit of our mission is renewed each time we see a young life changed for the better. We have the data from National and local surveys and studies that tell the story of how our Clubs positively affect youth. And we have our personal success stories and moments that we continually witness.
OUR MISSION: To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential, as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
OUR VALUES: Fun, Respect, Integrity, Community, and Acceptance.
Outcome-Driven Club Experience
REGULAR ATTENDANCE: Attendance serves as the foundation of the Boys & Girls Club measurement strategy. To effectively demonstrate impact, Clubs must know who is in their building, how frequently they attend and in which programs they participate. In order to attract new members, retain existing members and encourage members to attend more often, we know that a Club must provide a powerful Club Experience. Therefore, measuring attendance and participation also helps the Club assess the effectiveness of its Club Experience.
Studies have shown that Club Members who attend at least 52 times per year are most likely to reach our priority outcomes. Each of our Clubs strive to increase our average daily attendance (to get as many Members in our Clubs as possible each day) and to improve our retention/renewal rates (keeping our Members in the Club through high school graduation).
HIGH-YIELD ACTIVITIES: Fun with a purpose! These activities are designed to provide Members with fun experiences that are hands-on, interactive and intentionally develop critical thinking or other skills.
Supporting all three Priority Outcome areas is the responsibility of every Club staff member. Our goal is to infuse Academic Success, Good Character & Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles outcomes into every Targeted Program at each of our Clubs.
TARGETED PROGRAMS: These curriculum-based programs combine elements of fun and learning, while working towards helping our members achieve the following priority outcomes.
FIVE KEY ELEMENTS: Through extensive research, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America identified Five Key Elements that make it possible for Clubs to assure positive developmental experiences for our Members.
- A Safe, Positive Environment: Our Clubs are a safe haven where Members feel physically and emotionally secure at all times. Club Staff, facilities, program offerings and age-appropriate settings create stability, consistency and a sense of safety for members.
- Fun: Attendance at our Clubs is choice-based, and so are our programs. Our members vote with our feet, and engage in the programs that appeal to them. That is why fun is key to participation.
- Supportive Relationships: Youth at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County develop meaningful relationships with peers and adults. Staff members actively cultivate such relationships to ensure that every member feels connected to one or more adults and peers. Staff members demonstrate warmth, caring, appreciation, acceptance and proper guidance in their interactions with Members
- Opportunity: Our Club Members acquire physical, social, technological, artistic and life skills through attendance at the Clubs as well as the tools to develop moral character and behave ethically. Staff members establish and reinforce high expectations and help our young people to do well in school and to pursue a post-secondary education.
- Recognition: We recognize and affirm our young people’s self-worth and accomplishments. Staff members encourage our youth and provide positive reinforcement as they make improvements and experience successes, as we showcase their achievements through our Youth of the Month and Youth of the Year programs, awards presentations, and healthy incentives and rewards.
In 1995, a group of community members began meeting, believing that the 18,000 youth in Skagit communities needed a place to go out of school that would provide positive, useful, and rewarding activities in a safe, healthy, culturally diverse, and drug- and alcohol-free environment. One hundred and thirty-five years before that, Mary Goodwin, Alice Goodwin, and Elizabeth Hammersley met in Hartford, Connecticut, and because they believed that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative, they formed the first Club. With character development as the cornerstone of the experience, the Club focused on capturing a child’s interests, improving their behavior and increasing their personal expectations and goals. A cause was born, and more than a century later, found its way to Skagit County.
As one reviews the historic articles and photos, it is evident that many passionate and committed volunteers came together time and again to advocate, plan, reflect, execute, and secure resources necessary for the Clubs to provide important, quality programs and services to youth ages 6-18 and their families. A story is woven together, piece by piece, and along each step of the way are the smiles of kids. In good times, and the not so good times, it is clear that what drove dedicated staff and volunteers was the knowledge of the difference Clubs make in lives.
1996: That initial conversation in 1995 led to the formation of the Skagit Valley Youth Association, who conducted their first official fundraiser as a Golf Tournament in the fall of 1996, in hopes of opening a teen center. As the group continued to meet and interest picked up steam, different interventions and options for implementation were discussed, and they turned to Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) as a potential option. Throughout the initial process, BGCA provided information and support.
May 13, 1996: Joyce Nagel, Claudette Gubrud, & Jack Gubrud attend the Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Conference to learn more about the Clubs.
July 28, 1997: The Grand Opening festivities at the Burlington Club. On June 2, 1997 the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County receives non-profit status and the Burlington Club opens on June 14.
Jan, 1998: Alicia Savage, La Conner youth, named 1st Youth of the Year for Skagit County.
Sept 7, 2000: Jerome Fisher of Fisher & Sons Construction with Jack Gubrud at the site of the 1st Sedro-Woolley Club.
Sept 2000: The Burlington Club moves to the LaVenture Middle School Campus. Photo circa fall 2001, picturing Angela Freeberg(right) when she was first hired, with long time Club director Jill Reid, who is currently the Club Director for the Bellingham Club of the Whatcom County Boys & Girls Club. Angela would move on to become the Club Director of Anacortes for 11 years. She then returned to the Mount Vernon Club as Area Director in 2015. Angela has served the Club for 16 years, providing much needed stability to the organization, through many changes, and has been an invaluable mentor to many Club kids as they grew into adulthood.
Oct 1, 2000: The Anacortes Club opens in the old Army National Guard Armory Building.
Apr 2, 2001: The Sedro-Woolley Club opens next to Cascade Middle School.
Nov 11, 2003: (L to R): Dubbed “Maggie’s Girls”: Jill Reid, Kim Groms, Maggie Potter, Angela Freeberg, Renata Hoyle, Karen Peterka, & Rose at the 5th Annual Some Enchanted Evening formal Gala.
Mar 2006: First recipients of the G.R.E.A.T. Award (Generous, Respectful, Enthusiastic, Advocate, Thoughtful) at the 1st Annual Breakfast. (L to R): Kay & Glen Barlett, and Mike Gubrud & Colleen Smiley(accepting the award on behalf of their parents, Jack & Claudette Gubrud).
Jun 8, 2006: Members of Leadership Skagit, (L to R) Russ Johnson, John White, Rebecca Bradley, and Elizabeth Hoffman at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new covered play area behind the Mount Vernon Boys & Girls Club.
Nov 1, 2008: The Jazz’d Up for Kids Dinner & Auction generates $155,000 for the Clubs.
Feb 2012: Groundbreaking for the new Sedro-Woolley dedicated Teen Center.
Mar 2015: Justice Lively named Washington State Youth of the Year.
Sept 2015: New extension locations opened at Mount Baker & LaVenture Middle Schools in Mount Vernon, alleviating overcrowding at the Mount Vernon Clubhouse, & significantly increasing service to the important ‘tween’ population.
Summer 2015: More than 30,000 meals were served to youth in Skagit County, as our Boys & Girls Club became a provider of the Simplified Summer Food Service Program.
June 2016: The difficult decision is made to close the La Conner Club due to a lack of need and changes to youth population demographics.
Aug 15-19, 2016: 31 Club teens embark on the field trip of a lifetime, sponsored by Tesoro (now Marathon), exploring College campuses and National Parks.
Nov 2016: The Jack Gubrud Memorial Fund is formed, providing ongoing support for youth development programs, creating opportunities for the next generation of community leaders.
Jun 19, 2017: The newly remodeled Maiben House at Maiben Park opens in Burlington serving kids in grades 1-7 from 7am to 6pm, M-F. Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County membership reaches over 1,700.