Share Your Passion

Kaylani Siplin, Education Associate for Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group shows a group of Club members how they test water quality for salmon habitat.

For those interested in inspiring, motivating, and impacting the young people in our community, Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County welcomes individuals who want to support our efforts through volunteering.  We offer volunteer opportunities in the areas of tutoring, mentoring, special events, programming assistance, administrative support and more.

For those volunteering at our Clubhouses: It’s easy to get started. We can’t wait to meet you and find out about your interest in the Clubs. Just fill out the Volunteer form and bring it to our Administration Office during business hours. We perform an extensive, National background check for all of our volunteers, because safety is paramount. We also provide training on some safety basics and Club policies. You are welcome to email us first to get more information.

Share your skills: What are you passionate about? If you take a look at the Our Impact page, you’ll see that we have a lot going on at the Clubs. Programs like Power Hour offer homework help after school, Triple Play is all about outdoor sports and physical activity, and Healthy Habits can involve cooking, or selecting or growing healthy fruits and vegetables. Really we are just scratching the surface of all the Targeted Programs we offer at the Clubs. Maybe you have a passion for gardening, woodworking, or photography. Maybe you have a  background in science or technology. Maybe you love field trips, and want to join the adventure with our youth as they explore their world outside the Clubhouse.

Summer Programs: During the summer, we operate all day, so there is a lot more time for special programs and field trips.

Other Non-Profits: We love to partner with other Non-Profits who align with our values and mission. If you are involved with a Non-Profit Organization and have an idea for program integration or alignment, please let us know.

Career Launch: Are you a professional or a business that would be able to provide insight for our young people planning their futures? Career Launch encourages Club Members ages 13 to 18 to assess their skills and interests, explore careers, make sound educational decisions and prepare to join our nation’s workforce. Guest speakers from a myriad of fields are welcome to visit our teen centers and share about their career path. To coordinate, please contact your area’s corresponding Club Director. Additionally, if possible, we’d love to schedule a field trip to your place of business so that our members can see the possibilities of their educational decisions in action.

STEM Tours: We’d love to connect with any business or professional relating to Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math. Contact our Associate Executive Director Ian Faley, if interested.

Event Support: Our events are super fun. Because our event volunteers are given free entry, and meals, it’s a great way to enjoy the event while furthering the mission of the Clubs. Many of our volunteers return every year. They say they “wouldn’t miss it for anything”. Each Event has its own set of needs, so we encourage you to contact us. Here’s a list of usual volunteer positions at events:

  • Helping guests at registration
  • Running games during social hour
  • Bartending: Must have a Class 12 serving permit
  • Pre-event set-up
  • Post-event clean-up
  • Professional Photography
  • Decor or table settings
  • Join an Event Committee: You’ll meet and collaborate with other community members to make our event amazing

Join a Community Council: Each Club or Area has their own Community Council, who meet regularly to support the Club. Each Community Council is responsible for advocating on behalf of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County organization as well is its programs, staff, volunteers, stakeholders, and most importantly – it’s Members. Advocacy duties include leading club membership drives, attending organization-wide and Club specific special events, scheduling Club visits with stakeholders and donors, and representing the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County at various service/professional organizations, etc.  If you are interested, contact your area’s corresponding Club Director.

Join our Board of Directors: It’s true, our Board members put in many hours and we are grateful for their advice and leadership. If you want to be on the ground floor of planning for our Clubs’ success, contact our CEO, Ron McHenry.

Mount Vernon Club receives new HVAC units

This past summer, in the middle of a heat wave, the Mount Vernon Boys & Girls Club’s aging A/C and Heating units decided to call it quits. The financial impact facing the non-profit organization serving hundreds of kids was daunting. With Summer in full swing, and with kids in programming from 7am-6pm daily, CPI Plumbing & Heating came to the rescue. CPI began work immediately to look into repairing the units, donating their time and labor.

After many attempts and hours of work it was determined that the units would have to be replaced. CPI HVAC Manager Steve Murray immediately began working on finding a solution, working with local companies to make the replacement possible. They reached out to Gensco Inc. requesting that they donate the HVAC system, and Gensco agreed to donate two new units! The installation also required a crane, and Barnhardt Cranes was able to provide the crane free of charge. On October 5th, all three came together to complete the installation. When the project was complete, CPI’s leadership and advocacy resulted in $14,514.64 of labor and equipment donated to the Boys & Girls Club.

“Our experience with CPI has been wonderful. They showed a willingness to go above and beyond what was expected to help out the Club and the kids.” said Club Director, Angela Freeberg. “We survived the heat of the summer, and are also extremely grateful to them for our nice warm Club as the days get colder!”

Sedro Woolley Club Teen Aspires to Practice Law

Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County’s 2017 Youth of the Year Paula Banda has had many opportunities to share her Club story publicly, as part of her journey within the Youth of the Year Program. Part of her story includes her goals for the future—to attend Harvard and practice Immigration Law. Several local lawyers heard her speech and reached out to help with career advice. Recently, Paula and a small group of teens from the Sedro-Woolly Boys & Girls Club had a chance to meet these lawyers to learn about their practice.

Laura Riquelme, who works as public defender for Skagit County, and has recently served as a judge as well, gave Paula and a few of her friends a tour of the Skagit County courthouse. She gave the Club members an overview of the work she does, how it affects the community, and how she decided to pursue a career in law. She also shared some great insights on the difference between being a judge and being a lawyer.

Joseph Bowen was born and raised in Skagit Valley. After law school he came back to the area and eventually opened up his own law practice. He took the time to sit down with the Woolley teens and talk about motivation and determination. He detailed the journey he took from Skagit County to Harvard to law school at UW back to Skagit County and encouraged the Boys & Girls Clubs members to set their goals high.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County would like to thank everyone involved for taking the time to share their career knowledge with the Club members.

Volunteer Inspires Youth through Photography

Richard Raymond started volunteering with Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County in early October this year. With the expansion of the Clubs into the Mount Baker & LaVenture middle schools, volunteer help is greatly appreciated and adds to the richness of the Club experience. Richard immediately began teaching photography at the Mount Baker Club. Fortunately, the Clubs had already purchased camera equipment through a grant from BestBuy. Because camera’s are Nikon DSLRs, it gives the members quite a range of control over their photos. Club members start out by learning the very basic workings of the cameras, then work on composition and choosing subject matter.

Mentored by well-known photographer, Lee Mann, Richard loves to share about his own experience of practicing photography out in nature. He reminisced about a day on the middle fork, Nooksack river, where he spotted an eagle on a low crag. He was able to sneak up fairly close, but eventually the great bird took flight. “When an eagle takes off to fly they drop at first because they are so large. The force of the wind from it’s wings took my hat off.” That was a great shot, but, he pointed out that if his wife, who was watching from afar, would have had a camera, she would have had the better photo. He then bought his wife a camera and now they enjoy the sport together.

Richard was recently awarded “Rookie Volunteer of the Year” at a Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County awards event. “I think he was so surprised by the award, but it is very well deserved,” says Tammy Findlay, the Club’s Director of Marketing & Stewardship. “I’m so impressed with how Richard leads youth. This program gives them a great sense of accomplishment. Club members are taking pride in their work, and striving to improve and learn. They are engaged and eager. Richard’s passion for photography is inspiring.”

Richard just finished up a class at the Mount Baker Club and is now teaching a new group at the LaVenture Club which will run for 8 weeks. Then he will be back at Mount Baker for an Advanced Photography session with 5 Club members from the original class. They will cover the inner workings of the camera more in-depth, and advanced settings, as well as new photography techniques.

Sedro-Woolley Cooking Club for Teens

On Wednesdays this last spring, teenage members of the Sedro-Woolley Boys & Girls Club were given the opportunity to participate in a special Cooking Club. Thanks to the efforts of volunteer Patricia Stephens, and the Helping Hands Food Bank, the Woolley Teens learned how to make a variety of unique, interesting, and often, healthy dishes. 

“I liked learning new things to make for when I’m at home, because I didn’t know how to make most of that stuff” said Brandon Deleon “It was really fun to learn new things to bake and cook.”

Some of the dishes they created included homemade pop tarts, using jelly and pie crust, and spaghetti made with squash. They were shown how to make homemade pizza and introduced to bread pudding, which most of them had never even heard of before, but now love. 

Great programs like Cooking Club are made possible because of the support of the community and awesome volunteers like Patricia. The Club is extremely grateful for their support. Cooking Club will be taking a short break over summer but the teens are looking forward to its return in the fall.