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Local club to host activities all week in honor of National Boys & Girls Club Week, 50 years of service

From September through May, whenever school is in session, the Detroit Lakes Boys & Girls Club provides an after-school home to a daily average of 130 kids between the ages of 5-18.

Club members enjoy structured, yet fun activities that promote academic success, healthy lifestyles, good character and citizenship, not to mention an evening meal and healthy snacks — all for an annual membership fee of $40.

The club also offers summer programming for its members, with fun activities and field trips each weekday from June through August.

This week, March 23-29, is National Boys & Girls Club Week, and to celebrate more than 50 years of serving the youth of the lakes area, the Detroit Lakes club is hosting a variety of special activities from Monday through Friday.

“The mayor (Matt Brenk) has declared this as Boys & Girls Club Week in Detroit Lakes, and we’ve got a lot going on,” said club director Pat Petermann.

“On Monday, there’s no school, so there will be no club activities,” said Detroit Lakes Boys & Girls Club program director Tami Skinner.

Instead, area residents are invited to take a virtual tour of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( and learn what they’re all about. A shortcut to the virtual tour link is also available if you click “Like” on the local club’s Facebook page.

After watching a short video, visitors will be invited to enter a competition for the chance to win either a $1,000 Lowe’s gift card or a $500 Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft gift card.

“You can also put in our club’s name with your entry and give us a chance to win a gift certificate, too!” Skinner said.

Fitness is the focus of club activities for Tuesday, March 25, so Essentia Health’s Diane McCormack will be offering a special “Drums Alive” session for club members. This fitness program turns simple movements made to drumbeats into a fun form of exercise for kids.

There will also be a “fitness scavenger hunt,” Skinner said, featuring a series of “get up and move challenges” throughout the club that help promote healthy lifestyles.

On Wednesday, March 26, the focus is on character and leadership, so club members will be taking part in a special activity in which they will create a poster promoting “random acts of kindness,” Skinner said.

“We’ll be talking about how we can do good things for other people, and creating a poster about it,” she explained.

Wednesday will also mark the conclusion of a weeklong food drive at the club, with all cash and non-perishable food items collected going to benefit the Becker County Food Pantry.

“We will announce the total collected on Wednesday,” Skinner said.

Also on Wednesday, the club will be hosting a special appreciation luncheon for all the vendors and volunteers who helped make this year’s Polar Fest Plunge a success, Petermann said.

“It will be a baked potato lunch with all the toppings,” he added.

Thursday’s activities will focus on education and technology, Skinner said.

“There will be a demonstration by the high school’s QWERTY Robotics team, and throughout the club we will be doing activities to get kids thinking about their education and their future — to ‘dream big,’” Skinner said.

Then on Friday, March 28, parents and families of club members are invited to a special open house, at which “The club members will be the tour guides for their families,” Skinner said. “The families are invited to come spend time with their kids, tour the club and do a special activity.”

To boost the club’s 500-plus current membership, anyone who joins the club during this week will also get half off the regular membership fee.

“Any new members who register this week will get 50 percent off their membership fee — so it’s $20 to join instead of $40,” Skinner said.

For more information about the Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes, please call 218-847-5700.

Summer camp registration

Though new members can register at the Boys & Girls Club at any time, registration for the club’s summer camp program will only be held on two days, Tuesday, April 22 and Thursday, April 24, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

All parents or guardians of prospective attendees must take part in one of the two registration sessions, which will include a brief orientation. Club tours will also be available.

Summer camp begins on June 4. Call 218-847-5700 for more information.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454