Boys and Girls Club growing
By Whitney Skeeters
The local division of the Boys and Girls Club held a strategic planning meeting Tuesday September 23 to discuss the future direction of the year-old club. The meeting began with a summary of the club’s activities over the year, including accomplishments, major challenges, and hopes for the future. Ronnie Jenkins, a representative from Boys and Girls Club of America and an expert in club training, was then asked to speak to the attendees about new club development. According to Jenkins’ assessment, the club accomplished an astonishing amount of growth in a limited time span. He estimates that the success rate the club set in this first year is in the top five percent of the entire Southeast compared with other Boys and Girls Club start-ups. The first organizational meeting was held in February of 2007, and the Boys and Girls Club officially opened its doors on January 7, 2008. Harris Warbington, the president of the board, was proud to report that the group met or exceeded all of its projected goals. They hoped to have 300 students by this time, and they currently have 322, nineteen of which are high school students.
“They said it couldn’t be done,” said Warbington. Warbington feels that the accelerated growth rate really underlines the need for it in the community. Board members agreed that the main goal was to educate and inform the community of their current success, their needs and plans for the future, and more importantly the solutions to problems in Morgan County that this club could potentially bring. According to a survey the Boys and Girls Club circulated to community leaders, people tend to contribute to organizations that focus on academic and health issues.
“The Boys and Girls Club does both of those,” said Jenkins. Those who attended the meeting split up into subcommittees to discuss how to encourage more community involvement and what the club could potentially accomplish.
The club contains three subcommittees: Resource Development (fund-raising), Customer Service (marketing), and Operations (programming, structuring and staffing). Each subcommittee outlined their respective challenges and suggested solutions. The executive committee will review the notes from the discussion Tuesday night along with the notes from each committee and finalize a three-year plan for the future.