Boys & Girls Club Offers Families Affordable Summer Fun

Crafts, games and sports activities all enrich the summer mornings and afternoons of local child...

Crafts, games and sports activities all enrich the summer mornings and afternoons of local children at the Boys & Girls Club of Menifee Valley.
While summer has just begun, many Menifee residents are excited about the months to come, because the opening of the Boys & Girls Club of Menifee Valley offers a safe and friendly environment for children and teens in the community.

“It’s been a fabulous start so far,” said John Whann, executive director for the club. “We already have over 180 kids enrolled so far.”

The Boys & Girls Club, located on the premises of what used to be Menifee Elementary School on Garbani Road, offers youths in Menifee a variety of services and programs. These include a recreational room to play games, outdoor activities and sports, field trips, cooking classes, magic demonstrations and several hands-on activities that coincide with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs and other educational standards.

“The programs have been going fantastic,” said Whann. “We’ve had great participation. The children love the programs, and we’re getting great positive feedback from the parents as well, so it’s been a great success.”

Whann said that one of the camp’s most popular activities this summer has been the Bricks for Kids seminars, which use robotic Lego building blocks to help teach students engineering and technological skills.

The Boys & Girls Club offers reasonable prices for families, said Whann, with fees of $115 a week or $25 per day. The club also offers scholarships on rates to reduce a daily price to $6.25 if the family qualifies.

Hours for the Boys & Girls Club span from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., but the club also has additional programs such as “Parents' Night Out,” where the club stays open later for parents to drop off their children to enjoy fun and entertaining activities while they enjoy a night out.

“It gives our families a place where they can bring their children,” said Whann. “It’s a positive place for them to come to and develop tools for lifelong skills.”

Jennifer Steele, a club counselor, said she enjoys working with the kids and counselors alike, and that the kids and counselors are very diverse.

“A lot of kids have opened up to us and that’s great," she said. "It’s amazing hearing their stories. Everyone here has a heart for kids. We all care about them.”