Posted by Harry Mueller

January 23, Kaycee Headrick, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County (BGCLC), presented BGCLC's current status and plans for the future.  Larimer County has 8 clubs providing daily out-of-school programs (including meals and snacks) for children 6 – 18 years of age.  Cost is $20 per year per child.  School busses deliver kids to free-standing clubs; facilities integrated in other establishments are aimed at local kids who can walk. 

BGCLC attempts to address three issues.  1) Economic disadvantage: In Larimer County, it takes $70,000 annual income for a family of 4 to meet basic needs; poverty is defined as an income less than approximately $27,000.  11% of the residents in Larimer County live in poverty and it is estimated that 16,000 of those are children.  BGCLC currently serves over 3000 youth each year.  2) Mental health.  Suicide is a major cause of death in the 10 – 24-year age range.  3) High school graduation rates are reduced for kids on free & reduced lunch programs. 

The annual Youth of the Year Fundraising Breakfast will be at Embassy Suites on Feb. 14, 7:00 – 8:30 AM.  Diverse opportunities for volunteering are available through or 970-372-2976.  Questions may be addressed to Kaycee at

BGCLC emphasizes five elements for positive youth development:  1) a safe and positive environment;  2) create an environment that is fun and provides a sense of belonging;  3) build supportive relationships;  4) set high expectations and new opportunities;  5) provide formal and informal recognition.  Examples include a baseball clinic with the Colorado Rockies and a week-long camping experience. 

Priority outcomes include: academic success (graduate from high school); building good character and citizenship; healthy lifestyles (healthy diet and physical fitness).  Kids who attend show better results than peers who do not attend. 

Action plans for the future:  1) increased access.  There are three new clubs in the county; there is specific outreach to the Loveland area; and a church building in Wellington has been purchased to be renovated for a new club to open this summer.  2) Increase program quality & member experience by focusing on staff development & training, program development evaluation, and community partnerships.  3) Strengthen organization & sustainability.