The New Marion Boys Club

This is the newer Boys Club in Marion but again open fewer hours than the old version. The Clark Street club was open Monday through Friday from 3–9 pm and on Saturday from 10-4. The newer club is open 3-8 pm Monday through Thursday and closed Friday and Saturday.

Why so few hours?  The old club was open 36 hours a week  in the   1970’s. Now the hours have dropped to 20 hours a week. I  was the Educational Director at the old club and we had guest speakers down twice a week, quiz bowls, SRA Reading Program, discussion groups, and more. The Marion Giant Marching Band even payed us a visit and the neighborhood came out.

Today kids need our time. Considering opening longer hours.

New Marion Boys Club Athletic Fields

Both in front of the new Marion Boys Club and in the rear are exterior play areas. Behind the club they teach gardening skills along with the areas designated for sports.

This club is open Monday thru Thursday from 3-8 pm. They are closed Friday and on the weekends which seems strange to me.

I was the Educational Director at the old club on Clark Street in the early 1970 era. Our hours were 3-9 pm Monday thru Friday and six hours on Saturday. They are open now only 20 hours a week while the old club was open 36 hours a week.

I hop they expand their hours soon.

The Changing World of Boys & Girls Clubs Of America

Boys & Girls Clubs Of America Has Changed dramatically since I was part of the operation. I don’t think the change is for the better. When I was with the Marion Boys C

lub of Marion Indiana the hours of operation were Monday through Friday 3 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 to 4. We had 36 hours of operation of programs for the boys. Today the Grant County Boys Club is open from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and closed on Friday and Saturday. I don’t understand that logic. Saturday was one of our biggest days. At the Joplin Boys Club their present hours of operation are Monday through Friday 3 to 7 p.m. and closed on Saturday. When I was the director of that boys club our hours of operation were Monday through Friday from 3 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 to 3 p.m. . They presently are open 20 hours a week while my hours of operation were 36 hours a week. Almost double the hours of operation and again Saturday was a big day for us. In Hoffman Estates my hours were 3 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturday 9 to 3 p.m. again 36 hours of operation. Another difficult thing to understand Were school holidays. Today most clubs are closed or have limited hours while my clubs were open every holiday with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Every other holiday we were open and active. I don’t understand the thinking of boys clubs of America today. They are there for the children. I can understand changes in membership rates as times have changed but I don’t understand how major sports programs can be played in Limited hours especially on Saturdays when most clubs are closed today. That logic Escapes Me.

When I took camping trips to Michigan with three of my boys clubs My staff was on duty 24/7. I don’t understand the discrepancy in hours in the operation of a boys club today. Kids need boys clubs to be open the majority of the time. The only change that makes sense to me today is closing the club earlier but I would say 8 p.m. would be a good closing time. The salesian boys club hours were Monday through Friday 3 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 to 4 p.m. which is again a 36 hour program. Yes times have changed but not for the better for Boys Clubs of America.

Boys Club Transitions

I wanted to take a look back at the six Boys Clubs of America that I was a part of during that time of my life.

1.  Marion, Indiana:  I was the Educational Director there and part of my job was to host  weekly television program on Channel 23.  That club has now been sold to a church and has relocated to just south of Indiana Wesleyan University.  It was from here and from Taylor University that many of my guest speakers came from. I also operated Matthew’s Indiana extension one day a week.

2.  Salesian, Columbus, Ohio.  This club was located in downtown Columbus and closed down a few years ago for a lack of financial resources.  Part of my job there was to work at St. Ladislaus as their physical education director.  The club itself has a  pool, gymnasium with a running track over the gym, and an eight lane bowling alley.

3.  Hoffman Estates, Illinois.  This was my first job as an Executive Director and I had a renovated barn with an excellent outside facility including a football field and two softball fields.   The director after my tenure caused the club to close down and the building itself was removed.

4.  Joplin, Missouri:  I was again the Executive Director of this club and oversaw their new facility which was partly opened during my tenure.  Since that time, the old building has been razed and a second gym installed. 

5.  Bradenton, Florida.  This club closed down in 2009. It has three large baseball fields, a Ceramics room, they gymnasium and locker rooms, a weight room, a games room, and a wood shop. 

Of course over the span of some twenty-five years changes are inevitable and progress must be a part of any expansion plan.  It was sad, though, to learn that Hoffman Estates, Bradenton, and the Salesian clubs are no longer in operation.Now I’m at my last Club called Mishawaka. I serve as its executive director. It has a pool, gymnasium, Learning Center, games room, Arts & Crafts Center, kitchen, and two large softball fields.

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Grant County Boys & Girls Club

This is impressive! Thanksgiving day was celebrated at the Grant County Boys & Girls Club in Marion Indiana on Thanksgiving Day. A dinner was on hand for parents and children and the board of directors. All together on Thanksgiving Day and this is what Thanksgiving is all about. More clubs should be doing this with their community. The new executive director here should be congratulated for a fantastic idea. This boy’s Club is a real family.

I worked for this organization when they were called the Marion Boys Club and I was their educational director when Mike McMillan was the program director. It’s a fine organization and worthy of your support.