Over 100 local youth benefit from 26 years of inspiration and encouragement at the Boys & Girls Club


Boys & Girls Clubs of El Camino Reál completed their 26th first week of Summer Programming June 8 at the MLK Recreation Center through the generosity of the City of Natchitoches, the Parks & Recreation Department and local supporters to kids and teens an adventurous, active and healthy summer. The BGCECR Summer Day Camp programs offer youth fun and unique experiences with an opportunity to meet new friends, participate in sporting activities, discover new interests and create memories that last a lifetime.

There are four reasons why children and teens should attend a BGCECR Summer Day Camp:

Academic Success: Although school may be out, BGCECR’s Summer Day Camps provide a variety of educational enrichment activities, including field trips and language arts and quiz bowl type events.

Be Good, Do Great: Our Club programs are designed to increase self-confidence, help Club Members form meaningful friendships, build sound character and leadership skill and understand the importance of giving back to the community.

Healthy Choices: Club Members will learn the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle with several fitness options, including sports and recreation activities. At no additional costs, we are able to help feed attendees a nutritious breakfast and lunch provided by the Natchitoches Parish’s Community Services Division through their Summer Feeding Program five days a week.

Fun with a Purpose: Club Members are encouraged to have fun in a positive environment while learning new skills. From the arts and summer reading to lessons and shows, our Clubs have something to offer to everyone.

“At our Club we provide programs that help youth participate, learn and grow while having lots of fun,” said Chief Executive Officer Eliza Behrendsen.

The eight and a half week summer camp program offers a wide range of activities both indoors and out, including swimming, movies, arts and crafts, sports and recreation Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. from June 1 – July 31. Core activities like swimming, sports and art are always part of the camp schedule, but additional activities are added to match the needs of the Club Members.

The MLK Rec Center Club Site and office offers a full-size gymnasium, two classrooms, baseball field, park, outdoor activities and a raised-bed garden.

For 26 years, the Natchitoches Boys & Girls Clubs has inspired and enabled young people, especially those who need us most, to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. In 2015, some 1,030 plus Natchitoches children and teens were served through Club membership and community outreach.
The Club provides a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of national alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives.