By Erin Porteous, CEO

After one of the most difficult years in a generation, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver made the decision in January that the summer of 2021 would be an 8-week celebration of our kids, which we joyfully called the Summer of Fun! We knew that with all of the uncertainties of this time – magnified by remote schooling and so many cancelled plans and events – the youngest members of the greater Denver community lost out on so much of what it means to be a kid. 

By Erin Porteous, CEO

After one of the most difficult years in a generation, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver made the decision in January that the summer of 2021 would be an 8-week celebration of our kids, which we joyfully called the Summer of Fun! We knew that with all of the uncertainties of this time – magnified by remote schooling and so many cancelled plans and events – the youngest members of the greater Denver community lost out on so much of what it means to be a kid. 

So we were determined to change that trajectory. In late spring, our staff – along with key partners across the city – started working hard to imagine what a summer of fun could look like for Denver’s kids. It would certainly involve field trips, getting outside, exploring museums, going on brand-new adventures, and connecting with friends, both old and new. And it would also have to be thoughtful, safe and flexible. 

Today, I am thrilled to share with you that our Summer of Fun was a resounding success. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to encapsulate in a single blog post. I’ll offer a quick summary: 

  • We partnered with nearly 30 community organizations to deliver programming, from Museo de Las Americas to the Denver Aquarium. 
  • We were supported by key corporate partners and foundations, including Ardent Mills, Coca-Cola, State Farm, Mile High United Way, the El Pomar Foundation and the Anschutz Foundation – just to name a few! 
  • Our kids went on dozens of unique field trips, from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to the Butterfly Pavilion. 
  • They also spent lots of time exploring the great outdoors – going rock climbing, paddleboarding, hiking, fly fishing and horseback riding. 
  • And we were thrilled to welcome our Club kids back to Gates Camp! Over the course of the summer, ­680 Club members from 14 Clubs made the drive to camp for a full day of programming. Activities included canoeing, archery, nature games, hiking and watching the wildlife. 

In addition to being measured in numbers, fun is also measured in smiles, new experiences, and the excitement that comes with growing more confident, curious, and brave. I invite you to check out highlights and photos from our Summer of Fun on our website to get a first-hand look at those smiles and that excitement. 

We often speak proudly of the resilience of children, but we know that asking or expecting resilience from our kids does come with a trade-off. That’s why we at Boys & Girls Clubs intentionally made a trade this summer: Instead of asking our kids to be even more resilient, we equipped them with experiences to fill their proverbial cups.  

Now, they head into a new school year a little bit lighter and a little more ready to continue on a path towards certainty; one that supports them and allows them to thrive. And we at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver will be there every step of the way – and through every season.