Hayden eyeing Boys & Girls Club | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden eyeing Boys & Girls Club

— A few months ago, Hayden resident John Shaw watched as several packed school buses unloaded kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig.

“That’s a huge asset for the community of Craig,” Shaw said of the club, which has grown substantially since opening in 2004.

Shaw, whose father and grandfather were active supporters of the Boys & Girls Club, is working with a small group of people in Hayden to bring club programs to town.

“It’s a very successful program nationwide, and I think the community could really benefit from it,” Shaw said. “There is a need for some activities for the young people. There just aren’t as many activities as there are in other communities such as Craig or Steamboat.”

A public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. today at the Hayden Town Hall to discuss starting a Boys & Girls Club of Hayden. Representatives from the Craig club will attend. It is possible a Hayden club could become a part of the Craig club.

“We want to invite not only adults but also kids to talk about what they want,” Shaw said.

A Hayden club could supplement youth activities already offered through organizations such as Totally Kids, Routt County 4-H and the recently revived Hayden Cub Scout Troop.

Shaw said Hayden residents have been surveying to figure out what needs are not being fulfilled in the community. To offer club activities, facilities and personnel needs need to be examined.

One of the biggest unanswered questions is how the club programs might be funded.

Shaw said it would be difficult to try to establish a new club. A Hayden club could piggyback on the Craig club, he said.

“You wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel,” said Pres Askew, one of the Craig club’s founders.

The Boys & Girls Club of America started in 1860, and many communities view the club as one way to keep kids safe and out of trouble.

“I think they are great in any community,” Askew said.

Since the Craig club opened in 2004, it has grown from 70 members to about 700.

Askew said the club has helped spur a 44 percent decrease in juvenile delinquency in Craig.

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