Students in the second and third grades (above) draw during the Boys & Girls Club of Rusk County’s Summer Camp Monday. Camps for ages 6-17 will continue at the club through Aug. 2. 


Boys & Girls Club hosting variety of activities for children

School’s out for summer and camps at the Boys & Girls Club of Rusk County are officially in full swing. 

The B&GC partnered with West Rusk CCISD and New Summerfield ISD, recipients of the 21st Century Grant, to bring students to Henderson and join in the club’s enrichment programs. 

Students from both districts come to the club from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 

“They are included in our breakfast and lunch and co-mingle with our kids from Henderson,” said B&GC Chief Executive Officer Peggy McAlister. 

Children attending the B&GC summer camps are broken down by grades and participate in arts and crafts, computer time, gym time, game room, outdoor activities and field trips.

“We take field trips to the library or movies and we will swim at the city pool in Kilgore,” McAlister said. “We will also go to the City of Henderson water department and Eastman this year. We are always looking for new businesses to tour or activities to participate in.” 

There are currently 97 children registered this summer and McAlister said the club averages around 80 children daily. 

The summer feeding program at the B&GC, sponsored by Henderson ISD, is free for all children aged 6-17. Breakfast is from 8-9 a.m. and lunch is provided from noon-1 p.m. 

McAlister said that children who are not a member of the B&GC can still receive breakfast and lunch daily. 

“Being involved in our camps is really beneficial for these kids,” McAlister said. “It’s a safe place to come, parents don’t have to worry and we are providing them with activities they probably wouldn’t do at home.” 

The B&GC’s summer hours are 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and McAlister said they are still accepting students into the program. The fee per month is $150 and there are additional discounts for more than one child. 

The program continues through Aug. 2 and the club will open back up with the after school program later in August. 

The club has also provided an engineering camp for around 12 students in grades fourth-sixth, through Texas Alliance and Sylvan Learning. 

The camp is taught by Barbara Smith-Vallier. 

In the engineering camps, the students turn into real engineers: designing, evaluating and constructing machines.

“We’re using Legos and the computers to construct a Lego figure and hopefully they will get them to move and make noises,” Vallier said. “The program is designed for the students to become problem solvers using science, math and technology.” 

The STEM program is  from 9 a.m.-noon this week and was offered to B&GC members. 

“It’s very creative and very engaging,” Vallier said. “We really use that critical thinking component and it teaches them how to work together and figure it out without the help of a teacher.”

The B&GC will also host its first ever Mike Wilhite Golf Classic on June 15. 

The tournament is a four-person scramble and will take place at Wood Hollow Golf Course in Longview. Deadline for entry is June 7. Former Atlanta Braves player Tyrell Jenkins will be the special guest at the tournament. 

For more information on the tournament or the summer programs, contact McAlister at 903-655-2112 or email

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