TRI-CITIES, Tenn. (WJHL) – COVID-19 is changing the way local boys and girls clubs operate this summer. Many are having to alter their programs and limit the number of participants.
“We’re going to have to have masks and we’re going to have thermometers and we’re going to have to have hand sanitation and we’re going to have double the staff because of the ratios,” Robin Crumley, President and CEO of the Johnson City Washington County Boys and Girls Club.
Crumley said right now, these clubs are needed more than ever, but with social distancing requirements and state and federal guidelines, it is difficult to determine which kids get in.
“It will be those essential workers and people who are still working and need that child care,” said Crumley, “they’re going to be first on the line.”
Last year, the Johnson City Washington County club had around 200 participants in its summer program. Crumley expects that number to be less this year.
Scott Bullington with the Boys and Girls Club of Greeneville and Greene County said the financial hit businesses have taken will also be felt by the clubs.
“The toughest thing for our boys & girls club and many of the non-profits is going to be the loss of revenues from sponsorship from business and other places throughout the year,” said Bullington.
The Boys and Girls Club of Greeneville and Greene County is still planning to open May 18th.
At the Boys and Girls Club of the Mountain Empire, Asia Malone said there’s going to be a change in activities.
“Field trips are going to be different, there’s not going to be swimming or a lot of things that we normally do with the kids and we’re still not going to be able to have large groups,” said Malone.
Both Malone and Bullington mentioned that their clubs are looking to do more activities outdoors.