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Keeping your kids busy and away from bullies in the summertime

The Boys and Girls Club of the Capital City offers summer programs for kids in elementary school and middle school. (The Boys and Girls Club of the Capital City)

When school lets out for the summer, parents are often tasked with figuring out what to do with their children.

Parents often times want to keep their children busy and preferably, away from bullies.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Capital City is an option.

During the school year, the club is a busy place living up to their slogan, "3 p.m. When schools out, clubs are in."

But when school is out for the summer, it's also the place to be.

"We have an elementary camp for the younger children and very fortunately, we have a camp for our middle schoolers," Joy Ledbetter, social worker and family advocate at the Boys and Girls Club of the Capital City said.

Kids can enjoy different activities such as rock wall climbing, cooking classes and they even take field trips like to see the Cardinals play in St. Louis.

The Boys and Girls Club also hosts specialty programs like "Passport to Manhood" and "Smart Girls."

"These are programs where the guys can be in one area, the girls can be in another area so they're free to talk to the staff," Ledbetter said. "We have lady staff with the girls and guys staff with the guys so they can really open up."

Ledbetter said the programs are to prepare the young ones for the future.

"Passport to Manhood is just that," she said. "It's teaching the young men about being young men. What's expected of them for the future and what young ladies like in a young man. For the young girls, it's to build self confidence in themselves, it's to help them feel better about themselves so they can gain that self-confidence."

She said if you notice your child backing away from activities and their friends, you need to start talking to them and asking questions. She also said the club offers an opportunity for kids to gain confidence and provides a different atmosphere than what kids are used to.

"They're going to come to the club, they're going to meet other kids that don't go to their school so it gives them a chance to meet new friends, get away from the environment perhaps where that bully was and it gives them a chance to do some of those programs like we talked about," Ledbetter said.

To learn more about the camps at the Boys and Girls Club of the Capital City and to get your child involved, click here.

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