Millsboro officials hope Boys & Girls Club is in town’s future

MILLSBORO — Millsboro may someday be home to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware.

Town officials have their fingers crossed that initial discussion with high-level Delaware Boys & Girls Clubs representatives will put Millsboro on the map, either outright or as a satellite club.

Currently, Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware has a presence in neighboring Dagsboro, Georgetown and Oak Orchard — among the dozens of club sites in central and southern Delaware.

Millsboro town manager Sheldon Hudson and assistant town manager Jamie Burk met recently with a high-ranking Delaware Boys & Girls Clubs representative.

“The sense I got is the board may be taking a look at that as an option. The question is whether they would want to build from scratch or take an existing facility. We did talk about some possible sites. It was a really good conversation,” said Mr. Hudson. “It is certainly exciting, the prospect of more recreation for young people.”

At Millsboro town council’s Nov. 4 meeting, councilman James Kells noted that upward of 54 students from the middle school in Millsboro are transported to the Boys & Girls Club in Dagsboro.

Mr. Kells said he pitched the idea during an Oct. 21 visit to Dagsboro Boys & Girls Club.

Mr. Hudson says an organization like the Boys & Girls Clubs would fit in the town’s growth initiative.

“We don’t want to be like a lot of the coastal towns that are more geared toward tourism and toward maybe retirees. We want to be geared toward year-round residents, and all demographic groups — young, middle aged and old,” said Mr. Hudson. “I think having recreation and opportunities for young people is an important component in attracting those types of individuals to move to the town.”

Mr. Hudson added that the town may have future conversations with the YMCA and some other nonprofits that provide some of those types of services. The effort may also include for-profit organizations.

“We have been actively working to attract more indoor/outdoor recreation opportunities. There has definitely been some interest in that; nothing formal yet,” said Mr. Hudson. “We just feel like you take a multi-pronged approach and eventually things will start to fall into place. It’s just investing the time and energy to build those relationships and tell the story of Millsboro and why it is good place to be.”

In existence for 86 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware has impacted thousands of lives across Delaware, providing recreation, companionship, life and decision-making skills and character development.

The program is the largest licensed provider of childcare in Delaware and the only statewide Boys & Girls Club in the nation.

Club locations in Sussex County include Georgetown, Dagsboro, Oak Orchard/Riverdale, Western Sussex (Seaford and Laurel extension), Rehoboth Beach, Greater Milford, Greenwood (Woodbridge Elementary), Lewes (Love Creek Elementary), Milton (Milton Elementary).

Clubs in Kent County include Dover Air Force Base Youth Center, Greater Dover, Academy of Dover, Dover/Star Hill, Greater Smyrna, Smyrna (Sunnyside Elementary), Camden (Allen Frear Elementary and Warner Elementary), Frederica (Lake Forest East Elementary) and Magnolia (McIlvaine Elementary).

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