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Campers at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County’s Camp Grosvenor got a sneak peek at the caliber of performances at this year’s Newport Folk Festival when The Ballroom Thieves visited the kids at the Saunderstown camp to perform, share instruments and interact with them.
Since 2013, the Newport Festivals Foundation, organizers of the iconic Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival, has collaborated with the Club to bring enriching, live performances to Club members to expose them to vocal and instrumental music, and has funded music instruction at the Clubhouse.
The Ballroom Thieves’ Martin Marley played guitar while Callie Peters sang to the enraptured audience. After their time spent with the campers, Martin concluded, “If this is work, I’ll take it.”
“We appreciate The Ballroom Thieves taking the time to not only perform but also to spend time with the kids to let them try out a guitar, use the band’s sound system to sing a song, and share their stories,” said Club Executive Director Joe Pratt. “Having Newport Festival artists at camp is a tradition that we sorely missed last year because of the pandemic.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County was founded in 1956 to provide a safe haven for youth who needed help with challenges in their lives and encouragement toward brighter futures. Our mission is to ”inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need help most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.” With a pre-pandemic membership of nearly 2,200 individuals and outreach activities that positively impact approximately 6,000 youth annually in both Newport and Washington Counties, the Club plays a vital role in strengthening and supporting the communities it serves. Also, since the pandemic’s onset, the Club has collaborated with other organizations to supply basic needs like food, cleaning products and toiletries to families most impacted.
As the leading youth guidance agency in Newport County, the Club provides a positive, safe and fun environment for children and youth ages 5 to 18 to learn and grow at its clubhouses, summer camps and outreach programs. Our Central Clubhouse in Newport is home to our licensed before- and after-school childcare and serves members up to age 16, and our North End Clubhouse in Newport’s North End neighborhood serves teen members and is home to our College and Career Center. In a typical summer, over 500 Newport County and Washington County youths attend our camps: Camp Grosvenor, our 95-acre day camp in Saunderstown, and a learning loss prevention program in Newport. During the school year, the Club provides programming to youth in South Kingstown and Westerly in Washington County, where no Boys & Girls Club exists. To meet basic needs, the Club provides transportation to and from its facilities and serves healthy dinners and snacks daily.