Response to Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19
September 16, 2020
The Club has been significantly impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency. As we work on our recovery and reopening, there are many factors that need to be assessed including significant health and safety measures that require the Club to shift and in some cases, redesign a new norm for operating.
While this planning and redesigning process takes time, we are as anxious as you are to reopen our doors. In the meantime, we have created an FAQ below to help our community stay up-to-date on the process. As this COVID-19 health emergency remains fluid, this FAQ will be updated as needed.
- Why are other fitness centers and pools open but the Club is not?
- The Club is licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). Up until the beginning of September, EEC regulations prohibited individuals other than Club staff, registered youth members and emergency personnel to be on premises. EEC regulations were recently updated to include allowing non-essential visitors on premises but not allowing them to share or enter any child care space. While this update offers more flexibility, the Club needs to reconfigure the space to prevent sharing of entryways, hallways and stairwells.
- How are other organizations such as the YMCA able to reopen to serve both children and adults but the Club is not?
- While we cannot speak for other organizations, we recognize the layout of the Club is unique and different from other organizations. Our fitness room is located right alongside several youth program spaces which creates the challenge of shared hallways and exposure between children and non-essential guests. We are exploring options to address this challenge and actively fundraising to support this effort.
- If there are conflicts with the child care programs, can the fitness room and/or pool be open during days/hours that the child care programs are not operating?
- We are exploring this as an option but there are two main challenges to overcome:
- State mandates require fitness facilities to space equipment 14 feet apart. This poses a significant challenge as our fitness room is only 1,200 sq. ft. and would require us to block off much of the equipment.
- In addition to the physical constraints, there are significant reopening costs that the Club needs to consider. The Club has been committed to being as accessible as possible to our community and thus has historically subsidized membership fees to cover the true costs of operating our fitness and aquatics programs. Due to the pandemic, operating costs have risen while the Club’s fundraising efforts have been impacted. The Club is thinking outside the box and redesigning our program infrastructure to ensure its sustainability.
- What actions has the Club taken thus far to prepare for reopening?
- The Club is actively monitoring state mandates as well as the health and safety guidelines for all of our programs. We also leveraged the closure to drain the pool, do a complete acid wash and make some necessary tile repairs. This project was just completed at the end of August.
- What are the Club’s current priorities and concerns about reopening?
- The reopening of all of our programs is done safely with all our members and staff in mind.
- In addition to fundraising, the pool is actively going through a recertification process with the local health department. This is a requirement before we are able to reopen.
- The community, like many across the Commonwealth are adapting to a new school year with remote learning. This change presented a significant challenge for many working families who are not able to stay home to facilitate learning with their child. The Club made a decision to step up and create a Remote Learning Support Program to provide a safe place for children to go on their remote learning days and enable parents to return to work. This was and continues to be a large undertaking but we felt was necessary and beneficial to families in addition to our community at-large.
- When does the Club anticipate reopening for fitness and/or aquatics?
- While we do not have a definitive date to announce, we are diligently working on removing the barriers that are keeping these programs closed. We anticipate reopening the pool first and hope for an early fall welcoming date. We truly regret not being able to be more specific.
- We will be sharing updates on our website and Facebook page and we will also contact current members individually when a more concrete date is determined.
July 23, 2020
Club Updates: Adult Membership
As you may already know, guidelines for reopening fitness centers in Phase 3 were released a few weeks ago. Our recovery task force has culled through the new mandates with hopes to announce a reopening date to you and all our members.
After considering many factors, the task force came to a difficult realization that, because of the unique layout of the building, it is much more challenging for us to reopen adult programs while safely adhering to all of the restrictions. Additionally, our licensing body for our youth programs currently prohibits any adults/visitors/guests from entering the building during youth programming hours.
Regarding our pool, we had a large draining, cleaning and repair project scheduled for August, during our annual Club shut-down/cleaning week. Our hope was that we could move the project timeline up and complete it during the mandated closure. Unfortunately, this was not possible, for reasons out of our control. Thus, knowing that repairs will be happening in just a few weeks, and knowing the stringent state guidelines in place (which limit the number of people who would be able to use the facility and the available hours of operation), we feel it is not in anyone's best interest to rush to reopen.
All of this ultimately led to the difficult decision to postpone the reopening of any adult services until the fall. I know this is difficult news and I truly wish the circumstances were different. We respectfully ask for your patience and understanding as our decisions are always made with the safety of all our members, staff, and community in mind.
Please feel free to call me if you have any questions. We will continue to keep you posted as the situation evolves.
July 13, 2020
Prior to entering the Club, all staff and members must complete and sign a Daily Health Attestation, documenting their health. The form can be found here, if you'd like to complete it before arriving.
DAILY HEALTH ATTESTATION
July 2, 2020
While Governor Baker's announcement has indicated that Phase 3 starts on Monday, July 6, 2020, please note that, much like when childcare programs were allowed to reopen, the Club needs time to review all guidelines before we can safely begin operations again. Our Club is different from other gym facilities (as you know!) and so we need to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of our adult members and youth members alike. Please check our website and Facebook frequently for updates! Thank you - as always - for your support and patience!
June 24, 2020
Updates to our school age summer fun program and summer plans for preschool are now available.
The Club has created a Covid Care Plan to outline our new safety protocols and program adaptations. Please note, policies and details may change, based on health and safety guidelines. Check back frequently for updates.
June 4, 2020
Summer Program Update!
Official guidelines have just been released this week that will require many changes. While we are working as quickly as we can to thoroughly digest and implement the changes, we will do so diligently with the concern for your child’s safety and that of our staff as our number one priority. The start of Phase 2 has yet to be announced by Governor Baker though we anticipate an update will be announced this Saturday. Once we have a starting date confirmed, we will release more information along with registration details. We do anticipate that the Club’s reopening will also be phased in tiers with school-age summer program first, followed by preschool and athletics.
While our Boys & Girls Club has the independence to tailor our programs and services to the specific needs and interests of Ludlow and its local neighbors, we are proud to be part of a national movement which allows us to tap into best practices from fellow Clubs across the nation. This has enabled the Ludlow Boys & Girls Club to better prepare to welcome your child back to the Club after vetting everything from safety practices to fun program experiences that will adhere to physical distancing guidelines. Here are a few guidelines to share as you prepare your family for a safe and fun summer:
-Spots will be extremely limited. Please begin to gather information you’ll need for registration such as emergency contact numbers, immunization forms, healthcare info, etc.
-Cloth facemasks have been procured to provide to members, but for extra comfort, parents/guardians may want to obtain face shields that are now available in children’s sizes.
-All program spaces will be reconfigured to follow distancing guidelines.
-Health screenings that will include daily temperature checks for all individuals prior to entering the building.
-The Club is committed to creating lots of fun memories with your child!
May 26, 2020:
Last week, Governor Baker announced the roll out of the reopening plan for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Based on this plan, summer day camps may be able to open around mid-June in Phase 2 of the plan, provided key health metrics are met. Reopening of non-emergency child care is still to be determined. Your children are our number one priority and we are anxious to provide the joyful summer experience that every child needs and deserves, now more than ever.
While we have a better sense of reopening timelines, we are still awaiting important sector-specific guidelines and best practices to be published in order to determine what changes we need to make to our program structure and facilities. In preparation for some of the anticipated changes, the Club has assembled a Recovery Task Force led by members of our Board of Directors. This task force has been working diligently on positioning the Club to reopen to our community including enhancing safety policies and procedures to protect our staff, members, and guests upon return.
We have all been challenged each day through this pandemic to adapt and think outside the box, and preparing for a “new” summer camp will require the same.
Please help us be as responsive as possible to our community’s needs by taking a moment to complete this brief survey and let us know what you anticipate your family’s needs to be this summer.
We want to be here for your family and will remain committed to doing everything we can to remain a partner to your family and support the strengthening of our community.
Regarding payments already made for a program/service yet to be provided by the Club due to COVID-19:
We ask for your patience and flexibility. During the past ten weeks of closure, the Club has lost nearly $200K as a result of expenses the Club has been responsible for paying through this pandemic while not collecting any program fees and needing to cancel our biggest fundraising event of the year. Additionally, childcare centers across the Commonwealth will need to adhere to a new norm that will result in higher operational costs. Despite this, the Club remains committed to being a resource and source of support today and for many more days and years to come.
COVID-19 Refund Policy:
The Club will honor all formal requests for refunds.
- Please note it may take some time, but we will begin reviewing requests upon our reopening.
- Formal requests should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.com with subject line: COVID Refund Request. The request should include your name, your child’s name and the program in which payment was made and you are seeking a refund for.
- In lieu of a cash refund, the Club is offering a credit for 110% of the cash value which can be used towards ANY of the Club’s programs, services and special events. We appreciate your consideration of this option as it will place the Club in a stronger financial position going forward.
PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU ARE WILLING TO SUPPORT OUR CRITICAL WORK BY DONATING YOUR REFUND BACK TO THE CLUB.
Thank you for entrusting us to be a part of your family. We look forward to providing further updates in the coming weeks.
Wishing you all good health, laughter and resiliency,
P.S. Speaking of laughter and resiliency, in case you missed it, please check out this video of Superintendent Todd Gazda getting a cake smashed in his face to support the Club! We love the silliness and the FUN our 70th Birthday is generating!
April 24, 2020:
Dear LBGC Family,
I hope you and your loved ones are finding the resiliency, creativity and support you need as we continue to navigate through this pandemic. The recent update from the Baker-Polito Administration to keep schools closed for the remainder of the school year and childcare centers thru June 29th heightens our concern and commitment at the Ludlow Community Center/Randall Boys & Girls Club more than ever to respond to the intensified anxiety, loneliness, and lack of physical activity and connections that many are facing.
I want to share the positive steps we are taking to support the community as best we can today as well as the actions we are taking to protect our important work for the future. We are so grateful for the many individuals, local businesses and club alumni who remain steadfast with their support of our mission.
How Are You Survey
Several weeks ago, we shared a link to a short survey. The well-being of our families and members remains our priority. Your responses will ensure we have the information we need to guide our planning on how to best be here for you today and when we are able to reopen. We look forward to hearing from more of you!
We have and will continue to procure and share via our Facebook page various resources to support learning, laughing, exploring, and living healthy lifestyles.
Additionally, we are excited to share another incredible resource; Epic for kids. Epic is the largest and safest digital library for kids of all ages. It allows your child to freely explore their interests for endless learning fun and they are offering students FREE REMOTE ACCESS through June 30.
I have started to use this myself with my kindergartner and we love it. In addition to over 40,000 books to choose from to create wonderful reading opportunities together, there are many read-aloud options to enable your child to explore more independently.
Sign up now using our class code peh4730 and you'll be automatically connected to our classroom where you can create a custom account for your child.
In partnership with Ludlow CARES, the Club will be assembling Comfort Kits and Activity Bags to distribute to families upon request. Items will range from arts & craft supplies to board games, stuffed animals and books. More information coming soon!
Virtual Birthday Party
We all need something to celebrate and a reason to cheer, laugh and be silly. SO….while we are sad to have to cancel our Night at the Races Anniversary Event, we are inviting all of you to a Virtual Birthday Party on Saturday, May 16th! It will be the perfect mix of fun and opportunity for the community to rally and raise critical funds needed for safety enhancements and scholarships to fulfill our mission. We can't reveal all the surprises.... but we promise it will be worth tuning in! RSVP and find exciting details about the event on Facebook.
Thank you to all our members and families for your patience while the Club navigates through these challenging times. While we have an updated timeline of when we may be able to reopen, we are still awaiting additional guidance from the Governor and local health officials to determine the necessary steps to be able to reopen safely. Once we are able to determine our program schedule and timeline, we will be in touch with all registered families and individuals.
Any current childcare or athletic/aquatics program fees that have already been paid, and where the program will not be rescheduled or delivered online, will be credited to your account for future use.
We want to assure our families that the Club is committed to addressing the many challenges outside of our normal procedures and policies during this difficult time. While we currently have limited operational capacities, upon our return to some sort of normalcy, we will work with all our families on the facilitation of household credits as well as refunds, if necessary.
For our fitness/aquatics members; as of April 1st, your membership has been frozen and will be reactivated upon the building’s opening. PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU ARE WILLING TO SUPPORT OUR CRITICAL WORK BY MAINTAINING YOUR ONGOING MEMBERSHIP DURING THIS CLOSURE.
We Are In This Together
We proudly carry Community in our name. In these difficult times, not only does our community need the Club, but we need our community - now more than ever.
Regardless of how bumpy the road may be, we will hold on to our shared vision and destination of a stronger and healthier community.
Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other.
Ludlow Community Center
Randall Boys & Girls Club
91 Claudia's Way
Ludlow, MA 01056
413-583-2072 ext. 113
March 30, 2020:
Dear Friends of the Club & Supporters,
I hope this email finds you safe and healthy. The Ludlow Community Center/Randall Boys & Girls Club is so grateful for our community of families, staff, volunteers, advisors and supporters.
The COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to impact individuals, businesses and organizations across our Commonwealth, and it is hitting the Ludlow Boys & Girls Club particularly hard.
We miss so much all the joyful faces and sounds of your children, and it’s been difficult knowing we cannot be there for you and your families during this difficult time. Over the last couple of weeks however, our incredible team has stepped up with grace and grit, finding creating ways to stay engaged with many of you and participating in many online trainings in the spirit of coming out of all of this even stronger.
Unfortunately, the suspension of all our programs and services since March 16, along with the most recent announcement by Governor Baker that schools and childcare centers must remain closed thru May 4, has left us with no other option than to also suspend our remote operations at this time.
Effective Monday, March 30, if you have any questions regarding our preschool or school-age program, please reach out to Katie Mitus, Director of Youth Services. All other questions can be directed to Chile Salazar, President/CEO.
While we may be scaled down momentarily, we do want you to know that we will continue to do our very best to be a resource to you and your family. If we can be of assistance to connect you with other partners/resources or offer fun activity ideas as I know our team has been doing thus far, please let Katie or I know. Also please be sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages as we have created albums with various resources to help you get through this pandemic.
We hope this transition is a very temporary one and will remain in touch with updates.
Thank you for being a part of our LBGC Family. Please take care and continue to follow CDC guidelines for physical distancing, etc. We miss seeing you at the Club and look forward to celebrating with you when we return!
Your support is needed now more than ever. If you are able, please consider making a gift in any amount to protect the Club and the thousands of children and adults that depend on us. Funds will be used to ensure that when we are able to re-open our blue doors again, that financial access will not be a barrier to a child or a senior member from coming back. With your support, you can help the Club get up and running as smoothly as possible.
In our 70 years of serving the community, we know that we are strongest when we support each other. My sincere thanks for your consideration and I wish continued good health to you and your loved ones.
Dear LBGC Family,
As I'm sure you've heard by now, Governor Baker has ordered the closing of all MA schools thru April 6th and ramped up other Covid-19 rules across the state. This will mean that the Ludlow Boys & Girls Club will extend its closure thru April 6th as well.
Please understand this is uncharted waters for us and poses various challenges. However, I want to assure you that our team is committed to remaining strong and supportive of our LBGC Family and the community at-large as we continue to adhere to all directives that will keep all of us safe.
Our team has started to gather resources for both our youth and adult members to access while at home and can be found on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Over the next few weeks, our team will focus on a combination of online trainings, program planning and creative ways to remain connected as our commitment and dedication to you will not waver and our goal is that when we are able to welcome you and your loved ones back, we will be stronger than ever.
We will continue to share updates as they become available. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out via email to any of our directors or myself with any questions. We will do our best to respond in a timely manner and with the current information we have on hand.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I hope you all take care of yourself and each other.
Katie Mitus, Dir. of Youth Services: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Goodwin, Dir. of Operational Services: email@example.com
Deb Roque, Accounting Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Donovan, Dir. of Development: email@example.com
Kelly-Ann Maxwell, Dir. of Membership: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chile Salazar, President/CEO: email@example.com
updated March 15, 2020 at 13:10
Dear LBGC Family,
As expected, the situation is continuing to change rapidly as we continue to follow the guidance of the local and national health authorities including the Ludlow Board of Public Health.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the Ludlow Boys and Girls Club (LBGC) will be closed to the public effective Monday, March 16th thru March 29th, per the recommendation of the Ludlow Board of Public Health and with the assent of the LBGC Board of Directors.
- For families enrolled in our Preschool, Before or After School programs, you will NOT be charged during this two (2) week period. Any fees paid for next week will be applied to your program fee upon the re-opening of the Club.
- For Fitness/Aquatics members, we ask for your consideration of these unprecedented times that will significantly hurt the financial stability of many nonprofits including the LBGC, that relies heavily on fundraising efforts and programs that are coming to a halt. With that said, we respectfully ask you to consider the following:
- Allow the Club to convert your membership fee for this two week period into a donation to the Club, or
- Allow the Club to freeze your membership and extend it by two weeks on your renewal date.
- For any member who would prefer a refund, please email your request to Chile Salazar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your flexibility and understanding during these challenging times.
updated March 13, 2020 at 19:13
Dear LBGC Family,
Over the past few weeks, the board of directors and administrative staff have paid close attention to concerns around the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19. In particular, we have been following the implications of Governor Baker's declaration of a State of Emergency including restrictions and guidance in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus and to minimize as much as possible the number of people who will get sick. With the widespread cancelling of events across the state, as well as the closing of colleges and universities, we have made the hard decision to pause our non-essential programs and services through to March 29th as well as postpone several of our upcoming community events. Pausing/postponing for two weeks allows us to continue to monitor the situation while giving us time to re-assess if necessary. A full list of the programs/activities/events effected are listed below.
Please understand this was not a decision made lightly. As always, my first priority is the health and safety of our families, staff, and volunteers.
It feels like the situation is changing daily, if not hourly, and we will continue to communicate as we navigate this uncertainty.
Our hearts go out to any family affected by this virus. Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other.
Events and Programs to be postponed as of 3/13/2020:
Swim team banquet
Easter Egg Hunt
Sports & fitness programs – cancelled or postponed March 14 - April 6:
Group Exercise classes
Heroes in Training
Stoke & turn clinic
Lil Sea Lions
High School Rec Basketball
Intro to Basketball
Updated March 13, 2020 at 15:57