COVID and the club: conversations with Boys & Girls Club leaders on providing services during the COVID-19 pandemic Academic Article uri icon


  • Purpose Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCs) provide numerous avenues for youth to connect, be physically active and have healthy meals/snacks. These services are often provided to low-income families at reduced cost to bridge the gap in after school and summer childcare. However, many of these clubs were forced to dramatically change their services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to examine how 13 BGCs in Texas, USA, experienced COVID-19 and persevered to provide services. Design/methodology/approach Interviews were conducted with 16 BGC leaders from 13 different BGCs. Open-ended questions were used to elicit leaders experiences with the pandemic, services their clubs were able to offer, barriers overcome and supports crucial to their ability to serve their communities. Thematic analysis was used to generate findings from these interviews. Findings BGC services changed significantly during the pandemic. Normal activities were no longer possible; however, leaders (alongside their communities) continually provided services for their families. Further, leaders reiterated the power of the community coming together in support of their families. Social implications While BGC leaders had to adapt services, they found ways to reach families and serve their community. These adaptations can have dramatic impacts on the social and physical well-being of children in their communities. Learning from this adversity can improve services as clubs start to build back. Originality/value This study provides vital context to the changing care and setting children were exposed to during the pandemic response. Additionally, these results provide understanding of the adaptations that took place in these services.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Prochnow, T., Patterson, M. S., & Meyer, M.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • June 2022