Boys and Girls Club prepares for sixth Heritage Ride

By Sam Taff — Daily Correspondent

Everyone remembers their first time riding a bike — the wind parting your hair, the feeling you could almost fly. It took down the barriers of your front yard and opened the world to a new area of exploration and adventure.

On June 2, teams of bike riders from around the region will converge on the Frederick County area to take part in the Sixth Annual Boys and Girls Club of Northern Shenandoah Valley’s Heritage Ride.

Whether you are a weekend adventure rider or a pro this ride is made for you. It’s an opportunity to bike through the beautiful countryside surrounded by Civil War history. An entrance fee of $30 goes back to the club to help further its mission, inspiring and enabling young people to reach their productive goals and become caring citizens.

As Heather Forman, director of the club explained, “We have 10, 30, 50 and 70 mile routes that start at Valley Health’s Wellness & Fitness Center.”

Not only does the club organize this event they have also been training 10 teams of teens to ride in the 30 mile ride.

“We have teams that have been training for the ride with Winchester Wheelmen and the owner of Blue Ridge Bicycles,” Forman said. Those club members who finish the ride get a great prize at the end of their journey — a new bike. “They are so excited about the bikes.”

You may not win a bike but you do get the satisfaction of knowing you are getting exercise and helping a good cause.

The ride is just one small piece of what the Boys and Girls Club does in the Frederick County area. In a typical school year the club sees over 400 young people come through its doors from Winchester and all the surrounding counties.

They take part in after school activities to build character and leadership. The first order of business when they arrive is homework though. After that they can have some fun.

“We have a great partnership with the city schools; there is a bus that drops students off,” Forman said.

After school is out for the summer the club kicks into even more activities to keep boys and girls busy. Their summer camp runs for eight weeks starting June 17.

“We have field trips every day to the pool and bowling and even have a great relationship with the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley and the Discovery Museum,” Forman explained.

The camp runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is expected to serve 150 boys and girls this summer.

Youth development professionals, volunteers and junior staff members run the camp.

The club is always looking for volunteers, Forman said.

“During the school year we are looking for volunteers to come in and help with homework. We always need additional help.”

To find out more about the club you can check out their website at www.bgcnsv.com. Information on the bike ride is at www.bgcride.org. You can also reach them at 723-6665, Forman will be more than happy to give you more information.