50 years of serving Rapid City youth - KOTA Territory News

50 years of serving Rapid City youth

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For the past 50 years, the Rapid City Club for Boys has worked to enrich the lives of boys.

Friday, the organization celebrated their years of success.    

The club has seen 33,000 young men and boys since it was founded in 1963.

"I find it hard now to go about anywhere," said Special Projects Director, Dave Oyler. "Whether it's the gas station to gas up, the grocery store or wherever, that you don't find former boys club members."

What started in an old train depot off of Omaha Street and 8th, has transformed into a club to which at least 240 boys a day hang out, and at least 100 more in the summer months.

"Of less importance is where the boys club was at," said Oyler. "Of more importance were the people that were here and the work that they did in trying to make kids feel special."

For many youth the club is a place of refuge, many state they don't know were their lives would be without the club.

There are programs for just about any activity or game, including hiking, camping, basketball, arts and crafts, and much more. 

But Oyler says there is a deeper meaning behind all the fun and games.

"The history of the boys club is really about people," said Oyler. "It's about the boys and their families and the needs that they have and the things that they have taught us."  

According to Oyler, about half of the boys attending the club over the years are of a minority group, 11 percent are homeless, and eight percent come from incarcerated families.

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Rapid City, SD 57701

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