Tomah’s Boys & Girls Club has a new site coordinator.
Lindsey Guden has replaced Maretta Budde, who was the site coordinator from early 2015 until Oct. 26.
Guden is a native of Pittsville, where she graduated from Pittsville High School in 2011. After high school she attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where she graduated in 2016 with a bachelor of science degree in psychology.
Guden has worked for the Boys & Girls Club for over two years, beginning while she was in college as part of AmeriCorps and continuing at the club after college.
That one year was all it took to get Guden hooked on working with children.
“I hadn’t really worked with kids before that. I had worked with teens and juveniles before that but not younger kids,” she said. “Once I started doing it I realized I really liked it — you get to kind of shape them and get to the point where they learn to think logically. That’s a really interesting part of working with kids. You get to see them develop, and to have a part in that is really great.”
Prior to being named site coordinator, Guden was the program director, where she managed staff, set schedules, coordinated volunteers and handled child discipline issues.
As site coordinator, Guden’s duties will be similar but more in-depth, she said. She’ll do more work in the community and be involved with more of the finer details of keeping the club running and networking.
Guden said she applied for the position because it was a good opportunity and she wanted to do more to keep the club going.
“Maretta was a very good site director, and I want to continue what we’ve built and make sure that stays alive and well and we can grow off the foundation that we have,” Guden said.
In the first year, Guden said she has many goals she’s looking to reach.
One of the goals is creating a consistent volunteer schedule.
“I would love to get more volunteers in here,” she said. “We have a good base of volunteers right now. We have a lot of people that come through, but I would like to see that be a little more consistent, especially with tutoring-type things.”
She also hopes to grow the Teen Center, which has an average daily attendance of about 10. Children start going to the Teen Center from the Boys & Girls Club at age 12.
Attendance at the Teen Center depends on what kind of activities the teens are involved in, Guden said. They tend to be involved in more school and extracurricular activities than the younger children.
“We in no way want to pull from those programs, but there’s still a lot of down time, and we just want them to know that we’re a fun place to be, we’re a safe place to be and we have good programs,” she said. “We’re a place worth hanging out at. If we can get them in our program vs. being at home unsupervised, then it’s beneficial.”