Vivian, a member of United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County, gets ready for breakfast.

Vivian, a member of United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County, gets ready for breakfast. (Courtesy photo)

The United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County (UBGC) opened the doors on July 6 at its Canon Perdido Street site. UBGC and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara on Canon Perdido have merged and are operating as one organization. UBGC decided to open the club on Canon Perdido as its first site running summer programs.

The organization went through a two-week training in preparation to opening for club members.

“We wanted to make sure that we were able to operate our clubs in a manner that made the safety of our club members and staff priority No. 1,” said CEO Michael Baker. “When we decided which club we should open first, it was a no-brainer that we would come back to where it all started for our organization back in 1938. I absolutely love this club building.”

The organization started with only 17 members their first week but has more than doubled that with 39 members enrolled. UBGC would like to open more club doors, but with funding being tight due to the canceling of events, they have to start with one club at a time as they look at how they plan to raise money to open the other clubs.

“It will cost us $1.5 million to open all our clubs from Aug. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020, and fill them to capacity under the new COVID-19 standards,” Baker said.

Each club site can serve just 50-100 kids based on the new COVID-19 standards and practicing social distancing with all members. As of now, UBGC has the best of its staff members working in one club. All club directors are leading groups of 10.

Members enjoy breakfast and lunch during programming and are required to wear masks the entire day. As a member arrives, the guardian is asked a CDC health questionnaire about their members. The temperature of the member is taken and recorded.

If the member passes the questionnaire and temperature check, they are required to wash their hands before heading into the club. Each member is required to have their temperature retaken at the end of programming before being picked up.

“We have amazing and dedicated staff who are ready and waiting to give our members a chance for a little normal in their lives — a fun and safe place they can go and play,” said Tony Vallejo, board president. “Our people are amazing, and the proof of that is the smiling faces you can see all over the clubs. We currently have one club open now and hope to open the others shortly.”

Scholarships are currently limited. To learn more UBGC or to donate, visit or call 805-681-1315.