JR Dzubak, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley, said he first visited Mount Shasta three years ago for a board retreat and couldn’t even describe the beauty of the area. He was excited to bring his club north to witness the mountains, lakes and greenery for themselves – a far cry from the cityscape they’re used to seeing.

Worlds collided on July 10 as the Boys and Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley drove 10 hours north to Mount Shasta to meet with the Boys and Girls Club of the Siskiyous. The meeting had been in the works for about three years, according to BGCS Director Noam Zimin. In addition to youth from both clubs getting to enjoy multiple days of activities together, the Boys and Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley donated a van to the Boys and Girls Club of the Siskiyous.

JR Dzubak, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley, said he first visited Mount Shasta three years ago for a board retreat and couldn’t even describe the beauty of the area. He was excited to bring his club north to witness the mountains, lakes and greenery for themselves – a far cry from the cityscape they’re used to seeing.

Zimin said that Dzubak has been a great help to the Boys and Girls Club of the Siskiyous. “He’s taken us under his wing and helped us with staff and board trainings,” he explained.

Zimin described the larger Boys and Girls Club organization as a “movement of people that are supportive of each other.” He noted that he can comfortably call up any CEO in the organization and discuss programs and ideas. “Everybody helps everybody,” he said.

The donation of the van was a prime example of one club supporting another in a big way. And the vehicle opens a lot of doors for the local club. Zimin noted that it will allow BGCS to enjoy outdoor adventures, educational field trips and many other activities.

Dzubak said that the BGCWSGV decided that, rather than using its funding to open new clubhouses, it would “do a pop-up situation.” The meeting of the two far-flung clubs in Mount Shasta was the first of those pop-ups.

Both clubs enjoyed a slew of activities during their time together. The took a hike to Heart Lake, rode in pontoon boats at Lake Siskiyou and did multiple art projects together. While on their Heart Lake hike, some of the kids from the BGCWSGV were able to see snow for the first time, Zimin said.

Shortly after the announcement of the new van on Wednesday, many of the kids took part in a spray painting art project led by BGCWSGV staff member Lalo Marquez. The kids were allowed to experiment with spray paint on paper in making their own works of galaxy art. The BGCWSGV brought a heap of art supplies with them thanks to their special art van.

Dzubak shared that BGCWSGV and BGCS will be doing an annual club exchange, with either one club traveling north or the other traveling south. Up next is a plan for BGCS to travel to the Los Angeles area to enjoy a trip to Disneyland with members of the BGCWSGV.