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Boys and Girls Club opens first club on the Shore in Cambridge

CAMBRIDGE — The first Eastern Shore location of the Boys and Girls Club began operation on June 30 at the Dorchester County Athletic Complex at Leonards Lane.

The opening of summer camp operations in the county Rec and Parks building marks the addition of the sixth club location for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Baltimore organization.

The former racquet club building was obtained by the county in 2020, and negotiations between the Boys and Girls Club and the county began earlier this year.

Governor Larry Hogan was among the many officials attending the event. “All of our Boys and Girls Clubs really do provide hope and a safe and inclusive environment for so many young people,” Hogan said, “Now with the opening of this new site, we’re going to be able to help even more children reach their full potential.”

“I want to give a special thanks to the Boys and Girls Club and Metropolitan Baltimore for branching out, in believing in this small community,” said Cambridge Ward 2 Commissioner and Council President Lajan Cephas, who received a commendation from the governor for her work in bringing the club to the city. “The mission statement of the Boys and Girls Club is to enable all young people, especially those who need it most, to reach their potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens,” said Cephas, “I’m extremely excited to know that this is ground zero,” she concluded.

In an interview on July 7, Breslin said the enrollment in the ongoing summer program was full at 45 children, and was capped at that number due to current staffing levels.

“We’re working hard to try to increase capacity with hiring staff,” Breslin said. The total number of children the club can accommodate may go up as staff is added, Breslin said, “hopefully over the summer, definitely in the fall.”

He said the Boys and Girls Club was focused on the Dorchester County Athletic Complex at Leonards Lane location, but he looked forward to his organization’s participation in developing a possible additional location at the Maces Lane Community Center, an ongoing project aimed at renovating the old Maces Lane school building create space for community use. “Hopefully, that (the Maces Lane location) will come to fruition in the next couple of years and we’ll have two great locations in Cambridge,” Breslin said.

Breslin encouraged interested persons to apply for youth development coordinator positions online at https://www.indeed.com/job/youth-development-coordinator-cambridge-f7d1d637a2480da0.

Mike Detmer is a staff writer for the Dorchester Star and Star Democrat based in Maryland. You can reach him at mdetmer@chespub.com.

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Thunderstorms carve destructive, damaging path on Eastern Shore

CAMBRIDGE — A severe thunderstorm hit Dorchester County and other parts of the Eastern Shore on Thursday afternoon, July 1, knocking down trees and leaving thousands without electricity.

Emergency responders and utility crews worked around the area, responding to medical calls and trees downed on power lines and structures.

The storm and accompanying high winds wreaked havoc on a campground on Taylors Island, injuring one woman and damaging most of the 39 structures on the premises.

No one was injured when a tree fell on a home near Hurlock, and police, fire crews and utility workers responded to downed lines, intersections where stoplights were out and other issues.

The Dorchester fire and EMS scanner remained busy throughout the afternoon with the coordination of emergency response around the county. “We have a lot going on,” the dispatcher said during a moment when responders were seeking clarification on their assignment.

Margaret Ward said the storm at the campground was “very quick and intense.” “It was just a huge gust of wind that went through here and destructive,” Ward said. “It was very scary.”

Charles Neild and Dylan Smith were cutting grass at the campground when the storm blew up. They ran to seek shelter in the truck.

“It was pretty scary,” Smith said. “We ran to the truck, and it shook the whole truck.”

Neild and Smith in the truck were near the area where the wind did the most damage, close enough to catch a vague glimpse of the loblolly pines as they fell onto the camper trailers. “You couldn’t really see much, it was all blacked out,” Smith said. They heard it too: “Something wasn’t right,” he said.

Ward said she saw the men exit the truck to go towards the crushed campers to check to see if anyone was inside after the wind blew the trees over, but before the storm stopped.

“Horrifying, absolutely horrifying,” said Nicole Oughton of the storm. She saw the storm clouds gathering and went outside to secure loose items before the severity of the storm drove her inside. “It just started coming down, and the next thing I knew, I was on my bathroom floor with my hands over my head,” Oughton said. “I didn’t know what else to do.”

She saw the wind blowing boats on trailers before she sought shelter in the bathroom. The first thing she saw after the storm passed was a large tree downed in her neighbor’s yard. “I was petrified, scared to go outside,” she said, “It was surreal, absolutely surreal.”

The windstorm downed multiple large loblolly pines, crushing multiple camping trailers and a car, damaging outdoor furniture and boats and flipping a shed.

Ward observed the danger could have been much greater with more occupancy of the non-residential campground during a busy weekend like July 4th.

Utility crews had the number of Dorchester County residents without power down to under a thousand by 10:30 p.m. on Thursday night.

Cambridge celebrates July 4, 2021 with their annual fireworks display over the Choptank River. Hundreds gathered along the banks of the river or watched by boat.

Celebrating the 4th with flare