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Boys & Girls Club director can't imagine working anywhere else

December 10, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

WASHINGTON COUNTY - "Bad hours, low pay, but it's the greatest job ever."

It is a mantra that Matt Krantz, director of the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County's Pennsylvania Avenue office, has embraced since joining the club eight months ago, according to his boss, Buck Browning.

"He really gets it," said Browning, the club's director of development. "This job isn't for everybody, and Matt really understands what it takes to do it."

Krantz, 27, oversees the day-to-day operations of the club at 805 Pennsylvania Ave. in Hagerstown, as well as the county's Hancock and Cascade clubs. He handles staffing, writes reports for grant applications and manages the facilities' activities.

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About 100 kids, ages 6 to 18, go to the Hagerstown club every day after school to play sports and games, do homework and socialize, and it is Krantz's job to make sure they are entertained, safe and productive from the time school ends until about 9 p.m.

But his duties at the club go beyond paperwork and planning. Krantz works with the roughly 100 kids per day who come to the club after school, structuring their time between homework, sports and other activities.

"We have a nine-person staff, so everyone does a little bit of everything," Krantz said.

Krantz said every afternoon starts with "Power Hour," when kids are required to do homework or study.

After Power Hour, kids can play pool, foosball, air hockey, arcade or video games, watch television or use computers.

Web sites and television stations are restricted - no MySpace, no MTV - but kids can lounge on large sofas and watch Cartoon Network or learn how to navigate the Internet in two computer labs.

"The computers are the most popular thing for kids to do," Krantz said.

After a couple of hours, the indoor basketball court opens, and kids can start pick-up games, play dodgeball, jump rope or whatever else they come up with.

Krantz said working with kids is his favorite part of the job.

"It's great. There's so much stuff going on, and no two days are the same," Krantz said.

Krantz said he "kind of fell into" work with the Boys & Girls Club.

After graduating from West Virginia University with a degree in sports management, Krantz did sales and marketing for several minor league baseball teams. He also worked as a general manager for a start-up baseball team in Macon, Ga.

Krantz volunteered with the Boys & Girls Club while in college, but knew it was where he wanted to work when a local Boys & Girls Club organized a trip to a baseball stadium where he was working.

"I had so much fun that day and realized that that's what I wanted to be doing," Krantz said.

When his girlfriend, Sharon, now his wife, was offered a job in Hagerstown, he saw the opening at Boys & Girls Club of Washington County and applied.

He said he can't imagine working anywhere else.

"It's the small things that happen during the day, seeing a kid learn something or watching them score their first touchdown in a game of flag football, that makes it such a great job," Krantz said.

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