In 1984, a group of concerned citizens gathered to discuss the lack of structured activities for the community’s children and youth. The meeting resulted in the formation of a steering committee which later submitted a proposal to the Boys and Girls Club of Newfoundland and Labrador. The proposal requested the privilege to house a local Club in the community of Botwood yet, serving the children and youth from neighbouring communities. The request was granted. In April of 1986, the Botwood Boys and Girls Club, later named the Boys and Girls Club of Botwood (often referred to as the Club) opened its doors offering a variety of services including, but not limited to, educational programs, physical recreation and cultural activities.
From the time it opened its doors, the Club became a treasured resource for many community members. Children and youth have relied on the Club for homework support, employment opportunities, leadership development and so much more. As a community partner, the Club has collaborated on a variety of initiatives with numerous community organizations. The annual food drive, “Take Back the Night” walk, and Fire Prevention Days are just a few of the projects successfully executed as a means of bringing awareness to the children, youth and community members. One of the Club’s biggest partnerships is with the Community Youth Network. This partnership began in 2000 and focused on providing services and support along four business lines: learning, employment, community capacity building and support services.
While the Club has experienced many successes, it also had to overcome challenges. The biggest challenge to date was the fire of July 21, 2005 which destroyed the Lions Club and the space occupied for Club programs and services. In a moment, the fire engulfed the staffing and program areas leaving only memories untouched. While the physical areas were destroyed, the will of the staff and board of directors to implement the Club’s mandate remained. Allied with community support and armed with determination, the supporters set out to find the Club a new home. After much perseverance, the dream of a new home became a reality! With much excitement and enthusiasm, the Club’s doors reopened on February 1, 2008.
Since its beginning, the Club continues to be an evolving organization trying to meet the needs of all its membership. Most recently in March of 2021, the Boys and Girls Club of Botwood changed its name to BGC Botwood to reflect societal changes with gender identity and to remain inclusive for all children and youth. Despite its ongoing evolution, one thing remains constant, BGC Botwood continues to remain a safe and supportive place where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships and develop confidence and skills for life.
For more information about opportunities available to children and youth at BGC Botwood, call 709-257-3191 or drop by the Club on three Military Road.