To inspire and, through character development, enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
Boys & Girls Club Code
I believe in God and the right to worship according to my own faith and religion. I believe in America, the American way of life, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I believe in fair play, honesty and sportsmanship. I believe in my Boys & Girls Club, which stands for these things.
In 1896, five boys gathered at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church for the first meeting of the Wilmington Boys’ Brigade, a new club started by Colonel Walker Taylor. A prominent Wilmington businessman and civic leader as well as an officer in the North Carolina Militia, Taylor was eager to serve the troubled youth of Wilmington and to help them discover and develop their talents. On February 14, 1896, his vision became a reality.
Initially, programming for Brigade members consisted of learning marching formations, drills, and participating in track, basketball and baseball events. Some also participated in a drama club, debate society and vocational classes. Soon, the Brigade became a fixture for community social events and regularly held bazaars, produced plays and sponsored guest speakers.
By the early 1900’s, the Brigade had grown to more than 500 members and urgently needed a new facility. In 1950, a new clubhouse was constructed on South Third Street and eventually designated the “Harry B. Register Unit.” The name honors “Mr. Harry,” who was the Brigade’s first physical director and was a member, volunteer or director for 79 continuous years. A second unit, built in 1972 in the Sunset Park area, was named the “William H. Montgomery Unit” in honor of the Brigade’s first Executive Director and founder of the Brigade Senior Fraternity.
On June 14, 1987, a brand new 13,200 square foot facility formally opened at its current location on Vance Street. By the early 1990’s, the Club had nearly 1,000 members, and in 2,000 the Club expanded its serves into Pender County. A new youth building was constructed and opened in 2001. In January 2015, Brigade merged efforts with the Onslow County Boys & Girls Club. This merger more than doubled the amount of children we serve on a daily basis. In March 2015, we extended our hours of operation and started serving dinner (average 110 dinners/nightly) at our Vance Street location. In October 2015, we opened a new site at Hillcrest Housing Authority in Wilmington. Today, more than 2,200 youth are served by the Brigade Boys & Girls Club.