About Us.

Our mission is 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.

Who We Are

Brigade Boys & Girls Club has been in the “youth development business” in our community for over 120 years. Colonel Walker Taylor first recognized the need for quality youth development services in 1896, when five boys gathered at Immanuel Presbyterian Church for Colonel Taylor’s new club: “The Wilmington Boys’ Brigade.” Initial programming for Brigade boys consisted of drills, learning marching formations, and playing sports such as track and baseball. As the Wilmington Boys’ Brigade expanded, some boys also acted in drama club, orated in debate society, and undertook vocational classes. Brigade soon became a community fixture, holding bazaars, producing plays, and sponsoring guest speakers on a regular basis.

In the years since, Brigade has grown exponentially in service area and scope. Today, Brigade serves over 2,200 boys and girls across New Hanover, Pender, and Onslow County. A proud affiliate of the nationally renowned Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Brigade has been able to expand its reach without forgetting its roots: the children we serve, and the community we are blessed to call home.

What We Do

Our Mission is 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.

We know our Club members “vote with their feet.” We have to keep our programs fun and engaging in order to attract children and teens to the Club, while also designing programs in a way that help members excel in school, become good citizens, and lead healthy, productive lives. We are constantly updating and redesigning our curriculums in order to keep content fresh and relevant for the children and teens we serve. That is why we offer a combination of both BGCA’s national programs and locally developed, supplemental programs in six core areas.

Our Six Core Programs Areas:

Character and Leadership Development

Empower youth to become global citizens who support and influence their Club and community, sustain meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self-image and good character, and respect their own and others’ cultural identities.

Example Programs: Youth of the Year, Torch Club

Education

Enable youth to become proficient in basic educational disciplines, pursue learning inside and outside the classroom, develop proficiencies in the world of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and embrace technology to achieve academic success.

Example Programs: Project Learn, DIY-STEM

Career Development

Lead youth to explore career paths, set goals, prepare for employment, gain financial literacy and skills, and embrace technology to achieve success in their desired career.

Example Program: Junior Staff

Health and Life Skills

Develop young people’s capacity to set personal goals, engage in positive behaviors that nurture their own well-being, and transition to a successful, healthy, self-sufficient adulthood.

Example Programs: Passport to Manhood, Smart Moves, and Healthy Habits

The Arts

Encourage youth to develop their creativity and cultural awareness through knowledge and appreciation of creative writing, crafts, and visual and performing arts.

Example Programs: ImageMakers and MusicMakers

Sports and Recreation

Promote fitness, positive use of leisure time, skills for stress management, appreciation for the environment, and social skills.

Example Programs: Triple Play and All Stars