Character & Leadership

Programs are designed to empower youth to support and influence their Club and community, sustain meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self-image, participate in the democratic process, and respect the cultural identity of themselves and others.

Keystone Club

This group of high school boys and girls acts as junior staff and serves as role models for younger members of the Club. Its primary focus is service to the Club. The Keystone Club supervises our supper program, assists at special events, and helps keep the Club clean. The group coordinates two community service projects each year, has weekly meetings, and raises funds to go on an annual trip.

Torch Club

This group of 7th and 8th graders supports the Keystone Club by volunteering three hours a week at the Club. The group also helps at special events, coordinates a community service project, and raises money for trips.

Sportsmanship Award

This is awarded to a high school member who has shown great sportsmanship during the year. Winners don’t have to be athletes but must be heavily involved at the club and demonstrate good integrity and leadership. This is the second most notable award at the club, after the Youth of the Year. 

Youth of the Year

A Youth of the Year is chosen at each Club on the criteria of service to the Club, community and academic excellence, extracurricular activities, and leadership. Our Youth of the Year is then eligible to compete in the state, Northeast Region, and National Youth of the Year competitions.

Ours is the only Boys & Girls Club in the country to have two National Youth of the Year winners and two national runners-up, along with four state winners.

Academic Success

Educational & Career Development

Educational Guidance

Youth members get the personal assistance they need with the transition from middle school to high school, and then from high school to college from experts at the Club. Middle school students visit private and public high schools, while high school students go on college trips and receive help with applications and financial aid.

Tutoring Program

Every Monday through Thursday about 300 of our youth members get help with their homework from adult tutors, college students, and their peers. They do so in a supportive environment filled with the resources they need for academic success.

Mentoring Program

Our mentors are community leaders who volunteer weekly to provide moral and academic support, plus monitor academic performance for our youth members.

Science Lab

One of our key educational initiatives is introducing and promoting STEM to our members.


Youth members get daily access to the internet through the use of our Clubhouse Network computer lab. Club kids practice Internet safety and explore their creativity through graphic design, music composition, web design, and video production.

Through our partnership with The Clubhouse Network, in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab, members also have access to an international community of creative youth and are able to share ideas and collaborate on a global level.

Career Development

Career exploration and development are integral components of our programs for high school members, emphasizing resume writing and basic work ethic. We assist Club members with summer employment through relationships with area businesses.

Scholarship Program

Education and college are a focus of our Club. We are fortunate to have individuals devoted to helping our kids achieve that dream by providing scholarships.

Annually, our Scholarship Committee accepts applications from youth members and awards a scholarship based upon academic achievement, effort, and participation in the club.

Healthy Lifestyles

Healthy Lifestyles involve education across a spectrum of activities and topics. Sports, recreation, and physical fitness programs develop positive use of time for physical activity as well as skills for discipline, teamwork, and physical health. 

Sports & Recreation

Our sports & recreation programs develop fitness, positive use of leisure time, skills for stress management, teamwork, discipline, appreciation for the environment, and social skills.

Sports Leagues

Our sports leagues stress the importance of punctuality, teamwork, cooperation, fair play, and hard work.

Leagues include basketball, team handball, gym hockey, wiffleball, soccer, flag football, and dodgeball. Members are placed on teams according to their age and compete weekly.

Swimming Pool

The pool is used for several programs focused on water safety and free swimming. Additionally, we provide swimming lessons, water basketball, and water games.

Games Rooms

These rooms offer table and board games for kids to play. Games include pool, bumper pool, air hockey, foosball, and ping-pong.

Summer Program Activities

The Club operates summer program activities from the beginning of July to the middle of August.

Older members serve as counselors to coach and organize activities for younger members. All members are placed on teams that compete in softball, wiffle ball, and kickball.

Members also participate in special programs like computers, arts & crafts, and swimming lessons. Lunch is free to all members.

ABA Camp

The Academic Basketball Awareness (ABA) Camp is led by former Merrimack College Coach Bert Hammel and is one of the premier basketball camps in the state. It’s held at the Brooks School and free to 150 boys and 75 girls each year. Campers also attend classes in academics, leadership, and life skills.

Fitness Center

Our weight room features the latest in body-strengthening and cardio equipment. Our older youth members can work out safely with assistance and guidance from staff and volunteers.


Another key element for reducing and preventing obesity is education in healthy nutrition.

Members receive education regarding kidney health, which is especially important in a city where diabetes affects a disproportionate percentage of the population. Members participate in a nutrition curriculum that includes preparing healthy snacks and meals to develop lifelong healthy eating habits.

Finally, Healthy Lifestyles involve education and mentoring in healthy lifestyle choices, including healthy relationships, self-esteem, effective communication skills, and prevention of drug and alcohol abuse, gangs, teen pregnancy, and peer pressure. Every day, children are exposed to a message of hope within each activity they pursue.