mission & history
The mission of the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket is to inspire and enable the young people of Pawtucket and surrounding communities, especially those with greatest need, to realize their full potential as healthy, productive, responsible and caring citizens.
The Pawtucket Boys Club, as it was first called, was founded in 1900. Our Club precedes the national organization, which was formed in 1906 when 53 Boys Clubs from across the country, including Pawtucket, decided to affiliate.
Lyman B. Goff was the Pawtucket Club's founder and first benefactor, donating the money to build the three-story brick building downtown that served as the Club's main home for the better part of the 20th Century. Goff spent his entire adult life in Pawtucket and owned the Union Wadding Company.
Boys went in and out of the doors of the downtown Club through two World Wars. In the interim, the Boys Club Federation of America became the Boys Clubs of America in 1931. And, in 1956, the Boys Clubs of America celebrated its 50th anniversary and received a U.S. Congressional Charter.
Camp Ramsbottom is a scenic 167-acre property in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. The initial parcel of land was donated to the Club in 1966 by businessman and camp founder George R. Ramsbottom. Since then, the camp has become a summer highlight for thousands of kids who have experienced a variety of engaging outdoor activities.
In 1972, through the generosity of Mrs. Alfred Elson, Jr., the Alfred Elson, Jr. Clubhouse was established. The current modern facility, built in 1988, sits on a wooded, riverfront campus that was once a naval reserve base complete with Quonset huts. The City of Pawtucket generously allows the Club to utilize the property, at One Moeller Place, named for Robert C. Moeller, a generous benefactor of the Club.
While the Pawtucket Club welcomed the vitality and enrichment of female members in different capacities for the better part of the 20th century, it was officially named the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket in 1988. The national organization's name was changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 1990.
Today, more than 4,000 area kids are members of our Club with all pre-teen and teen programs and activities centralized at the Alfred Elson, Jr. Clubhouse.