In August of 1998, 14 year-old Robbie Mills lost his life at the hands of two boys who wanted his bike. In response to that traged,y a group of determined students, parents and civic leaders sought to "provide a safe, supervised place for middle school and high school students during after-school hours."
Our club is the result of that effort.
1999 – The Belknap County Teen Center was formed. It found a home in the basement of the Laconia Community Center on Union Avenue.
2004 - The Club was reorganized as the Teen Center of the Lakes Region. It had grown to provide recreational, cultural, and counseling programs for socially and economically disadvantaged boys and girls of the Lakes Region.
2005 - The Club moved out of the Community Center basement and relocated to the former parochial school/convent owned by Sacred Heart Parish. This move provided more space for increased programming and included a computer lab which greatly expanded the learning environment and allowed students to do homework. In addition the Club gained access to a gym for sports and dance classes.
2007- We officially joined the Boys and Girls Clubs of America as New Hampshire's 7th Boys & Girls Club, and one of over 4000 clubs nationwide. This 100 year-old national model brought many new opportunities to the Club including programs that encourage positive self-identity, educational, employment, social, emotional, and cultural competencies, community and civic involvement, health and well-being, and a moral compass.
2010 - The Club was faced with its third move in ten years. With the consolidation of the Catholic Church parishes, our current space was no longer available to us, and we moved once again – to the basement of the vacant Lady of the Lakes Church in Lakeport. Unfortunately, this move resulted in the loss of most of the teens in the program, as the new location was no longer a convenient location from the schools. It was painful to stop serving a population of about thirty teens who needed us so badly.
2012 - The Club was forced to move once again, this time by the sale of the Lakeport church. We found interim space in the former Forestry Building on North Main Street. While an excellent location, we were squeezed into a tiny space that still was not our own.
2013 – Home at last! In the St. James Church property on N. Main Street we found the ideal space in a perfect location. Close to schools, Opechee Park, beach and downtown, it gives us 17,000 square feet of space for programs and indoor recreation, and room to expand the number of kids we serve for years to come. We moved into this incredible space in June 2014.
2015- A merger with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire helped insure the sustainability and quality of our programs and poised us for significant growth in the region!
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire was formed in 2015 when the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Concord took over operations and later merged with the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region. The Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region was founded in 1999 in response to the death of Laconia youth Robbie Mills at the hand of teens who wanted his bike. The Lakes Region Club found a permanent home on Main Street in Laconia in 2013.
The Boys & Girls Club in Concord opened its doors in 1944 as the Addison's Boys Club, in honor of Patrolman Addison Martin of the Concord Police Department. The original clubhouse was in St. Timothy’s Church on Highland Street and provided a safe space for local boys to hang out. The building itself was little more than a basketball court, but under the direction of caring staff, it became the site of many, many happy memories.
In 1962, the Addison’s Boys Club joined the growing National Boys Club organization and adopted the name Concord Boys Club. Then in 1983 the Concord Boy's Club became one of the first clubs in the United States to formally add “& Girls” to its name, allowing girls to join as full members.
The past decades have been characterized by programmatic and geographic expansion. Concord's Bradley Street Unit is now the administrative hub for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire, which weekly serves over 800 infants through teens in nine towns. Each branch has its own unique history and origins tied to the community it serves. From homework assistance and community service programs to job training and free evening meals, our Clubs are giving kids resources and opportunities they need to thrive.