Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada reaches about 200,000 young people annually.
Recently, some of my BGCA colleagues and I traveled north to meet with our good friends at Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada. Owen Charters is president and CEO of BGCC – and a Club alum. His team welcomed us to their national office in Toronto last month. With 96 organizations and about 700 Clubhouses, BGCC reaches about 200,000 young people annually (up to age 21) in a country with a population of about 36 million.
As national service organizations, we clearly share much in common around our missions and commitment to youth. We also face similar challenges in some of the communities we serve, including gun violence, gang activity and meeting the needs of our nations’ indigenous populations. Their new strategic plan – Stronger Together – was completed about the same time as Great Futures 2025.
Every 12 to 18 months, we meet to discuss best practices and learn how we might support each other. Of course, we also made time to visit local Clubs including the Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough and the Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club, a former church – where the bell tower interior now serves as a rock climbing wall for teens!
Our thanks to Owen and his wonderful team for their kind hospitality. We look forward to returning the favor next year when they visit Atlanta!