History of the Boys & Girls Clubs and YMCA of Greater Waterville at the Alfond Youth & Community Center
The Waterville Boys Club was established on December 12th, 1924, and the YMCA in 1948. Both clubs served the needs of the Greater Waterville Area and in 1972 the Girls Club and Boys Club merged creating the Waterville Boys & Girls Club. When renovations were needed for both the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club, the late Harold Alfond proposed combining the two organizations under one roof to better serve the needs of the community. We completed this task in May 1999, housing both organizations and their programs in one building, the Alfond Youth Center. On hand for the dedication were Senator George J. Mitchell and Secretary of State General Colin Powell.
Learn more about the founding of the Waterville Boys’ Club, established in 1924.
We are the only club in the nation to combine the two organizations
Through this collaboration the club was able to enhance the After School Program, provide a Therapy Pool and a Six Lane Lap Pool, a triple gymnasium, climbing wall, and offer lessons in Karate, Dance, and Gymnastics. To provide more programming in 2006, we added a second story to the AYC increasing its square footage to 72,000 and making us one of the largest clubs per square footage in the nation. We enhanced our teen center, added the New Balance Youth Fitness Center, the Harold Alfond Library, a Boardroom and Club Naha Karate Dojo.
We created a true state of the art facility
As part of the merger, we retained control of Camp Tracy a wonderful YMCA program which has provided extraordinary experiences for children across the state since 1962. The beautiful 32 acre campus located on the waterfront of McGrath Pond offers a full range of diverse programs and in 2005, we added a Four-Season Lodge, a 55-foot climbing tower, and a full ropes course, just to name a few.
On September 9th, 2007, Cal Ripken, Jr. dedicated Maine’s Fenway at Camp Tracy. This 2/3rd scale replica of Fenway Park is dedicated to the late Harold Alfond for his tremendous generosity to our organization, the community, and the entire state of Maine. In 2008, our enhancements included a multi-use soccer field and three residential cabins. In 2013, we added parking for 40 vehicles, and in 2014, a 4th residential cabin and we completely turfed Mini Fenway.
We serve over 5000 members and 191 communities.
From pre-school and toddler programs to active older adults programs we truly have something for everyone!
We bus children from Oakland, Waterville, Winslow and Fairfield to our After School Program. We fill a vital need for families who struggle with the rising cost of childcare. We are open when the schools are closed, including during vacations, holidays, and storm-related school closings. We give over 200 children a day a supportive place to go after school, a nutritious hot meal, help with homework, and the opportunity to participate in various activities from which they learn the social skills needed to excel in life.
In 2017, a second completely turfed and accessible baseball field with playground was opened as an MLB sanctioned 2/3 replica of Chicago’s Wrigley Field. Here we hosted the Northeast 11 and under Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball Championship Playoffs, the 2018’s 12U Maine State and 12U New England Regional Tournaments and the 2022 Cal Ripken 12U World Series!
In December of 2018, we completed construction of a state-of-the-art 42’ Growing Dome greenhouse and outdoor gardens for youth to experience and learn healthy garden-to-table eating habits by growing, preparing, and eating meals served in our Kids’ Kitchen year-round.
In March of 2020, we completed a 10,000 square foot addition and facility renovations to open our Peter G. Alfond Pathway to Wellness whole family wellness center addition, Teaching Kitchen, Health Center and Child Watch. This was also the inaugural year of our Unified Champion Club, the first and only such Club devoted to spreading inclusion through sports for adults with intellectual disabilities.
From March 16th through May 31st, 2020, when our county was shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions, we served over 35,000 individual meals and provided childcare for essential health care workers at no cost to the individuals.