Potts' sentiments are echoed by Carl Wittichen, another alumnus whose involvement with the Club spans more than 60 years. He, like Potts, began going to the Club in the 1930s as an 11 year old learning to swim.
"The Boys Club turned a lot of lives around back then," he states, "and continues to do so today…We've been very fortunate to have excellent management and leaders over the years, including the outstanding staff we have today."
As a result of that inspiration from his father, Wittichen went on to serve on the Club's Board of Directors until his designation as Honorary Board Member in 1995. He, in turn, passed the torch on to his daughter, Linda W. Israel, who now serves on the Board.
By the 1950s, the continued growth of the organization had outpaced its facilities. A new wing, the Charles L. Gaines addition was completed in 1959 and allowed the staff to serve more boys with an expanded scope of activities.
A steering committee was appointed that same year to explore the possibilities of acquiring a new site for the camp. An excellent spot was located on Smith Lake in Walker County, and Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Goodwin very generously donated the 67 acres to the Boys Club for the new facility. Camp Jimmy Goodwin was completed in 1960, and shortly afterwards welcomed its first campers to the facility.
"My dad had passed when I was very young, and my mom was raising the three of us alone. I started going to Camp Goodwin in 1967 when I was five years old, and it really set the course for my life. We could go fishing, camping, swimming and hiking there. We also played softball and had instruction in archery and rifle shooting. The camp was very well run, and the sense of discipline and the responsibility we learned there were very important to us. Things like raising the flag every morning and inspection of our barracks to keep everything neat and orderly. My mothers and I are still active in the outdoor activities we were first exposed to at Camp Goodwin," recalls alumnus Dr. James Deatherage.
In the early 1970s, change was again in the wind for the organization. The Alabama State Highway Department bought the old Boys Club building downtown to make room for the construction of the Red Mountain Expressway. Elton B. Stephens, Sr. stepped forward to donate a site and construction materials for a new facility in the Central Park area.