Boys & Girls Clubs of America had its beginnings in 1860 with several women in Hartford, Connecticut Believing that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative, they organized the first Club. Character development has been the cornerstone of the Boys & Girls Club experience since the first Club opened in 1860. The Club’s leadership developed a system of informal guidance to attract boys into the Club, capture their interest, improve their behavior and increase their personal expectations and goals. Club history highlights include:
- 1906: Several Boys Clubs decided to affiliate. The Federated Boys Clubs in Boston was formed with 53 member organizations – this marked the start of a nationwide Movement and the national organization.
- 1931: The Boys Club Federation of America became Boys Clubs of America.
- 1956: Boys Clubs of America celebrated its 50th anniversary and received a U.S. Congressional Charter.
- 1990: The national organization’s name was changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of America to recognize and fully include girls and the charter was amended and renewed.
- 2006: The Centennial year of Boys & Girls Clubs of America providing 100 years of hope and opportunity for all youth.
B & G Club’s Mission: To enable all young people, especially those in the most need, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
The Boys & Girls Club provides:
- A safe place to learn and grow
- Ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals
- Life-enhancing programs and character development experiences
- Hope and opportunity
The Club Provides:
Oftentimes boys and girls are left to find their own recreation and companionship in the streets. An increasing number of children are at home without adult care or supervision. It is important that all young people know that someone cares about them. Boys & Girls Clubs offer this and more. Club programs and services promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging, and empowerment. Boys & Girls Clubs are a safe place for children and youth to learn and grow – while having fun. Boys & Girls Clubs are truly The Positive Place For Kids.
Four key characteristics define the essence of a Boys & Girls Club. All are critical in exerting positive impact on the life of a child:
Dedicated Youth Facility. The Boys & Girls Club is a place – a neighborhood-based building – for youth programs and activities.
Open Daily. The Club is open every day, beyond the school day, when kids have free time and need positive, productive outlets.
Professional Program Leaders. The Club has full-time, trained staff, providing positive role models and mentors. Volunteers provide key supplementary support.
Available/Affordable to All Youth. Clubs reach out to kids who cannot afford, or may lack access to, other community programs. Club annual dues are kept low so all may participate (averaging $25 annually).
The Boys & Girls Club Code
I believe in God and the right to worship according to my own faith and religion.
I believe in America and the American way of life…in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
I believe in fair play, honesty and sportsmanship.
I believe in my Boys & Girls Club, which stands for these things.