Boys Clubs of America History

1860 – Hartford, CT – Elizabeth Hamersley and sisters Mary & Alice Goodwin began inviting disadvataged boys into their homes for refreshments and warmth in winter. The venue became known as the Dashaway Club. They offered music, dramatics, and an array of books.

1861 – American Civil War began – The Dashaway Club closed as many of the boys went to work in the factories or became drummer boys in the Army. After the war ended they began serving young boys again.

1873 – Birth of a Movement – New Haven, CT – John Collins put a sign over the door “Boys’ Club” and instead of just reading and warmth from the cold he began offering the boys games to play. This required adult supervision to see the games were being played fairly and that good behavior was demonstrated.

1887 to 1900 – Boys’ Clubs Move West – Clubs open in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, and California.

1906 – The 53 individual Boys’ Clubs across the country united in Boston, MA to become the Federated Boy’ Clubs.

1915 – Boy’s Clubs Federation adopted a logo (pictured above).

1922 – Harlem Boys’ House became the first african-american youth organziation to join the Boys’ Club Federation.

1929 – Name changed from Boys’ Clubs Federation to Boys’ Clubs of America and a new logo was adopted

1936 – Herbert Hoover became the Chairman of Boys’ Clubs of America and challenged the organization to open at least 1,000 Clubs.

1941 – The Boys’ Clubs of America adopted a new logo.

1947 – Youth of Year Program began and the winner came from the Boys’ Clubs of Dubuque, IA.

1956 – Boys’ Clubs of America celebrated its 50th Anniversary and was chartered by Congress, a logo was designed to commemorate the moment.

1972 – Boys’ Clubs of America reached 1,000 Club milestone and was serving over 1,000,000 youth.

1980 – Boys Clubs of America adopted the logo seen today.

1990 – After recognizing that many Clubs across America were serving the sisters of Club members the national organziation through the encouragment of many Clubs adopted the name Boys & Girls Clubs of America symbolizing the true mission of the Clubs to serve all those who need us most.

1998 – Boys Girls Clubs of America opened its’ 2000th Club.

2006 – Boys & Girls Clubs of America celebrates 100 Years of Service.

2008 – Boys & Girls Clubs of America serves more than 4,000,000 youth in more than 4,000 Clubs nation-wide and on military bases across the world.

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.

  • 65% are from minority families
  • 5% are 5 years old and under
  • 43% are 6–10 years old
  • 19% are 11–12 years old
  • 21% are 13–15 years old
  • 12% are 16–18 years old
  • 55% are male
  • 45% are female.

Here is a list of what my various Boys Club facilities had to offer to the membership:

Marion Boys Club

2 Game Rooms

Concession Stand

Television Room


OutdoorBasketball Court


Salesian Boys Club


Gymnasium with Overhead Running Track

Wrestling Room

Swimming Pool- Indoors

Three Games Room

Bowling Alley- 8 Lanes

Arts and Crafts Area


Shower Room


Hoffman Estates Boys Club

Small Gymnasium

One Games Room

Two Concession Areas- One Indoors, One Outdoors


Arts and Crafts Room

Football Field

Two Softball Diamonds

Shower Room


Joplin Boys Club



Boxing Gymnasium

Two Games Rooms

Concession Area

Arts and Crafts Center



One Softball Diamond

One Soccer Field


Shower Room


Bradenton Boys Club



Shower Room

Exercise Room

Concession Area

One Games Room

Ceramics Room

Photography Lab


Three Baseball Diamonds