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History Of The Boys & Girls Club


About Our History


The Boys & Girls Club History:

For more than 150 years, Clubs have been helping kids reach their full potential. Boys & Girls Clubs of America had its beginnings in 1860 with three women in Hartford, Connecticut: Mary Goodwin, Alice Goodwin and Elizabeth Hammersley. Believing that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative, they organized the first Club. A cause was born.

History Highlights:

In 1906, several Boys Clubs decided to affiliate. The Federated Boys Club in Boston was formed with 53 member organizations - this marked the start of a nationwide movement and our national organization. In 1931, the Boys Club Federation of America became th Boys Clubs of America. In 1956, Boys Clubs of America clebrated its 50th anniversary and received a U.S. Conressional Charter.

To regognize the fact that girls are a part of our cause, the national organization's name was changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 1990. Accordingly, Congress amended and renewed our charter. 2006 marked the Centennial year of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as we celebrated 100 years of providing hope and opportunity to young people across the country.

In Highlands County

Established on 24 July 1997. Locations have been moved over the years, But we are now operating at maximum capacity in Avon Park & Sebring.

Building Character:

Character development has been the cornerstone of the Boys & Girls Club experience since the first Club opened in 1860. The first Club professional, John Collins, devised a system of informal guidance to attract boys into the Club, capture their interests, improve their behavior and increase their personal expectations and goals.

The procedures Collins used constituted a clearly planned, socially scientific system of taking boys off the street and promoting their development towards a successful, productive future. This system formed the basis of the Boys & Girls Club environment. It is still in use today with proven results.

Since 1991, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has partnered with the U.S. Armed Services:

Since 1991, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has partnered with the U.S. Armed Services to support military-connected youth and their families. Together, we have impacted the lives of millions of young people through high quality programs designed to positively influence their overall well-being, resiliency, and academic success.

We offer a safe and familiar environment to military connected youth who frequently relocate. From rural areas, schools and inner cities to military installations and Native lands, a Boys & Girls Club or BGCA affiliated Youth Center is located in all 50 states and in 16 countries around the world. No matter where you find yourself, a Boys & Girls Club is often available to enrich your young personís life.





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