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Boys & Girls Clubs History

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 alternativem they organized the first Club. With character development as the cornerstone of the experience, the Club focused on capturing the boys interests, improving their behavior, and increasing their personal expectations and goals. A cause was born.

The Good Will Club in Hartford, Circa 1900

Through the Years


In 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 our national organization.


In 1931, the Boys Club Federation of America became Boys Clubs of America.


In 1956, Boys Clubs of America celebrated its 50th anniversary and received a U.S. Congressional Charter.


In 1988, Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (BGCAA) was founded by a group of concerned community members who felt there was a need for neighborhood youth to have a positive place to grow, learn and have fun. 


To recognize 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 the 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.

At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County, we inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.


Founded in 1989 in the Bywater Community of Annapolis, we have been serving the youth of our communities by being a force for good in kids’ lives. We are nationally recognized for the high quality of our programs and comprehensive approach to serving youth. Despite our long history, we continue to find new ways to learn, grow, and innovate.

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