BGCA History

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, established in Hartford, Connecticut in 1860, was developed to provide young boys with “positive alternatives” to the hardships of an urban street life. Eventually, the movement expanded throughout the country, becoming a national federation in 1906. With the continuous efforts in youth development, the organization received a U.S. Congressional Charter in 1956.

The brand name was officially changed to “Boys & Girls Clubs of America” in 1990.

Indian Country and BGCA

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America was first introduced to Indian Country in 1974 when a site opened on the Pala Indian Reservation in California. The first independent Native American clubs were chartered in Shawnee, Oklahoma and Pine Ridge, South Dakota in 1992. Today, there are 205 clubs expanding across 25 states that serve Native American youth.

In 2004, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America chartered a Boys & Girls Clubs on the Seminole Tribe of Florida reservation. On March 7, 2005, the first clubs opened on the reservation in Hollywood, Florida. Today, there are ​four clubs located on the Hollywood, Brighton, Immokalee and Big Cypress Reservations.