Our History -- How It All Began
The Boys & Girls Club in Fairfax County
The first Boys & Girls Club in Fairfax County was the Culmore Character Club in Falls Church, Virginia. The club was formed in 1993 in response to concerns of the community who had noticed an increase in the number of unsupervised children in the area during the late afternoon and early evening hours amidst growing gang activity. The presence of the notorious MS-13 gang had made Culmore a hotbed for gang activity. Alarmed with the increasing negative influences to the youth, the neighborhood formed a committee and met with county officials to address this concern. In partnership with the Culmore United Methodist Church, the 4H Club was born and was the predecessor to what became a chartered Boys & Girls Club in 2002.
By 2006 and in partnership with the Northern VA Gang Task Force and the Fairfax County Public Schools, another club was opened at the Hutchison Elementary School in Herndon.
In cooperation with the Fairfax County public housing, the region's third club opened its doors a year later in 2007, at the Murraygate Village along Route 1 in Alexandria.
With 3 clubs, the Fairfax region stays focused on collaborating partnerships and establishing growing relations with organizations who share the mission to serve the community and kids who need the Boys & Girls Club most.
The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington traces its roots to the Newsboys and Children's Aid Society which was founded in 1886. By the 1900s, the Working Boys Home and Children's Aid Association replaced this organization and enlarged the scope of service to neighborhood boys.
With the support of the Rotary Club of Washington D.C., a board of trustees was established and the name changed to Boys Clubs of Washington. In 1973, Boys Clubs of Washington began serving girls as full and equal members and by July of 1981, changed its name to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington to reflect its new direction and growing coverage in the metro D. C. area.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington is now one of the largest affiliates of Boys & Girls Clubs of America with 21 sites over a 75-mile radius from Frederickburg, Virginia to Germantown, Maryland as well as having a residential summer camp in Southern Maryland.
The Boys & Girls Club of America
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America had its early beginnings in 1860 with three pioneering women from Hartford, Connecticut. Elizabeth Hammersley and Mary and Alice Goodwin believed that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative and so they organized the first club for boys and a cause was born.
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 for the organization.
By 1931, the Boys Club Federation of America became the Boys Clubs of America and it took 25 more years before it received a U.S. Congressional Charter in 1956.
Recognizing a need to make girls as part of the cause, the national organization's name was changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 1990. Accordingly, Congress amended and renewed the organization’s revised charter.