The idea of organized boys groups began to receice increasing attention in the 1870s. The founders of the clubs at the onset focused on the problem of street boys and addressed the increasngly serious problem of preventing juvenile delinquency.
The growing YMCA movement, originally untended for young men had by the 1870s begun to give some attention to the need to work with boys.
The first U.S. Boy's Club was established in America (Harford, Connecticut) in 1860. The idea spread to many other U.S. cities. A Boys Clun was established in New York during 1876. A good assessment of the ealy clubs is avaiable in the chapter on boys' clubs in David Macleod, Building Character in the American Boy: The Boy Scouts, YMCA, and Their Forerunners, 1870-1920 (1983).
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