The Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes was founded in 1957 as the first Boys Club in the State of Minnesota. Like many Clubs, it was started because the community felt that a safe, positive place was needed where kids could go to spend time with adult mentors, hang out with their friends, and participate in fun, structured activities.
The City of Detroit Lakes owns the property that our Club sits on, a 10-acre tract of land once owned by the Crovisier family. U.S. Air Force Sgt. Lyle Crovisier, son of Bernice Crovsier, was killed in action during a mission over New Guinea in May of 1943. In 1955, Bernice Crovisier donated the property to the city, asking that the property be dedicated to her son's memory and that it be used as a park. The site was renamed Lyle Crovisier Memorial Park and a granite marker was dedicated to Lyle's memory in 1961.
In 1956, a former rural schoolhouse was donated and moved to the site and was first used as a warming house for boys and girls using the enormous sliding hill on the property. As community members moved forward with plans to charter a Boys Club, activities offered for kids began to fall into place. In June of 1957, the Club was chartered beneath the national Boys Club of America organization.
Changes within the national Boys & Girls Club organization in the 1990's were pivitol to our Club becoming what it is today. In addition to changing chartered Clubs' names to Boys & Girls Clubs, each Club was required to employ a full-time director and program staff. These changes brought significant growth to Clubs nationwide, including to our own local Club.
In 2011, we expanded services to include a Club site in Perham. Originally located in space offered by Calvary Lutheran Church, the Perham unit is now located within the former Perham hospital. The demand for Club services in Perham has been so great that within nine months of moving into its new space, additional space has already been added and we have begun serving children before school as well as after school and during the summer months.
Both our Detroit Lakes and Perham units are growing exponentially. At our Detroit Lakes site, average daily after school attendance went from 85 in September 2010 to 165 in September 2012. Our Perham unit opened its doors with 51 original members, and now total membership tops 200 children. In 2011, our Clubs combined served a total of 41,659 health meals and snacks to Club members.
Currently topping 1000 total members between the ages of 5 and 18, many of whom come from single-parent families and families that are eligible for public assistance programs like free or reduced school lunches, child care assistance and heating assistance, our caring staff understand the challenges that many families in our communities face.
All Boys & Girls Clubs must implement programs that address five core areas of growth and development for its members:
Character & Leadership Development
Education & Career Development
Health & Life Skills
Sports, Fitness & Recreation
We consider it an honor and a priviledge to serve our young members and their families. By providing professional, friendly and fun youth leaders to work with our kids, healthy and nutritious snacks and meals, activities that are both purposeful and fun, and time to spend just being kids - we know that we make a difference in the lives of our members.