The History of the Boys and Girls Club; Why the B&G Club was once just for the boys


For more than 150 years, Clubs across the country have been serving kids after school.

But, the organization we now know as the Boys and Girls Club, was strictly the boys club.

Girls weren’t allowed until one alumna of the the Granbury Unit, here in Lafayette, spoke up and sought change. 

“Mr. Harlod would kick me out because I couldn’t stay because it was only a boys club,” says Lisa Sampe. 

The Granberry Unit in Acadiana opened in 1981.

Sampe grew up near the club and was determined to go.

One day, she says, she saw Mrs.Lynwood Creswell, who at the time was on the national board.

“I walked over and I asked her, “why can’t we (the girls) go?  We can do everything that the boys can. We play football, basketball, ping-pong.”

Sampe says about a month later the National Board decided to make the Granberry Unit a pilot site to see how the girls would do.

“After about six or seven months it became the Boys and Girls Club,” says Sampe and in 1990,  the national organizationc hanged it’s name to the Boys and Girls Club of America.

Sampe says, “You know that quote, it takes a village to raise a kid, my village was the Boys and Girls Club, especially Mr. Harlod.”

Sampe still lives down the street from the Granberry Club.

She says if she is ever in need of advice she still goes back to see the director, Mr. Harold who is like her second father after her years at the Boys and Girls Club. 

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