We are so excited to be posting to NBGC’s first ever blog! We are motivated to have a platform to share our history and for our 10,000 plus alumni to have a way to connect with one another.
This blog will primarily focus on NBGC’s 90-year history and feature information that has been compiled by our Archives Committee, that consists of Ray Sugrue (1960’s, Bobcats), Tom Krier (1960’s Wasps, 1970’s Leader), Peter Maxfield (Hall of Famer & Former Board President), Bill Pittges, and Tom Van Den Bosch (Current Board President, Alum, & Hall of Famer).
As an introduction to this new form of communication, we’d like to reflect on all the ways that NBGC has communicated in our 90-year history and share with you how to access past publications online. Many of our alumni will remember weekly Monkeyshines and Alumni Chatter mailings, but only some will be familiar with the service papers and the parent reporter.
The Monkeyshine: 1932-Present
The Monkeyshines is our longest standing publication, starting shortly after the beginning of the club, at that time called the “Anakigig Boys Club.” The paper actually did not have a name “Monkeyshine” when it was first published on September 2, 1932. Monkeyshine was added as a name for the publication shortly after. The Monkeyshines is a weekly member-written newspaper that covers athletic league standings, club updates, and highlights from the past week. The Monkeyshines is still in circulation today, with over 4,000 total issues made and printed since the publication was created. Today, NBGC youth leaders write and print the Monkeyshines, which is still published weekly.
You can view many of our Monkeyshines publications online here.
The Service Papers: 1942-1945
The second publication to be introduced to NBGC were the Service Papers, which began during WWII in 1942. Many Neighborhood Boys Club (NBC, subsequently the Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club) Alumni served our country during World War II. Their experience as NBC members unified them throughout the challenges they faced in the War. This in part was accomplished through NBC publication called the Service Paper. As the Service Paper gained popularity, lists of NBC alumni that were missing in action or killed were circulated. Parents and friends provided information to ensure that all former NBC members were sent updates about their friends fighting in other places. Letters came from all over the world. NBC alumni would share their experiences in the war, writing into the Service Paper with updates about themselves, meeting fellow alumni overseas, and expressing sympathies and remembrances of alumni who were killed in action.
During the war, The Monkeyshine also gave death notices and updates on the alumni that were involved in the war effort. The Monkeyshine continued to report about servicemen in later years and subsequent wars. The Service Paper was such an inspiration to NBC alum throughout that world that it was the impetus for the start of the NBC Alumni Association, which is now known as the NBGC Alumni Association.
You can view some of the Service Papers here.
The Alumni Chatter: 1945-Present
The Alumni Chatter became a way for alumni to receive updates about the Club and about one another when the war was over. This publication is sent to Alumni all across the country who want to stay connected to NBGC. Each issue features program updates, a letter from the Executive Director, information about upcoming events, and pictures and highlights of the past few months.
You can view Alumni Chatters dating back to 2013 here.
The Parent Reporter: 1950s-1980s
The parent reporter was another regular publication of the club, then the Neighborhood Boys Club, that was sent four times a year to keep parents connected to the club. In the first issue of the Parent reporter, the editor notes that “the purpose of the "Reporter" is to better acquaint [friends and parents] with not only the activities in which the boys participate but also the many activities in which mothers and fathers take part in an effort to maintain the high standards of this organization.”
Social Media: 2000-Present
Perhaps the most commonly used form of communication now used is social media. NBGC now sends out updates on our Facebook and Instagram pages about the clubhouse, upcoming events, and current members. NBGC also sends out monthly “E-Newsletters” to supporters and parents that give more information about programs, ways to be involved, and events to attend.
You can follow us on Social Media here:
Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club
2501 West Irving Park Road Chicago, IL 60618
All services rendered by NBGC are provided on a non-refundable basis.
The Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, independent organization founded in 1931, dedicated to youth development.
EIN# 36-2139256. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.