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Edgar M. Robinson

Edgar M. Robinson

Edgar M. Robinson first became associated with the YMCA as a college student in New Brunswick, Canada. He served as the Chairman of the Boys’ Work Committee and later developed their first camping program. In 1898, he was hired as the Boys’ Work Secretary by the Massachusetts-Rhode Island State Committee.

He worked four days a week while attending the YMCA Training School (Springfield College). Although the emphasis on youth was a minor part of the national organization’s work, Robinson was appointed the Boys’ Work Secretary of the International Committee in 1900. At the time, there were twenty Boys’ Work Secretaries and 30,000 boys as members nationwide. Thirteen years later, there were 363 secretaries with over 120,000 youth in membership. Robinson developed camping programs, father and son programs, sex education programs, specialized work with employed boys and wartime programs.

He was also instrumental in the development of the Boy Scouts of America. In 1920, Robinson completed a nine-month world tour which led to the 1923 “Conference with Boys” in Austria, attracting 800 delegates from 54 countries. After his retirement, Robinson returned to Springfield College where he served as the Dean of the Boy’s Work Department.

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