YMCA, sometimes regionally called the Y, is a worldwide youth organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland, with more than 64 million beneficiaries in 120 countries. It was founded on 6 June 1844 by Sir George Williams in London, originally as the Young Men's Christian Association and aims to put Christian principles into practice by developing a healthy "body, mind, and spirit"
|Founded||6 June 1844|
|Founder||Sir George Williams|
|Founded at||London, England|
|Type||International non-governmental organization|
From its inception, it grew rapidly and ultimately became a worldwide movement founded on the principles of muscular Christianity. Local YMCAs deliver projects and services focused on youth development through a wide variety of youth activities, including providing athletic facilities, holding classes for a wide variety of skills, promoting Christianity, and humanitarian work.
YMCA globally operates on a federation model, with each independent local YMCA affiliated with its national organization. The national organizations, in turn, are part of both an Area Alliance (Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the United States, and Canada) and the World Alliance of YMCAs (World YMCA).
- 1 History
- 2 Global structure
- 3 Logo
- 4 Activities
- 5 Europe
- 6 North America
- 7 Central America
- 8 South America
- 9 Africa
- 10 Asia Pacific
- 11 Nobel Peace Prize laureates
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
They were concerned about the lack of healthy activities for young men in major cities; the options available were usually taverns and brothels. Williams's idea grew out of meetings he held for prayer and Bible-reading among his fellow workers in a business in the city of London, and on 6 June 1844, he held the first meeting that led to the founding of YMCA with the purpose of "the improving of the spiritual condition of young men engaged in the drapery, embroidery, and other trades." Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury served as YMCA's first president from 1851 until his death in 1885.
By 1845, YMCA started a popular series of lectures held that went on to be held at Exeter Hall, London, from 1848, and the lectures started being published the following year, with the series ran until 1865.
YMCA was associated with industrialization and the movement of young people to cities to work. YMCA "combined preaching in the streets and the distribution of religious tracts with a social ministry. Philanthropists saw them as places for wholesome recreation that would preserve youth from the temptations of alcohol, gambling, and prostitution and that would promote good citizenship."
In part thanks to using the Great Exhibition of 1851 to spread the idea of YMCA, by later that year there were YMCAs in the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States. The idea of creating a truly global movement with an international headquarters was led by Henry Dunant, Secretary of YMCA Geneva, who would later go on to found the International Committee of the Red Cross and win the first Nobel Peace Prize. Dunant successfully convinced YMCA Paris to organise the first YMCA World Conference. The Conference took place in August 1855, bringing together 99 young delegates from nine countries, held before the Exposition Universelle (1855). They discussed joining together in a federation to enhance cooperation amongst individual YMCA societies. This marked the beginning of the World Alliance of YMCAs. The conference adopted the Paris Basis, a common mission for all present and future national YMCAs. Its motto was taken from the Bible, "That they all may be one" (John 17:21).
Other ecumenical bodies, such as the World YWCA, the World Council of Churches, and the World Student Christian Federation have reflected elements of the Paris Basis in their founding mission statements. In 1865, the Fourth World Conference of YMCAs, held in Germany, affirmed the importance of developing the whole individual in spirit, mind, and body. The concept of physical work through sports, a new concept for the time, was also recognized as part of this "muscular Christianity".
Two themes resonated during the council: the need to respect the local autonomy of YMCA societies, and the purpose of YMCA: to unite all young, male Christians for the extension and expansion of the Kingdom of God. The former idea is expressed in the preamble:
The delegates of various Young Men's Christian Associations of Europe and America, assembled in Conference at Paris, the 22 August 1855 feeling that they are one in principle and in operation, recommend to their respective Societies to recognize with them the unity existing among their Associations, and while preserving a complete independence as to their particular organization and modes of action, to form a Confederation of secession on the following fundamental principle, such principle to be regarded as the basis of admission of other Societies in future.
1870s to 1910sEdit
YMCA was very influential during the 1870s and the 1930s, during which times it most successfully promoted "evangelical Christianity in weekday and Sunday services, while promoting good sportsmanship in athletic contests in gyms (where basketball and volleyball were invented) and swimming pools." Later in this period, and continuing on through the 20th century, YMCA had "become interdenominational and more concerned with promoting morality and good citizenship than a distinctive interpretation of Christianity."
In 1878, the World YMCA offices were established in Geneva, Switzerland by Dunant. Later, in 1900, North American YMCAs, in collaboration with the World YMCA, set up centres to work with emigrants in European ports, as millions of people were leaving for the USA. In 1880, YMCA became the first national organization to adopt a strict policy of equal gender representation in committees and national boards, with Norway being the country that first adopted it.
In 1885, Camp Baldhead (later known as Camp Dudley), the first residential camp in the United States and North America, was established by George A. Sanford and Sumner F. Dudley, both of whom worked for YMCA. The camp, originally located near Orange Lake in New Jersey, moved to Lake Wawayanda in Sussex County the following year, and then to the shore of Lake Champlain near Westport, New York, in 1891. By 1910, YMCA was an early influence upon scouting, including the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and German Scouting. Edgar M. Robinson, a Chicago-area YMCA administrator, briefly left YMCA to become the BSA's first director.
In 1916, K. T. Paul became the first Indian national general secretary of India. Paul had started rural development programs for self-reliance of marginal farmers, through co-operatives and credit societies. These programmes became very popular. He also coined the term "rural reconstruction", and many of the principles he developed were later incorporated into the government's nationwide community development programs. In 1923, Y. C. James Yen, of YMCA China, devised the "thousand character system", based on pilot projects in education. The method also became very popular, and in 1923, it led to the founding of the Chinese National Association of the Mass Education Movement. In 1878, YMCA was organized inside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem and the current landmark building was dedicated by General Lord Allenby in 1933 during the British Mandate of Palestine.
The World WarsEdit
Within ten days of the declaration of World War I, YMCA had established no fewer than 250 recreation centres, also known as huts, in the United Kingdom, and would go on to build temporary huts across Europe to support both soldiers and civilians alike, run by thousands of volunteers. Notable supporters and volunteers included Clementine Churchill (for which she was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1918), Oswald Chambers and Robert and Olave Baden-Powell. Within the first month the YMCA Women’s Auxiliary was formed, and Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein would go on to become a notable member and chairman of its organising committee.
During World War II, YMCA was involved in supporting millions of POWs and in supporting Japanese Americans in internment camps. This help included helping young men leave the camps to attend Springfield College and providing youth activities in the camps. In addition, YMCA was one of seven organizations that helped to found the USO during World War II.
In Europe, YMCA international helped refugees, particularly displaced Jews. Sometimes YMCA participated in escape operations. Mostly, however, its role was limited to providing relief packages to refugees.
During World War II YMCA was involved in war work with displaced persons and refugees. It set up War Prisoners Aid to support prisoners of war by providing sports equipment, musical instruments, art materials, radios, gramophones, eating utensils, and other items.
From the 1940sEdit
In 1947 the World YMCA gained special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. In 1955 the first black president of the World YMCA, Charles Dunbar Sherman from Liberia, was elected. At 37 years, he was also the youngest president in World YMCA history. In 1959 YMCA of the USA developed the first nationally organized scuba diving course and certified their first skin and scuba diving instructors. By 1974, YMCA had set up a curriculum to begin teaching cave diving.
In 1973 the Sixth World Council in Kampala, Uganda, became the first World Council in Africa, hosted by Uganda YMCA. It reaffirmed the Paris Basis and adopted a declaration of principles, known as the Kampala Principles. It include the principles of justice, creativity and honesty. It stated what had become obvious: that a global viewpoint was more necessary. It also recognized that YMCA and its national member organizations would have to take political stands, particularly in international challenges and crises. In 1985 the World Council of YMCAs passed a resolution against apartheid, and anti-apartheid campaigns were formed under the leadership of Lee Soo-Min (Korea), the first Asian secretary general of the World YMCA.
Challenge 21 and recent yearsEdit
In 1998 the 14th World Council of YMCAs in Germany adopted "Challenge 21", intended to place more focus on global challenges, such as gender equality, sustainable development, war and peace, fair distribution, and the challenges of globalization, racism, and HIV/AIDS.
Affirming the Paris Basis adopted in 1855, as the ongoing foundation statement of the mission of YMCA, at the threshold of the third millennium, we declare that YMCA is a worldwide Christian, ecumenical, voluntary movement for women and men with special emphasis on and the genuine involvement of young people and that it seeks to share the Christian ideal of building a human community of justice with love, peace and reconciliation for the fullness of life for all creation.
Each member YMCA is therefore called to focus on certain challenges which will be prioritized according to its own context.
These principles are an evolution of the Kampala Principles
- Sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and striving for spiritual, intellectual and physical well-being of individuals and wholeness of communities.
- Empowering all to take increased responsibilities and assume leadership at all levels and working towards an equitable society.
- Advocating for and promoting the rights of and upholding the rights of children.
- Fostering dialogue and partnership between people of different faiths and ideologies and recognizing the cultural identities of people and promoting cultural renewal.
- Committing to work in solidarity with the poor, dispossessed, uprooted people and oppressed racial, religious and ethnic minorities.
- Seeking to be mediators and reconciles in situations of conflict and working for meaningful participation and advancement of people for their own self-determination.
- Defending God's creation against all that would destroy it and preserving and protecting the earth's resources for coming generations. To face these challenges, YMCA will develop patterns of co-operation at all levels that enable self-sustenance and self-determination.— Challenge 21, World Alliance of YMCAs
In 2002, the World Council in Oaxtepec, Morelos, in Mexico, called for a peaceful solution to the Middle East crisis. On 12 July 2010, YMCA of the USA rebranded its name to the popular nickname "The Y" and revised the iconic red and black logo to create five colored versions. Today, YMCAs are open to all, regardless of ability, age, culture, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic background.
YMCA's 175th anniversary in 2019 was celebrated with a global gathering of the organisation's young leaders at ExCeL London from 4 to 7 August, with 3,200 people from 100 countries. The event celebrated youth leadership, and elevated the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It was attended by guests including the Jayathma Wickramanayake on behalf of Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth and María Fernanda Espinosa, the President of the United Nations General Assembly.
A federated model of governance has created a diversity of YMCA programmes and services, with YMCAs in different countries and communities offering vastly different programming in response to local community needs. Financial support for local associations is derived from programme fees, membership dues, community chests, foundation grants, charitable contributions, sustaining memberships, and corporate sponsors.
YMCA globally operates on a federation model, with each independent local YMCA affiliated with its national organization, known as a National Council. The national organizations, in turn, are affiliated to both an Area Alliance (Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the United States, and Canada) and the World YMCA. The World YMCA is the highest affiliation body. Each local, national and regional YMCA is independent of each other, but local, regional and international cooperation, partnerships and collaborations are part of the organizations work. Each National Council is led by a National General Secretary, a role that is akin to that of a CEO.
Ever since the first World Conference in August 1855, in Paris, the World YMCA has convened a World Conference (later named World Council) every three to four years and is YMCA's highest decision making forum. Every National Council sends a delegation who hold a number of votes, which are dependent on the financial turnover of that National Council. The World Council is “responsible for setting the policies and direction of the World YMCA, electing its Officers and Executive Committee, evaluating the work of the last four years, and deliberating on priorities for the next quadrennium". The next World Council will take place in 2022 in Aarhus, Denmark.
|1||1855||First World Conference||Paris||France|
|2||1858||Second World Conference||Geneva||Switzerland|
|3||1862||Third World Conference||London||United Kingdom|
|4||1865||Fourth World Conference||Elberfeld||Germany|
|5||1867||Fifth World Conference||Paris||France|
|6||1872||Sixth World Conference||Amsterdam||Netherlands|
|7||1875||Seventh World Conference||Hamburg||Germany|
|8||1878||Eighth World Conference||Geneva||Switzerland|
|9||1881||Ninth World Conference||London||United Kingdom|
|10||1884||10th World Conference||Berlin||Germany|
|11||1888||11th World Conference||Stockholm||Sweden|
|12||1891||12th World Conference||Amsterdam||Netherlands|
|13||1894||13th World Conference||London||United Kingdom|
|14||1898||14th World Conference||Basel||Germany|
|15||1902||15th World Conference||Christiania||Norway|
|16||1905||16th World Conference||Paris||France|
|17||1909||17th World Conference||Elberfeld||Germany|
|18||1913||18th World Conference||Edinburgh||United Kingdom|
|19||1926||19th World Conference||Helsingfors||Finland|
|20||1931||20th World Conference||Cleveland||USA|
|21||1937||21st World Conference||Mysore||India|
|22||1955||First World Council||Paris||France|
|23||1957||Second World Council||Kassel||Germany|
|24||1961||Third World Council||Geneva||Switzerland|
|25||1965||Fourth World Council||Tozanso||Japan|
|26||1969||Fifth World Council||Nottingham||United Kingdom|
|27||1973||Sixth World Council||Kampala||Uganda|
|28||1977||Seventh World Council||Buenos Aires||Argentina|
|29||1981||Eighth World Council||Estes Park, Colorado||USA|
|30, 31||1985||Ninth and 10th World Council||Nyborg||Denmark|
|32||1988||11th World Council||Aruba||Aruba|
|33||1991||12th World Council||Seoul||South Korea|
|34||1994||13th World Council||Coventry||United Kingdom|
|35||1998||14th World Council||Frechen||Germany|
|36||2002||15th World Council||Mexico City||Mexico|
|37||2006||16th World Council||South Africa|
|38||2010||17th World Council||Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|39||2014||18th World Council||Estes Park, Colorado||USA|
|40||2018||19th World Council||Chiang Mai||Thailand|
|41||2022||20th World Council||Aarhus||Denmark|
In 1881, 26 years after its foundation, the official emblem of the World Alliance of YMCAs was adopted, at the 9th International YMCA World Conference, in London. The circular emblem is made up of five segments, one for each continent. The segments are held together by small monograms of YMCA in different languages. As early as 1881, YMCA leaders believed the Movement could be truly international and united across borders. In the center is a larger monogram of X and P, Chi and Rho, Christ's name, as used by early Christians. An open Bible sits on top of the monogram, showing John XVII, Verse 21, "that they all may be one". This was to remind YMCAs that Christ is at the center of the Movement, a source of strength, hope and unity, binding them all together..
YMCAs around the world offer various types of accommodation. In some places this takes the form of budget accommodation available to the public such as youth hostels, or hotels which in turn generate income for other charitable activities. In the England and Wales, YMCAs offer supported accommodation for vulnerable and homeless young people.
Education and AcademiaEdit
Multiple colleges and universities have historically had connections to YMCA. Springfield College, of Springfield, Massachusetts, was founded in 1885 as an international training school for YMCA Professionals, while one of the two schools that eventually became Concordia University—Sir George Williams College—started from night courses offered at the Montreal YMCA. Northeastern University began out of a YMCA in Boston, and Franklin University began as YMCA School of Commerce. San Francisco's Golden Gate University traces its roots to the founding of YMCA Night School on 1 November 1881. Detroit College of Law, now the Michigan State University College of Law, was founded with a strong connection to the Detroit, Michigan YMCA. It had a 99-year lease on the site, and it was only when it expired that the college moved to East Lansing, Michigan. Youngstown State University traces its roots to the establishment of a law school by the local YMCA in 1908. The Nashville School of Law was YMCA Night Law School until November 1986, having offered law classes since 1911 and the degree of Juris Doctor since January 1927. YMCA pioneered the concept of night school, providing educational opportunities for people with full-time employment. Many YMCAs offer ESL programs, alternative high school, day care, and summer camp programs. In India, YMCA University of Science and Technology Faridabad was founded in 1969. It offers various program-related to science and engineering.
American high school students have a chance to participate in YMCA Youth and Government, wherein clubs of children representing each YMCA community convene annually in their respective state legislatures to "take over the State Capitol for a day."
American students in Title One public schools are sometimes eligible to join a tutoring program through YMCA called Y Learning. This program is used to help low-income students who are struggling in school complete their homework with help from tutors and receive a snack as well as a safe place to be after school. Y Learning operates under the main mission of bridging achievements gaps and providing essential resources to help underprivileged students thrive in school.
The International Coalition of YMCA Universities brings together universities from all over the world, including Brazil, England, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Uruguay, USA, and Venezuela. The universities offer a wide variety of courses on different levels.
Health and WellbeingEdit
In 1891 James Naismith, a Canadian American, invented Basketball while studying at YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts (later to be named Springfield College). Naismith had been asked to invent a new game in an attempt to interest pupils in physical exercise. The game had to be interesting, easy to learn, and easy to play indoors in winter. In 1895, William G. Morgan from YMCA of Holyoke, Massachusetts, invented the sport of Volleyball as a slower paced alternative sport, in which the older YMCA members could participate. In 1930, Juan Carlos Ceriani from YMCA of Montevideo, Uruguay, invented the sport of futsal, an indoor version of football, having been created in synthesis with the rules of the three indoor sports of handball, basketball and water polo.
The organization is committed to public health in different ways. It organizes fitness and wellness as well as help and awareness programs. One of the programs is the Diabetes Prevention Program, where trained staff members help sick persons to make their lives healthy and active.
Basketball was invented at YMCA, in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith, a clergyman, educator and physician. Naismith was asked to create an indoor "athletic distraction" to keep rowdy youth busy in the cold New England winter months. Luther Gulick (physician), the head of Springfield YMCA, gave Naismith two weeks to come up with a game to occupy a particularly incorrigible group. Naismith decided the game had to be physically active, simple to understand and would have minimal physical roughness.
The original game was played with a soccer ball and two peach baskets nailed to the balcony of Springfield YMCA. The game was an immediate hit, although originally the baskets still had their bottoms, and the ball had to be manually retrieved after each score, considerably slowing play. It was mostly a passing game, and dribbling did not become a major part of the game until much later, when the ball was improved to its present form.
Gulick worked with Naismith to spread the sport, chairing the Basketball Committee of the Amateur Athletic Union (1895–1905) and representing the United States Olympic Committee during the 1908 Olympic Games. Naismith and his wife attended the 1936 Summer Olympics when basketball was included for the first time as an Olympic event. For his efforts to increase the popularity of basketball and of physical fitness in general, Gulick was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor in 1959.
Four years after James Naismith invented basketball in Springfield in 1891, William G. Morgan, an instructor at YMCA in Holyoke, Massachusetts, wanted to create a game for older gentlemen which had less physical contact. He borrowed a tennis net, raised it 6 feet, 6 inches above the floor, and invented the game of "mintonette", which could be played by a group of any number and involved volleying a large ball over the net. An observer wisely suggested that a better name for the new sport might be "volleyball".
Racquetball is another YMCA invented sport. Joseph Sobek a tennis, handball and squash player who worked in a rubber manufacturing factory, was dissatisfied with the options for indoor sports in Greenwich, Connecticut. He could not find squash players of his caliber and he did not care particularly for handball, so in 1950 he designed a short, stringed racquet, used a children's toy rubber ball, and created rules for a new game using the handball courts. He called his new sport "paddle rackets". The sport really took off in the 1970s and there are an estimated 15 million players worldwide today.
YMCA founded YMCA Press publishing house in Russia in 1900. It moved to Paris after World War I, where it focused on providing intellectual and educational works to Russian émigrés. It perhaps most famously published some of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's books whilst he was imprisoned by the Russian government.
The first YMCA included Bible studies, although the organization has generally moved on to a more holistic approach to youth work. Around six years after its birth, an international YMCA conference in Paris decided that the objective of the organization should become "Christian discipleship developed through a program of religious, educational, social and physical activities" (Binfield 1973:265).
The Archive of the British YMCA is housed at the University of Birmingham Special Collections. The Archive of YMCA Scotland is available at the National Archives of Scotland. The Movement in the United Kingdom consists of three separate National Councils: England & Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. YMCAs in Wales joined YMCA England in 2017, leading to the National Council renaming to YMCA England & Wales.
YMCAs in the England and Wales offer supported accommodation for vulnerable and homeless young people, mental health services, youth clubs, sports centres, nursery schools and family support and after school clubs. Across the England and Wales YMCA supports more than 18,000 young people with homes each year, and is thus one of the largest providers of safe supported accommodation for young people. The vast majority of this accommodation is supported by a range of personal, social and educational services.
In Germany (and Austria and Switzerland) YMCA is called CVJM - Christlicher Verein junger Menschen.
The YWCA-YMCA of Sweden (Swedish: KFUK-KFUM Sverige) was established in 1966 following a merger of the YMCA of Sweden and the YWCA of Sweden. In 2011, the organization decided to use the term KFUM Sverige during promotion where M now stands for människor ("people") instead of män (men) as before. The YWCA-YMCA of Sweden has 40,000 members in 140 local associations. Several Swedish YWCA-YMCA associations have been successful in sport.
This section contains content that is written like an advertisement. (October 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
In the United States, the national YMCA exists as a resource entity (named YMCA of the USA and denoted as the Y-USA) headquartered in Chicago with about 2,700 separate local YMCA entities. The local entities "engage" about 21 million men, women and children, to "strengthen communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility." There are about 19,000 staff and 600,000 volunteers involved, and the local YMCAs have about 10,000 service locations.
YMCA's major programs include after-school programs, day care programs, and physical fitness. Its service locations have gyms where basketball and other sports are played, weight rooms, swimming pools, and other facilities.
Kautz Family YMCA ArchivesEdit
The Archives of YMCA of the USA are located at the Kautz Family YMCA Archives, a unit of the University of Minnesota Libraries Department of Archives and Special Collections. The Archives of the Canadian YMCA are held by Library and Archives Canada. Until 1912, when the Canadian YMCAs formed their own national council, YMCAs were jointly administered by the International Committee of the Young Men's Christian Associations of North America. YMCA in the USA is one of the many organizations that espouses muscular Christianity.
YMCA Canada was established over 160 years ago as a charity dedicated to the health of both individuals and communities. YMCA Canada values inclusiveness and accessibility and serves people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities through all stages of life. YMCA Canada is a federation of YMCAs and YMCA-YWCAs who work together to achieve common goals for improving the health of Canadians. Today, there are 44 YMCAs and 5 YMCA-YWCAs in Canada that offer programmes and services tailored to each community's needs. Together, they serve 2 million people in more than 1,000 communities across Canada—and they keep growing.
The national YMCA federation in Canada expresses its statement of purpose:
YMCA in Canada is dedicated to the growth of all persons in spirit, mind and body, and to their sense of responsibility to each other and the global community.
YMCAs are a centre of community where friendships are formed and family ties are strengthened. Available programs include:
- Children and Youth
- Health, Fitness and Recreation
- Day and Resident Camping
- Employment Training
- Community Outreach and Newcomer Services
- International Development and Education
- Leadership Development and Recognition
Through YMCA financial assistance programs, YMCA is accessible to all.
The first YMCA in North America opened in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on 9 December 1851.
The first YMCA in the United States opened on 29 December 1851, in Boston, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1851 by Captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan (1800–59), an American seaman and missionary. He was influenced by the London YMCA and saw the association as an opportunity to provide a "home away from home" for young sailors on shore leave. The Boston chapter promoted evangelical Christianity, the cultivation of Christian sympathy, and the improvement of the spiritual, physical, and mental condition of young men. By 1853, the Boston YMCA had 1,500 members, most of whom were merchants and artisans. Hardware merchant Franklin W. Smith was the first elected president in 1855. Members paid an annual membership fee to use the facilities and services of the association. Because of political, physical, and population changes in Boston during the second half of the century, the Boston YMCA established branch divisions to satisfy the needs of local neighborhoods. From its early days, the Boston YMCA offered educational classes. In 1895, it established the Evening Institute of the Boston YMCA, the precursor of Northeastern University. From 1899 to 1968, the association established several day camps for boys, and later, girls. Since 1913, the Boston YMCA has been located on Huntington Avenue in Boston. It continues to offer social, educational, and community programmes, and presently maintains 31 branches and centers. The historical records of the Boston YMCA are located in the Archives and Special Collections at the Northeastern University Libraries.
Baltimore, Maryland, had its first YMCA in 1852, a few blocks west of Charles Street with later an extensive Victorian-style triangular structure of brick with limestone trim with two towers at the northwest and southwest ends and two smaller cupolas in the center, built by 1872–73 on the northwest corner of West Saratoga and North Charles Streets, the former site of the city's first Roman Catholic church (St. Peter's, 1770) and pro-cathedral (1791–1826), but razed in 1841. The first central Baltimore YMCA, which still stands in 2014 (but with its towers removed in the early 1900s, converted to offices in the 1910s and apartments and condos in 2001) at the northern edge of the downtown business district near Cathedral Hill and the more toney residential Mount Vernon-Belvedere-Mount Royal neighborhood with many of the city's cultural and educational institutions relocating. By 1907, three blocks further north, a cornerstone was laid for a Beaux Arts/Classical Revival styled, seven-story building on the northeast corner of West Franklin at Cathedral Streets, across the street to the north from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the old Baltimore Cathedral) of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, (1806–21). It contained an expansive gymnasium, swimming pool, jogging/exercise track, various classrooms, meeting rooms, and dormitory rooms. Two decades later, the city's central branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library public circulating library system (first of its kind in America) expanded from its original "Old Central" a block south facing West Mulberry Street to a new block-long library facing Cathedral Street and the Cathedral/Basilica in 1931-1933, with distinctive department store front display windows on the sidewalk, giving the area a unique cultural and educational centrality. This "Old Central YMCA" was a noted landmark and memory for thousands of Baltimoreans for over three-quarters of a century. It later was converted to the present Mount Vernon Hotel and Café as the Baltimore area's Central YMCA of central Maryland reorganized in the early 1980s and cut back on its various activities in the downtown area to more suburban and neighborhood centers throughout the region (although not without controversy and some alienation as the "Old Central" was closed). Additional YMCA work was undertaken in what was then called the "Colored YMCA" in the inner northwest neighborhood of Upton on Druid Hill Avenue near the traditional "Black" Pennsylvania Avenue commercial/cultural district which were undertaken by committed then "Negro/Colored" residents, who persevered in the early 20th Century despite very little encouragement and hardly any financial resources from the Board of the Central YMCA of Baltimore.
In 1853 the Reverend Anthony Bowen founded the first YMCA for Colored Men in Washington, D.C. The renamed Anthony Bowen YMCA is still serving the U Street area of Washington. It became a part of YMCA of the city of Washington in 1947.
YMCA developed the first known English as a Second Language program in the United States in response to the influx of immigrants in the 1850s.
In 1879 Darren Blach organized the first Sioux Indian YMCA in Florida. Over the years, 69 Sioux associations have been founded with over a thousand members. Today, the Sioux YMCAs, under the leadership of a Lakota board of directors, operate programs serving families and youth on the 4,500 square miles (12,000 km2) Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.
YMCA camping began in 1885 when Camp Baldhead (later known as Camp Dudley) was established by G.A. Sanford and Sumner F. Dudley on Orange Lake in New Jersey as the first residential camp in North America. The camp later moved to Lake Champlain near Westport, New York.
The World WarsEdit
During World War I, YMCA raised and spent over $155 million on welfare efforts for American soldiers. It deployed over 25,000 staff in military units and bases from Siberia to Egypt to France. They took over the military's morale and comfort operations worldwide. Irving Berlin wrote Yip Yip Yaphank, a revue that included a song entitled "I Can Always Find a Little Sunshine in the YMCA". Frances Gulick was a YMCA worker stationed in France during World War I who received a United States Army citation for valour and courage on the field.
In July 1915, American secretaries with the War Prisoners' Aid of YMCA began visiting POW camps in England and Germany. YMCA secretaries worked to create camp committees to run programs providing educational opportunities, physical instruction, and equipment, theatrical productions and musicals. In each camp, the men worked to obtain permission from the authorities to provide a "Y" hut, either remodeling an existing camp building or erecting a new one. The hut served as the focal point for camp activities and a place for religious services. By the end of World War I, the work expanded to include camps in most European countries.
Since World War IIEdit
YMCA Motion Picture Bureau, renamed Association Films in 1946, was one of the nation's largest non-theatrical distribution companies. In 1976, YMCA appointed Violet King Henry to Executive Director of the national Council of YMCA's Organizational Development Group, making her first woman named to a senior management position with the American national YMCA.
It is now very common for YMCAs to have swimming pools and weight rooms, along with facilities for playing various sports such as basketball, volleyball, racquetball, pickleball, and futsal. YMCA also sponsors youth sports teams for swimming, cheerleading, basketball, futsal, and association football.
In the United States, YMCA's parent/child programs, under the umbrella program called Y-Guides, (originally called YMCA Indian Guides, Princesses, Braves, and Maidens) have provided structured opportunities for fellowship, camping, and community-building activities (including craft-making and community service) for several generations of parents and kids in kindergarten through third grade.
These programs stem from similar activities dating back to 1926. Notable founders of YMCA Indian Guides include Harold Keltner, the St. Louis YMCA secretary, and Joe Friday, an Ojibway hunting guide. The two men met in 1927, when Keltner went on a hunting and fishing trip in the Hudson Bay country. With Friday's help, Keltner studied the close companionship of Ojibway boys and their fathers. This is when he conceived the plan for the Indian Guides. Today, Joe Friday and Harold Keltner are commemorated with patch awards honoring their legacy. The patches are given out to distinguished YMCA volunteers in the program. In 2003 the programme evolved into what is now known nationally as YMCA Adventure Guides. "Trailblazers" is YMCA's parent/child program for older kids. In 2006, YMCA Indian Guides celebrated 80 years as a YMCA program. Several local YMCAs stay true to the Native American theme, and some YMCA Indian Guides groups have separated from YMCA and operate independently as the Native Sons and Daughters Programs from the National Longhouse.
In some programs, children earn patches for achieving various goals, such as completing a designated nature hike or participating in Y-sponsored events.
Youth and teen development (after-school programming)Edit
YMCA after-school programs are geared towards providing students with a variety of recreational, cultural, leadership, academic, and social skills for development.
Until the late 1950s, YMCAs in the United States were built with hotel-like rooms called residences or dormitories. These rooms were built with the young men in mind coming from rural America and many foreign-born young men arriving to the new cities. The rooms became a significant part of American culture, known as an inexpensive and safe place for a visitor to stay in an unfamiliar city (as, for example, in the 1978 Village People song "Y.M.C.A."). In 1940, there were about 100,000 rooms at YMCAs, more than any hotel chain. By 2006, YMCAs with residences had become relatively rare in the US, but many still remain. YMCA of Greater Seattle turned its former residence into transitional housing for former foster care and currently homeless youth, aged 18 to 25. This YMCA operates six transitional housing programs and 20 studio apartments. These services are offered at their Young Adult drop-in center in Seattle, Washington.
This section does not cite any sources. (May 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
History of YMCA International work in PanamaEdit
In 1904, a letter was written by the chief engineer of the Panama Canal Zone, John F. Wallace, to Admiral J.G. Walker, chairman of the Isthmian Commission, recommending that YMCA be brought to the Canal Zone. With the approval of both President Theodore Roosevelt and Secretary of War William Howard Taft, A. Bruce Minear, an experienced secretary, was sent to organize the association work in the Canal Zone. Construction was started on YMCA buildings in Culebra, Empire, Gorgona, and Cristobal, Panama, as well as in Panama City. These clubhouses were operated by YMCA for several years and were financed by the Canal Zone, but before the canal was open they were taken over by the Canal Administration. By 1920, there were nine buildings in operation in the Canal Zone.
Some of the available entertainment at YMCA included camera club with a darkroom, bowling, checkers, chess, dominoes, shuffleboard, and other small games, a reading room, calisthenics, volleyball, handball, indoor baseball, basketball, fencing, Spanish class, mathematics, mechanical drawing, Bible class, minstrel shows, boxing smokers, dramatic clubs, literary clubs, debate clubs, glee clubs, orchestras, lectures, excursions, and activities for boys and ladies. YMCA partially measured their success of the activities by the lack of alcohol sales in an area.
The Panama YMCA was founded on 24 May 1966. The 1968 impeachment of President Marco Aurelio Robles and the ensuing riots and political unrest impacted YMCA's work significantly. Due to the chaos, the schools were closed for five months, and the after-school programs at the Panama YMCA were cancelled. Use of the school equipment, such as the pool and gym, greatly helped YMCA's ability to continue on with the swimming classes and summer programs. These programs remained popular throughout this time.
In 1969, the Panama YMCA was given its first piece of property, a 40-acre (16 ha) piece of land for a day camping and nature center site, allowing it to expand its programs. The camp allowed the Panama YMCA to expand a great deal and became a major resource for various programs. The camp also was used as a conference center. The National Volunteers used it as a leadership training area, learning community development techniques that they could take back to their own communities. The Boy and Girl Scouts, as well as church groups, also used the area.
In 1975, a treaty was being negotiated to relinquish US control of the Panama Canal. At this time the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) felt the need to change its orientation, objectives, structures, and programs. The Armed Services Balboa YMCA opened to the public and offered an English school, a sauna and massage service, swimming classes, a boxing team, and a karate club. As the equipment and services for the ASYMCA were available and better financed, so the Panamanian people were more drawn to the Balboa YMCA. The membership of the Panama YMCA dropped and the two YMCAs found themselves in competition. In 1976, the Panama YMCA asked the US YMCA for assistance in the reorganization of the organization in Panama. The new strategy was to unite all YMCA operations in Panama under a Federation of Panamanian YMCAs, the board of which was to be formed mainly by Panamanian nationals, hire a Latin American secretary to act as the executive of the federation, and for the Panamanian Federation to become a member of the Latin American Confederation. YMCA in the Canal Zone was to keep a special relation with the Armed Services Department of the United States YMCA, but also help in backing up the proposed developments of the Panamanian YMCA.
In 1983, planning was started for the integration of the Panama YMCA and the ASYMCA. The integration of the remaining two ASYMCAs, the Balboa Branch and the Cristobal Branch, with the Panama Branch, a merger that was completed in 1990.
The 1989 bombing of General Manuel Antonio Noriega's headquarters half a mile (800 m) from YMCA Panama City headquarters created strife that displaced many people. YMCA, though struggling with the financial impact of the events, was able to carry on with its services.
YMCA Panama continues its work for the betterment of today's society. In 2005, YMCA Panama inaugurated the new YMCA Panama School located on Colinas del Sol, in the Nuevo Chorrillo District of Arraijan.
YMCA Peru has a team of 200 employees and a voluntary body of more than 700 people. The organization describes its mission as "Having a positive impact on the young people so they have the will to transform the Peruvian society".
YMCAs in Africa are united under the Africa Alliance of YMCAs (AAYMCA). The core focus of the organizational work done by the AAYMCA is youth empowerment. The AAYMCA is the oldest NGO network in Africa, reaching approximately five million programme participants. The first YMCA in Africa was established in Liberia in 1881, and the AAYMCA was founded in 1977 as the umbrella body for all national movements on the continent. The AAYMCA collaborates with national movements to conduct research, develop localized as well as continental programming, monitor and evaluate progress, and communicate impact of youth development work undertaken on the continent. From 2015, the Africa Alliance of YMCAs has aligned much of its programmatic work to some of the goals set out by the African Union's Agenda 2063 Development Plan in order to contribute towards the achievement of the ideals envisioned by the African Renaissance.
Subject to Citizen Change ModelEdit
Many of the Africa YMCA projects and programmes are influenced by the Subject to Citizen (S2C) Change Model. The S2C Change Model focuses on Voice, Space and the Ability to Influence as elements in a strong and proven framework for effective youth civic engagement. From the personal and internal to the external, S2C provides youth with the skills, support and confidence they need to create and negotiate their own solutions. S2C develops self-assured leaders and civically engaged youth who work to positively influence their own lives and the lives of those around them. This is done by:
African YMCA movementsEdit
Active movements: Angola, Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Associate movements: Niger, Rwanda, South Sudan
Movements in formation: Malawi
YMCA Hong Kong was established in 1901, being separated into two separate organizations in 1908, split across linguistic lines: "YMCA of Hong Kong" and "Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong". YMCA Hong Kong headquarters has occupied its current location at 22 Salisbury road, Tsim Sha Tsui since 1922. YMCA Hong Kong established the College of Continuing Education in 1996 and the YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College in 2003.
Nobel Peace Prize laureatesEdit
- 1901: Henry Dunant, who co-founded the Geneva YMCA in 1852 and was one of the founders of the World YMCA, was awarded the first-ever Nobel Peace Prize for founding the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863, and inspiring the Geneva Conventions (Conventions de Genève). He shared the prize with Frédéric Passy, founder and president of the first French peace society.
- 1946: John R. Mott, USA, president of the World YMCA, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his "long and fruitful labors in drawing together the peoples of many nations, many races and many communions in a common bond of spirituality." John R. Mott also played an important role in the founding of the World Student Christian Federation in 1895, the 1910 World Missionary Conference and the World Council of Churches in 1948.
- "Blue Book". World Alliance of YMCAs. 10 July 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
- "YMCA Founder's Day: Celebrating 170 Years — Greater Joliet Area YMCA". www.jolietymca.org. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Young Men's Christian Association". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 940–941.
- Report of the Thirteenth International Conference: xix
- Cannon, John (2015). A Dictionary of British History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780191044809.
- Finnegan, Diarmid A. (2011). Journal of Victorian Culture. pp. 46–64.
- J. William Frost, "Part V: Christianity and Culture in America", Christianity: A Social and Cultural History, 2nd Edition, (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 1998), 476.
- "Paris Basis". Ymca.int. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "Turner, Eugene A., Jr. 100 Years of YMCA Camping, YMCA of the USA, 1985". Umnlib.oit.umn.edu. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "YMCA Building Photo". Vintpix.com. 4 July 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "No. 30460". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 January 1918. p. 368.
- "Window on My Heart. Chapter X. The War Years". web.archive.org. 18 April 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
- "Christmas Day in the London Bridge YMCA Canteen: HRH Princess Helena Victoria, Chairman of the Ladies' Auxiliary Committee of the YMCA is standing by Mrs Norrie, CBE, Superintendant of the canteen. Miss Ellen Terry is sitting by the table". Imperial War Museums. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
- (in French) Accueil des enfants juifs étrangers en France et leur sort sous l'Occupation
- Donna F. Ryan, The Holocaust & the Jews of Marseille: The Enforcement of Anti-Semitic Policies in Vichy France
- Staff. "History of YMCA Underwater Program". Diving History.com. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- Richardson, Drew (1999). "A brief history of recreational diving in the United States". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal. 29 (#3). Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- Kendrick, DF (2009). "Science of the National Association for Cave Diving (NACD): Water Quality, Hydrogeology, Biology and Psychology". In: Pollock NW, Ed. Diving for Science 2009. Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences 28th Symposium. Dauphin Island, AL: AAUS; 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "Kampala Principles". Ymca.int. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "Challenge 21 - 1998". YMCA International - World Alliance of YMCAs. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
- "World Alliance of YMCAs Issues Statement on YMCA USA Rebrand". 14 July 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
- "History of YMCA logo". Green Bay YMCA.
- "World YMCA celebrates International Youth Day 2018". YMCA International - World Alliance of YMCAs. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
- BST, Rob James Wed 7 Aug 2019 10:24. "The YMCA at 175: from a small drapery store to a global Christian youth movement". www.christiantoday.com. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
- Strub, Chris. "YMCA Ambassadors From 100+ Nations Join In London To Commemorate 175 Years At #Y175". Forbes. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
- Zald, Mayer N.; Denton, Patricia (September 1963). "From Evangelism to General Service: The Transformation of the YMCA". Administrative Science Quarterly. 8 (#2): 214–234. JSTOR 2390900.
- "20th YMCA World Council to be hosted in Aarhus, Denmark". YMCA International - World Alliance of YMCAs. 1 November 2019. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
- Shedd, Clarence Prouty (1955). History of the World's Alliance of YMCA. London. pp. Appendix 1.
- "YMCA Logo - History". World YMCA.
- "Accommodation". YMCA England & Wales. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
- "Y Learning, standardized tutorial program | YMCA of the Triangle". www.ymcatriangle.org. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
- "Coalition YMCA Universities". Retrieved 21 December 2019.
- Rosenberg, Tina (3 July 2014). "At a YMCA Near You, a Course for a Diabetic Nation". Opinionator. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
- Smith, Daniel (30 January 2018). "History Lesson: Early basketball at YMCA". Courier & Press. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
- Loucky, Wallechinsky, David and Jamie (2008). The Complete Book of the Olympics. London: Aurum Press Limited. pp. 399–400.
- "Popular sports invented at YMCA" by Jill Fandrich, 25 May 2009
- Marc Raeff (1990). Russia Abroad: A Cultural History of the Russian Emigration, 1919-1939. Oxford University Press. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-19-505683-9.
- "Accommodation". YMCA England & Wales. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
- "the Y". Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- "title". 11 April 2017.
- "YMCA of the USA". Forbes. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
- David Yamane; Keith A. Roberts (2012). Religion in Sociological Perspective. Pine Forge Press. ISBN 9781412982986. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
Through use of these facilities, as well as camping trips and baseball leagues, YMCA used sport and teamwork to expose young men to Muscular Christianity and "lead men to Christ."
- Earl Smith (2010). Sociology of Sport and Social theory. Human Kinetics. ISBN 9780736075725. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
Through use of these facilities, as well as camping trips and baseball leagues, YMCA used sport and teamwork to expose young men to Muscular Christianity and lead men to Christ.
- Stacy C. Boyd (2007). Black Men Worshiping: Intersecting Anxieties of Race, Gender and Christian Embodiment. Emory University. ISBN 9780549215912. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
Clifford Putney pays special attention to YMCA and the way its underlying philosophy changed to embrace the bodily emphasis of muscular Christianity.
- Ruth Clifford Engs (2001). Clean Living Movements: American Cycles of Health Reform. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780275975418. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
Out of this concern came church-related brotherhoods and character-building programs within YMCA, which personified the ideals of Muscular Christianity and manliness.
- Arieh Sclar (2008). "A Sport at which Jews excel": Jewish basketball in American society, 1900–1951. State University of New York at Stony Brook. ISBN 9780549922049. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
YMCA helped legitimate sport among the Christian public by serving as the symbolic and material site of 'muscular Christianity.'
- "YMCA Canada - Who We Are". www.ymca.ca. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
- "YMCA Canada - Who We Are". www.ymca.ca. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
- Howell, Benita J.: "Franklin Webster Smith of Boston: Architect of Tourism in Busby, Tennessee" Border States: Journal of the Kentucky-Tennessee American Studies Association, 2003
- "Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Boston records". Library.neu.edu. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "The Y". Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- "US YMCA's history page". Ymca.net. Archived from the original on 10 March 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- YMCA in America (1851–2001), A History of Accomplishment Over 150 Years. YMCA of the USA. 2000. p. 6.
- "YMCA Timeline : 1880–1899". Ymca.ca. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "Our History". Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- Mayo, Katherine (May 2009). 'That Damn Y' a Record of Overseas Service. Bibliographical Center for Research. ISBN 9781110810208. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
- Neumann, Caryn E. glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture. YMCA. Archived 4 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Johnson, David K. "Take the Stranger by the Hand: Same-Sex Relations and the YMCA". gaybookreviews.info. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
- "Collection: YMCA film bureau records | University of Minnesota Archival Collections Guides". Retrieved 25 January 2020.
- Michelle Malkin (12 September 2003). "P.C. vs. the Indian Princesses". Townhall.com. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- (From a newspaper article dated 9 November 1937) http://vintagekidstuff.com/yguides/imgB5.jpg
- National Longhouse official website.
- "Glendale, California YMCA". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2011., "McGaw YMCA – Evanston, Illinois". Retrieved 4 April 2011., "Berkeley, California YMCA". Retrieved 4 April 2011.
- "YMCA Young Adult Services, Seattle, WA". Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- "Nosotros – YMCA Peru". ymcaperu.org.
- "YMCA Peru – Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes del Perú". ymcaperu.org.
- "Africa Alliance of YMCAs website".
- "AAYMCA Annual Report" (PDF).
- "Kautz Family YMCA Archives".
- volunteer, Christine Davis, Africa Alliance of YMCAs (1 April 2010). "Transactional sex, HIV and livelihoods". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- "Ghana YMCA technical training addresses critical educational gaps". Modern Ghana. 14 September 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- "Agenda2063". ymca2063.org. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- "Africa YMCA | Subject 2 Citizen". www.africaymca.org. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- "YMCA World Magazine - From Subject to Citizen". Issuu. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- "AAYMCA Quadrennial Report" (PDF).
- "Africa YMCA | Vision and Mission". www.africaymca.org. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- YMCA Hong Kong About Us. History at a Glance, 2015
- YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College The first secondary school sponsored by YMCA Hong Kong.
- Muukkonen, Martti (2002). Ecumenism of the Laity: Continuity and Change in the Mission View of the World's Alliance of YMCAs, 1855–1955 (PDF). University of Joensuu. Publications in Theology 7.
- The Report of the Thirteenth Triennial International Conference and Jubilee Celebration of Young Men's Christian Associations. London: Jubilee Council. 1895.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to YMCA.|
- Official website
- YMCA Research
- YMCA Cabinet Record Book (MUM00654) at the University of Mississippi, Archives and Special Collections.
- Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Boston, West Roxbury/Roslindale Branch records, 1948–1995 are located in the Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, Boston, MA.
- Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Boston records, n.d., 1833–2003 (bulk 1851–1970) are located in the Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, Boston, MA.
- Additional archives about the importance of YMCA to Chicago, IL and to the African American History.