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YMCA and Christianity[edit]

How much is Christianity tied to YMCA these days? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:59, 16 July 2004 (UTC)

Depends on the country. In many European and East Asian countries, the YMCA is an evangelical organization, but in the US and Canada it's quite secular. - jredmond 15:43, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Parts of the US are secular, parts are not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:49, 22 March 2005 (UTC)
I'm in a very small city of east Texas and I don't get any vibes that the local Y is trying to push any religious agendas. -Rolypolyman 17:38, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Lodging, Food & Beverage Facilities[edit]

In the article, I didn't see a mention about lodging, food and beverage facilities. The YMCA in Singapore, Hong Kong and almost everywhere in the world has this facilities. Could someone add that in. Or is this a seperate entry from the lodging place, YMCA. This goes the same for YWCA. Thanks. --Terence Ong (恭喜发财) 13:39, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Not every Y has residence facilities, but many do; check Google. I'll add something about this. Jordan Brown 07:22, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Check out this link for YMCAs with residence. Some are hostels/hotels while others are student or social housing. This is a listing of many national addresses and those with an asterick should have a residence.User: CS 12:08, 16 December 2006

Hey There - I think the original comment from Terence highlights something of a problem with some of the original article (especially sections: Activities, Parent and Family and Residences), i.e. the bias towards the YMCA in the US. This is in no way a criciticism of the work of the YMCA in the US, nor of the original author/s - but wonder what possibilities exist for making the general sections more inclusive, and moving nation-specific work to separate sections? Cheers for now S J B 15:18, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Dhodges reorged the article a few weeks ago to move most of the North American stuff into its own section. I just added a few qualifiers on some remaining parts that were US-specific but didn't make that clear. Any suggestions for particular reorgs or rewordings would be welcome. (Or do them yourself, of course.) Unfortunately, us US-centric types don't *have* a lot of information on non-US YMCAs... Jordan Brown 08:04, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Promotion of Individual YMCAs or Programs[edit]

Please note, this is not the place to promote individual YMCAs or YMCA programs, this is an article about the YMCA in general. You are welcome (encouraged!) to add to the article, but please remember the core YMCA values of Honesty and Respect and do not try to hijack the page.

The External Links section seems to be accumulating links to national YMCA web sites and to a few individual YMCAs. Should there be an organized place to put these links? It seems like listing local YMCAs here won't scale. (But see WP:NOT.) Jordan Brown 00:52, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

I've added a note requesting that people not add links below the national level. If somebody thinks it worthwhile to create another article listing individual YMCAs, let's talk about it here. Jordan Brown 01:29, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Note that even a list of national-level YMCAs is pretty long (124 by one count) and so might not be appropriate. Perhaps we can rely on's list. Jordan Brown 18:59, 31 January 2007 (UTC)


the naked swimming issue should be dealt with by pointing it out to the YMCA itself and asking for historical evidence

There is no shortage of historical evidence for nude swimming at the YMCA, and that it was widespread. Therefore information should be included about it in the article. It seems most of the sections about swimming have been removed from the article, even though it's an important part of the YMCA's history. Why did that happen? Was it to avoid an uncomfortable subject for some people? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1017:B81A:22A9:98C2:8F7B:D942:1279 (talk) 18:32, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

I deleted the "The following is in dispute" line in the nude swimming paragraph because it seems pretty clear that there actually was nude swimming (see photo on the skinny dipping page.) The source next to that line wasn't too clear; I think whoever put it there wanted us to see the clothed swimming team in the photo on that page as evidence that nude swimming wasn't necessarily widespread, but it's more reasonable to assume they were dressing up for the camera or something. 22:57, 4 July 2006 (UTC) John S.

I've made no edits, but as a young boy in Southern California in the 1960s, I swam regularly at our local YMCA and everyone in the pool was wearing swimsuits. Przip (talk) 17:20, 6 May 2018 (UTC)

Funding sources[edit]

I'd like some information how the YMCA is funded and how much annual income they generate. These enormous fitness complexes that have been popping up in my city seem like they would cost more to build and operate than what they could ever recoup in membership fees. --Navstar 15:15, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

As registered charities YMCAs all publish audited financial financial statements. Googling "YMCA annual report" or "YMCA financial report" will bring up a whole slew of them. --Dhodges
Can someone integrate this information into the entry? --Navstar 22:53, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Is there anything interesting or notable you were thinking of? It seems to me that their funding is pretty similar to other charitable organizations, a mix of membership, charitable donations, and government support. Of course, tax-free status makes things a lot easier.-Dhodges 00:16, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Here's a few random data points about my local YMCA. The 2007 fund raising campaign handbook says (on page 35) that we're the 2nd largest branch in Los Angeles, serving ~38K people (from an area population of ~411K). It says that the total budget is $8.3M: 7% contributions, 38% membership, 54% program fees, and 1% childcare government grants. $518K is spent on direct financial aid to children and families. The facility is 34K square feet, with an offsite 8K square foot child care facility and 13 additional smaller facilities at schools. There are 57 full-time staff, 217 part-time or seasonal staff, and over a thousand volunteers. Jordan Brown 19:22, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

A significant difficulty in integrating this information is the local differentiation of YMCAs. This means their sources of income (and indeed total income) vary considerably from those that exist purely because of the voluntary actions of its members to £/$million turnovers. In a recent survey of local YMCAs in England the percentage of income from statutory/government sources varied considerable 0-100%. Again, in England this information is available from the Charity Commission and also from Guidestar - an organisation that I understand also records the financial information of nonprofit organisations in North America.Politicalwizard (talk) 21:45, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Gay Subculture[edit]

I don't see any mention of this, nor of the song YMCA at all here, except for a minor link at the bottom. maybe i'll add a heading to draw attention to the significance. can i do that? Donthaveaspaz 20:46, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

From what I can gather, everyone in mainstream culture perceives YMCA as a front for gay activities. Why is there so little mention of this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:22, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

No references, probably. -- P.B. Pilhet 20:24, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Also, I think that's a historical perception, not a current one. Jordan Brown 21:34, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

No one perceives YMCA as a front for gay activities.[citation needed] Most perceive it as a place where their kids play sports after school. The gay scene is not nearly what it was years ago, especially in the suburbs. Also, the YMCA never promoted homosexuality on a large scale. Its just that when you create a place for young men to live, work out, and hang out together - certain people will show up. As with most organizations, the YMCA has changed much over the years. Here in Washington State, it's now a lot like the Boys and Girls Clubs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kylebrotherton (talkcontribs) 07:10, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Same with here, in Ohio. - hmwithtalk 17:00, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Whether YMCA likes it or not, there are many people who associate the organization with male gay culture and it does have a history of being a place where gay men interacted with one another. Sweeping it under the rug completely is an intellectually dishonest way of dealing with this. That there are no references is rather obviously not true. And that's the link at the bottom of this article, by the way.
Peter Isotalo 09:03, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
"No one percieves YMCA as a front for gay activities." -Jordan B.
Wrong, YOU don't. You're just trying to hide the obvious truth. P.B. Pilhet 20:24, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Just to set the record straight, that wasn't my comment; it was made by User:Kylebrotherton. I've added unsigned tags to make it clearer. Jordan Brown (talk) 12:01, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

I honestly thought it was just the song.... (talk) 13:56, 18 June 2008 (UTC)Unsigned

I would be interested to know where the association with the gay culture originated, what is the history of this association (how did it come to pass and become historical)? Is it just an association with the Village People, or did they merely escalate this association? Clearly some mention may be made through linking to the article on the Village People song. Furthermore, I think whatever is written about this association in this article should be done to emphasise the inclusive nature of the YMCA, an organisation that provides services for people irrespective of their race, religion, gender or sexuality.Politicalwizard (talk) 21:40, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree that this matter should be covered in the article. The 1912 Portland scandal appears to be a matter of undeniable historical record, for instance, and independent of truth or falsehood there is certainly a perception that there is or has been a tie-in to gay culture. However, it's clearly a very touchy matter that should be handled carefully. The first question is where to put the discussion. Two possibilities come to mind, both in "History" sections:

  • Put any verifiable incidents in the timeline, including the 1912 Portland and 1919 Newport scandals and the 1978 publication of Y.M.C.A. (song). Perhaps include the assertion (from, e.g. [1]) that the increased openness in the 1960s spelled the end of the YMCA as a center of gay culture.
  • Add a "Gay Culture" subsection to the North America History section, describing verifiable incidents in prose. (Is this just a NA phenomenon? I don't immediately find any non-NA references.)

In either location, I would stick to verifiable facts and to _very_ clear secondary statements like the statement from the song's page "In the gay culture from which the group sprang, the song was implicitly understood as celebrating the YMCA's reputation as a popular cruising and hookup spot, particularly for the younger gay men to whom it was addressed.[1]". (I don't think there's any question about whether people interpret the song that way, whether or not it's true.) I would avoid claims that "it was a gay hangout" or "everybody knew..." or statements about the intended effects of policy changes. The Holy Grail would be official YMCA statements, but somehow I expect those will be difficult to find.


Jordan Brown (talk) 12:49, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

The only official YMCA statements that would be available would be the staunch rules in opposition of homosexuality that the organization enacted following the Portland fiasco. All the information will have to be gathered from other valid media sources. Fortunately, there's plenty.
Either way, there should definitely be some information about how, historically, it was a front for gay youth in America. For over half a century, it was vastly significant and ultimately served as the genesis for a Billboard hit that's remained a fixture in popular culture for decades. I imagine as the tolerance of gay culture grew, the correlation was rendered extinct. Personally, I find it intriguing and was astonished to find no mention of it in the article when I read it. As Peter pointed out above, omitting it from the article is 'intellectually dishonest'.
[This] would definitely be a great starting point for culling some information and creating a summary for inclusion. Given the sensitive nature of the material, I think we should hammer out the details here and get other editors' input so we can move forward with some concensus and avoid edit wars. I'll be glad to assist in the process.
K10wnsta (talk) 10:49, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

So, where? I guess my inclination is twofold: bullets in the timeline for identifiable events (Portland, Newport, release of the song) and, if we can get a reasonable amount of material, a prose section in either the NA history section or a new top-level section at the bottom.

The material is indeed a good start, though I wonder how unbiased it is. There are a number of similar sources, but again I have to wonder how many are drawing from each other. It'd be nice to get cites from the original news reports. There are hints that the Kautz Family YMCA Archives has memos reacting to the Portland scandal.

So far, I think we have three verifiable events (Portland, Newport, song) and one general time-related item (end in 1960s due to more public presence). The prose section should give a few more details on the three events (say, a paragraph each), plus perhaps a general paragraph on the subject. In that general paragraph it may be appropriate to weasel a bit, something like "Some sources indicate that homosexual activity at YMCAs was widespread".

Jordan Brown (talk) 06:15, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Tracked down a very well-referenced social science book that should be a fantastic source: Take the Young Stranger by the Hand: Same-Sex Relations and the YMCA From the link, if you scroll up about a half a page, you'll see the relevant section's beginning: A Brief History of YMCA Cruising: 1880-1950. From the looks of it, the entire book may be useful in sourcing a section for this article. I only had time this afternoon to verify its relevance and reliability. I hope to be able to research it a bit more this evening.
If anyone finds any other sections in it with info that might warrant inclusion in an encyclopedic summary, list the pages/sections here.
-K10wnsta (talk) 22:16, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
By the way...speaking of here...I was thinking we might could start a new section or sandbox or something to work on this. Under normal circumstances, I'd say throw it up with some basic information and let it evolve with further contributions. However, as we all know, this will be a touchy subject. I'm not saying we need to hide knowledge or facts out of political correctness, I just think our initial draft of the section should be respectfully and thoroughly assessed. Plus, reaching consensus on how the information will appear before posting it in the main article will give us a stronger leg to stand on if an edit war results.
That being said, I have to plead ignorance on how a situation such as this is normally handled on Wikipedia. If it's better to just throw the new section up there and start revising it, so be it.
-K10wnsta (talk) 22:41, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I appreciate your thoughtful considerations (and your research), so this is not really directed at you, but I think it is ridiculous that such overt sensitivity has to be paid to this subject. Everybody knows that these connotations exist and leaving them out from an encyclopedic article borders on dishonesty. People who come here should have a right to know what other people understand by the subject. Wikipedia should not be used as platform for YMCA to "de-gayify" its branding. Besides, which is more bigoted - talking openly about homosexuality or affirming its taboo? -- (talk) 14:46, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Completely agree with the previous comment. There needs to be a far more thorough discussion of the relationship with the song and gay subculture. At the moment, it seems like this article is being censored. Turkeyphant 14:00, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Be bold Added sentence to NA history section with citations Rich442 (talk) 23:08, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

YMCA Camps[edit]

I don't see any mention of YMCA Camps here, despite the fact that there are 289 YMCA camps, in most of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and the YMCA has had camps for over 130 years. Find YMCA Camps

Actually, the article does mention summer camp under Building healthy minds and a strong community.-Dhodges 22:30, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

There is a lot of information about US YMCA camps. Although there is a very significant history of summer camps in the US in general, if the article is going to talk about the history of YMCA summer camps, they should include their development elsewhere. Swimlo (talk) 19:45, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Not that it matters, but it's great place, when I was teen, to get laid. Coffee5binky (talk) 07:19, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

I went in the 90s. The Y was a desolate camp of boredom for "problem children" under highschool age. Nothing but an ugly yellow basketball court & a field of grass. The rest of it was a daycare center year round. the YMCAs had no other uses. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:8:B580:55A:9102:2E39:1933:E299 (talk) 04:19, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

In Sitcoms[edit]

It's funny, the general concept in America is that "The Y" is where you go to work out, but in older sitcoms it seems to be primarily referenced as where men sleep when temporarily kicked out by their wives. Was this ever a common practice, just renting a room at the Y for a couple of nights? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 14:41, 13 September 2006 (UTC).

As noted above, some Ys still offer lodging. According to the YMCA history page, in 1940 there were 100,000 YMCA rooms, more than any hotel chain. Jordan Brown 07:22, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Header material[edit]

20:42, 11 November 2006 added some historical material, references to YMHA, YWCA, et cetera. While I've never heard of the YMHA, I've certainly heard of the YWCA and the rest of the material seems correct so I WP:AGF that the stuff I don't know about is correct too.

20:22, 12 November 2006 added some commentary about sex which, whether or not it's true, seems like an inappropriate presentation.

22:06, 12 November 2006 reverted (without comment) both of these changes. I'm assuming that the real intent was only to revert the latter change, so I've reverted it again to achieve that goal. We can talk here if that wasn't the intent.

Jordan Brown 17:51, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

My bad, you are correct, I meant to only revert the latter change, thanks for catching.

YMHA is indeed an organization as to the YMBA i would WP:AGF that it also exists, but I'm assuming it's obscure. As well, the YMCA might have been an evangelical parachurch organization 125 years ago, but it really isn't in most countries today as far as I can tell. Perhaps these references should move to the history section?

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 03:04, 14 November 2006 (UTC).

Perhaps, no strong feeling. My only real opinion was that the "productive" content shouldn't be removed without comment, and since we've established that that was an error that's not an issue any more. Jordan Brown 05:31, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

History and Mission[edit]

I made some changes to the page, specifically relating to the history and mission. I also added some additional information about YMCAs in other countries and the World Alliance of YMCAs. I found that most of the content centered on YMCA programmes in the US. While it's true that the US YMCA is the largest, it is fairly unique in its programming. Most of the 124 YMCAs worldwide do not have the same programs. YMCA programming is reflective of the community in which it serves, and the realities in most countries are very different than that of the US. So, I hope the changes are acceptable to those who have been posting to this page and that I haven't removed/changed/moved anything so as to be offensive to anyone who posted it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wa communication team (talkcontribs) 21:51, 15 December 2006 (UTC).

Your changes look mostly good to me. (Some of the US-centric stuff was mine... sigh.) The History section seems a bit awkward. Perhaps there should be a prose section describing the history of the Y in a couple of paragraphs, and a timeline section showing notable events in bullet form. Regardless, the timeline part should be consistent - the current text has some "in 1937, ..." entries, some "1950: ..." entries, and a few "1950 ..." entries. I could take a whack at separating the two, but don't really have the time to do it right.
Jordan Brown 07:57, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments. I agree. Unfortunately, it looks as if someone reverted back to the page as it was prior to any changes I made. All of my information was accurate and taken from the global YMCA archives in Geneva, Switzerland. As the page stands now, it has good information about the US YMCA but does not accurately reflect the YMCA as a worldwide movement. Moreover, some of the information is actually incorrect (for example, there are 124 National Movements rather than 122). The comment that the triangle logo is only used in the US and Canada is also incorrect. I am not interested in having an editing war, but I feel strongly that this page could better reflect the scope of YMCA work and its presence in the global community. Any ideas what I should do? I don't know the Wikipedia etiquette on reverting back to a prior page. Also, I have photos to support much of the historical section that I added previously, but I am not sure how to upload them. Do you have any advice? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:57, 16 December 2006 (UTC).
Sorry, forgot to log in/sign. I am C.S., a volunteer for the WA communication team —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:01, 16 December 2006 (UTC).
Check again; I don't see any reversion. You had four revs, then Dhodges fixed your bullet list, then I did a little cleanup in the External Links section. Jordan Brown 20:08, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
How strange. When I type "YMCA" into the wikipedia home page, it pulls up the original text. Then, if I change tabs to "discussion" or "history" and go back to "article" the text is as I revised it. I've tried it 3 times. I think I'm going crazy. Anyway, I will work on the history and standardizing the timeline as you suggested. User: CS
Sounds like a browser cache or caching proxy issue. Try searching, so that you end up at the "old" version, and then shift+refresh to force the caches to be flushed. Jordan Brown 22:50, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Challenge 21[edit]

The Challenge 21 page looks more like a paraphrase than like the original text. It'd be good to find original text. Jordan Brown 18:22, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

The Challenge 21 information is great, but it should be made clearer that it is the strategic direction of the World Alliance of YMCAs and not necessary of individual YMCAs or national federations. The YMCA is a 'bottom up' organization, not a 'top down' organization. 04:59, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

That's true - Challenge 21 is the strategic directon adopted by the World Alliance. It aims to generally encompass the mission of all YMCAs, but each national YMCA has their own mission. Also, the Challenge 21 text is not paraphrased - it is the official language of a resolution adopted at the 14th World COuncil in Frechen, Germany in 1998. User: CS

Why such a push to remove the the "Christianity" from the YMCA? These organizations do indeed agree to the charter to be part of the global YMCA organization -- and they are faith-based organizations. Just as homeless folks eat at church-sponsored food kitchens -- no one cares who's doing the serving -- especially the homeless. The YMCA does in fact hire Interfaith Directors to work with local faith-based organizations to cultivate their relationships with the YMCA. I think this section is straight-forward and should not be changed.

Links to national Ys[edit]

We have two kinds of links to national Ys: Wikipedia links and links directly to the organizations' sites. It seems like these should be in the same section, but normally "See Also" contains intra-WP links and "External Links" contains external links. Any ideas? Jordan Brown 19:42, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Early dates[edit]

The article used to say

1855: There were YMCAs in Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and France.

Somebody changed it to 1851. I can't say whether or not that's correct; I haven't been able to find a good reference. By 1855 (and the 1st World Conference) it's pretty clear that the listed included most of those (Australia being iffy), but unfortunately the YMCA.INT history only says:

1845 : Development of YMCAs in Switzerland, USA, France, Canada, Germany, Netherlands.

and it's pretty clear from the well-documented dates for Montreal and Boston that that doesn't mean "in 1845" or "by 1845"; it probably means "starting 1845".

Anybody have a better reference to nail this down?

Jordan Brown 00:08, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Founding Dates:

Australia (1850) - [2] [3] Switzerland (1852) - [4] some sources say that Geneva was the first YMCA in Switzerland. Unfortunately the 'French' version of the Swiss site is in German, I can't read it. France (1855) - [5], although when you read the french version of the Paris YMCA site, it seems to imply that YMCAs existed in France prior to 1855, but doesn't give dates. Seeing as the Paris Basis was signed in 1855, I suspect that YMCAs were active prior to 1855 in France. USA (1851) - Well established. Canada (1851) - Well established. Germany - Signed the Paris Basis in 1855 must have existed then. Netherlands - Signed the Paris Basis in 1855 must have existed then.

Informal YMCA's would have been afoot prior to the founding dates in each of the countries. Organizations similar to the YMCA existed prior to its founding in London. Some of these organizations became YMCAs later in their history, so to definitely say when a YMCA started in a particular place is most likely impossible. I would word more like - 'after the London YMCA was founded, YMCAs started to form in other countries...' and then talk about the Paris Basis in 1855. Cometward 19:37, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism, March 26, 2007[edit]

While surfing the wikipedia articles, i found the following...

"...was unusual because it crossed the rigid lines that separated the chavujf igisu hugy79fdsuo hougyfudsuhj hu8yugfewjkh87yghfjkheuw9py8ghuofhdaoghrtew4548h4g5r4s5hgrs54h45ds2g5jh2g2hchurches and social classes of England, making the YMCA a pioneer..."

...ok that's obvious vandalism. Tankmaster46 15:21, 26 March 2007 (UTC)—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Tankmaster46 (talkcontribs) 15:21, 26 March 2007 (UTC).

Yep. Reverted. Jordan Brown 16:01, 26 March 2007 (UTC)


The YMCA is also a Work out place too —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Leona leblanc (talkcontribs) 14:49, March 26, 2007 (UTC).

I think that is covered in the article under the Sport and Fitness subsection of the YMCA's operation in North America. Swimlo (talk) 19:55, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Note on broken reference link[edit]

Your 10th reference, the link says: McGaw YMCA, Evanston Illinois.

It redirects to here:

You get a 404 error as it is part of the Link Rot wikiproject. I have added a link that takes you to the latest archived page of it. If you find a current page feel free to update it. Visit the Linkrot page if you would like to help!

Thank You. --Psychless 00:20, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Incorrect statement about name[edit]

On the issue of the name -- YMCA. "Its name represents something of an anachronism, but it has been retained as a strong brand name."

I believe that this statement is incorrect and should be removed (it is opinion). An anachronism is something that is out of place for the time period. By making this statement, the writer declares that Christianity is an anachronism (my interpretation). While this may be true to some folks, it is out of place in the article. While the YMCA is open to people of all culture and faiths, their charter is very clear (updated in 1998). It clearly states a Christian mission (See Challenge 21). While many YMCAs do not "push" a Christian agenda, they are in fact, a faith-based organization chartered on the principles of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. The opening sentence should be changed to reflect a faith-based nature as well. Now, to what level each local organization pursues this mission is obviously debatable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:59, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Early Learning Centers[edit]

The Article doesn't mention anything about a lot centers having a DayCare. Not to mention that most provide child care while adults are working out and whatnot. Also, if the rest of YMCA doesn't push a Christian agenda, they do pray openly at meal times in the day care, though at the particular Y I visit they aren't reading bible stories or anything. (talk) 15:17, 23 May 2008 (UTC)


I've encountered multiple biographies (inside and outside Wikipedia) recently that describe someone as a YMCA or YWCA Secretary. Is this a term that merits more coverage here or in a subarticle? Or is it a term with multiple meanings, depending on what level of the organization they were a secretary for? GRBerry 18:30, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

I think it is a somewhat dated term, although some YMCAs continue to use it. Essentially a Secretary, or General Secretary and in some YMCAs, National Secretary, is comparable to the position of Chief Executive. I don't think the term is particular to the YMCA save that as a charitable (nonprofit) organisation the YMCA has a significant history, that therefore contains a number of 'secretaries'.Politicalwizard (talk) 21:30, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Hygiene standards in the global chain of YMCA ???.....[edit]

Has anyone been aware that if there is any internal hygiene standards in the global chain of YMCA like the practice by KFC or McDonalds???

The toilet hygiene is terrible in the one that I have stayed. There is no hand wash detergent facilitated within the toilet which I think that it is a must for the public hygiene. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:59, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

See discussion point on global relevance. Even within one country, whilst there may be YMCAs that have signed up to common standards - e.g. Insync Standards in England - the YMCA is a federal model in which, for the vast majority, each YMCA is an individual and autonomous organisation in its own right. Thus, such decisions such as the appropriate soap provided in the loo will be a local decision. Politicalwizard (talk) 21:27, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, it's pretty gross at the Las Vegas, NV, main YMCA, and why I stopped showering and swimming there after working out. I'd rather go home smelly and dirty than go into the locker rooms or bathrooms there. Ugh! Coffee5binky (talk) 07:22, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Standardisation of holiday accommodation check-in...???[edit]

I will thumb up YMCA's good practice of the check-in procedure. Instead of holding person's passport for the security reason after check-in, YMCA is only holding a copy of person's photo ID which is of the same strong security measures as practiced by the formers. To me, holding someone's passport for the security of their business without the government permission is misusing the national law —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:14, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

  • What? I'm Turkish.--Vikimen (talk) 05:50, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Why is there no mention of the racist policy of desegregation in the city of montgomery. AL by YMCA in the 60's.? This policy was in place after the supreme court decision of desegregation in 1958. Keeping that in context, this article shows YMCA in a much better light than it should. In the history part there should be a mention of these policies and the fight that it took to change YMCA. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:38, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

YMCA and Global relevance[edit]

This article has quite a strong North American bias. I like this 'flavour' but do you think we can edit it to give more space for the expression of the YMCA in different countries? How do you think this could be best done? Politicalwizard (talk) 19:25, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

For one, there shouldn't be on random UK section. It implies that the article isn't generally about the UK, and it's odd that it's the only nation-named section. It would be an improvement to see either a) that information merged with the rest of the article, or b) other nation-named sections added. --King of the Arverni (talk) 19:55, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
My bad, I suppose there is a "North America" section, too, but that's not national and still presents an odd inconsistency. I still advocate for either dispersing them or adding others. Honestly, but without poring over the content personally, I think dispersion might be the best course of action. --King of the Arverni (talk) 19:59, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Aha! Dispersion - always an issue with the YMCA being an organisation that favours local autonomy. Of course, some would dispute whether the UK was a nation, a region or a sub-region but this might be the concern of local politics. One of the issues with both dispersion and the writing and editing of other 'national' or regional sections is that Wikipedia is itself dissected into different language versions so this article will always have an English-speaking bias. The article will thus struggle to attract authors that will express the international 'accents' of a global movement. Has anyone seen another Wikipedia article that links the different language versions? Politicalwizard (talk) 21:23, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

I'd agree that it is a real shame that, as YMCA was founded in Britain, this article is so North American focused. Here in the UK the general perception I've seen is that the YMCA came to Britain from America. My suggestion would be that it needs breaking down in to a kind of "YMCA Activities in different areas" style. This would allow the core aims to be shown, and split off the different region activities. Bods (talk) 09:43, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Martti Ahtisaari in Nobel Prize list[edit]

Without intending any slight to the man, does he really belong in this list? According to his article, it appears that he was involved in the YMCA as a member and later (for, it appears, three years, 45 years before his prize) as a 2nd or so level leader in a national YMCA. His YMCA involvement appears to be almost a footnote in his biography, not a major point. Contrast this with the other two men listed, who were founders and leaders of the world-wide organization. Jordan Brown (talk) 12:30, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

I think someone's done a bit too zealous search-and-add for Nobel Prize winners, and that's how he's slipped on this page. As you said, he's not in any way a major figure in YMCA, and his Nobel Prize most definitely wasn't rewarded for his work with YMCA. On the other hand, is this a list of YMCA-associated people who have won the prize, or a list of people who have received the prize _because_ of their work with YMCA? I would think the latter, since I would guess the former would be a longer list. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:48, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Before 1844[edit]

I just did a bit of rearrangement to the History paragraph on precursor organizations. While I think that these organizations are probably of interest (they could use references, but I WP:AGF), it also seems clear that they are not direct ancestors of the YMCA. I also wanted to fit it into the timeline form. I can't say I'm completely happy with the result, but I think it's an improvement. Jordan Brown (talk) 13:19, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

George Williams in top paragraphs?[edit]

A recent sequence of revisions removed the reference to George Williams (YMCA) from the second paragraph of the article. Mr. Williams is mentioned in the 1844 timeline entry, so maybe removing him from the intro paragraphs is OK, but I can't say I'm completely comfortable with relegating the founder of the organization to the timeline.


Jordan Brown (talk) 17:14, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

An article should start with the basics; I'd say the founder of the organization is one of the basics. More importantly, The text seems to be from standard YMCA publicity material[6] [7]. As the note at the bottom of the editing page says: "Please do not copy and paste from copyrighted websites – only public domain resources can be copied without permission." -Dhodges (talk) 17:32, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Copyright cleanup[edit]

With these edits, text was introduced into this article from [8]. It has been replaced with text that previously existed in the article. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 19:30, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

YMCA as Y[edit]

Here is an article about the USA rebranding, which can be used as a source for the article Bair, Jeff. "YMCA: We're just the 'Y' now." Houston Chronicle. July 12, 2010. WhisperToMe (talk) 06:30, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

This press release directly from states that they should now be referred to as The Y. "In another major change, the nonprofit will be called “the Y” to align with how people most commonly refer to the organization." So my suggestion would be the first line should be changed to "The Y (also known as the YMCA and founded as the Young Men’s Christian Association)..." Geedubzzz (talk) 01:32, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

OH the official website is and they did not re-brand themselves like the USA did. Never mind. Geedubzzz (talk) 01:38, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Juan Carlos Ceriani[edit]

I removed a redlink today and changed his name to match what was on the Futsal wikipedia page and the history of futsal page. I tried to link to the page as a reference but have never done a ref before and couldn't get it to work right. I'm posting the link for someone more experienced if they want to add it. One thing, the page doesn't list Juan Carlos Ceriani as working for the ymca. Can someone verify? Thanks. Wolfhound668 (talk) 12:08, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Why the blue "Y" logo?[edit]

In the article, the new blue and violet "Y" logo appears on the first position, and bigger than the previous red and black one. This is not justified, because the blue logo is used in the United States only, which is one of 125 countries represented in the World Alliance of YMCAs. The other countries continue to use the traditional "Red Triangle" symbol, which was approved in 1895 "for portraying the work of the YMCA, because it indicates the threefold nature of man - mind, body and spirit." - Riggenbach (talk) 23:40, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

I agree, why is this new USA logo so persistent? It has nothing to do with the YMCA is general, its just a logo used in the US. Please remove it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:50, 9 December 2011 (UTC)


As a side note, this is the message I received from the YMCA organization itself:

Because the old logo continues to be used internationally and the page is intended for global audiences, it is technically correct. You will find the US logo in its correct use often lower on the page.

Naugahyde (talk) 16:23, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Muscular Christianity[edit]

Who hijacked this article with regard to "Muscular Christianity"? The 5 citations are a little odd. It may have at one time in the organizations history been relevant, but it's not relevant to the current mission. Can someone find a better place for that section? It really sticks out like someone was trying to sell the idea of "muscular Christianity" more-so than trying to create an article about the YMCA. — Preceding unsigned comment added by RRosenow (talkcontribs) 15:55, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

I agree. Besides, all citations reference to YMCAs in the US. I will move it to the section on North America as that seems a better place. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:45, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

YMCA and the USA[edit]

This page is heavily oriented at the YMCA of the USA which is a bit odd since its merely one 'national' movement out of a family of 125 YMCAs around the world. Even more so since it is not at all representative for the YMCAs around the world. I think some of the examples are very strong, and I'm certainly not against that, but this page creates the idea that the YMCA is an US organisation with some branches elsewhere. I will try in the coming time to insert some varied examples of YMCA activities from all over the world. For starters the logo should be removed since it is -only- used in the US. Gerard684 (talk) 15:05, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

I would suggest to keep all the text from the YMCA of the USA, but move it to another page since it is very focussed on the USA and not at all representative for the YMCA as a movement. Yet, the text and examples are very interesting. Does anyone have an idea on how to do this? Gerard684 (talk) 15:08, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

The text on the USA isn't large enough to have its own article. Maybe you can add more on the YMCA in other countries to make the article more represenative of the YMCA as a movement. PFAStudent (talk) 21:02, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

File:Most used YMCA Logo.png Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Organisational Structure[edit]

I removed the statement that the YMCA is a federated structure in the introduction. Might seem a small issue but this is often very confusing (even on wikipedia).

All the national YMCAs that I know consist of voluntary associated local YMCAs, and the national YMCAs are affiliated with both the regional and global associations. Hence a federation is not the correct description of the organisational structure, of course there are some "rights and responsibilities" when a local association associates itself but no formal "legal" ties. Some ties might be stronger (as in the US) others are fairly weak (eg. the Netherlands). Please correct me if I'm wrong — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:32, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Charles Dunbar Sherman an African-American?[edit]

Why is he considered an African-American, as the article states? If he is from Liberia, isn't he an African? Or Liberian, more specifically? Even if he studied in the U.S., he's still an African. No one calls someone from the U.S. who goes to grad school in Australia an Australian-American, for example.

Early youth organizations usefulness[edit]

Looking at the Earlier Youth Organizations section and find that the content is irrelevant to the YMCA. Most, if not all, of the facts are unsubstantiated. Research on my own came up empty. Further, there is no tie as to how they would have affected (effected? -- always confuses me!) the creation and management of the Y. Naugahyde (talk) 16:56, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Opinion of the Orthodox Church on YMCA[edit]

This section, at the bottom of the page, seems out of place and consists solely of a single quote by one source. Furthermore, it has some weird citation issues. Could somebody either clean this up or perhaps add a little something to make this section worth keeping? Otherwise, I am open to suggestions. (talk) 21:03, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

I've removed it as being simply a quotation. I couldn't find definite views elsewhere but it seems some Orthodox churches have no problem with the Y (I suspect they are much more united against freemasonry which was also mentioned but the Y isn't freemasonry) and the quote might be the result of an intra-Orthodox dispute (the quote is cited as a decision of the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia (ROCOR) in 1974 and it seems the Y was possibly associated loosely [the YMCA-Press in Paris printed quite a few Russian works] with some rival Russian Orthodox groups). --Erp (talk) 00:44, 10 April 2014 (UTC)


In the lead it is asserted that the YMCA has 58 million "beneficiaries" worldwide. I would assume that this is meant to mean members or associates, but is definitely not clear. If this is a technical term that the YMCA uses then it should be explained, if not then it should probably be changed to the more common members or something similar. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:44, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

O. Henry quote about the "notorious" YMCA[edit]

On January 28, 2014, Theozoon added a passage describing a short story by O. Henry that spoke of "the notorious Young Men's Christian Association" where few knew "what scenes go on in places of this kind," sourced to an unspecified 1896 issue of the Houston Daily Post. This was included to indicate associations of the YMCA with gay sub-culture may have gone back as early as the 1890s, despite other sources used in the article dating it no earlier than the mid 20th century.

Unfortunately the story "Led Astray" does not support the ideas it's being used for. I found it on page 12 of the April 19, 1896 issue of the Houston Daily Post, through an archive of the newspaper hosted here (

It turns out it's a satirical story that uses inversion of values for its humor. Yes, the YMCA is described as "notorious" with wicked "scenes" going on behind its door, but the terrible things taking place are comically innocent: playing checkers, reading religious newspaper editorials, eating ice cream and strawberries, and (most luridly of all in this pre-Prohibition era) the lurkers in this den of evil are drinking copious amounts of water! Sample quote:

William went to a large water cooler in the corner, drew a brimming glass of ice water, and with a cold and cruel smile curling his lips, handed it to Fergus.... Fergus took the glass and gazed with wonder at its transparent contents; then seized with some sudden impulse he drained the glass of water to the last drop. As he drank, William Meeks, with a diabolical look of triumph on his face, rubbed his clammy hands together and exulted.... Fergus drank glass after glass from the cooler, and finally suffered William to lead him, reluctant, from the hall. They parted at the door, and as Fergus went down the street like one in some happy dream, saying softly to himself at intervals: "Water!" "Water!" William Meeks looked after him with a smile of devilish satisfaction on his face.

It seems to be a parody of contemporary temperance literature. The climax comes as Fergus is "rescued" by regaining his insobriety (drinking whiskey straight from the nozzle on a keg) and submitting to a literal shotgun wedding.

Obviously, it's a wild misrepresentation to use this in the way Theozoon has. Rather than supporting the idea that the YMCA's reputation for sexual transgressiveness goes back more than a hundred years, O. Henry's comedy actually depends on the opposite perception: that the YMCA was seen as a rather scrupulous, squarish group of people, not given to decadence and illicitness.

Anyway, that's not the only problem with Theozoon's insertion. Since he cited no reliable source making the connection between "Led Astray" and a gay subculture (or any transgressive subculture) within the YMCA, the conclusion appears to be his original research. I looked and could not find anything except mirrors of this webpage. In addition, the ascription of "Led Astray" to O. Henry may be OR too. The story is unsigned in the Daily Post. Since it was printed before 1923 it ought to be in the public domain, yet I cannot find any evidence on Google Books or Google generally that the story was ever published in Henry's works. On the basis of literary style I'm convinced it really is O. Henry's, but that's just personal opinion. There's no citation.

So with these problems, coupled with the fact mentioned earlier that the insinuations Theozoon draws are in conflict with reliable sources used in the article on when the YMCA acquired its "notoriety", I'm going to remove the passage. 2602:306:BC77:AC59:C96D:8290:1E90:8024 (talk) 18:51, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Semi-protected edit request on 1 July 2016[edit]

Under the sub-heading of Founding and Paris Basis, The word "healthy" is used when the correct term would be "healthful" [1] Zelario96 (talk) 04:54, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

The key sentence in the cited article is this one: "But according to the Oxford English Dictionary, healthy has been a synonym for healthful since its earliest appearance in print... in 1552."

You might want to look at some of the other articles that come up in a quick Google search:

In short, I think you're being a pedant. Dhodges (talk) 15:29, 1 July 2016 (UTC)


Placed new infobox logo according to the YMCA's own website [9] which stated that this logo was the "Official logo of the World Alliance of YMCAs".--ZiaLater (talk) 04:43, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

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