YMCA celebrates 150 years

YMCA celebrates 150 years

There are 477 comments on the Jacksonsun.com story from Oct 13, 2007, titled YMCA celebrates 150 years. In it, Jacksonsun.com reports that:

Past YMCA president Charlie Barnett recalls when swimming in the nude was acceptable at what was once called the YMCA of Jackson.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Jacksonsun.com.

First Prev
of 24
Next Last
Minnesota

AOL

#1 Feb 25, 2008
Believe it or not there was a time, not THAT long ago, when almost all American swimming was done in the nude.

From probably age 8 up I swam at the YMCA . I swam outside at summer camp. I swam in gym class in high school. I swam in a (mandatory) gym class while in college in Chicago.

And never during ANY of that swimming did I ever wear or even see a swim suit.(Though in College they made us wear caps over our heads so our hair wouldn't clog the pool).

This was all in the Midwestern United States of America - and I graduated from college in the early 1970s.

And I'm given to understand that my older brothers, my dad, my grandpa, and probably even my great grandpa, all experienced pretty much the same thing.

Sometime - maybe it was during the Reagan administration - this country experienced some sort of very dramatic shift in cultural attitudes about nude swimming because, I know, people now find this inconceivable, maybe even shocking.

But believe me - naked swimming was absolutely once the norm in America (at least among boys).
Northern Illinois

Highland Park, IL

#2 Mar 3, 2008
Minnesota wrote:
Believe it or not there was a time, not THAT long ago, when almost all American swimming was done in the nude.
From probably age 8 up I swam at the YMCA . I swam outside at summer camp. I swam in gym class in high school. I swam in a (mandatory) gym class while in college in Chicago.
And never during ANY of that swimming did I ever wear or even see a swim suit.(Though in College they made us wear caps over our heads so our hair wouldn't clog the pool).
This was all in the Midwestern United States of America - and I graduated from college in the early 1970s.
And I'm given to understand that my older brothers, my dad, my grandpa, and probably even my great grandpa, all experienced pretty much the same thing.
Sometime - maybe it was during the Reagan administration - this country experienced some sort of very dramatic shift in cultural attitudes about nude swimming because, I know, people now find this inconceivable, maybe even shocking.
But believe me - naked swimming was absolutely once the norm in America (at least among boys).
My experience growing up was pretty similar. My sons now attend the same High School that I once did; and they literally haven't believed me the times I told them that the school had me and my class-mates swim naked.

I don't even think the school has the kids shower after gym class these days. We've gone from one extreme to another.
Diamond Jaxx

AOL

#3 Mar 3, 2008
Northern Illinois wrote:
<quoted text>

I don't even think the school has the kids shower after gym class these days. We've gone from one extreme to another.
You know I think not having to shower in gym anymore might have a lot to do with why so many guys are now almost as self-conscious about their bodys as girls are.

I had a hysterically funny drunken conversation with two of my buddies the other week where they both admited that their wives and them have NEVER actually seen each other nekid. Apparently their all careful to close the door when their in the shower and only do "the deed" in the dark. Now could anything ever be anymore messed up than that!

I figure that one of the reason I'm not like that is because I played a team sport in High School. Though I hated having to get nekid at the time, I bet having to shower as part of playing baseball has a lot to do with why I'm now so confident about myself and comftorable in my own skin.

So there you have it - yet another one of the 10 million benefits of participating in sports.
Tom

Delta, Canada

#4 Apr 29, 2008
I still recall the goodtimes swimming naked at the ymca,and being naked at there camp too. I learned a lot about outdoor life and etcs. I happy my parents got me start going to the ymca, because it help me with my life....
Buddy

AOL

#5 Jan 17, 2009
i went to new trier hs 1975-1978 swimming class was not at all coed and all the guys were required to swin completely naked - it was not a big deal
Sabina

AOL

#6 Mar 3, 2009
I am 72 years old and worked at a YMCA for over 40 years. Nudity for male swimming was mandatory. There were many places such as cracks in doors for us girls to get a glance. Occasionally a women would just walk into pool at the "wrong" time and get an eyeful. Overall it was no big deal.
Pavel

Nottingham, UK

#7 May 24, 2009
Northern Illinois wrote:
<quoted text>
My experience growing up was pretty similar. My sons now attend the same High School that I once did; and they literally haven't believed me the times I told them that the school had me and my class-mates swim naked.
I don't even think the school has the kids shower after gym class these days. We've gone from one extreme to another.
I am glad that someone can see it. It's just so weird what's going on in USA/UK - nudity is such an issue - people aren't even naked in the sauna here in UK where I have been since 2005. Any nudity is related to being perverse and you have even changing cabines in male changing rooms because boys are shy in front of other boys - nuts! You've got mixed saunas men+women+children all across continental Europe and no-one cares. Nudity is actually required in saunas by signs in local and English languages.
Pavel

Nottingham, UK

#8 May 24, 2009
Diamond Jaxx wrote:
<quoted text>
You know I think not having to shower in gym anymore might have a lot to do with why so many guys are now almost as self-conscious about their bodys as girls are.
I had a hysterically funny drunken conversation with two of my buddies the other week where they both admited that their wives and them have NEVER actually seen each other nekid. Apparently their all careful to close the door when their in the shower and only do "the deed" in the dark. Now could anything ever be anymore messed up than that!
I figure that one of the reason I'm not like that is because I played a team sport in High School. Though I hated having to get nekid at the time, I bet having to shower as part of playing baseball has a lot to do with why I'm now so confident about myself and comftorable in my own skin.
So there you have it - yet another one of the 10 million benefits of participating in sports.
LOl, this is really funny. I thought times when men and women did it in dark under a blanket where times of our great great great great grandparents. Haha!
Harry C

Centerville, MA

#9 Aug 12, 2009
Sabina wrote:
I am 72 years old and worked at a YMCA for over 40 years. Nudity for male swimming was mandatory. There were many places such as cracks in doors for us girls to get a glance. Occasionally a women would just walk into pool at the "wrong" time and get an eyeful. Overall it was no big deal.
Sabina, where was the Y you worked in? Was it or they in the Boston area?
jayray

Lethbridge, Canada

#10 Sep 2, 2009
i have been nude showering in the family change room while mothers and their daughters, and sons have been present. nobody has ever been offended, in fact have been very courteous. Just shower,get done and get dressed. I'm male by the way.often women come in by themselves too, i don't like the mens change room.
Carol

Lake Hiawatha, NJ

#11 Oct 21, 2009
I was one of the lucky girls that got to swim at the YMCA because my high school did not have a swimming pool. The boys were required to swim in the nude and we had to swim in horrible knit wool suits. Of course we enjoyed those days very much but it really wasn't that big of a deal. As I recall the classes were separate but the boys class started after ours and we were allowed to hang around a little.
tom

Hamilton, Canada

#12 Nov 10, 2009
everyone had to swim nude at the ymca in hamilton
ontario canada. that was the rule.
tom

Hamilton, Canada

#13 Nov 10, 2009
when I first joined the ymca in hamilton ontario canada I decided to go for a swim. I was in the locker room and had just put my bathing suit on when a y staff member said"oh, I see you brought a bathing suit" "well we don't wear bathing suits in the y pool .everyone swims nude at the ymca.
"so off with the suit" I was shocked at first and then I looked through the door and sure enough everybody was swimming nude. I later heard that this was the rule at most ymca,s
bill

Hamilton, Canada

#14 Nov 10, 2009
I joined the hamilton ontario ymca in the late 1960,s as a youth. Saturdays was the day for youth activities. there was swimming lessons and open youth swims. During all of the swims the "no bathing suit " rule was strictly enforced.
I can recall when a boy had entered the pool wearing a bathing suit. The lifeguard came up to him and asked him if he knew about the ymca pool rules that bathing suits must not be worn at ymca swimming pools. The boy was told "remove the suit or leave" He went back to the locker room and returned suit-less (nude)
bob

Hamilton, Canada

#15 Nov 13, 2009
when a male joined the ymca in hamilton ontario canada,a y
staff member accompanied you to the locker room. he would show you the gym etc. and then point to where the swimming pool was.you know the rule, he would say/ remember no swimsuits are to be worn when swimming at the y. at first some boys were shocked but then they got used to it.
bob

Hamilton, Canada

#16 Nov 13, 2009
when the ymca went co-ed in the 1980's, many male members were upset because they enjoyed the nude swimming at the pool.The mandatory no-swimsuit rule was relaxed in the late 1970's and the proportion of males wearing bathing suits started to increase. I guess they called the swims clothing-opional at that time. I can recall about half of the males wore bathing suits and half swam nude during the open swims in the late 1970's. Also they stopped enforcing the no-swimsuit rule during the swimming lessons during the late 1970's
bob

Hamilton, Canada

#17 Nov 13, 2009
Many ladies were fascinated when they heard that the males at the ymca in hamilton ontario canada swam in the nude at the pool.I dont't know if the "no-swimsuit" rule was enforced at other ymca's in Canada. I would be interested if that was the
case.Contrary to what is told, females were never present at any of the swimming at the ymca in hamilton ontario. In fact, it was rare to even see a female at the ymca. It was an exclusive male enclave.The ladies had the ywca. As a boy I thought that females swam nude at the ywca, but I saw their pool in hamilton, ontario and this was never the case. Apparently, they brought in nude bathing at the ymca in vancouver b.c. canada in 1979 for a while but I don't think they do this anymore
steve

Hamilton, Canada

#18 Nov 16, 2009
That,s what YMCA,s were famous for---(nude swimming at their pools) I thought this was only done at our Hamilton, Ontario,
Canada swimming pool, but I later found out that it was practised all over North-America at the all-male YMCA,s
I still swim at the downtown hamilton canada ymca (obviously wearing a bathing suit) since ladies can now swim there as well, but the amount of people using the pool is not what it once was. It seemed that at one point in time (1960's) all young males were members of the YMCA . I remember the membership was like $20 a year which was cheap and you could do so much.The big day was always saturdays, since we were home from school. We would play basketball, lift some weights and then hit the swimming pool (au naturel)It was fantastic!
steve

Hamilton, Canada

#19 Nov 16, 2009
the nude swimming at the hamilton ontario canada ymca is greatly missed. Some men have suggested that they should bring back an hour which could be a "men's" only swim where the males could swim nude again. they could have a male lifeguard and simply cover the door leading to the pool. It would be quite popular I am sure.
steve

Hamilton, Canada

#20 Nov 16, 2009
I once asked a ymca staff member why nude swimming was the rule at the ymca and he said,swimming without a bathing suit is far more healthier. Also the rules were made by men who ran the ymca. It was felt that since no females were allowed at the y it made sense to swim nude at the pools

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 24
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Jackson Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Kristi Gutgsell Told It ALL 1 min Extreme 8
Joey Edwards from Crockett County 14 min tomtit 7
{keep a word drop a word} (Oct '11) 15 min who 1,955
Isn't it funny 18 min U r a liar 15
An invitation: 21 min GnFnR 110
Bible Verse of the Day 36 min Danny 157
DROP a WORD KEEP a WORD (Mar '15) 36 min Cemetery Walker 2,146
Holly Bobo trial 10 hr Guest 54

Jackson Jobs

More from around the web

Personal Finance

Jackson Mortgages