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.

coyote

Stephenville, Canada

#122 Feb 14, 2010
Really Cheryl- did you hear that from those folks ?
Lisa

Hamilton, Canada

#123 Feb 16, 2010
I don't know what bothers Cheryl about the nude swimming at the Y and also Jackson Tn. This was an innocent time when this was the norm at least at this Canadian Y. There was nothing sexual going on because this would have been reported. The fact that boys had to swim nude at YMCA was well-known in Canada. As far as it being wrong, well everyone has their opinions. It was certainly a popular swimming pool in its time.
coyote

Stephenville, Canada

#124 Feb 17, 2010
Lisa; Sure do agree with you as well as with Dave and Ingrid. The Hamilton people sure seem to have respect for YMCA . I noted in paper yesterday an ad promoting YWCA for a healthy female environment. I live in an area now which does not have a YM or YW. Is the norm now that YM is coed while YW is female only? I feel that would be understandable although maybe considered a double standard !
Lisa

Hamilton, Canada

#125 Feb 17, 2010
Yes it's true what coyote has pointed out-- that the YWCA is exclusively female while the YMCA is now fully co-ed. I think they should just combine the 2 together and just make it one organization.In Hamilton, more ladies belong to the YMCA than the YWCA. I believe this is because the facilities are much better. I don't think they should call it Young MEn's christian association anymore.
coyote

Stephenville, Canada

#126 Feb 17, 2010
Hi Lisa: seems it would be economical to combine the two. However; I expect many/some females are more comfortable at a "ladies only" facility and as long as the revenue vs cost thing is okay then why not ? I do not know the by-laws of the organizations so assume beyond a reasonable break-even it is fine. There "may" be a dble standard but ;except for the nude swimming of years ago- which would not be accepted today, most guys likely are comfortable with female members for many reasons such as partners, family , sociability etc. Dunno but thanks for info..
coyote

Digby, Canada

#127 Feb 19, 2010
Now Lisa, Ingrid, Diane-Ha!-'nuff is enough! The females "marched " to the YMCA and rewrote the rule book on males swimming at their facility- bad enough- and now you are thinking of changing the name to something like YWmCA ?? This can be seen as having a comical overtone. I guess if guys protest they will get the old YW with the open windows and gals get the spiffy new YMCA. AWWW ! The bad guys referred to by Karen and Cheryl may resurface-EGADS! Well- if they existed they could watch from the street and have mom's like- minded to the two mentionned oversee the boys-- win-win- sorry- you girls have been great for the topic and my applause ! Keep it going please !!
Dave

Hamilton, Canada

#128 Feb 20, 2010
To Jackson Tn. Tennessee commented that I don't know how someone could allow their child to swim nude in public. That is the opinion of many people, but on the other hand these facilities weren't actually public because 1. nobody could just walk in, even if you were a male and watch the swims. The only people who were present during the nude swimming were lifeguards and Y staff.The boys seemed to enjoy swimming in the nude for the most part, otherwise they wouldn't have participated in the nude swimming. I read someplace that the reason that nude swimming was mandatory was because the YMCA had this motto or saying that it wanted the participants to have the same uniforms in the pool and that uniform was the birthday suit instead of the swimming suit.
Dan

Hamilton, Canada

#129 Feb 20, 2010
I took swimming lessons at the YMCA and I remember the requirement that you had to be nude and many decades later after this practice was stopped I realized, Hey I was naked in the pool with All of the other nude boys and there were swimming instructors who wore bathing suits and they were teaching us to swim. Everytime I enter this pool today I have these flashback images of a long ago time.
coyote

Cherry Hill, Canada

#130 Feb 21, 2010
Hi Dan, Dave-- interesting recollections of young, good days. Seems the "ladies of Hamilton" have abandoned us- their perspectives were great- take care !
someone from TN

Jackson, TN

#131 Feb 22, 2010
Dave wrote:
To Jackson Tn. Tennessee commented that I don't know how someone could allow their child to swim nude in public. That is the opinion of many people, but on the other hand these facilities weren't actually public because 1. nobody could just walk in, even if you were a male and watch the swims. The only people who were present during the nude swimming were lifeguards and Y staff.The boys seemed to enjoy swimming in the nude for the most part, otherwise they wouldn't have participated in the nude swimming. I read someplace that the reason that nude swimming was mandatory was because the YMCA had this motto or saying that it wanted the participants to have the same uniforms in the pool and that uniform was the birthday suit instead of the swimming suit.
Because it is so WRONG. I do not care what the rules are that is NOT normal and anyone who let their child participate in that practice is NOT normal. With all the crazy people walking around would you let your child do that. If you would then my opinion and my opinion alone is that you are crazy too. Do you not watch the news or read the newspaper? Too many crazies out there and even back in "the good ole days" there were crazy people interested in children and looking at them nude as well.
someone from TN

Jackson, TN

#132 Feb 22, 2010
Dan wrote:
I took swimming lessons at the YMCA and I remember the requirement that you had to be nude and many decades later after this practice was stopped I realized, Hey I was naked in the pool with All of the other nude boys and there were swimming instructors who wore bathing suits and they were teaching us to swim. Everytime I enter this pool today I have these flashback images of a long ago time.
Thank you Dan. If the instructors wore swimsuits and the boys were nude then there was a situation. I am not saying they molested anyone but certainly it was not right.
Shirley

Hamilton, Canada

#133 Feb 22, 2010
I agree with Jackson Tn. Although I never had children who swam at the Y back when they had to swim nude, I don't agree with this. I heard lady friends talk about this-- they'd always say, "have you heard? the boys and men swim nude at the YMCA and even the boys when taking swimming lessons have to be nude" I thought they were joking, but I later believed it. It seems rather bizarre that they required this at the Y many years ago and I think it was a requirement because there were people who wanted to see young males swim in the nude. They had this fetish I guess.
Steffi

Hamilton, Canada

#134 Feb 22, 2010
I agree totally with Jackson Tn. I had many lady friends who sent their boys to swim and learn to swim at the YMCA at that time and the parents thought nothing of it (the fact that they had to be nude in the pool) I Think this was because the parents "trusted" the YMCA. This was an important institution and it still is and the parents Thought well "whatever the Y rules are we are okay with it." In retrospect it was a crazy time. Obviously the boys followed the rules and the rules were that you couldn't wear a bathing suit in these pools. Obviously most parents didn't find it offensive because thousands of boys swam at the Y during that period and they all had to be nude.
Steffi

Hamilton, Canada

#135 Feb 22, 2010
There is no question that the "nude swim rule" was authorized by people who enjoyed seeing boys swim naked. A staff member at the Y told me that it was a great deal of "fun" watching the boys swim in their "birthday suits" and that the best job at the Y was being a swim instructor because you could work with "nude boys". Although nothing sexual ever took place it was a time which was rather bizarre and the fact that so many people participated in this activity is even more bizarre.
Sam

Hamilton, Canada

#136 Feb 22, 2010
I remember when my mother enrolled me for swimming lessons at the YMCA in the 1960's. I entered the locker room and there were so many boys walking around nude. I thought, well this is a locker room, but I saw that there were all heading towards the pool area and nobody was wearing a bathing suit. The big shocker was when the Y staff member said to me, "well you must be new here, you probably brought your bathing suit, well we don't wear bathing suits at the Y. Think of this. It's almost as if you would attend a pool for the first time and they would say, "nude swimming only" "no suits in the pool". I reluctantly entered the pool area and sure enough every boy was naked as a jaybird and the swimming instructors were wearing bathing suits. There must have been about 40 boys gathering around ready to take their swimming lessons (nude)
Lance

Edison, NJ

#137 Feb 22, 2010
I helped teach swimming at the YMCA when I was in high school . I didnt wear a suit when swimming or teaching . The head teacher also the life guard removed his suit when in the pool .All males no females . Most kids learned to swim well enough to jumb of the diving board at the end .I did have a few friends, that were not allowed to go to the Y because of nude swimmimng. It didnt bother me because that was the way it was and I wanted to use the pool .
Helen

Hamilton, Canada

#138 Feb 22, 2010
It's interesting about the attitudes of people on this subject. I worked with a lady in the 1960's who had a 10 year old and she used to talk about her son swimming at the Y constantly, and how much she enjoyed it. She never mentioned the fact that they swam nude at the time until I was ready to enroll my son for swimming lessons. I asked her about the programmes down there and if her son did learn how to swim and I said, "well I have to buy my son a bathing suit and he'll be all set to join the Y" I was shocked to hear her say, well there's no need for that, since the boys all participate in aquatic activities in the nude. I never did enroll him in swimming lessons at the Y because I was afraid of this requirement they had. I felt it was just wrong, but she would laugh and joke about it and would almost be proud and bragging of the fact that her son swam nude at the YMCA.
Kyle

Hamilton, Canada

#139 Feb 22, 2010
I was hired on as a lifeguard/swimming instructor at the YMCA in Hamilton in the early 1960's. I can recall I went through the interview process in this room and then they took me down to the pool area. I couldn't believe what I saw. There were literally scores of boys swimming,diving and playing in the pool and they were all naked. The Y staff member saw that I was shocked and he said, well I thought you knew about the Y. The boys aren't allowed to wear bathing suits when swimming at YMCA pools. It was just a totally shocking thing to see at first, even if they were all males, but after a while I didn't even notice that they were nude. It was just the thing they did at this time.
coyote

Cherry Hill, Canada

#140 Feb 22, 2010
We have 2 or 3 fellows who taught at Y's posting and I think they explain the situation well. We have also had many moms praise the Y for the the quality programs and their sons' enjoyment. Then the "he said she said "comments indicating it was a place for deviants. That seems to be heresay passed from people who cannot accept the Y's were well run by dedicated individuals based on their own insecurities. Many families hold the tradition in great regard and that is nice to hear !!
EurAnon

Gent, Belgium

#141 Feb 23, 2010
I think that if anybody real ever wants to post from Hamilton, Canada, they're going to have a very difficult time to be taken seriously...
someone from TN wrote:
Thank you Dan. If the instructors wore swimsuits and the boys were nude then there was a situation. I am not saying they molested anyone but certainly it was not right.
Please notice that "Dan" is also posting from the multiple-personality capital of the world on this forum. And have you considered that the main difference between those wearing a suit and those not is whether they are out of the water most of the time, visible to everybody? That in itself would make it more appropriate, not less. Furthermore, should they ever need to intervene in an emergency, it would seem slightly less awkward if they weren't also nude, if anything. Also, they might be considerably older than the swimmers (on the other side of puberty in many cases), so if they were also nude you might reproach them for exhibitionism instead... And of course there's the normal function of wearing a uniform for authority figures (you would obey the role, not the person). So this seems entirely plausible to me, and not in any way a matter of immediate concern. Also see #137 from Lance: younger instructors sometimes/often/... wouldn't bother wearing a suit (it could also be a matter of how close they would be to the swimmers, as others have indicated that the suits were worn only while there were children in the pool), and suits weren't worn in the water by anybody. Well, that's what I've understood from what I've read so far, because I wasn't around then, so please draw your own conclusions or correct if necessary.

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