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

Cherry Hill, Canada

#142 Feb 24, 2010
EurAnon: What do you mean multiple-personality capital of the world?? Are you saying that about our great canadian city of Hamilton ?- if so-even though you are wrong- explain !! Some Hamiltonians gave their opinions of Y swimming-some good- some not so good. Great people in a great city in a great province in a great country- that is likely what you meant to say !
Lance

Edison, NJ

#143 Feb 24, 2010
To answer post 141. The reason for no suits when helping to teach swimming was my friend and I would be swimming before lesson time and no one had suits on .As I stated before the life guard was the head teacher and he removed his suit when in the pool . WE were H.S. students and the students were taking there first level class. I think they were called tadpoles .The pool was open to other swimmers and we used the shallow end . Another point,the Fathers could sit in the balcony and watch the lessons .Not the Moms.Looking back I can not invision going to the locker room and putting on a suit. No one had a suit on in the pool when it was all males . I do not think this was a problem . Also , the question about what Mothers thought . My friends mom would drive us to the Y some times and tease us about swimming nude .
She had no problem with the no suit rule ..
EurAnon

Gent, Belgium

#144 Feb 24, 2010
coyote wrote:
EurAnon: What do you mean multiple-personality capital of the world?? Are you saying that about our great canadian city of Hamilton ?- if so-even though you are wrong- explain !! Some Hamiltonians gave their opinions of Y swimming-some good- some not so good. Great people in a great city in a great province in a great country- that is likely what you meant to say !
I said "on this forum" (no less than 8 between #123 and #139).
Lance wrote:
To answer post 141. The reason for no suits when helping to teach swimming was my friend and I would be swimming before lesson time and no one had suits on .
Is that an additional reason or do you mean I got the wrong idea? Any other comments?
Bob

Valletta, Malta

#145 Feb 25, 2010
Lance wrote:
To answer post 141. The reason for no suits when helping to teach swimming was my friend and I would be swimming before lesson time and no one had suits on .As I stated before the life guard was the head teacher and he removed his suit when in the pool . WE were H.S. students and the students were taking there first level class. I think they were called tadpoles .The pool was open to other swimmers and we used the shallow end . Another point,the Fathers could sit in the balcony and watch the lessons .Not the Moms.Looking back I can not invision going to the locker room and putting on a suit. No one had a suit on in the pool when it was all males . I do not think this was a problem . Also , the question about what Mothers thought . My friends mom would drive us to the Y some times and tease us about swimming nude .
She had no problem with the no suit rule ..
I think it is a shame that moms and sisters were not allowed to see their sons and brothers swimming nude. I'm sure that the boys would have put on a good show to please their moms and sisters.
The women's presence would also make sure that no abuses went on.
WHAT

Jackson, TN

#146 Feb 26, 2010
Bob wrote:
<quoted text>
I think it is a shame that moms and sisters were not allowed to see their sons and brothers swimming nude. I'm sure that the boys would have put on a good show to please their moms and sisters.
The women's presence would also make sure that no abuses went on.
Are you serious? I hope you are joking cause if not that is so disquesting. I have a brother and I DO NOT want to see him nude. Are the people up there really that crazy that they thought this was normal. It is not normal for nude swimming to be allowed with all the stuff that goes on in this crazy world. It is everywhere and has been even back in the good ole days. No Way!!!!!!!!
coyote

Cherry Hill, Canada

#147 Feb 28, 2010
To Bob: Been recuperating from some "cracked" ribs- sparring with fellow half my age- now I have learned. Spent time travelling on internet and visited Malta-- it sure appears to be a wonderful place. A late uncle was d-day dodger and I had no idea they would have passed so close heading for Sicily. Not to want to continue off topic-
Lance

Edison, NJ

#148 Mar 1, 2010
I never saw any kind of abuses at the YMCA .You had a choice to go or not. Those were the rules. The Y was a great place and still is . Females were never in the pool area when it was males only swim . I can only speak for the Y that I went to in N.J.
Lisa

Hamilton, Canada

#149 Mar 1, 2010
I don't know what the big fuss was about the fact that boys had to swim nude at the YMCA. Jackson Tn pointed out I wouldn't allow my child to swim nude in public "like that". I had sons who belonged to the Y and swam there nude and they enjoyed it thoroughly. I never had any problem with this whatsoever. After all, the people who swam there were all male and nobody could just "watch" the swims from the public. Also my son told me that at maximum there were 2 lifeguards on duty and they were nude as well. The youth swims had boys who were under 18, and males over that age had their separate swim times.I know inretrospect it seems bizarre that the Y required males to swim nude, but this was the thing that made YMCA's famous.
Andre

Hamilton, Canada

#150 Mar 1, 2010
I agree with Lisa completely, as I was and still am a member of the YMCA and do enjoy their aquatics. I enjoyed the recreational swims, but I was a little self-conscious when my mother enrolled for swimming lessons at the Y . I was 10 years old and I had no idea that you had to be nude during the swimming lessons. I just felt funny and I had the feeling that the swimming instructors enjoyed this power trip-- "we are the instructors who wear bathing suits and you boys have to be nude" I agree that in actual fact it was a bizarre thing. After all this wasn't a nudist camp or resort where this is done. It was a respected community organization---the YMCA.
Lisa

Hamilton, Canada

#151 Mar 1, 2010
The person from Tn says that it was just wrong for the boys to swim nude at the Y, or that parents were crazy to allow their kids to swim nude in public like that, but what about the fact that people at the Y take showers after their workouts. The men and boys are nude in these big shower rooms, but the moment that the boys are nude in a pool it becomes something wrong. I don't understand the double standard.
Tammy

Hamilton, Canada

#152 Mar 1, 2010
I agree with Lisa. What was really wrong about males swimming nude at YMCA's. Everyone was of the same gender and nothing sexual was going one. I admit if some guys got their kicks from seeing boys swim nude it was a problem but I never heard of this thing. Swimming without a bathing suit is a fun thing to do and the YMCA gave the boys the opportunity for this activity.
coyote

Cherry Hill, Canada

#153 Mar 1, 2010
Lisa/ Tammy : A-OK !!!
Bob

Valletta, Malta

#154 Mar 1, 2010
It seems all the women here are in favor of nude swimming for boys. They should encourage the YMCA to bring back this custom.
coyote

Cherry Hill, Canada

#155 Mar 2, 2010
Bob: Possibly they are only supporting the past practice as being a positive from what they have been told by male family members and friends. That program has ended and if there are men wanting it re-instated to some degree ( I cannot imagine that being the case) the ladies really (my opinion) should not be expected to lead the effort. I suggested earlier there appear to be many locations for legal skinny dipping today versus "those days" so diehard nude swimmers are not w/o options. Just my thoughts !!
TN AGAIN

Jackson, TN

#156 Mar 3, 2010
Lisa wrote:
The person from Tn says that it was just wrong for the boys to swim nude at the Y, or that parents were crazy to allow their kids to swim nude in public like that, but what about the fact that people at the Y take showers after their workouts. The men and boys are nude in these big shower rooms, but the moment that the boys are nude in a pool it becomes something wrong. I don't understand the double standard.
No double standard here. Maybe I was misunderstood. I would not let my child shower with an adult who was nude either. Maybe you all do not have child molesters in Canada as we do in the States. Maybe it is different up there. No way would I let my child be around an adult that was nude in any shape, form or any other way. I have no double standards, I am just a SMART MOM!!!
coyote

Head Of Chezzetcook, Canada

#157 Mar 5, 2010
TN AGAIN- for sure you are a good mom and for sure the situation with the predators is likely global. I feel Lisa is also a good mom as expect she ensured the YMCA was a well supervised and safe environment for her child to be a participant in the swim program. I doubt anyone would question either of your fine maternal instincts !
Don

Hamilton, Canada

#158 Mar 5, 2010
Thanks to Tn Again for her comments. The perception is that because the YMCA had the rule that the males had to swim in the nude that somehow perverts were lerking around the Y pool and committing lewd sexual acts etc. I can assure the mother from Jackson Tn. that there was never anything sexual going on with the nude boys swimming at the pool because I did swim there. You must remember that this was a large pool and there was always a lifeguard present so that nothing like child mollestation could occur. As far as the swimming lessons are concerned, sure we were nude and the instructors wore suits, but there again there were 5 or 6 swimming instructors present with the boys and if there was anything sexual happening I can say that it would have been reported to the authorities and there was not a single incident reported of this kind. Sure, I guess some of the instructors may have thought it was fun to work with nude boys and see nude boys in the pool but that was probably the extent of it. I know it was a weird time at the YMCA with their "nude aquatics", but as others have pointed out that's the way it was back then.
Michelle

Hamilton, Canada

#159 Mar 5, 2010
The big question which noone has answered in all of the blogspots regarding nude swimming at the YMCA of yesteryear is why in fact this rule was implemented in the first place. I am too young to remember the nude swim times and I do attend the swimming at the Y since it has gone co-ed, but I am perplexed about the fact that the management, staff whatever at the YMCA did not allow bathing suits to be worn in the swimming pool. Some people have written that they didn't hear of this, others have written that it was the norm. The feeling I get is that the management said, well let's have some fun and we'll require all males to swim naked. It will be a novelty and a treat for some of the staff, lifeguards swimming instructors because we will enjoy seeing nude boys. It was truly a bizarre era in my opinion at a respected organization such as the YMCA.
coyote

Head Of Chezzetcook, Canada

#160 Mar 5, 2010
Michelle: On another forum someone did present an historical agenda which led to the practice and it referred to many things - however; your question has been asked many many times by we who partook in the program and most common response was clogging of old filter systems. But there are many other reasons which escape me and all have holes in them. You understand that those of us experiencing this program at the Y also were subject to mandatory nude swimming into our college years whereas the girls wore suits so obviously it was a tradition no one saw fit to end until co-ed swimming became common at those institutions. At some of these institutions and summer camps the boys/ young men were supervised by clothed girls within a similar age range. So- lot of stories, lot of questions , lack of answers. It was a different era and since it was forced on the guys (except YMCA-where you could just go home) and overall was seen to be harmless and the tradition ended. Most will report there were no sexual overtones visible or imagined even when females were the overseers.
Coyote

Mahone Bay, Canada

#161 Mar 7, 2010
Hey: C,mon Hamilton- we won hockey gold for each gender- awesome !!

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