The Young Men's Christian Association ("YMCA" or "the Y") was founded on June 6, 1844 in London, England by a young man named George Williams. Events 1508 - Maximilian I Holy Roman Emperor, is defeated in Friulia by Venetian forces; he is forced to sign a three-year Year 1844 ( MDCCCXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year At the time, the organization was dedicated to putting Christian principles into practice, as taught by Jesus Christ. Young men who came to London for work were often living in squalid and unsafe conditions, and the YMCA was dedicated to replacing life on the streets with prayer and bible study. The YMCA idea, which began among evangelicals, was unusual because it crossed the rigid lines that separated all the different churches and social classes in England in those days. This openness was a trait that would lead eventually to including in YMCAs all men, women and children, regardless of race, religion or nationality. Also, its target of meeting social need in the community was dear from the start. Now the YMCA uses a holistic approach to individual and social development encompassing spiritual, intellectual and physical methods. Distinguish from the suffix -holism, which describes addictions Social development redirects here For the aspect of Human biological development, see Psychosocial development Social change is a general term which Spirituality, in a narrow sense concerns itself with matters of the Spirit, a concept closely tied to religious belief and Faith, a transcendent reality Intelligence (also called intellect) is an Umbrella term used to describe a property of the Mind that encompasses many related abilities such as the capacities Physical fitness is used in two close meanings general fitness (a state of Health and well-being and specific fitness (a task-oriented definition based on the ability This approach is symbolised by the inverse red triangle used by YMCAs around the world representing the YMCA mission of building a healthy spirit, mind, and body.
Since 1844 the YMCA has grown to become a world-wide movement of more than 45 million members from 124 national federations affiliated through the World Alliance of YMCAs. A federation ( Latin: foedus, covenant is a union comprising a number of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central ("federal"
Today, the degree to which Christ and the Christian faith is emphasized in programs varies between individual YMCA associations. A voluntary association or union (also sometimes called a voluntary organization, unincorporated association, or just an association) is a group Generally, YMCAs are open to all, regardless of faith, social class, age, or gender. Faith is a Belief in the trustworthiness of an Idea. Formal usage of the word "faith" is usually reserved for concepts of Religion, as in Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions (or stratification) between individuals or groups in Societies or Cultures. 
A federated model of governance has created a diversity of YMCA programs and services, with YMCAs in different countries and communities offering vastly different programming in response to local community needs. Governance relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance.  In North America, the YMCA is sometimes perceived to be primarily a community sports facility; however, it offers a broad range of programs such as sports, personal fitness, child care, overnight camping, employment readiness programs, conference centers and educational activities as methods of promoting positive values. The word γυμνάσιον (gymnasion was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual Education of young men (see Gymnasium Sport is an Activity that is governed by a set of rules or Customs and often engaged in competitively Physical fitness is used in two close meanings general fitness (a state of Health and well-being and specific fitness (a task-oriented definition based on the ability Day care or child care is care of a child during the Day by a person other than the child's Parents or Legal guardians typically someone outside Summer camp is a supervised Program for Children and/or Teenagers conducted (usually during the Summer Months in some countries A value system is a set of Consistent Ethic values (more specifically the Personal and cultural values) and measures used for the purpose of Ethical
The 19th century YMCA inspired the creation of the Young Men's Hebrew Association and Young Men's Buddhist Association. A Jewish Community Center ( JCC) is a general recreational social and fraternal organization serving the Jewish community in a number of The YMBA, or Young Men's Buddhist Association, was first created in Sri Lanka as part of a bid to provide Buddhist institutions to rival Christian ones (in this case Its original male focus similarly led to the establishment of a parallel Young Women's Christian Association.
Although local variations in mission exist and the YMCA's collectively expressed mission has evolved since its founding, the international YMCA movement's mission historically has been one of promoting Ecumenical Christianity. Ecumenism (also oecumenism, œcumenism) refers to initiatives aimed at greater Religious unity or cooperation
Ninety-nine YMCA leaders of individual YMCAs from Europe and North America met for the first time before the 1855 Paris World Exposition to discuss the possibility of joining together in a federation to enhance co-operation amongst individual YMCA societies. The Exposition Universelle of 1855 was an International Exhibition held on the Champ de Mars in Paris from May 15 to November 15, This meeting resulted in the Paris Basis which is still a guiding principle of the organization today. Two themes resonated during the council: the need to respect the local autonomy of YMCA societies, and that the purpose of the YMCA is to unite all young, male Christians for the extension and expansion of the Kingdom of God.
The need for the respect of local automony is expressed in the preamble:
The Committee has never upheld the opinion that all the Associations should adhere to the same forms and methods; on the contrary, it fully recognizes the necessity of an individual growth based on the local conditions and the influences of varying circumstances.
The main principle of the Paris Basis is expressed:
The Young Men's Christian Associations seek to unite those young men who, regarding Jesus Christ as their God and Saviour, according to the Holy Scriptures, desire to be his disciples in their faith and in their life and to associate their efforts for the extension of His Kingdom amongst young men.
The main principle of the Paris Basis is often stated as the entire basis, and the preamble and other articles are omitted.
There are two versions of the Paris Basis, one in French and one in English. It is thought that the French version is the more accurate representation of the agreement reached and that the English version was a result of a later transcription of notes after the meeting. Some adjustments were made to the English version to align it with the French version in 1955. In the French version, the last two words of the main principle are "jeunes gens", which more accurately translates as "young people" rather than "young men" (although all participants in YMCAs at the time were male) (Muukkonen, 2002:90).
In 1997, at the 14th World Council of YMCAs, the World Alliance of YMCAs adopted Challenge 21 as its modern-day statement of mission for the 21st century:
Affirming the Paris Basis adopted in 1855, as the ongoing foundation statement of the mission of the YMCA, at the threshold of the third millennium, we declare that the YMCA is a world-wide 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 challenges which 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, especially young people and women to take increased responsibilities and assume leadership at all levels and working towards an equitable society.
- Advocating for and promoting the rights of women 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 reconcilers 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, the YMCA will develop patterns of co-operation at all levels that enable self-sustenance and self-determination.
The activities of the YMCA work to build healthy mind, body and spirit for all, and there are many activities that work to achieve these goals. (Elaboration necessary. )
The first YMCA was concerned with Bible study, although the organization has generally moved on to a more holistic approach to youth work. Etymology According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word bible is from Latin biblia, traced from the same word through Medieval Latin and Late Latin Distinguish from the suffix -holism, which describes addictions 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). In Christianity, the disciples were the students of Jesus during his ministry. More recent objectives as found on the YMCA UK website include no reference to discipleship.
Restore Ministries of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee provides an example of how the Christian influence in the YMCA still exists today.  Founded in 2000 by Scott Reall, Restore provides support groups and individual counseling with an aim of “lifting the ‘C’” (of the YMCA). 
Many colleges and universities owe their creation to the YMCA. College ( Latin collegium) is a term most often used today to denote an Educational Institution. A university is an institution of Higher education and Research, which grants Academic degrees in a variety of subjects Springfield College was founded in 1885 as an international training school for YMCA Professionals, while Sir George Williams University—one of the two schools that eventually became Concordia University—started from night courses offered at the Montreal YMCA. Springfield College is a College located in Springfield, Massachusetts. Concordia University is a comprehensive Public university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Concordia University is a comprehensive Public university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Montreal, or Montréal in French ( pronounced in French, in English) is the largest city in the Canadian province of Quebec
Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts) began out of a YMCA in Boston, and Franklin University began as the YMCA School of Commerce. Northeastern University, abbreviated NU or NEU, is a private University in Boston Massachusetts. Franklin University is a private university in downtown Columbus, Ohio, United States, North America.
Detroit College of Law, now the Michigan State University College of Law, was founded with a strong connection to the Detroit, Michigan YMCA. The Michigan State University College of Law, established in 1891 as the Detroit College of Law, was the first law school in the Detroit Michigan area and the The Michigan State University College of Law, established in 1891 as the Detroit College of Law, was the first law school in the Detroit Michigan area and the It had a 99-year lease on the site, and it was only when it expired did the college move to East Lansing, Michigan. East Lansing is a city in the US state of Michigan. The city is located directly east of Lansing, Michigan, the state's capital
The 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. TEFL or teaching English as a foreign language refers to teaching English to Students whose First language is not English and An alternative school (sometimes called a minischool) is an educational establishment with a curriculum and methods that are nontraditional or sometimes ultratraditional Day care or child care is care of a child during the Day by a person other than the child's Parents or Legal guardians typically someone outside Summer camp is a supervised Program for Children and/or Teenagers conducted (usually during the Summer Months in some countries
American high school students have a chance to participate in YMCA Youth and Government, wherein clubs of kids representing each YMCA community convene annually in their respective state legislatures to "take over the State Capitol for a day. YMCA Youth and Government is a program run by the YMCA in the United States to educate High school students about the principles of democratic In the United States of America, a state legislature is a generic term referring to the legislative body of any of the country's 50 states. " YMCA Youth and Government helps teens learn about and participate in civics in a real-world setting.
In 1891 James Naismith, a Canadian, invented basketball whilst studying at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts (later to be named Springfield College). James A Naismith (November 6 Basketball is a team Sport in which two teams of five active players each try to score points against one another by propelling a ball through a 10 feet (3 m Springfield is a City in and the County seat of Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. Springfield College is a College located in Springfield, Massachusetts. Naismith had been asked to invent a new game in a desperate attempt to interest pupils in physical exercise. The game had to be interesting, easy to learn, and easy to play indoors in winter. Such an activity was needed both by the Training School and by YMCAs across the country. It was a success from the very first game.
Naismith and his wife attended the 1936 Summer Olympics when basketball became one of the Olympic events. The 1936 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XI Olympiad, an International Multi-sport event which was held in 1936 in Berlin
In 1895, William G. Morgan from the YMCA of Holyoke, Massachusetts, invented the sport of volleyball. William G Morgan (1870-1942 was the inventor of Volleyball, originally called "Mintonette" Volleyball is an Olympic team sport in which two teams of 6 active players (5 normal players and one 'libero' are separated by a net that is usually four feet
Many YMCAs in North America adopt a more secular mission than their counterparts in other parts of the world, although most still reference religion in the terms of promoting "Christian Principles" or "Judeo-Christian Values". Secularity ( adjective form secular) is the state of being separate from Religion. Judeo-Christian (or Judaeo-Christian, sometimes written as Judæo-Christian) is a term used to describe the body of concepts and values which are thought to be held
The national YMCA federation in Canada expresses its statement of purpose:
The YMCA in Canada is dedicated to the growth of all persons in spirit, mind and body and a sense of responsibility to each other and the global community.
The national YMCA federation in the United States expresses its mission:
To put Christian principles in to practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all
This variation is in keeping with the concept of local autonomy expressed in the preamble to the Paris Basis, and both YMCA Canada and YMCA of the USA are active participants in the World Alliance of YMCAs.
The first YMCA in North America opened in Montreal, Quebec, on November 25, 1851. Montreal, or Montréal in French ( pronounced in French, in English) is the largest city in the Canadian province of Quebec Events 1034 - Máel Coluim mac Cináeda, King of Scots dies Donnchad, the 1851 ( MDCCCLI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common year
The first YMCA in the United States opened on December 29, 1851, in Boston, Massachusetts. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Events 1170 - Thomas Becket: Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterbury is assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral by followers of King Henry II 1851 ( MDCCCLI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common year  It was founded in 1851 by Captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan (1800-1859), 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. 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. Northeastern University, abbreviated NU or NEU, is a private University in Boston Massachusetts. 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 programs, 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. 
In 1879, Thomas Wakeman organized the first Sioux Indian YMCA in Minnesota. Thomas Wakeman ( Sioux: Wawinape) (1846 &ndash January 13 1886) was a Native American who organized the first Sioux Indian Sioux (pronounced SUE are a Native American and First Nations people Minnesota ( Native Americans demonstrated the name to early settlers Over the years, 66 Sioux associations have been founded with over 1000 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. The Cheyenne River Indian Reservation was created in 1889 by the breakup of the Great Sioux Reservation, following the 
YMCA camping began in 1885 when Camp Baldhead (later known as Camp Dudley) was established by George A. Founded in 1885 by Sumner F Dudley, Camp Dudley YMCA is the oldest continually running boys camp in the United States. 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, NY. Westport is a Town in Essex County, New York, United States overlooking Lake Champlain. 
Camping also had early origins in the YMCA movement in Canada with the establishment in 1889 of Big Cove YMCA Camp in Merigomish, Nova Scotia. Big Cove YMCA Camp was founded in 1889 Big Cove is located in Thorburn, Pictou County, Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia (ˌnəʊvəˈskəʊʃə ( Latin for New Scotland; Alba Nuadh Nouvelle-Écosse is a Canadian province located on Canada 's 
The Montreal YMCA organisation also opened a summer camp named "Kamp Kanawana" nearby in 1894.
It is very common for YMCAs to have swimming pools YMCA Swimming and weight rooms, along with facilities for playing various sports such as basketball, volleyball, and racquetball. Weight training is a common type of Strength training for developing the strength and size of Skeletal muscles It uses the Force of gravity Sport is an Activity that is governed by a set of rules or Customs and often engaged in competitively Basketball is a team Sport in which two teams of five active players each try to score points against one another by propelling a ball through a 10 feet (3 m Volleyball is an Olympic team sport in which two teams of 6 active players (5 normal players and one 'libero' are separated by a net that is usually four feet Racquetball is a Racquet Sport played with a hollow Rubber Ball in an indoor or outdoor court
In 2006, the YMCA celebrated the 100th anniversary of the creation of group swimming lessons.
In the mid-20th century, it was not unusual for participants in YMCA programs to swim in the nude. Nudity is the state of wearing no Clothing. The term' "nudity" can also occasionally be used to refer to wearing significantly less clothing than expected One reason cited was that the cotton or even older wool swimsuits would clog up the filtration system. Another reason was dirt and soap would be released into the pool from the fibers of swim wear. Filtration systems used in swimming pools were not as advanced as they are today, and far less chlorine was used making it easier, in those days, to degrade the cleanliness of the water thereby promoting the growth of bacteria. Females were never allowed to be present in such a setting.  
Concerned with the rising rates of obesity among adults and children in America, YMCAs around the country are joining with the non-profit America on the Move to help Americans increase their physical fitness by walking more frequently.
In the US, the YMCA parent/child programs (originally called YMCA Indian Guides, Princess, 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. Braeswood Place is a group of subdivisions in Houston, Texas, United States.
The roots of these still vibrant programs stem from similar activities dating back to 1926. Notable founders of YMCA Indian Guides include Harold Keltner, a St. Louis YMCA director, and indirectly, Joe Friday, an Ojibwa hunting guide. The Ojibwa or Chippewa (also Ojibwe, Ojibway, Chippeway) is the largest group of Native Americans - First Nations The two men met in the early 1920s, when Joe Friday was a speaker at a local YMCA banquet for Fathers and Sons that Harold Keltner had arranged. Today, Joe Friday and Harold Keltner are commemorated with patch awards honoring their legacy which are given out to distinguished YMCA volunteers in the program.
YMCA Indian Guides participants historically took pride in cultivating respect and honor for Native American culture. Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples from the regions of North America now encompassed by the continental United States Responding to a number of variables, including making the program more culturally sensitive and attracting a broader audience, in 2003 the program evolved into what is now known nationally as "YMCA Adventure Guides"; "Trailblazers" is the YMCA's parent/child program for older kids. Local YMCAs are currently still free to continue support of the Native American theme, and several do so. In areas where the local YMCA has elected to convert to the "Adventure Guides", many YMCA Indian Guides groups have separated from the 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. A typical suburban Indian Guide meeting was parodied in the Bob Hope/Lucille Ball comedy of 1960, The Facts of Life. Bob Hope, KBE KCSG ( May 29, 1903 &ndash July 27, 2003) was an American comedian and actor who appeared in Lucille Ball (August 6 1911 – April 26 1989 was an American comedienne, film television stage and radio Actress, model, film The Facts of Life is a 1960 Romantic comedy starring Bob Hope and Lucille Ball as middle-aged people who have an affair despite More recently, the continued popularity of the YMCA Indian Guides is seen in the 1995 Chevy Chase/Farrah Fawcett comedy, Man of the House, wherein a campout takes place complete with the dads and kids addressing one another by their program names in patch-covered vests, wearing headdresses, singing songs, and roasting marshmallows around a campfire. Cornelius Crane “Chevy” Chase (born October 8 1943 is an American Emmy Award-winning Comedian, Writer, and television and film Ferrah Leni Fawcett (born February 2 1947) is an American actress Man of the House is a 1995 comedy Film starring Chevy Chase, Farrah Fawcett, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Zachary
In 2006, YMCA Indian Guides celebrated 80 years as a YMCA program.
The Archive of the British YMCA is housed at the University of Birmingham Special Collections. The University of Birmingham (informally Birmingham University) is a British red brick University located in the city of Birmingham
Until the late 1950s, YMCAs in the United States were built with hotel-like rooms called residences or dormitories. These rooms became a significant part of American culture, known as an inexpensive and safe place for a visitor to stay in an unfamiliar city. In 1940 there were about 100,000 rooms at YMCAs, more than any hotel chain. By 2006, YMCAs with residences became relatively rare in the US, but many still existed. 
Many YMCAs throughout the world still maintain residences as an integral part of the programming. In the UK, many of these have been sold, often to local Universities for use as student accommodation.
Starting before the American Civil War, YMCA provided nursing, shelter, and other support in wartime. Causes of the war See also Origins of the American Civil War, Timeline of events leading to the American Civil War The coexistence of a slave-owning South During World War I, Irving Berlin wrote Yip Yip Yaphank, a revue that included a song entitled "I Can Always Find a Little Sunshine in the Y. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All Irving Berlin (11 May 1888 &ndash 22 September 1989 was a Russian-born American Composer and Lyricist, and one of the most prolific American songwriters From idea to the stage The commanding officer at Camp Upton had wanted to build a community building on the grounds of the army base and thought that Sgt M. C. A. " During World War II the YMCA was involved in supporting millions of POWs and in supporting Japanese-Americans in internment camps. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including are Americans of Japanese heritage Japanese Americans have historically been among the three largest Asian American communities but in recent decades have become the sixth largest group Japanese American internment refers to the forcible relocation and Internment of approximately 110000 Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans to housing This help included helping young men leave the camps to attend Springfield College and providing youth activities in the camps. In addition, the YMCA was one of six organizations that helped to found the USO during World War II. "USO" redirects here for other uses see USO (disambiguation The United Service Organizations Inc