At that time, YMCAs were run almost entirely by volunteers. Before the Civil War, there were a handful of paid staff who kept the place clean, managed the library, and served as corresponding secretaries. But it wasn`t until the 1880s, when YMCAs began erecting buildings in large numbers, that most associations thought they needed someone full-time. In the United States, during the American Civil War, the number of Y members decreased to one-third of its size as members marched into battle. Fifteen of the remaining Northern Y formed the U.S. Christian Commission to support troops and prisoners of war. He was supported by President Abraham Lincoln, and among his 4,859 volunteers was the American poet Walt Whitman. Among other achievements, there were more than 1 million Bibles to fight men. It was the beginning of a commitment to working with soldiers and sailors that continues to this day through the YMCAs of the Armed Forces. The Camp Fire Girls (now Camp Fire Boys and Girls) was founded in 1910 through the joint efforts of Luther Gulick, M.D., and his wife Charlotte. Gulick was already known for his work at the YMCA, his understanding of the whole person, which led him to design the YMCA`s inverted triangle, a page for mind, mind and body. Concerned about his existing obligations, Gulick did not want to take on the task of creating another organization.
However, he advised others on the organization of the Thetford Girls, the forerunners of the Camp Fire Girls. Charlotte was interested in the Thetford Girls and was inspired to name her first camp in Sebago Lake, Maine, Camp WoHeLo, from the first two letters of the words Work, Health and Love. She saw it as forming a straight triangle, which she placed on the symbol Y to form a star. The complete form of the YMCA is Young Men`s Christian Association Toastmasters International was established in 1903 as a public lecture program for older youth by Ralph C. Smedley, Director of Education at the Bloomington (Ill.) YMCA, invented. Smedley realized that older boys who attended the Y needed communication training. It came on behalf of The Toastmasters Club because the meetings felt like a series of banquet toasts. With each YMCA where Smedley moved, he founded a new club. Seen by other YMCA secretaries as a personal oddity of Smedley, the Toastmasters clubs he founded were largely unsuccessful until he began working at the YMCA in Santa Ana, California. After the first meeting of the Toastmasters Club there on the 22nd. In October 1924, the idea prevailed and spread, and soon a federation of Toastmasters Clubs was formed. The Club Association was founded in 1932, and by 1941 Toastmasters needed Smedley`s full attention, so he left the YMCA to devote himself to its creation.
During World War II, the National Council of YMCAs (now the YMCA of the United States) partnered with Ys around the world to help prisoners of war in 36 countries. He also helped found the United Service Organization (USO), which operated reception centers for soldiers and sent artists overseas to entertain the troops. Ys also worked with displaced people and refugees, sending both workers and money abroad after the war to help rebuild the YMCA`s damaged buildings. The Negro National League, the first black baseball league to last an entire season, was formed in 1920 at a meeting at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri. It`s hard to overestimate the impact of the YMCA movement on swimming and aquaristics in general. A Student at Springfield College, George Goss, wrote the first American book on saving lives as a thesis in 1913. It was a member of the YMCA`s National Board of Directors (then the YMCA`s International Committee), William Ball, who in the early 1900s encouraged the Red Cross to include life-saving instructions in its disaster and military service programs. The first mobile pool was invented in 1961 at Eastern Union (NJ) Y, allowing the Y to give lessons and swimming programs for people who could not go to the Y. The YMCA Swimming and Lifesaving Manual, published in 1919, was one of the first books on the subject.
Founded in 1951, the National Cooperation Council in Aquaristics was created through the efforts of the YMCA. As a group of 20 national agencies, the Council was organised to broaden cooperation in the field of aquatics. It would be impossible to list all the individuals and organizations that contribute to this document. We have received information from sources ranging from professional associations to university professors to current and retired YMCA employees. The only things they had in common were a deep respect for Y traditions, a love for what the YMCA stands for, and a desire to help. Special recognition must be given to the staff of the YMCA of the Archives of the United States. Their efforts and irreplaceable resources provided the necessary details when no one else knew where to look. The experience of the YMCA movement showed that helping soldiers would require full-time resources, and in September 1898 a department of the armed forces was created. In 1902, Congress approved the establishment of permanent YMCA facilities on military bases, and in 1903 there was special training for secretaries who ran the army and navy. With more than 1,500 canteens and postal exchanges, the YMCA nurtured and maintained more troops than any other charity during the First World War, including the Knights of Columbus and the Salvation Army.
It was common for Catholics and Jews to use the Y buildings for worship. Overall, the YMCA was doing more than 90 percent of social work at that time, mostly in the form of canteens and postal exchanges. The canteens and postal exchanges operated by the YMCA in France were exempt from America`s minimum price laws, their history and reputation being sufficient safeguards against abuse. Another aspect of the YMCA`s involvement in higher education has been the work of YMCA students at many colleges and universities. The first registered student Ys was opened in 1856 at Cumberland University in Tennessee and Milton Academy (now College). Of course, students must have been active in the YMCA`s informal boards before. .