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  • Sunday, September 10, 2006

    50 Years of YMCA Involvement

    My first connection with the YMCA was as a Hi-Y member while a student at Davenport High School in Iowa. The YMCA is now known as the Scott County Family YMCA. A major highlight of my Hi-Y years was serving as a state legislator in Iowa's Youth & Government Program. After my first year in college (1958), the YMCA Youth Director recruited me onto the staff of YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln. I was not real enthusiastic about the opportunity, but it was a fantastic experience that was to influence the rest of my life. The next year, my Y Director moved to the Frost Valley YMCA in NY and invited me to join the summer staff of YMCA Camp Wawayanda. Got married the following winter and Frost Valley did not have any appropriate positions open for married staff. But, the Program Director from Wawayanda had become the Director of YMCA Camp Bernie in NJ and invited my wife and I to join his staff. We worked at Bernie in the summers of 1960 and 1961. At the end of the summer, the Ridgewood YMCA offered me a position which I accepted and I served seven years on their staff in youth and camping services, including being the first resident director of YMCA Camp Bernie. In 1968 I joined the staff of the Westfield YMCA, later become the General Director and served in Westfield until 1975 when I joined the staff of the YMCA of the USA in the Middle Atlantic Regional Office. In 1978 I was named the John R. Mott Fellow of the National Board of YMCAs and spent a year in graduate school at New York University. Following my student year, I served as Interim General Director of the Passaic-Clifton-Garfield YMCA and of the Ocean County YMCA for several months. In 1981, I became President/CEO of the Madison Area YMCA and served until I retired in 1995. After my retirement to Pennsylvania, I spend a few months as the Interim General Director of the Bloomsburg Area YMCA in PA. In Lords Valley, our local YMCA is YMCA Camp Speers-Eljabar. As a YMCA volunteer I continue to serve as a member of the Region I Committee on Membership Standards of the YMCA of the USA. Links to the web sites of these YMCAs with which I have had the pleasure to serve are in the right sidebar.


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