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David CO

Uncovering swim attire past and present

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On 7/23/2019 at 2:26 PM, perdidochas said:

When I was a youth (I'm 53 now), I would have thought it strange that adults were showering with Scouts.  I don't think I would do it.  I might have showered with other youth, but I wouldn't have liked it.  I don't think I ever showered at summer camp, though, or at almost any campout, as a youth.  

I guess it all depends on when and where you grow up.  When I was a kid, we still had nude swimming at the YMCA.  Didn't seem strange to me at the time, since it had always been done that way.  

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15 hours ago, David CO said:

I guess it all depends on when and where you grow up.  When I was a kid, we still had nude swimming at the YMCA.  Didn't seem strange to me at the time, since it had always been done that way.  

Okay, I thought this was a joke or a typo, but then I did a quick search, and found this: https://www.vocativ.com/culture/fun/fairly-recently-ymca-actually-required-swimmers-nude/index.html

So, I learned something.  Wow.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, SteveMM said:

So, I learned something.  Wow.

Yep. Things change.

It's not like I am advocating that we reinstate nude swimming at the YMCA, schools, or boy scout camps.  I understand that this is a practice whose time has passed.  We don't do that anymore.  I can live with that.

What bothers me is that the "powers that be" have sought to completely erase it from history.  They want to pretend that it never happened.  Apparently, you didn't know that it was once a very common practice.  

There are a lot of things like this.  My childhood experiences are slowly being expunged from history.  It's bad enough to be told that I am obsolete.  It's upsetting that young people think my life was so objectionable that it needs to be completely erased.

I suspect that someday, perhaps very soon, you will be able to look up the history of scouting and not see or hear any mention of the fact that BSA was once an boys-only group.  Click, delete, and never mentioned again.

Edited by David CO

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, SteveMM said:

Okay, I thought this was a joke or a typo, but then I did a quick search, and found this: https://www.vocativ.com/culture/fun/fairly-recently-ymca-actually-required-swimmers-nude/index.html

So, I learned something.  Wow.

My late Dad, and my father-in-law (both in their 80s) talked about this.  

 

It also featured in a Everybody love Raymond episode, where nude swimming happened at the Lodge.

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0574200/quotes/?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu

Marie Barone: Marco is my friend. Now I never see him anymore. He's always with your father. They're watching sports or swimming nude at the lodge.

Debra Barone: There isn't enough chlorine in the world.

Edited by perdidochas

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1 minute ago, perdidochas said:

My late Dad, and my father-in-law (both in their 80s) talked about this.  

Wow!  No wonder the Village People thought it was so fun to stay at the YMCA...

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, perdidochas said:

My late Dad, and my father-in-law (both in their 80s) talked about this.  

It must have been way before my time.  I took swim lessons at a YMCA in Rhode Island in the mid 70s and we definitely wore clothes.

ETA: After digging into that article I posted (duh) I realized the practice stopped in the early 1960s.

Edited by SteveMM

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, SteveMM said:

It must have been way before my time.  I took swim lessons at a YMCA in Rhode Island in the mid 70s and we definitely wore clothes.

ETA: After digging into that article I posted (duh) I realized the practice stopped in the early 1960s.

It didn't change all at once.  Each local Y.M.C.A. made its own decision.  Some Y.M.C.A.'s continued it into the late 60's and early 70's.  It usually coincided with the change to include women and girls.

It doesn't surprise me that your Y.M.C.A. had already changed its policy by the mid 70's.  What I find surprising is that they had changed their attitudes so abruptly that, just 10 years later, a boy like yourself would have been completely unaware of the fact that it was once a commonly accepted practice.  They simply erased it from their history. I think it is a little bit frightening that authorities have that kind of power.  They can not only change commonly accepted attitudes and practices with surprising speed and efficiency, but they can also erase any mention of them from the official history of the organization.  After just one decade had passed, it was gone, like it never happened.  Poof.

 

Edited by David CO

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10 minutes ago, David CO said:

t doesn't surprise me that your Y.M.C.A. had already changed its policy by the mid 70's.  What I find surprising is that they had changed their attitudes so abruptly that, just 10 years later, a boy like yourself would have been completely unaware of the fact that it was once a commonly accepted practice. 

I wouldn't take my experience as much of an indicator.  We only lived there for two years (starting when I was five years old) and I never went to another YMCA again because there wasn't one near where we lived after that.

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Working on our council history, looking through old photos from the twenties and thirties, you can tell that many scouts were swimming nude, though the old photos are so small that you have to look closely.  None of the ones in the archives appear to show anything scandalous.  But, we have an enlarged, posed photo in our own troop record that was shot in the Southern Sierra in the forties with a goup of senior scouts, staff from the local camp that had finished the summer, on rocks by a lake sans clothing.  Again, it is well posed and composed to not show anything too scandalous unless basic skin is so considered.  I learned to swim at the Y in Alhambra, CA in the fifties, and they still had a clothing optional swim period for males and for females.  When my brother and I went on family night with our dad, we always changed in the men's locker and took showers with all ages.  Of course, in high school, showers were group with multiple shower heads, and you were required to use them after PE.  It was not an optional program.  That went for the girls too.  We live in a different world, and I wonder sometimes if much of our current issues may actually stem from this return to prudery of sorts and scandalizing the reality to where it becomes somehow wrong, even as we allow the porn industry and advertisers to push boundaries.  Still, I have no issue with the barriers of YP.  It is way overdue, not simply in Scouting, but in the society at large.  At the same time, how much of our convoluted responses to the human body actually push us towards problems?

 

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Posted (edited)

This came up periodically with my dad as he'd retell stories from his being a kid in the 1930s/40s.  I had to research it.  One reason is old pool filters would clog with all the lint.  That was solved with the current cloth used with swim suits.  Another reason is that many of the schools and organizations were all either all men or all women.  Some co-ed schools split swimming schedules.  

It's still at the YMCA now that nude showers are expected. Usually, I use the private changing areas now to avoid the many scouts that are in the local YMCA.  

I doubt BSA is trying to clean history.  I just don't think the current generation is comfortable with what was common place years ago.  Why raise flags and distract from the story they are trying to tell.

IMHO ... in many ways, the current generation is more prudish than previous generations.  

Edited by fred8033

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As I said, our camp allowed nude swimming back in the 60's and 70's. What was acceptable (not a big deal) back them was modesty. Nobody cared if you did or didn't. I grew up near a lot of secluded fishing ponds and more often than not we ended up taking off our clothes and swimming in the hot Oklahoma summer heat. Our parents knew we did this. Would parents accept that today?

There was an article not to long ago on the subject of professionals (teachers, psychologist, lawyers, so forth) pushing kids further into the confusion of transgenders because they would be committing career suicide if they bucked the culture of political correctness. One of the examples used in the article was the firing of a United Kingdom Girl Scout Leader who stood up against mixing transgenders with male biological bodies with girls in camp showers. She got absolutely no support.

Convoluted responses? It's down right hostile activism. And it's going to get worse. Women rights organizations are already struggling with the situation of biological male transgenders competing directing against girls in activities where males clearly have the advantage. Innocence has been exploited for political leverage to the point of completely taking it away from our children. 

Barry

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1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

IMHO ... in many ways, the current generation is more prudish than previous generations.  

My female students certainly aren't more prudish than in past generations.  Each year, they push the boundaries more and more.  If teachers call them on it, we are accused of body shaming.  It's not just the girls saying this stuff.  It's the mothers, too.

The boys, however, are being expected to exercise more modesty.  It seems like a complete role reversal from what we grew up with.  

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, David CO said:

My female students certainly aren't more prudish than in past generations.  Each year, they push the boundaries more and more.  If teachers call them on it, we are accused of body shaming.  It's not just the girls saying this stuff.  It's the mothers, too.

The boys, however, are being expected to exercise more modesty.  It seems like a complete role reversal from what we grew up with.  

 

 

 

You’re observing hormones, give them a few years. 

Barry

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2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

You’re observing hormones, give them a few years. 

Barry

Well, that's the problem.  I am observing hormones... and the physical result of hormones.  They need to cover up.  :eek:

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