On June 6, the YMCA is celebrating its 180th anniversary!

A lot has changed since George Williams and 11 other young men gathered in London in 1844, but the heart of the Y’s work remains the same. We are one of the oldest nonprofits in the United States and rely on members and donors to continue our work. Thank you for your continued support!

Here are some of the YMCA’s impressive accomplishments:

American Institutions

Celebrations such as Father’s Day, and organizations like the Peace Corps, all have their roots at the YMCA.

Summer Camp

The oldest known summer camp, Camp Dudley, first opened in 1885 and countless numbers of youth have since learned the skills and wonders of camping through the Y, developing critical skills and making memories along the way.

Innovating & Inventing

From James Naismith’s invention of basketball to instructors creating racquetball and what would eventually become volleyball, the Y has a rich tradition in activities that are played by millions of people around the globe. One Y staffer, Robert J. Roberts, is credited with inventing the term “body building.”

A Nobel Peace Prizewinner

YMCA leader John R. Mott was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946 for the Y’s groundbreaking role in raising global awareness and support and for the organization’s humanitarian efforts.

Furthering Education

The Y is credited with spearheading the first public libraries, night school for adult education and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.

YMCA of the Rockies

YMCA of the Rockies has a rich history, beginning with summer training camps for YMCA workers in the 1890s. In 1908, the summer training camp was held in Wind River Lodge in Estes Park. Over the next 20 years, the camp expanded to include lodgings and programs for families. In 1969, Snow Mountain Ranch opened in Grand County.

YMCA of Metropolitan Denver founded Camp Chief Ouray (CCO) in 1907 and held its first summer camp in 1908 north of Granby. In 1979, YMCA of the Rockies took over camp operations, and since 1980 CCO has made its home at Snow Mountain Ranch. YMCA of the Rockies, with facilities in Estes Park and Granby, is now the largest Y camp and conference center in the nation, serving over 200,000 people per year.

Historic Significance

YMCA of the Rockies is home to Mountainside Lodge which is on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2004, we were awarded a grant from the Colorado State Historic Fund to help rehabilitate and preserve the building which is a great example of Rocky Mountain rustic architecture and represents the influence of John Timothy Stone and the evangelical movement on the Estes Valley. Dr. Stone and his work with the evangelical community was important in bringing early tourism to the area and the YMCA.

Day Camp Legacy

YMCA of the Rockies-Estes Park Center has the oldest continuously running YMCA day care in the USA. Our day camp dates back to at least 1923.

YMCA World Council Host
YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center is the only YMCA in North America to have hosted the World Council twice. We held both the 1981 and the 2014 Councils. The World Council is the “highest governing body of the global YMCA movement” and meets every 4 years.

YMCA of the Rockies is proud to be a part of the YMCA movement!

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