"There is the lake, a mere 75 yards away, as the visitor is surrounded by maintained historic buildings most constructed before 1922. Stopping at the Inn (built in 1902), you cross the very same threshold as the thousands before you had arrived for fellowship, renewal, and learning. This 100-acre campus of development on the east side of the main road is so private that it is hard to believe it passes through this 700-acre property. One of the highlights of the YMCA Alumni gathering included a walk among these historic buildings integrally linked with the history of the YMCA Movement where giants before us formed a culture of service to our communities."
Many of these buildings were built and named after a who’s who of historic YMCA leaders including:
• Luther Wishard whose vision in 1900 sought a Center to train youth workers.
• The gymnasium built in 1917 was in memory of George Fisher (International Secretary who shaped the entire physical education program for the YMCA).
• Munn Hall built in 1914 in memory of John Munn, Chair of the International YMCA Transportation (railroad) Committee.
• Edwin See memorial built in 1910 in memory of Edwin See’s work as Founder of the YMCA summer schools and General Director of the Brooklyn YMCA for 20 years.
• Morse Hall was built in 1917 in memory of Richard Morse, the first paid General Secretary of the YMCA.
The YWCA, which also conducted training and provided respite opportunities for women at SBA, recognized their mentors here as well.
• The chapel built in 1922 is in memory of Helen Hughes who not only served as a YWCA worker, but also as a member on their national board. (Her father Charles Evans Hughes served as the 11th US Chief Justice in 1930-1941.)
• Field Hall was built in 1913 in memory of the YWCA work of Francis Field.
• Brooks Pavilion, built at the end of Slim Point in 1920, was in memory of Louise Brooks whose work with the YMCA afforded some women the only vacation they ever experienced.
Such a historical legacy enables YMCA Alumni the opportunity to step back in time. In reconnecting with our roots of community service, we also can remember colleagues of our own generation who stand out as members of our Movement. How great this is.
--Mark Rutkowski and Janice A. Carthens