Traditions evolve over time, and often, students who create them don't realize they are creating something that will remain part of CTY long after they are gone. They are passed down from one generation of CTYers to the next. Traditions often migrate between sites, with one student switching sites and bringing traditions from their old site to their new one. Some sites are relatively tradition poor, like Baltimore, which has few students staying all four years and few who go to Baltimore after having attended another site, while older sites like Carlisle and Lancaster are tradition rich.
Traditions create a link between CTYers, regardless of what site they went to. Janet Shu tells on the CTY-L list of muttering "die, die, die" to herself while listening to American Pie in her college dorm room, and having a neighbor who overheard verify that she, too, was a CTYer. As she said, that is the importance of traditions. "(They) link strangers together. If we lose the traditions, however silly they may seem, we lose some of the connection we feel with fellow CTYers."