History of CTY

The history of CTY is rich and long. The program has been in existence for nearly 25 years. However, to the best of my knowledge, there has been no one recording this history for the benefit of CTYers. The difference between an oral history and a written history is huge. In an oral history, things are passed down by word of mouth, and while some stories may survive, many are garbled and lost. Important information is lost. And as it is said, those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. As each generation of CTYers arrives, the struggles and conflicts of past generations- about rules, about the "decline of CTY"- as well as the triumphs and magical moments of past generations are lost.
In the real world, it takes twenty years for one generation to merge into another. Baby Boomers meld into Generation X, which melds into whatever the heck they are calling folks who are young now. At CTY, a generation is much, much shorter. In general, it lasts about five years, as that is how long it takes for there to be a complete turn over; for there to be no possibility of overlap. For example, my nomore year was in 1997. As I write this after the 2001 CTY session, even someone who was a squirrel five-year-freak my nomore year can not return to CTY next year. There is no current CTYer who could have met me at CTY. And as CTY enters it's 5th generation of CTYers, much is lost from past generations who have been silenced by time. What is the Veil Law? How did the Canon start? What is "CTY Switzerland"? I hope to answer these and other questions for future generations of CTYers.
In some sense, this whole page is the history of CTY. Sections such as the The Hall of Fame and The CTY Essays capture many moments of CTY history. However, this section of the page is going to be devoted to my fledgling project of documenting this history of traditions, official bits of CTY history, and some thoughts on how CTY has changed over time. It is not by any means a complete history. But hopefully, it will help CTYers get a good sense of where CTY has been, and from that, where it is going.

Official History

This section includes official bits of CTY history, such as CTY Switzerland, the Veil Law, name of CTYs, how CTY started, and other information gleaned from old documents or early CTYers.


This section discusses the importance of traditions at CTY, lists some of the more important ones, and explores how these traditions started and changed over time.
More Information
JHU's Official History, Mission, and Goals
Matthew Belmonte's CTY Page
CTY-L Mailing List Archives
Other CTY Pages

To contribute to this page, please e-mail me at elizaweb@bigfoot.com