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YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles


Join us at the YMCA Raggers Centennial Celebration

We are proud to announce the centennial of YMCA’s Ragger Program, a revered YMCA Camp tradition that has touched hundreds of thousands of lives over the past 100 years.  To commemorate the program’s significant milestone, we are hosting the “Raggers Centennial Celebration” at YMCA Camp Whittle on September 26th - 28th, 2014.  You, your family and friends are all invited to join the festivities for one day or for the entire weekend.  We hope you are able to join us!

A ritual that began in 1914, YMCA’s Ragger Program is a journey of spiritual and personal growth.  The seven-stage program challenges Raggers to achieve a deeper awareness in life by receiving peer counseling and symbolic “rags” (blue, silver, brown, gold, red, purple, white) to mark their progression. 

The design of the rag blends four well-known shapes:

  • the traditional YMCA triangle
  • a square to signify the four-square life
  • a circle to illustrate a circle of friendship
  • a cross to symbolize Christianity

Rags were first awarded to male campers for positive character attributes such as good health, morals, helpfulness, cheerfulness, promptness and dependability.  This gesture signified that while the rags had no monetary value, they were a coveted symbol of the positive qualities a boy had demonstrated.  By recognizing campers socially for constructive attitudes and cooperation, the honor of receiving a rag made it valuable.

The Ragger experience has since evolved to include female campers and adults of all religious faiths, and the ceremony continues to thrive and help shape countless lives.