Hi-Y, Tri-Hi-Y and related clubs

The well established YMCA program aimed at school-aged children had it's roots in early YMCA youth programs. The term Hi-Y  was first officially used in 1927, but the YMCA had been active  with youths since the 1850s. Hi-Y stands for High School YMCA and was for boys only. Tri-Hi-Y (the female version) started soon after the Hi-Y program. "Tri" comes from the Triangle Girls Clubs. Now the Hi-Y program is co-ed.

Other programs, such as Jr. Hi-Y and Jr. Tri-Hi-Y (Junior High School ages), Gra-Y and Tri-Gra-Y (grade school ages) were also developed but no longer seem to exist.

    The purpose of the Hi-Y and Tri-Hi-Y clubs are to CREATE, MAINTAIN and EXTEND to the fullest capacity of one’s ability, throughout the home, school and community, HIGH STANDARDS OF MORAL CHARACTER through improvement, brother/sisterhood, equality, and service in High Schools.

The Hi-Y pin was designed by a boy in one of the clubs. Hi-Y and Try-Hi-Y membership pins often have year pins or other guard pins attached.

Early Hi-Y pins are enameled and smooth

unknown silver pin

Later Hi-Y pins had ridges between colors.

This late pin shows an angular cross

Likely a "year" pin

Likely a "year" pin

Canadian Hi-Y Club?

Unknown Hi-Y pin

K Hi-Y

Hi-Y with tiny rubies and pearls


1942 - special Hi-Y pin


Blue felt pennant with Hi-Y patch and lettering


Hi-Y Sweater Emblem

Hi-Y patch

The first National Congress of Hi-Y was in 1936. By the 1940 Congress membership was at 200,000 boys.


Hi-Y club photo

Hi-Y Tie Clasp





The Tri-Hi-Y logo is a triangle with Tri-Hi-Y in the corners.

 Within the triangle is a torch enclosed in a circle.

 The triangle stands for the trinity in a person's personality --BODY, MIND and SPIRIT.

The circle stands for the completeness of a Spiritual filled life.

The torch is a symbol of the mission expressed in the Tri-Hi-Y purpose.

Standard Tri-Hi-Y pin

Leader's Tri-Hi-Y pin

Leader's Tri-Hi-Y pin

Beveled edge Tri-Hi-Y pin with cross

Unknown pin

Unusual blue enameled Tri-Y pin with cross

Tri-Hi-Y pin with cross instead of torch in the

Tri-Hi-Y beanie with patch

Just an example of the good works these groups do.




Soph-Hi-Y pin

Jr. Hi-Y patch


Junior Try-Hi-Y pin

Gra-Y clubs were for elementary schools

Tri-Gra-Y pin


Older embroidered GRA-Y patch


Gray-Y felt patch

Felt and chenille Gr-Tri-Y patch