Bill Lyder

Pre Camp Director

William L. Lyder in 1966

Lisbon, Ohio

Spouse:Darla Watson

Children:Brett Lyder
Michele Lyder Ericson
Heather Lyder Burkett

Bill graduated from the first class at Beaver Local High School in Columbiana County in 1959 where he started 3 years on the basketball team.[1] He went to Youngstown State to study Electrical Engineering and began working at the Central Y in 1960. He worked as a desk clerk, archery instructor, rifle instructor, and eventually Hi-Y Advisor.[2] In 1961, he married Darla (Watson) Lyder and “dragged her kicking and screaming” to Camp Fitch.[1] Camp Director Halbe Brown named Bill Boys' Camp Director for the 1965 season. That same year Virginia C. Tandler was hired as Girl's Camp Director. Bill continued to fill the role of Boy's Camp Director for the 1966 Season. His Village Directors that year were Edward R. Barnes, John James Rogan, and G.W. Hettler III. Bob Zajack ran the waterfront, assisted by Kevin Harty and Bobby Hettler.[3] After the close of the 1966 season, Brown left for the Frost Valley YMCA, and General Secretary H.H. "Swede" Hunneke, promoted Bill to Camp Director.[4]

As Camp Director

Bill served 42 years as Camp Director and would oversee massive changes to the scale and operation of Camp Fitch. In 1968 he oversaw the transition to the year around program we know today and the designation of Camp Fitch as its own branch of the Youngstown YMCA.[1] The 1970s would see lasting changes like the introduction of the Outdoor Education Program, the construction of the McPhee Pool, Greg Donahue becoming Assistant Camp Director and Steve Delcalzo becoming CIT Director.[5] [6] [7] The 1980s would see new emphasis on expanding the programs. Computer Camp was added in 1982 and the Special Populations camp was started in 1984 along with the introduction of Spanish counselors to Camp Fitch.[8] [7] Expansion continued through the last two decades of his tenure. Glenn Oaks Lodge, Schwebel Pavilion, Christman Lodge, Teaberry Lodge, Russel Lodge, Bill's Barn, Sheetz Pavilion, Harrison Lodge, Andrews Lodge, and Skeggs Dining Hall were all completed in Bill's last 20 years of leadership. He retired on January 20, 2008 and was succeeded by Brian Rupe.[4]

Camp Geneology

Camp Timeline

  • 1960 - Central Y
  • 1965-1966 - Boys' Camp Director
  • 1966-2008 - Camp Director

Memorable Moments and Trivia

Anyone who has a first hand account of the car in the dinning hall story, please add it here!

Where is He Now?


1. a, b, c Alcorn, William K., June 4, 2008. Director Bids Camp Fitch a Fond Farwell. Vindicator Printing Company.
2. a Youngstown Vindicator, March 27, 1966. Names Lyder, Miss Tandler Directors at Camp Fitch. Vindicator Printing Company.
3. a Youngstown Vindicator, June 12, 1966. Three to Work as Directors at Camp Fitch. Vindicator Printing Company.
4. a, b Camp Fitch, March 5, 2008. In recognition of William L. Lyder. Camp Fitch.
5. a Youngstown Vindicator, May 28, 1978. Camp Fitch to Dedicate New facilities. Vindicator Printing Company.
6. a The Vindicator, June 13, 1978. Staff Member Training set at YMCA Camp. Youngstown Vindicator, pp.4.
7. a, b Camp Fitch, 1989. Camp Fitch 75th Anniversary. Allied Printing, pp.1-36.
8. a Youngstown Vindicator, May 18,1982. Computer Class Set at Y Camp. Vindicator Printing Company.