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Lanyards are loose, thin cloth bands to be worn around the necks (or on the person) of CTYers at all times. Lanyards hold various things such as room keys, student IDs, debit cards, fobs, or key cards. They are printed with "Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth," which spans two lines. Lanyards are given out by staff to campers on the first day. New CTYers please note that swinging your lanyard is not allowed.

Fashion Advice

There are a wide variety of methods of lanyard-wearing, which are often enumerated at opening ceremonies each session. First, the traditional method: around your neck, like any other necklace. A common variant on this is backwards around the neck with keys hanging on your back. Gaining popularity is another common alternative to the neck: the wrist. Often, the lanyard must be wrapped several times around your wrist, or shortened with the butterfly stitch. Yet another method includes wearing the lanyard around one's waist: this is very common amongst female CTYers. Some people attach a lanyard's keyring to a belt loop and tuck the free straps into their pockets. Even rarer methods include wearing the lanyard as a sash or a headband. Especially in baby CTY, a common Lanyard fashion trend is Lanyard folding. This is when the card on a Lanyard is folded either into halves or quarters.

At Lancaster, new rules in 09.1 made it so the lanyard can only be worn around the waist, wrist, or neck. And then again, in 11.1, around the neck frontward or backward only.

At Carlisle, the "choker" style, with the lanyard looped through itself, is not allowed. Wearing current lanyards as a belt is forbidden, but past lanyards may be worn in this fashion. But you can wear it through your belt loops. And the sash style is allowed. Some years, students can braid their current lanyards and wear around the wrist or hook it together with old lanyards to make a necklace or sash, if long enough.

At LMU and a number of other sites, lanyards must be worn around one's neck. Variations, such as the choker and the sash, are variably permitted.

At Baltimore, lanyards must be worn around the neck, facing forward.

As of LAN 15.1 and 15.2, the same restrictions apply except in the case of supervised physical activity. The sash style is typically allowed, except in the case of some more uptight RAs.


Many CTYers bring lanyards from past summers back to their current site. All old lanyards are worn at the same time as their current lanyard. This is a sign of returning-student pride, and sometimes also a sign of seniority, distinguishing CTY veterans from squirrels. Reused lanyards are either woven as bracelets, or worn around the neck with current lanyards (often braided together), or however the new lanyard is worn. RAs usually don't care what you do with your old lanyards, as long as you're not swinging them. You can wear them as bracelets, etc. without fear of reprimand, however the wearing of black Staff lanyards will result in the loss of your lanyard.


The color of the campers' lanyards changes every year.

  • 2020 - Lime green with white lettering
  • 2019 - Red with white lettering
  • 2018 - Gold with white lettering
  • 2017 - Royal Purple with white lettering
  • 2016 - Macaroni and Cheese Yellow-Orange with white lettering
  • 2015 - Grassy Green with white lettering
  • 2014 - Bright Red with white lettering
  • 2013 - Black with yellow lettering
  • 2012 - Nantucket Red with white lettering
  • 2011 - Purple with white lettering
  • 2010 - Orange with black lettering
  • 2009 - Carolina Blue with black lettering
  • 2008 - Neon Green with black lettering
  • 2007 - Yellow with black lettering
  • 2006 - Goldenrod with black lettering
  • 2005 - Red with white lettering
  • 2004 - Sky Blue with black lettering
  • 2003 - Neon Yellow-Green with black lettering
  • 2002 - Red with black lettering
  • 2001 - Purple
  • 2000 - Neon Green
  • 1999 - Light Blue with black lettering
  • 1998 - Neon Orange with black lettering
  • 1997 - Navy Blue with yellow lettering
  • 1996 - Yellow with blue lettering
  • 1995 - Purple with white lettering
  • 1994 - White with red lettering

In 1996, lanyards had "IAAY" printed on them. From 1997 to around 2001, lanyards had "CTY CAA IAAY" printed on them. "CAA" and "IAAY" were dropped by 2001 and replaced merely with the acronyms "CTY JHU." Though 2013, lanyards were printed with "CTY" and "JHU" as well as the official web site for CTY: "" Since 2012, lanyards have the year on them. In 2014, the lanyards got significantly wider and included the JHU logo. "Johns Hopkins" was printed with "Center for Talented Youth" underneath.

Black Lanyards

From 2003 to 2012, black lanyards were worn by RAs, instructors, TAs/LAs/PAs, and other staff members. These lanyards are often widely envied by campers, who have been known to try to take black lanyards from staff. Occasionally, at the Passionfruit, black lanyards are given to nevermores or nomores. A staff member will often pass their lanyard to a favorite nomore camper, although this practice is now technically banned. In 2010, the administration began to take this more seriously, telling students that any staff member that passed on a black lanyard would not be allowed to return to CTY. Additionally, when staff members broke their lanyards and needed replacements, their broken lanyards were shredded. One instructor responded to this by photocopying his black lanyard and giving photocopies to everyone in his class.

White Lanyards

In 2007, all staff members were given new white lanyards, much to the confusion and disdain of many of the veteran staff members. The white lanyards were a result of a typo (or misprint?) and will not appear again; they were meant to be black as usual, as evidenced by the return of black lanyards in 2008.

In an event unheard of at the time, John "Jarrison" Harrison (CTY.LAN.07) masterfully acquired not one, not two, not even three, but four white lanyards during his six week, two session, stay in Lancaster. In an act of pure chivalry,(and needless to say, manliness) Jarrison then "donated" one of his prized white lanyards to one Max Wang in exchange for a considerable discount (for free) on the Session 2 Alcove shirt.

The Cryptology class of LOS 08.1 managed to secure white lanyards through a class scavenger hunt/competition. This event involved encrypted messages, which were left scattered across the campus, leading to one another. Prizes upon completion of the scavenger hunt included white lanyards for each person, all in perfect condition.

Change of Lanyard Colors in 2013

On May 14th, CTY announced via facebook that the new lanyard colors for students this year would be black with yellow lettering.

After much confusion and hub-bub on the thread in which this was announced, academic coordinator of CTY summer programs Galen White clarified the color scheme to those that were wondering what lanyards RAs would then wear:

Just clarifying: student lanyards are black with yellow letters and staff lanyards are yellow with black letters. This should in no way be interpreted as organizational support for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Change of Lanyard Style

Presumably thanks to the color mix-up of 2013, an entirely new style of lanyard was introduced. They were double-wides that included the JHU crest on them. Many were upset about this, as the lanyards were clunky and difficult to braid. Let it be said that with the installation of the wider lanyard has come the frequent consequence of it breaking. A large majority of CTYers boasted lanyards that had to be shortened and tied, taped, or stapled. Staff lanyards were also changed to turquoise, not black.

Change of Material

In 19, the old ribbed lanyard material was replaced with a smoother, color-printed one. The key rings of these lanyards frequently broke, but the lanyards themselves became less nasty after 3 weeks.

Lanyard Swinging

Staff members can be strict about forcing campers to keep their lanyards on their necks (or at more lenient sites, somewhere visible on the body). Campers find it entertaining to take their lanyards off and swing them around; keys, fobs, key-cards, or glowsticks can create a decent amount of momentum. RAs are very disapproving of this practice (which is reasonable, as students have been injured by flying or swinging keys), and often will reprimand campers found swinging their lanyards. Some campers retaliate by wearing their lanyards up around their ears, as belts, or woven as bracelets. This practice is also frowned upon by staff at stricter sites. On the last day, however, there is nothing stopping you from running around on the forbidden grass swinging your lanyard while singing at the top of your lungs.

An activity called Bizarro CTY allows you to swing your lanyard, along with other activities that are usually forbidden. Sometimes, this activity is called Lanyard Swinging, but it still allows you to do other otherwise forbidden activities.

Lancaster RA Frank Wang is notoriously amazing at detecting lanyard-swinging, even when the culprit is located in such impossible places as all the way across the quad, around a corner, or behind Frank Wang himself. Also Haverford RA Nick is very known for detecting lanyard- swinging, or misuse of lanyards.

At LMU, it has recently become tradition for a nevermore to mount the LMU Lion Statue on the last day and swing their lanyard ferociously like a lasso until an RA reprimands them.