Written by Cydney Hall, Youth Worker , Crowfoot YMCA.
It is my pleasure to announce that Crowfoot YMCA’s pilot project for the Alternative Suspension Program officially began in May of this year.
The Alternative Suspension program was started to provide a fresh environment and support for students in high school that are at-risk of suspension or have been suspended for a duration of 3-5 days. The objective is to support youth in their transition back into school through developing personal and academic skills, which is often missed in the traditional out-of-school suspension.
Through schoolwork support, workshops and one-on-one meetings with myself, the Youth Worker, youth have the opportunity to explore their goals, both school-related and personal, and develop their success plan for a positive re-integration back into school as well as other communities they are involved with. The program places a strong emphasis on partnership with the student’s school and their parents, developing a committed team dedicated to each youth’s success.
To date, five youth have participated in the program and two have been re-referred to provide additional support and resources for their exceptional cases. It has been amazing to journey with each youth throughout their participation and watch them create their own success stories through their hard work, willingness to engage and recognition of abilities.
The following is one youth’s account of their experience while in the program. I asked them to describe what they learned and completed as well as what they would have done during their time spent in the program if the program wasn’t available.
“I spent my time getting extra credits to improve my school year, also Cydney taught me how to better deal with my emotions and how to play a different version of jeopardy.
Cydney is definitely the right person for this job because she is understanding, knows when to push you to finish work and also when you can’t focus and need a little break. If I had my pick this would be my school of choice because I work best in a quiet environment and this program has provided me with that.
Without Alternative Suspension I would not have come back to school and might have even dropped out, I would be at home playing Xbox.”
– Grade 10 student, Age 15
I think it is important to highlight that it is the resiliency and strength of each youth participating in the Alternative Suspension program that truly makes it successful. The balance of school support with workshops facilitates a space where youth are encouraged to develop a positive attitude towards school, and where some laughter and jeopardy games occur along the way!
With this promising start it is exciting to look ahead to the next school year and the experiences that will emerge from it.
Summer sees a change to operations within YMCA Calgary Childcare Centres and Child Minding Areas. And, this change might be just what you are looking for to enhance your child’s summer experience.
Childcare and Child Minding each offer unique experiences – read on to learn more and to see if you would like to explore available options further.
YMCA Childcare and Child Minding – where kids play and learn!
Childcare: Licensed childcare for children aged 19 months – 6 years
Temporary openings are available for 1/2 or full days over the summer months. This option is available due to turnover within the centre as older children leave in preparation for kindergarten and new children have not yet started. All days may not have availability.
This may be an option for families who need a few days or a week of care for their child over the summer. It may also be a fit for a child attending a 1/2 day of camp and then requiring childcare for the balance of the day.
As always, full-time permanent spaces in our centres will be filled from our existing waitlists.
Availability is limited and inquiries should be directed to each centre’s Childcare Director:
Eau Claire – Margaret Ferriss T 403-781-1666
Saddletowne- Merle Clarke T 403-537-2722
Shawnessy – Trudy Halvorsen T 403-254-3211
Child Minding: Short term care for your child aged 6 weeks – 10 years
This is the place for kids to be while their parent/guardian is using the facility. Equipped with toys, games and caring adults who love to spend time talking and playing with children you can feel confident that your child is well cared for while you are furthering your own health and wellness goals.
During the summer all of our areas see a decrease in usage which can open up opportunities for casual bookings. Member children 6 weeks – 35 months are FREE while a minimal charge applies to both older member children and non-members.
Visit or contact the Child Minding Area at your branch today:
Crowfoot YMCA T 403-241-4618
Eau Claire YMCA T 403-781-1669
Saddletowne YMCA T 403-537-2724
Shawnessy YMCA T 403-254-3217
It’s that time of year again!
It’s time to plan your Stampede breakfast schedule. We’ve got lots of fun, pancakes, and celebration all over the city! Grab your cowboy hat and enjoy some tasty treats with some of the staff and volunteers from your local YMCA.
Tuesday, July 7 – Shawnessy YMCA in South Fish Creek Complex, 7:00am-10:00am
Wednesday, July 8 – Eau Claire YMCA, 7:00am-9:00am
Friday, July 10 – Crowfoot YMCA, 7:00am-9:00am
Friday, July 10 – Saddletowne YMCA in the Genesis Centre, 9:00am-11:00am
Swap your gym wear for stampede wear and come say howdy!
Did you know that Crowfoot YMCA offers a Soccer Development Summer Camp for ages 6-13? This week-long soccer development camp focusses on growing soccer skills through fitness activities, soccer skill development, cross-training, swimming and games. With an emphasis on teamwork and a love of the game, this camp is sure to be a KICK with kids!
Additionally, Crowfoot YMCA offers a variety of other summer camps, including Creative Arts Camps, and Swimming Camps. Space is limited and filling up fast, so sign up today!
Course codes can be found here.
Register online or by visiting or calling Member Services at 403-547-6576. As with all YMCA Calgary programs, financial assistance is available through our Strong Kids Campaign to those who qualify.
Eau Claire was BOOMING this past Friday as our Grade 6’s congregated on the third floor to celebrate the past 10 months we’ve spent together.
What a truly amazing year we’ve had! Between impromptu gaga ball face-offs, nutrition workshops, tournaments, dance parties, Lego sessions, and cooking classes, it seems we have done it all at the YMCA! This past Friday, we got all of our branches together for our Grade 6 Year End Celebration, and it was incredible! Even though we were rained out of our Riveredge site, we still managed to collect a whopping total of 122 grade 6 students under the Eau Claire roof!
After enjoying some pizza and veggies, we split off into groups and participated in a variety of different stations. All our grade sixes got to try a little bit of everything; from Lego, to Kin ball and team building, to the first ever YMCA dance-rap-karaoke party!
We even got to meet Harvey the Hound and former Flames defenceman, Rhett Warrener!
The best part was having all of our members come together and experience something new with their fellow branches. All of us were excited to be a part of something so different – and we ensured that everyone in the building knew it! We are the first cohort of Calgary YMCA’s Grade 6 members, and we made sure to sign this school year off with a bang!
Summer is just around the corner and we are all bustling with the exciting opportunities that await us! To find out more information on what your branch is doing this summer, take a look at our Activity Page or contact your Youth Coordinator!
Thanks again to all of our lovely grade 6 members who have made this year at the YMCA one of our most memorable! And thank you to all of our incredibly dedicated staff and volunteers as well as the Calgary Flames Foundation for Life for making this year happen! Without all of us – staff, members, and supporters alike – this year’s success would not have been possible!
Summer is one of the most active times of the year for many children and families. Outdoor activities increase as the days get longer. It is important for people to take the proper precautions with the rising temperatures and sun exposure throughout the day. Being active in the heat can be fun, but it can also pose a danger if you do not allow your body sufficient time to cool down. Here are a few ideas to beat the heat this summer:
- Drink plenty of water: It is important to stay hydrated. Make sure to carry a full water bottle with you at all times.
- Shower or bathe frequently in cool water: It will help you stay cool by lowering your body temperature and making you feel refreshed.
- Make sure to wear Sunscreen: Wear sunscreen as it helps keep ultraviolet rays from damaging the skin. Dressing in light, loose clothing that covers bare skin is another sun-safe move.
- Have a family swim: Find a local pool or splash pad to spend the afternoon at while keeping cool. Perhaps one of the local YMCA Calgary pools?
- Take advantage of the cooler times of the day for activities: Early mornings and later evenings are the best times for strenuous activity.
- Enjoy a cool treat: Ice cream, popsicles or freezies are enjoyable at any age. Or, try frozen fruit snacks such as grapes and bananas.
- Look for inside or shade activities: Arts and crafts, reading or a favourite family board game are a great way to take a break from the mid-day heat.
- Learn how to make a “do it yourself slip & slide“
- Don’t have a sprinkler at home? Make a “bottle blaster Sprinkler out of a 2L pop bottle” in a few easy steps
Summer fun for the entire family!
The Shawnessy Child Development Centre has some very happy children. With summer fast approaching and outdoor play time lengthening, staff decided it was time to clean and revamp the outdoor play yard with some new toys and equipment. After all of the current equipment was removed from the play yard to be cleaned, the children had a few things to say about where the climbers and play house had disappeared to:
- “It was sucked up into the ground!”
- “The shed ate the climbers and slide! It is going to burst!”
- “Someone took them and put them in the grass area. We will need to talk to someone about that.”
- “Now we can ride the bikes all over and not worry about anything else.”
- “What is going on here? Trudy will have to figure this out.”
Equipment has now been returned to the play yard, along with some new structures for creative adventures – take a look!
There are still spots available at Crowfoot YMCA’s summer camps – sign up today! We offer a wide variety of active and engaging camps in a safe and fun environment. Specialty Day Camps focusing on Soccer, Creative Arts, Swimming, and Youth Leadership are also available. For a full description of the camps we offer, visit our website.
As of June 11th, 2015, the following camps still have room:
Tenderfoot, Ages 3-5:
Tenderfoot Camp: | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 17-21 | Aug. 24-28 |
Tenderfoot Morning Camp: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 13-17 | Jul. 20-24 | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 |
| Aug. 10-14 | Aug. 17-21 | Aug. 24-28 |
Tenderfoot Afternoon Camp: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 13-17 | Jul. 20-24 | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 |
| Aug. 10-14 | Aug. 17-21 | Aug. 24-28 |
Tenderfoot Swim Option: | Jul. 20-31 | Aug. 4-14 | Aug. 17-28 |
Discoverers, Ages 6-7:
Discoverers Camp: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 13-17 | Jul. 20-24 | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 10-14 |
| Aug. 17-21 | Aug. 24-28 |
Discoverers Creative Art Option: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 13-17 | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 10-14 |
| Aug. 17-21 | Aug. 24-28 |
Discoverers Soccer Option: | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 24-28 |
Discoverers Swim Option: | Aug. 17-28 |
Explorers, Ages 8-9:
Explorers Camp: | Jul. 13-17 | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 10-14 | Aug. 24-28 |
Explorers Creative Art Option: | Jul. 13-17 | Aug. 10-14 | Aug. 24-28 |
Explorers Soccer Option: | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 10-14 | Aug. 24-28 |
Explorers Swim Option: | Jul. 6-17 | Jul. 20-31 | Aug. 4-14 | Aug. 17-28 |
Adventurers, Ages 10-11:
Adventurers Camp: | Aug. 4-7 |
Adventurers Creative Art Option: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 20-24 | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 17-21 |
Adventurers Soccer Option: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 20-24 | Aug. 17-21 |
Adventurers Swim Option: | Jul. 20-31 | Aug. 4-14 |
Challengers, Ages 12-13:
Challengers Camp: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 13-17 | Jul. 20-24 | Jul. 27-31 | Aug. 4-7 | Aug. 10-14 |
| Aug. 17-21 | Aug. 24-28 |
Challengers Soccer Option: | Jul. 6-10 | Jul. 20-24 | Aug. 17-21 |
Challengers Swim Option: | Jul. 6-17 | Jul. 20-31 | Aug. 4-14 | Aug. 17-28 |
Ultimate Leaders, Ages 14-15: | Jul. 6-17 | Aug. 4-14 |
Dailies: On June 29th, 30th & July 2nd and 3rd, we are running camp Dailies, which are one day camps with the same ages and options as the camps above (except Ultimate Leaders).
Course codes can be found here.
Register online or by visiting or calling Member Services at 403-547-6576.
As with all YMCA Calgary programs, financial assistance is available through our Strong Kids Campaign to those who qualify.
Sunday, June 21st is Father’s Day. It is also the first day of summer for 2015.
Let the celebrations begin – welcome the summer season and take time to acknowledge and celebrate wonderful relationships between kids and Dads.
YMCA Calgary is all about promoting family fun with a health and wellness focus. Here are some ideas of ways to recognize Father’s Day:
- enjoy a cooling swim in one of YMCA Calgary’s four indoor pools (Crowfoot, Eau Claire, Saddletowne and Shawnessy)
- take a walk or run in a local park. Eau Claire YMCA has some great running trails right out the front door – check the map that is posted in the lobby
- explore a natural environment. Nosehill, Fish Creek and Edworthy Parks all have wonderful natural areas. Just slightly further afield is Elbow Falls, Kananaskis Country, Grassi Lake and the whole of Banff National Park
- visit the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller; making time to walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs along the outdoor trails
- share a favourite activity with the special kid(s) or man in your life – golf (regular or mini), lego building, princess party, attend a local baseball game…
- have fun together as big and little kids – a water blast game, backyard fort building, tag games or a soccer game in the neighbourhood field
Enjoy time spent with family and friends on June 21st – perhaps include a mid or late day BBQ. For great BBQ ideas check out Canadian Living Magazine – steaks, side dishes, healthy BBQ and more.
And, for all the Dads out there – HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
Overnight camp for 10-year old boys and girls – Mistaya – Mountain Bike Option
Camp Chief Hector YMCA
July 5 – 17 | females
July 19 – 31 | males
Aug 2 – 14 | males
$1180 + GST
UPDATE: Recently we were able to acquire mountain bikes and helmets from Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC).
The bikes are the ACE Mountain Bikes. They are excellent for riders between 9 and 11 years-old. They have been tested on-site here, and they perform very well. They will be tuned up before each program.The helmets are the MET Xilo Helmet for children and youth. They are a quality helmet, with padding and adjustable straps to ensure a proper and comfortable fit on all children.We would ask that campers use the camp-supplied mountain bikes and helmets while at camp this summer. This will be a convenience to many. It will provide a level-playing-field for the campers, and it will assist with the tuning and maintenance by the MTB program staff at camp.
Campers and counsellors will spend two days of their camp experience exploring our trails and surrounding natural areas. The group is introduced to the basics of mountain biking technique and simple bike maintenance by a staff member who is also a certified cycling coach; trained as an Alberta Bicycle Association Community Cycling- Initiation (CCI). Before their half day (2-4 hour) rides, the group learns to manage the risks associated with travel on trails, group management and wildlife concerns. Over the course of their stay at camp, the group will set out on 4 of these half day rides, introducing and reviewing skills learned on each trip. This program is intended for novice riders.
Read the full description of Mistaya Mountain Bike Camp.
As with all camps at Camp Chief Hector YMCA, financial assistance is available.