Spots Open for 16 Year Olds!


Camp Chief Hector YMCA’s LEADERSHIP 1 Canoe trip still has spots remaining for the July 6-August 1 camp.

Sixteen year old Leadership I campers will participate in a 17-day canoe trip on the Churchill River in northern Saskatchewan.

During their first week at camp, these Leadership I campers will plan and prepare for their trip and learn to work as a team.

Throughout their month-long experience, they will develop personal strengths and new abilities. Their focus will be on learning and developing outtripping skills and leadership abilities in the backcountry.

There are currently 3 spots for girls and 3 spots for boys still open.
Register today by calling 1 (866) 430-9622 (YMCA).

When:  Sunday, July 6, 2014 to Friday, August 1, 2014 (27 days)

Where:  Starting and finishing at Camp Chief Hector YMCA

What:  Leadership training with a Canoe Camp Trip for 16 year old youth

Cost: $2710.00

How: Call 1 (866) 430-9622


Stampede Float Team!

We’re Having a Parade Float!

For the first time in a very long time, YMCA Calgary has entered a float in the Calgary Stampede Parade!

It’s being professionally built, is fun and colourful, and of course, will be playing a very recognizable song!


Our Parade Float Team

Our float team this year is made up of YMCA staff, volunteers, and youth leadership students. These folks will be pushing our float, walking and dancing alongside it, and representing YMCA Calgary at one of the most exciting events on Calgary’s calendar!

Say hello when you see us on the route.

Meet some of your 2014 Stampede Parade Float team:

poppy-float  mamta-float ric-float
Poppy, Staff, Shawnessy YMCA Mamta, YMAP Student Ric, Staff, Community YMCA
 Tessa-float Sarah-float tracy-float
Tessa, Staff & Volunteer, Saddletowne YMCA Sarah, Staff, Crowfoot YMCA Tracy, Staff, South Health Campus YMCA
Leonie-float carlie-float trisha-float
Leonie, Staff, Saddletowne YMCA Carlie,Volunteer, Shawnessy YMCA Trisha, Staff, Association Services
brandy-float veronica-float joy-float
Brandy, Staff, Community YMCA Veronica, Staff, Crowfoot YMCA Joy, Staff, Crowfoot & Eau Claire YMCA
Jena-float float Annie carollynefloat
Jena, Volunteer, Shawnessy Y Annie, Volunteer, Camp Chief Hector YMCA Carollyne, Staff, YMCA Association Services
candice-float Nancy sarena
Candice, Staff, YMCA Association Services Nancy, Community YMCA Sarena, Community YMCA
jennie-float   Ian-float
Jennie, Staff, Eau Claire YMCA Ian, Staff, Eau Claire YMCA Lana, Staff, YMCA Association Services
Oscar, Staff, YMCA Association Services  Ken, Staff, YMCA Association Services   Fahim, Staff, YMCA Association Services


The Stampede Parade

The Calgary Stampede Parade kicks off the annual celebration on the first Friday of Stampede. This year’s parade is on Friday, July 4 and begins at 8:55am.

The parade route starts at 6 Ave & 3 St SE and travels west. It turns south at 10 St SW and comes back east on 9 Ave to finish at 4 St SE.

Come join the fun, see some great floats, marching bands, and of course wave to us as our YMCA Calgary float dances past!


2014 Stampede Breakfasts

stampede breakfast invite

It’s that time of year again!

We’ve got lots of fun, pancakes, and celebration scheduled all over the city.

Monday, July 7  - Saddletowne YMCA, 7am-10am
Tuesday, July 8  - South Health Campus YMCA, 7:30am-11am
Tuesday, July 8  - Shawnessy YMCA, 7am-10am
Wednesday, July 9  - Crowfoot YMCA, 7am-9am
Friday, July 11  - Eau Claire YMCA, 7am-9am


The 5 Things Runners Are Scared Of

runners starting a race

Runners at the Starting Line during the 2014 Eau Claire YMCA Strong Kids Family Fun Run and 10Km 

1 Clouds

Mid-run unpredictable weather is the worst. Every runner mentally shouts at the sky, “WHAT SORCERY DO YOU HOLD WITHIN YOUR PUFF!?”

2. Lack of signal to the GPS wrist watch

If you see a man or a woman wildly waving their arm in the air while going for a run, DO NOT PANIC! There is no bear chasing them nor are they inventing a dance move called the jelly elbow. It is a runner simply trying to get a signal back to the GPS wrist watch. Just feel pity for the poor soul, nothing more, nothing less.

3. Clipping your toenails before a race

Nobody knows fear like this. Toe nail too long? Enjoy the self-loathing and sock snagging for 42 k! Toe nail to short? It will feel like a muskrat is gnawing at your foot for the entire duration of your run.

4. Not having consistent access to the weather network at all times of the day.

If you cannot access live updates of the humidex, temperature, and precipitation forecasts on your TV, tablet, cell phone, a family member’s cell phone as a back-up, computer and an emergency dial-up connection…THIS will send every runner into a fit of panic.

5.  The shoe-shopping vortex

Do I pronate or supinate? Which brand do I choose? How do these support my feet? How do these ones look? Are my feet wonky? Etc.. Etc… By the time you walk out of the store, your car is the only one in the parking lot, it’s nighttime and you don’t know what year it is.


2 Step Program to Weight Loss and Increased Fitness

Hello everybody! It has been a while since I have written due to a bit of craziness at University. Long nights and early mornings and wading through endless emails and assignments forced my writing pen away from me! But hark! I have some more time, so I thought I would give you some more fitness advice to further fulfill my ultimate objective: to make you a better you through fitness.

get active

I have found the key to weight loss and increased fitness. I promise if you implement my advice, you will see results. Alright…Are you ready for the magic formula?

Chad Baird’s 2-step guide to weight loss and fitness

1. Eat Healthy

2. Workout

Are you disappointed? Did you think that I was going to offer you some quick fix to have you looking like the Hulk in a matter of days? Unfortunately, it is not that simple nor will that quick fix ever exist.

Oprah Winfrey said, “There is no easy way out. If there was, I would have bought it. The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you are willing to work.”

I absolutely love this quote for a variety of reasons. Oprah has immense wealth, resources and contacts. If there is ANYONE on the planet who could find a quick fix for fitness, it would be her. However, that fast-track fitness diet has yet to surface. The magic beans to grow the health benefit beanstalk are yet to be found.

Hard work and dedication are the keys to success, not some pill or program. Have you ever read the fine print for diet pills and quick-fix workout programs? I have taken the time to scan through these documents and one line of fine print on an advertisement particularly grabbed my attention. The focus group who took the diet pill collective lost 2.4 more pounds than the focus groups that did not. 2.4 pounds! Society is spending billions of dollars annually for 2.4 pounds!  You and I can lose 2.4 pounds in one spin class or by eating great salads for a few days. These programs are not the solution.

Another humorous ad I found was on the front of a magazine in a grocery store I was recently at. I kid you not, the ad proudly proclaimed, “Lose 30 pounds eating nothing but cake!”

You know what won’t help you lose 30 pounds? Cake. You know what will help you lose 30 pounds? Eating healthy and working out.

Health is not a destination, it is a journey. To reach your fitness goals you do not need to consume some pill filled with chemicals you can’t pronounce or go on the latest diet fad that won’t help you in the slightest. Being healthy is about a lifestyle choice. Health is about you consciously deciding that YOU are a priority.

Eat lots of salad and lots of colors on your plate. Sweat multiple times a week. Do something active that you actually like to do.

There is no magic program. There is no fitness fairy dust. The cake-palooza plan is not your best action plan.

Eat healthy. Workout. See results. Period.






Exercise and Wellness for Women with Breast Cancer

happy senior  2 friends

Coming to Saddletowne YMCA September 2014!

This FREE program aims to empower women to regain control of their life through physical activity. Offered in partnership with the U of C Health & Wellness Lab, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and Wings of Hope, participation includes:

  • A personalized fitness assessment
  • An individualized exercise program
  • Group exercise and healthy lifestyle education classes

Eligibility: Currently undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment or within three months of treatment completion
Call (403) 210-8482 to enroll


Stay in shape with new things: speed & agility

Do something outside of your regular workout routine. It will improve your body-mind connection, coordination and you will also get an immediate sense of accomplishment! You burn more fat and calories too. Go for outdoor boot camp, trail run, mountain bike ride or try speed and agility training. New things will help you too boost your fitness and performance this summer!

Check out our new programs at Crowfoot YMCA

Learn to be fast, explosive, agile with fun & dynamic work outs. Improve balance and gain confidence through movements. Accessible exercise program: 6 classes out of 8 weeks so you will have time off for vacation

Speed & agility training for fitness and sports: Monday 7:00-8:00pm

Outdoor boot camps: Monday 5:15-6:15pm Tuesday and Thursday 10:00-11:00am




Free Grade 6 Memberships!

Can you believe it?

All Grade 6 Students in Calgary are now eligible for a free YMCA Membership during their grade 6 year (September-August).

We’ve partnered with the awesome Calgary Flames and Flames Foundation for Life to make grade 6 the best year ever and get Flames Friday’s going.

YMCA Calgary Flames Grade 6

YMCA CEO Helene Weir and Calgary Flames CEO Ken King with some excited Grade 5 students.

Starting in September 2014, students in grade 6 in Calgary can bring proof of their grade to any YMCA Calgary branch and sign up for a free membership.

We’ll have cool activities, opportunities to try unique sports, and chances to hang out with Calgary Flames players.

Parents – we’re doing this because we know how important your kids’ health is and we thought this would be a great way to help grade 6 youth get more active, make some new friends, have a positive place to hang out, and learn some leadership skills too.

For more information, click here.


One Year Later

Flood 2013 YMCA Helps Donations

As the one year anniversary of the 2013 Southern Alberta Flood comes up, we at YMCA Calgary cannot help but remember how it impacted us and our community.

Eau Claire YMCA was evacuated and closed from June 20-June 27. Amazingly, there was no damage to our building.

As a gesture of goodwill and support, Westside Recreation Centre welcomed our Eau Claire members to use their facility free of charge and we welcomed members of the Talisman Centre and the Glencoe Club into our facilities.

Shawnessy YMCA was closed June 22-June 24 and used as a City of Calgary Evacuation Site for 300 long-term care seniors who had been displaced by the floods.

Premier Alison Redford and Minister of Health Fred Horn toured the Shawnessy YMCA and South Fish Creek Recreation Centre Evacuation site and with YMCA CalgaryAlison-Helene CEO Helene Weir and COO Kelly Smith, visited with seniors and nurses and thanked people for their patience and incredible demonstrations of resiliency during such a time of crisis.

Sadly, programming and a number of special events were cancelled, including our Annual Aboriginal Youth Hoops Basketball tournament, the Aboriginal Awareness Week Family Day Event, YMAP Grad, Saddletowne YMCA’s Preschool Party, and even the golf portion of our Annual YMCA Strong Kids Golf Tournament fundraiser.

The disruption to events and programs was unfortunate. The disruption to the lives of so many members of our community was immense and we are so proud to have been witness to the incredible volunteerism, community support, and care demonstrated by so many Calgarians.

Banjo-playerYMCA Helps

We teamed with local agencies to accept relief donations for First Nations communities who were affected by the flooding, and were overwhelmed with the tremendous support from our city.

Thank you

Thank you again, Calgary, for being such amazing neighbours. We are so glad to be a part of a community that demonstrates amazing community engagement.


Space Still Available at Camp Chief Hector Overnight Camps

As of June 24, the following camps still  have room:


10Y Mistaya 13-day Traditional | Jul 20 – Aug 1

12Y Kananaskin 13-day Traditional | Aug 17 – 29

13Y Kananaskin 13-day Horse | Aug 3 – 15 & Aug 17-29

14Y Pioneer 13-day Hike | Jul 6 – 18 & Aug 17 – 29

15Y Pioneer 13-day Hike | Aug 17 – 29

15Y Pioneer 13-day Canoe | Aug 3 – 15

14-15Y Pioneer 13-day Hike/Horse Gray Jay | Aug 17-29

16Y Leadership 1 Canoe | 27-days | Jul 6-Aug 1


10-11Y Mistaya 6-day Overnight Hike | Jul 6 – 11 & Jul 13 – 18 & Jul 20 – 25

12-13Y Jr Shotungwa | Jul 13 – 18

13Y Kananaskin 13-day Canoe | Aug 3 – 15

14Y Pioneer 13-day Hike | Jul 6 – 18 & Jul 20 – Aug 1

15Y Pioneer 13-day Canoe | Aug 3 – 15

15Y Pioneer Gray Jay 13-day Hike | Jul 6 – 18 & Aug 3 – 15

16Y Leadership 1 Canoe | 27-days | Jul 6 – Aug 1

16Y Leadership 1 Gray Jay Hike/Horse | 27-days | Aug 3 – 29


CONTACT US: 403-269-6156 or toll free 1-866-430-9622 As with all YMCA Calgary programs, financial assistance is available to those who qualify.