Hopping Bunnies Raise Money for Strong Kids

Excitement was in the air as approximately 130 children from our licensed childcare centres gathered on Monday, March 3rd to help launch YMCA Calgary’s annual Strong Kids Campaign.

Eau Claire Childcare performing “The Bunny Song”

Cheered on by enthusiastic childcare staff and proud parents, the children sang, danced and hopped to show their support for Strong Kids. Fun was had and a total of $4404.00 was raised to support children and youth to reach their potential. Congratulations to everyone involved – and a special thank you to staff and parents for their support of our young hopping bunnies.

Click the link to learn more about YMCA Strong Kids and how every dollar donated is used to help children and youth reach their potential.



Shawnessy Spin for Strong Kids – Success!

Thank you everyone who participated, volunteered and supported the Spin for Strong Kids on Monday.

It was a very successful day with Spin raising $11,275 allowing 188 children and youth to reach their potential at the Y.

Also on Monday, Childcare held their Hop for Strong Kids raising $1775 allowing 30 children and youth to reach their potential.

The day consisted of members, staff, volunteers, LINC students, YMCA Calgary Board members, Helene (CEO) and Youth Leadership participants riding in support while ensuring we had a least one bike going the whole day.

Thank you to Save-on-Foods (Walden) who provide us with healthy snacks (apples, bananas & water) for participants.  Check out our Shawnessy YMCA Facebook page for more photos!

Free Family Weekends for Flood-affected Families


Was your family affected by the 2013 Southern Alberta Floods?

We’re welcoming all families affected by the floods to spend a weekend at Camp Chief Hector YMCA.

Reunite with nature and enjoy a weekend outdoors with the whole family. Try fun activities like the climbing wall, high and low ropes courses, arts and crafts, cookouts and campfires.

These weekends are a gift and are provided at no cost to flood-affected families. Funding is generously provided by the Government of Alberta.

Please keep in mind you are welcome to come to any weekend that works best for your family and not just the weekend your community is listed under. These weekends are designated to encourage building strong relationships within your community.

Dates Available:

March 14-16                   Bow Valley First Responders

March 21-23                   Siksika Families

March 28-30                  Calgary Families

April 18-20                     High River & Bragg Creek Families

May 2-4                          Bow Valley Families

October 24-26                community TBD

October 31-Nov 2            community TBD

November 7-9                 community TBD

November 14-16              community TBD

November 21-23              community TBD

November 28-30             community TBD

December 5-7                 community TBD

Weekends run from 7pm Friday to 2pm Sunday. Bus transportation to camp is available.

Call Camp Chief Hector YMCA today to register your family: 403-269-6156 or 1-866-430-9622.

Please send this blog to everyone and help us spread the word!

More information on the weekend schedule and activities, directions and what to pack can be found here.

Thank you to the Government of Alberta for providing funding to make these weekends possible.


New Teen Night Program

Express yourself!

Discover the creative genius in you. Through this taster of the arts you will experiment with different mediums and techniques found throughout the visual and performing arts.

Each class will begin with a theme based on current artists, films and pop culture. Once inspired we will learn the techniques necessary to  express the theme through performance, individual or collaborative pieces of art.

As we build confidence and discover individual strengths, we will discuss how to apply our skills in the future and throughout all aspects of life. Come on down on Fridays to the Eau Claire YMCA from 5:00 – 6:00pm and enjoy this drop in class along with full facility access for $4 for youth 12 – 18.


LINC Spins for Strong Kids

On March 3rd, YMCA Calgary kicked off the 2014 Strong Kids campaign with the Spin for Strong Kids fundraiser. Stationary bikes were spinning like crazy in all of the branches, and both the North and South LINC students were part of the fun!

After learning about the Strong Kids Campaign in their classes, the LINC participants worked hard to raise money for the Spin-a-Thon.  Since joining the LINC program and the YMCA, many students seek out ways to give back to their community. The Spin for Strong Kids Event was the perfect opportunity to give back, get some exercise, and have fun with all of the staff, volunteers, members, and participants!

The money raised for the Strong Kids Campaign will help the children and youth in our community have positive experiences, build positive relationships, and develop leadership skills.  By helping to send a child to camp, learn to swim, or play basketball, the money raised will directly impact the future of our community in a positive way.  Way to go, LINC!

Thanks to everyone for riding  yesterday. Not only did LINC do a fantastic job raising money for Strong Kids, you also raised awareness with your encouragements and cheering during the event. Way to go!

Spring Break Overnight Camp

Looking for something for the kids to do over Spring Break? Send them to Camp Chief Hector, where they’ll have a week full of fun!

This overnight camp, which runs during CBE’s and CRPS’ March break, runs Monday through Friday. Activities include: arts & crafts, music, drama, drumming, high and low ropes courses, climbing, challenge courses, hiking and exploring, winter cookouts, and more!

Spring Break Overnight Camp

Monday, March 24 – Friday, March 28 2014
8-12 yrs
$325 + GST

Bussing will be available from Crowfoot YMCA and Shawnessy YMCA.

Registration is now open! Please call 403-269-6156 or toll free 1-866-430-9622.

8 Ways to Sneak a Little Exercise Into Your Day

Woman stretching Woman standing in office

If you work an office job, you probably spend a lot of time sitting. Here are 8 ways to get moving just a little bit more while at the office.


1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator/park at the back of the lot

We’ve all heard this one. And yet… we still take the escalator or the elevator, we still drive around the lot for 10 minutes until a closer parking spot opens up. Those extra few steps won’t take any extra time (they might even be faster!), you’ll get the blood flowing and you’ll probably feel better for it.

2. Have a glass of water at your desk – drink it and refill it

Drinking water is good for you. Moving during the day instead of just sitting at your desk for 8 hours is good for you. So, have a glass of water on your desk, sip it throughout the day, and when it becomes empty (which it will), get up, walk over to the break room and refill it.

Many people have water bottles at their desk, that’s good. But a water bottle holds a lot more than a standard glass. So use the glass and you’ll get a few more steps on that pedometer of yours.

3. Sit up straight

We all remember being told not to slouch by our parents or teachers. It’s time to take that advice and bring it back into our day. Sit up straight, with good posture – back straight, shoulders down and back, core muscles engaged. Your back, shoulders, and neck will feel better throughout the day, your brain will be more responsive, and you’ll be working on that six pack just by sitting.

We often forget the impact that just engaging our core abdominal muscles can have. We often forget those muscles are even there. So practice finding them and engaging them (gently pull your belly button in to meet your spine). When sitting, standing, walking – you’ll improve your posture and your balance. You’ll look and feel better.

3. Go talk to your coworkers instead of phoning or emailing them

Email and phone are convenient, easy, and don’t require you to get up and search for someone. But when someone sits 10 feet from your desk, walk over and ask your question. Conversations flow, questions are answered and decisions made a lot faster when you are talking face to face with someone. And if they’re not at their desk the first time you go look, you’ll get the added benefit of getting to walk over to their desk a second time later in the day.

4. Stand while you talk

If you do need to make a phone call, stand with your feet shoulder width apart while you speak. You’ll wake up your muscles and your brain. You’ll think and speak a little more clearly, and get a bit of exercise too.

5. Set an alarm to stand up

Sitting all day is being compared to smoking as one of the worst things we can do for our health. Set a timer on your computer or cell phone for an hour and when it goes off, whatever you’re doing, stand up. You can go for a walk, you can simply stand and slowly move and stretch your muscles a bit.

Your body will feel better. Your muscles will be less tight and sore. And you’ll be more productive when you sit back down.

6. Balance while you wait

Do you find yourself waiting beside the printer for your reports to print? Or waiting in front of the kettle or coffee maker for your brew to be the perfect temperature? Take turns standing on one leg and balancing for a count of 10. You’ll engage your core muscles and the time will pass a little bit faster.

7. Try a walking meeting

Planning on meeting with someone to discuss a new endeavour?  Walking meetings are becoming very popular. Instead of sitting in a board room or coffee shop – meet a colleague or two on the park trails and have your conversation while walking side by side.

8. Get a standing desk

If you can, incorporate a standing desk into your office space instead of a seated one. Sure, it’s good to still have a chair nearby so you can sit when you need to. But typing, and most ways we use a desktop computer, don’t require us to be seated. A standing desk will force you to utilize a lot more muscles. Just make sure you have proper footwear so your feet don’t get sore.

Man laughing by stairs

Youth Summer Day Camp Hiring Event at the Saddletowne YMCA

Are you looking for a really rewarding summer job? Do you enjoy working with children? Are you available eight weeks out of the summer?

If you have answered Yes to all these questions we would like to meet you!

April 4, 2014 from 6-8 pm and April 5, 2014 from  2-4 pm  the Saddletowne YMCA will be hosting a Summer Day Camp hiring event. During this event you will have the opportunity to meet with the Youth Director and talk about the opportunity of summer employment, and participate in a sample of summer day camp activities.

If you would like more information about this event or to confirm a spot, please contact Nikol @ 403-537-2710.


Volunteers needed at the Saddletowne YMCA

Are you looking for a great way to impact and engage in the lives of really awesome youth?

The Saddletowne YMCA youth department is looking for volunteers.

If you can kick around a soccer ball, shoot a jump shot , bump a volleyball  or paint a sunrise on a canvas ,you are definitely the kind of person we are looking for!

WE are currently recruiting  volunteers for our spring and summer youth programs.

IF you have as little as two hours a week and are over the age of 14 years old please contact 403-537-2719 for more information and to schedule an appointment.

Some of the current programs we are looking for volunteers are:

Basketball-Volley ball-Floorball-Art-Soccer-Multi -sports-Climbing- Special Events



Spring Break Day Camps at the Saddletowne YMCA

March 24-28 2014 the Saddletowne YMCA will be offering Spring Break camps for children between the ages of 4 and 13 years old. Spring break camps are day long camps that start as early as 8:30 am and end each day at 4:30 pm. We also offer early drop off and later pick up for a small additional fee.

Each day the campers will swim, play active gym activities, climb on the climbing wall,  read in the library and create brilliant take home camp art.

That is a lot of fun jammed into one day!

If you are looking for something  super cool for your children, this is definitely the place.

Registration has already started and spaces are limited?

Register soon to secure your child a spot.

If you would like more information please contact 403-237-2393.