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New Volunteer Positions Now Open!

 

ginette (1) VIBRANT

Volunteers are the heart of our organization.

Families, individuals and corporations can all give of their time, talents and treasure to help us build strong communities. Our volunteer opportunities are open to individuals 14 years of age and over. YMCA volunteers are given a fun and healthy environment and enjoy these benefits: contribute to the community, thrive as part of a global organization, enhance your leadership skills, gain employment skills and a city-wide YMCA membership. YMCA Calgary is currently recruiting volunteers for several positions:

Mathematics Tutor

YMCA Calgary is seeking energetic volunteer mathematics tutors interested in helping high school youth in a group tutoring setting. The Tutoring Table initiative is one aspect of the All In for Youth initiative through the United Way of Calgary and Area designed to help support youth who are at risk of dropping out of high school. Tutoring has been proven to show positive results in terms of helping youth improve their academic achievement and school attendance, and providing a connection to a positive adult; however many youth cannot afford to access quality tutoring programs, or need assistance connecting with free/subsidized tutoring assistance.

Fitness Instructors

Remington and Saddletowne are looking for fitness leaders to engage and motivate class participants to reach their goals and potential.  YMCA fitness leaders get to share their love and passion for health and wellness with members of the community and contribute to the YMCA’s ability to build healthy, vibrant communities.

Click here to learn how to become a YMCA fitness leader.

Youth Program Instructors

Are you passionate about sports? Do you have experience working with youth? Remington and Saddletowne are both searching for enthusiastic volunteers for a sports and leadership based programs. Sports programs help youth learn teamwork, fair play, and fitness. Volunteers will teach a quality program that will develop a youth’s skills, knowledge and confidence in their chosen sport. Our leadership development programs offers a space for youth to engage in their community and learn new skills. Instructors follow a curriculum and utilize  their own experience and creativity to teach leadership and help youth grow into themselves, and into valuable community members.

Interested?

Full position descriptions are available on our website, if you have any questions please get in touch, email volunteer@ymcacalgary.org


Let the Rhythm Move You!

Inspiration comes in many forms, for me music is a huge motivator.  I’ve always been a musically inclined person, even if I didn’t know it.  I started in elementary school playing the recorder, graduated to the clarinet for junior and senior high school, and I still play the clarinet today, mind you not nearly as well anymore.  I have always been able to feel and move to the beat of the song but don’t be mistaken, I dance like Elaine from “Seinfeld”.  There I go dating myself again.

Music is an expression of feeling or mood, even an expression of identity for some.  I have several playlists that I listen to when working out, and they’re all based what my program of the day consists of as well as the mood I am in walking into my workout.  I edit my playlists about once a month to update my motivation and keep from overplaying these delightful gems.

When I want to hit the cardio hard, I focus on pop music, whether it’s current top 40 or from another generation all together, if it makes me smile and want to dance, it makes the cut.  This week’s current cardio-killer favorites include Justin Timberlake’s “Cant Stop The Feeling”, Will.I.Am and Britney Spears “Scream & Shout”, Nicki Manaj “Super Bass”, and Men Without Hats “Safety Dance”. Love them or hate them my friends, but they make me smile and move a little bit faster.

Weight lifting/resistance training is a completely different beast for me.  My focus and mindset changes, as I suddenly have to pay close attention to my posture and form as well as breathing and core engagement.  With so many more factors to be considered, I need something rock to focus..  My favorite lifting anthems right now include Rise Against “Prayer Of The Refugee”, Metallica “Better Than You”, and Social Distortion “Story Of My Life”.

Cool down and stretching are important components of fitness that are forgotten or skipped quite frequently.  I have made my self an amazing chill playlist to enjoy at the end of my workout to inspire me to stay those five minutes longer and work on my balance, range of motion, and relaxation.  Current favorites include The Gaslight Anthem’s “Bring It On”, Pearl Jam’s “Release”, and Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You”.

I’m pretty passionate about both wellness and music, so I’m elated that the two can go hand in hand for me.  I feel like my musical tastes are a part of me and I’m happy to share a snippet of myself in the form of musical identity with you.  Take the time to build a stellar playlist.  Keep a list in your “notes” app on your phone of songs you hear and decide you love so you can download and add it later.  Something that makes you want to dance, sing and have a great time.  It’ll brighten up your day, kick up the intensity in your workout, and leave you feeling refreshed and in a better mood walking out of the gym.

Shake it Off!


IMPORTANT CAMP RIVEREDGE UPDATE

Due to inclement weather, all Camp Riveredge participants who bus to Camp Riveredge are now enroute to their YMCA home location (these branches include Shawnessy, Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA, and Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot).

Camp participants who are picked up at Camp Riveredge by parents, will now be bused to the Gray Family YMCA located at 101 – 3 Street SW. Your child can be picked up at this location.

Camp activities will resume at the indoor YMCA facilities, but you are welcome to pick up your child between 2 and 4 pm.

CAMP RIVEREDGE UPDATE – ABORIGINAL PARTICIPANTS
Due to inclement weather, all Aboriginal Camp Riveredge participants are enroute by bus to their YMCA home branch.

Camp activities will resume at the indoor YMCA facilities, but you are welcome to pick up your child between 2 and 4 pm.


Fitness Fundamentals

Fitness isn’t necessarily what it used to be.  Fitness is a word that brings specific images to mind and for a lot of us, that’s a very specific image of the roots of the word fitness: leg warmers, spandex, and more spandex.  Changing the idea of what fitness is has come over time but it looks like we’re going in a good direction, changing that image to one of overall Wellness. That wellness comes from five different aspects:

Cardiovascular Endurance – Conditioning of the cardiovascular system in the body.  The ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues, and take waste materials away for a sustained period of time Example – biking, running, swimming

Muscular Strength – The maximum force that a muscle can deliver force in in one repetition

Muscular Endurance –  The ability of a muscle to deliver force over a sustained period of time

Flexibility – The movement of a muscle around a joint in a full Range of Motion (ROM).  Important to note: flexibility is different from stretching, stretching actually increases flexibility

Body Composition – The body’s make up of lean muscle, bone, fat mass, and tissues/organs.  The ratio of these masses in the body is considered your body composition

So remember that fitness is more than spandex and leg-warmers.  It’s about our overall wellness, including our cardiovascular and muscular systems, lifestyle, sleep and eating patterns.

Let’s be well.

 


YMCA Child Development Centres in Quarry Park – Kindergarten Transportation

The Remington YMCA Child Development Centre opens July 1 and we anticipate that the Quarry Park Child Development Centre will open mid August 2016.

It has been great fun preparing the spaces to welcome children and we have greatly enjoyed getting to meet families during tours and orientation meetings.

We are excited to announce that bus transportation will be available to Douglasdale School for kindergarten-aged children attending both the Remington YMCA Child Development Centre and the Quarry Park Child Development Centre beginning Fall 2016.

Please contact us for more details:

Remington YMCA – Trisha Skinner, Childcare Director    T 403-351-8287

Quarry Park Child Development Centre – Trudy Halvorsen, Childcare Manager    T 403-351-6688

For more information about YMCA Calgary Child Development Centre please visit our website

 


The top 8 things you need to know about Remington YMCA

 

YMCA Remington Donor event NZ-32

1. Remington YMCA opens July 1st ! We are excited to provide Southeast communities in Calgary a place to connect with others and stay active for life. YMCA Calgary is proud to partner with the City of Calgary to open the new Remington YMCA. This City-built centre of community is operated by YMCA Calgary in a shared commitment to give all Calgarians access to health and recreation opportunities. Thank you also to Remington Development Corporation for investing in the health of Calgary communities.

2.  Remington YMCA is the first of three major City of Calgary health and wellness development projects operated by YMCA Calgary. YMCA-operated, City of Calgary health and wellness facilities will be completed in Rocky Ridge (NW) in the 3rd Quarter of 2017, and Seton’s (SE) YMCA will be completed at the end of 2018.

3. Become a Remington YMCA member before June 30th and we will waive the $75 joining fee! Memberships are for sale now. To purchase a membership or for more details, visit us at the Remington YMCA in Quarry Park to register (108 Quarry Park Road) or call us at 403.351.6678.

4. The Ecco Child Development Centre (inside Remington YMCA) is open on July 1st and currently open for registration.  Quarry Park Child Development Centre (just across the street) opens mid-August and there are still childcare spots available, but we are almost full. Give us a call at 403.351.6678 or visit us at the Remington YMCA in Quarry Park.

5. Registration for swimming lessons and day camps are now open. Spaces are limited and filling quickly. Give us a call at 403.351.6678 or visit us at Remington YMCA

6. Looking for volunteer or employment opportunities?  Learn more about how you could contribute to the healthy future of Calgarians with the YMCA at https://www.ymcacalgary.org/careers-volunteers/

7.  Tours of the facility are available daily.

8. The new Remington YMCA is filled with state-of-the-art equipment and fitness technology to keep you active and healthy. Fitness, aquatic and drop-in programs are also available.

 


Circle of Supports wraps up an amazing few years

Circle of Supports vert 2015

A letter from Adrian Goulet: Project Manager, Circle of Supports

The Circle of Supports program will officially end at the end of this spring semester, the partners involved( COS Collaborative YMCA, BGCC, USAY) have begun the final chapter in this unique program supporting Aboriginal youth to become more successful in their academic careers.

With the work of a front line service team, Noreen Demeria, Tyler Robinson, and Kim Kakakaway, that worked closely with youth and families over a four-year period. They begun the work with young teenagers that have now progressed into senior students in their respected high schools. They worked with a cohort of 36 Aboriginal youth from selected schools of the CBE and CSSD, using a Holistic Model of Spirituality, Mental, Emotional, and Physical, we based all our programming around this Medicine wheel model, to help them progress in all these aspects of their lives.

The project goal was to have Aboriginal youth complete High School within this 4 year period, but due to project contraints we shifted the over all goal to gain success in helping our youth become more healthy in the 4 quadrants that were mentioned above, S,M,E,P. So even though most would not complete high school this year, that they would continue on to pursue success for their future.

I believe all of our youth were impacted by the COS team, through activities such as, pow-wows, skiing, culture camp, biking, hiking, sweat lodge ceremonies, smudging ceremonies, Elder Randy Bottle, Dream Catcher Conference, youth conferences, YMCA recreational pass, BGCC youth groups, USAY youth programming, tutoring, one-on-one staff support, kids up front tickets various things, weekly school lunches, and weekly COS Tuesday night program. We had a cohort of 36, but suffered attrition over the course of the four years about 30 youth were exited during this time, we officially will end with 32 COS registered youth. Eight will graduate this year and the rest next year, as we started with grade 8-9 due to not enough grade 9’s in the respected schools we were given.

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I would thank to first thank my front line staff who worked very hard of the course of this special project:

Noreen Demeria, Tyler Robinson, Kim Kakakaway, They brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the COS youth and families. Many of our youth and families have become very close to the staff, it has been a hard transition for everybody involved. But we are confident with all the hard work of the team that the youth have gained new knowledge that will help them continue and be successful.

Randy Bottle was our main Elder that gave us lots of support and guidance to help the staff, youth and families, through stories, day camps, ceremonies, and blessings. The youth really appreciated having an elder such as Randy close to them and give them spiritual guidance and support, he was a pillar of support, we are all glad he was on this journey with us.

Collaborative consisted of different people of the course of this project

YMCA – Tanis Cochrane, Christy Repchuck, Jason Lidberg, Angela Brown

BGCC – Dawn Leonard, Tim Fox, Christy Morgan

USAY – Leanne Ireland,

Funder – United Way – Daisy McGee Funding officer

I thought our end of the project Banquet was most memorable in that it showed all the partners, families, staff, youth and United Way, how impactful the project was on the youth. Their was a lot of emotion that was showed through the evening, by staff and youth. The evaluation team was their to witness how much the youth have grown and appreciated all the work that the COS project did for them. There was not to many dry eyes in the audience as staff and youth gave their end of the project speeches, it was a great night that will forever be remembered by this writer.

Respectfully,

Adrian Goulet

 


Writing on Stone

Writing on Stone - Y7G

On May 12th, 2016, as we were about to bring our program to a close for the year, we went to Writing on Stone Provincial Park with our Y7G youth. We wanted to take our Aboriginal youth out of their hectic urban environments, and bring them out onto the land of the Kainai Nation.

The bus ride on the way to Writing on Stone was filled with chatter and laughter, as lasting friendships had grown between the youth that had been involved in Y7G throughout the year. As we left the noisy city behind us, I knew that we would be experiencing something profoundly special. The land far to the south of Calgary was still, quiet, and hauntingly beautiful. I watched out the window as the prairie landscape unfolded before us. As we arrived at our destination, the landscape changed drastically. The river at Writing on Stone Provincial park was surrounded by hoodoo rock formations (which legend tells were once people, petrified into the landscape), sacred hills where many had gone on vision quests, and massive rock faces filled with ancestral art. Words truly cannot do justice to the beauty of this land, and as the youth filed off the bus, and gazed over it all, they could immediately see why we had driven so far to take them there. You could feel the land speak to you here, and it would tell you stories of the hundreds of ceremonies that had taken place in this sacred place.

On this trip, we were able to have an elder, Randy Bottle, come out with us and share his knowledge. The youth had already built a connection with this elder, since we had him come out to class many times to work with the youth and help them to grow as young Aboriginal leaders in the community. Randy had been to this territory numerous times and had what seemed like an infinite amount of stories to share with the youth.

Our tour guide, Camina, began by taking us to a path that wound alongside the rock faces that held the famous ancestral art of the Blackfoot people. It was incredible to behold an ancient form of communication that was still withstanding the test of time, over a thousand years later – it was as if our ancestors were sharing their stories with us right before our very eyes. Each picture told a different story, and could be interpreted many different ways by the many eyes that looked upon them. Camina pointed out a strange looking animal and asked the youth what they saw – immediately answers were being shouted out: “pig”, “deer”, “badger”, “beaver”, “buffalo”. Each student, with their unique experiences, had a unique perspective on what the ancestors were trying to communicate. All in all, these pictures all told a story of perseverance – although the rock that they were drawn upon was soft and crumbly, despite the markings of bullet holes from Mounted Police practicing their target shots when they were stationed here, and despite the modern graffiti covering the rock faces, the drawings remained for us to see. I saw this as a metaphor for the resilience of the Aboriginal people and their culture – and I saw this resilience in each and every one of my youth throughout the year as they connected with culture and learned to keep it alive in themselves so that future generations could walk down the same path.

After walking the length of just some of the rock art that was present on this land, we gathered indoors and sat in circle around our elder to hear the teachings that he wanted to offer our youth. We then went around the circle and each student spoke of their experience that day – almost all of them said that they wanted to come back to this land, spend a night or two camped out and receiving the full experience that this sacred land has to offer them. I was happy to see how quickly they connected to this place.

I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to offer this experience to our YMCA 7th Generation youth, and seeing the impact it had on them was well worth it. I hope to be able to share this same experience with future Y7G youth who are looking to connect to land, culture and history in a profound and meaningful way.


Why YMCA summer camps can keep your kids active for life

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Officially starting July 4th, this year’s YMCA summer camps are going to provide growth and development through active movement and play with a focus on physical literacy. Physical literacy specialist Seann Mahon has recently joined the Y for one purpose: to help your child build important physical literacy skills.

Seann has a Physical Education and Recreation degree from the University of Alberta and is now working on a second degree  with specialization in elementary physical education. He has international experience, working with physical literacy programs (in Cambodia) with the organization Play Around the World. He was also a YMCA Child and Youth Director in Edmonton and Calgary. Our specialist, Seann, ensures our camps are developed and delivered to guarantee campers are building optimum foundational skills while at camp.

Seann

“There will be more exposure on the different ways to move,” says Seann.  “The more exposure a child has to physical literacy, the more likely that child is to succeed and participate in physical activities as a teenager and adult. It sets children up for success. When your child wants to skate or bike or climb in the future, they will be more successful if they have the building blocks of physical literacy. These programs try to combat a growing sedentary culture and YMCA camps provide a creative and fun way for kids to learn and move. ”

Physical literacy and learning fundamental body movements through play will be an even bigger focus of YMCA camps. Seann will provide training sessions to camp counselors through the summer so they can incorporate intentional movement into camps. This will give your child the skills to participate in activities as a youth and adult.

The camp curriculum will encourage more active play through games and activities in an effort to maximize participation and prepare kids physically and mentally for the future.

Sign up for camp! Spots are filling fast.


YMCA Stampede Breakfasts: Which One are You Going To?

 

pancakes

 

Join us at a location near your or do the YMCA stampede breakfast circuit! Free pancakes and a great opportunity to connect with those in your community. See you in July!

 

Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA

Wednesday, July 13: 7am-9am

 

Saddletowne YMCA: Genesis Centre

Friday, July 15: 9am-11am

 

Shawnessy YMCA

Tuesday, July 12:  7am-10am

 

Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot

Friday, July 15: 7:30am-9am


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