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Earn High School credits on horseback!

Camp Chief Hector YMCA and Canadian Rockies Public Schools are pleased to announce the second year of EQUINE LEADERSHIP 15; a three-credit course.

This exciting course combines leadership with horsemanship. Students will earn three Alberta High School credits for completing this experiential education program. Equine Leadership 15 is an engaging and dynamic opportunity for students to learn more about themselves, equine practices, the Alberta landscape and ecology, and local history through applied horsemanship and riding, leadership skill development, and team building. 

This four day program provides students with practical learning opportunities in horsemanship and riding skills, horse behaviour and herd dynamics, equine care practices, safety awareness and hazard mitigation, ethics and ecological impact of Leave No Trace, and the historical significance of horses in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

All learning activities and after-learning activity time are supervised by male and female YMCA staff and teachers. 

Learning activities are scheduled between 7:00am and 9:30pm with lights-out at 10:30 pm. Fees include shared, dormitory-style accommodations, instruction and meals. Participant families are responsible for transportation to and from Camp Chief Hector YMCA.

Equine Leadership 15 2017 poster

REGISTRATION FORM
POSTER (feel free to share)

QUESTIONS? 
Email us: cchy@ymcacalgary.org
Call us: 403-269-6156 or 1-866-430-9622


Father and Son: The Santos Family

Football Star.

What does it take to be great? All-Star high school football player Tyler Santos believes he and his father have found the answer to these questions working out together at YMCA Calgary.  They have seen first-hand what makes an athlete great is the drive to get up every morning and better themselves physically and mentally. Tyler was introduced to this concept at a very young age and it is what has enabled him to be so prosperous on the football field.

Tyler started playing football at eight years old and was a skilled athlete right from the beginning. He was always the starter and that is why it was such a jarring switch when, at age 12, Tyler moved divisions and positions, becoming the rookie. He was no longer his coach’s first choice and his natural talent alone was not enough to be the star of his new team. After a full season of little field time and ample bench time, Tyler felt defeated.

Joe Santos realized that this was the tipping point in which his son could quit or push on to excellence. Joe made the suggestion that would change both of their lives for the better: “Tyler, let’s go workout. Let’s go to the Y. I challenge you to challenge yourself.”

Tyler agreed to let his dad become his trainer and started slowly with light weights. Under the careful guidance of his father, Tyler began to build himself into a better athlete. Every day, Tyler got a little bit stronger and a little bit faster. Tyler learned that excellence is not a quickly-reached destination, but slow progression to the goal through consistent activity.

Across the next several years, Tyler and Joe went together to the Shawnessy YMCA most days of the week and put in the work needed to become great. Together, they mapped out the path to achieve Tyler’s fitness goals and that path included consistently working out at the Y.

“I love the weight room and the whole place really influences me to do better,” says Tyler. “The YMCA is a place to get healthier and improve yourself.” Also, working out with his dad strengthened an already strong bond between the two. “It is great to have my dad train me and it was just great to work out together” says Tyler.

Joe believes that it wasn’t the weight floor alone that benefited his son’s life, but the entire family atmosphere of the YMCA.  The family environment allowed Tyler to interact with kids his age to encourage healthy competition and realistic goal setting.

It has now been five years and Tyler and Joe still frequently work out together. Tyler went from the bench to an all-star football player because of his dedication to healthy living and physical fitness. Joe got to hang out with his son more and stay in excellent shape. YMCA Calgary was their win-win. Now, Tyler is looking ahead and his future goals include playing competitive college football in the United States. Tyler and Joe plans to keep training together at YMCA Calgary and become a better athlete, one workout at a time.


Recovering from Adversity: The Gwynne Family

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When Marcy Gwynne was five months pregnant, her husband Paul was diagnosed with cancer. During the next six years they fought through chemotherapy, radiation, and surgeries. On October 16, 2014, Paul passed away. The first person Marcy called after relatives was Jenni Thompson from YMCA Calgary. Marcy wanted her boys to stay involved with the Y.

Marcy, Paul, and their six-year-old twin boys Max and Alex started coming to the YMCA when the boys were two. Paul told Marcy, “I want to be here. This is a place for families.”

During Paul’s illness, YMCA staff volunteered to take care of the boys before and after their programs so their mom and dad could get to the hospital on time for treatments. After Paul passed away, YMCA staff volunteered to watch the boys again, this time to give Marcy a break and some alone time to grieve.  

Originally from Ontario, many of Marcy’s friends and family expected her to move “home” after Paul’s death. But through it all, she says, she’s never felt alone.

“We call this the YMCA family,” Marcy says. “I have so much support and community at the Y. There are people here who are helping me and my boys.”

Paul would wait in the YMCA lobby while his boys were in swimming lessons and sport classes. Marcy remembers how staff would check on him and how other members, parents and kids, became their friends. When there was concern that Paul’s treatments wouldn’t be covered by health insurance, other YMCA families offered to fundraise for them.

“We were chosen as a family in the Adopt-a-Family program twice,” Marcy says. And even though they are low-income because of Paul’s inability to work, they’ve never felt discriminated against.

“The people here have been so good to us.
If someday I can pay it forward to the Y, I will.
Right now, my way of paying it forward is to keep coming because the programs and opportunities are so wonderful for the boys.”

Max and Alex celebrated their sixth birthday at the YMCA in April 2015. The loss of their dad has been difficult beyond words. But their mom sees how being at the Y has helped them during their dad’s battle and through their time to grieve. They have been making friends and building skills, not just in basketball and swimming, but also through increased social skills, dedication, and confidence.

For Marcy, having her sons continue to participate in YMCA programs is an important part of her husband’s legacy. After attending family camp at Camp Chief Hector YMCA in 2014, Paul confided in his wife his dream that his sons would one day be camp counsellors there. She remembers him saying “We can afford to give them everything because of the YMCA.”


Thank you YMCA Calgary Strong Kids donors!

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Thank you YMCA Calgary Strong Kids donors!

Together in 2016, we raised $1,442,700 to support the positive growth and development of children and youth through YMCA programs and membership. We are pleased to share that Strong Kids helped provide over 23,000 YMCA experiences.

As our city continued to be hit hard by the economic downturn, it was more important than ever to be able to support children, youth and families. The need for financial assistance to register for YMCA programs and membership increased by 19% from 2015. Because of our donors we were able to meet this increased need. Your support provided children and youth with opportunities to develop physical literacy, engage in positive relationships, build community and support their individual overall wellness in this crucial time.

Philanthropic support is vital to support children, youth and families who come to the YMCA for opportunities to lead healthier, happier lives. 100% of every donation goes towards giving kids the chance to reach their potential. Thank you for continuing to make such an important impact in the community. We greatly appreciate your partnership as we all work toward building healthy communities.

 


Camp Chief Hector YMCA Information Night (Parents & Campers)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
7 – 8:30 PM.
Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA
101 3 Street SW, Calgary

Join us on March 15 at the Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA for our annual Information Night. Find out about camp activities, meals, bedtimes, homesickness and more. Meet some camp leaders, and have your questions answered by the Camp Director.

Event includes
– Slide Show
– Games for younger children (counsellor led)

We encourage new campers and their families to attend if they are in the Calgary area. Everyone is welcome! RSVP not required.


OPEN HOUSE – Camp Chief Hector YMCA – May 28 | 2-4pm

This is a great opportunity to see our site with your campers, family or friends. The Camp Director and senior staff team will be available to answer questions.

Site tours leave regularly from Bowfort Lodge. Have a look inside a tipi. See our high ropes course, climbing tower, horse corrals and more. Try canoeing, arts & crafts, archery and pony petting.

RSVP not required. Directions to Camp Chief Hector YMCA.

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Higher ground 5   Great Hector Challenge

 

 


SALE NIGHT (10% discount) at Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)

Do you have all the gear on the packing list for your camper’s session this summer? Need anything else? Backpacks, sleeping bags, rain gear, hiking boots, sleeping pads, ground sheets, headlamps, water bottles?

We are pleased to announce a Camp Chief Hector YMCA & MEC SALE NIGHT.

Wednesday May 24, 2017
Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) | 830 10 Avenue SW, Calgary
6:30-7:30pm | Four 15-minute presentations on sleeping bags, backpacks, footwear and rain gear
7:00-9:00pm | Shopping time

Discount:
10% off everything in store except already discounted items and Blundstone shoes.

Identification:
The MEC Sale Night applies to CURRENTLY REGISTERED CAMPERS and their immediate family ONLY. A Camp Chief Hector YMCA staff member will be at the door to greet you, identify you on the registration list and issue you a MEC Sale Night WRISTBAND.

Presentations:
6:30pm | Sleeping Bags
6:45pm | Backpacks
7:00pm | Footwear
7:15pm | Rain Gear

NOTE: This event takes place at the Calgary (Downtown) MEC Store | 830 10 Avenue SW

NOTE: The 10% discount is available at the tills beginning at 7pm. You will be required to show your wristband at the till.

NOTE: Packing lists, available at the Camp Chief Hector YMCA website have a specific list of recommended clothing and equipment for each age and each program. Please bring the appropriate list with you.

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Special programming for Family Day!

Family Day

Family bonds are of utmost importance and that is why on February 20th, we encourage you to put away your cell phones and focus on the family. YMCA Calgary has free access for everyone the entire day and this is a great opportunity for families to connect. We also have special programming for the whole family! Here are the special programs we are offering on #NoPhoneFamilyDay:

 

Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot

Family Drop-In Basketball, 12-3pm

Open Swim 7am-8pm

 

Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA

Preschool Drop In – 10-11:30am

The Wibit, 1-3pm

The Wibit is an aquatic obstacle course, learn more here

 

Shawnessy YMCA

Family Yoga, 11:30am-12:30pm  *sign up required

Family Climbing, 10am-2pm

Family Zumba, 1-1:45pm

 

South Health Campus YMCA 

Family Climb, 11:30am-2pm

 

Saddletowne YMCA 

Family Fitness Circuit, 10-11am and 3-4pm 

 

Remington YMCA

Family Playground, 10:30am – 12:30pm

The Wibit, 12-3pm

The Wibit is an aquatic obstacle course, learn more here

 

Check out the facility schedule to see what else is happening on Family Day at a YMCA location near you!


Get Lean. Get Strong at Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot

Group Power begins this coming February. Join us for a full hour of high-rep weight class that will push your muscles to the limit. A quick and easy way to achieve full body strength and boost your metabolism. Group Power will be a drop in class, included with your YMCA membership. Stay tuned to our drop-in fitness schedule for times

grouppower


Starting A New Program

Whether you are new to the gym or a seasoned gym-goer, beginning any new exercise program should start the same way – safely.  There are a few different things you can do to ensure that you are working out in a safe manner.

1. Don’t copy what you see someone else doing.  You don’t know why they’re doing it, You don’t know if they’re doing it correctly, or if they have modified it for any reason.  Just because someone who looks “fit’ is doing it doesn’t mean it’s right for you and your body.  Proper execution of an exercise trains the targeted muscle(s).  Improper execution can create imbalances and lead to injury.

2. Ask us!  Staff in gyms are extroverts, we want to talk to people.  We thrive on sharing our energy and enthusiasm for wellness.  We’re looking for you and want to answer your questions; we want to see you succeed.

3. Work on the basics – posture, body alignment, core engagement.  If you want to do an exercise correctly, these are part of the package that reduces the risk of injury.

4. Get the Sets and Reps right.  The number of repetitions within a set, and the number of sets completed makes a huge difference from one program to another.  Learn what the difference is between low reps heavy weight, and high reps lower weight – dialing in the correct combo will guide you towards your ultimate goal.

5. Stretch!  Most of us are in a rush and want to get as much packed into our workout time, then off we go to the next part of our busy days.  Take the time to cool down and stretch, it increases range of motion, reduces soreness in the day(s) to come, and reduces risk for injury.

-D

 


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