Category: Blog – Featured

YMCA Calgary – Celebrating Neighbour Day on June 18!

YMCA Calgary is excited to be joining the vibrant community of Quarry Park in SE Calgary. With two new facilities opening this summer we are busy preparing to welcome new members and participants at both the Remington YMCA and the Quarry Park Child Development Centre.

We can’t wait to meet you and Calgary Neighbour Day gives us a perfect opportunity to say hi to our new neighbours.

When    Saturday, June 18, 2016

Time     10:00am – 1:00pm

Where   Quarry Park Child Development Centre (10702- 18 Street SE)

Please drop by for some family fun. Activities include:

Guided tours of the facility

Play activities for the whole family

Activity sessions to get you moving and shaking

See you on June 18th!

Quarry Park Child Development Centre - Entrance

Quarry Park Child Development Centre – Entrance

 

 

 

 

 


Strong Kids Campaign Success Story

Strong Kids Campaign Success Story
thank you big letters

YMCA Calgary is happy to announce that the 2015 YMCA Strong Kids Campaign raised $1.6 Million and enabled over 20,000 children to participate in YMCA activities! This goal would have never been met without the immense generosity and support of thousands of donors. Despite economic downturn across the city, our donors reached into their pockets and their hearts to support a great cause that supports so many children. Each and every one of our donors is directly pouring into the lives of Calgarian children and for that, we say, “Thank you!” Every single child who learned to swim, painted a picture, made a friend, wrote a poem, sunk their first basket or won their first race, they also say, “Thank you!” with a beaming smile across their face.

Each branch contributed greatly to reaching the financial goal of $1.6 Million and their contribution cannot go unnoticed! This program could never move forward without the continued support from all YMCA branches across the city.

Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA – $380,000

Saddletowne YMCA – $31,674

Crowfoot YMCA – $59,423

Shawnessy YMCA – $77,811

South Health Campus YMCA – $18,256

YMCA Strong Kids is an annual fundraising campaign to raise resources to support proven YMCA programs that give kids the opportunities they need to reach their full potential. Our goal is to help kids live healthier, happier lives today, and grow into productive adults in the future.

To learn more about Strong Kids Campaign or to donate please visit

https://www.ymcacalgary.org/success-stories/donate/strong-kids/


Adopt a Family 2015

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Help us Bring Holiday Cheer to a Family This Year

Every year approaching Christmas, YMCA Calgary helps many families from our YMCA programs by coming together to purchase gifts for families in need.

This week, you will see different displays pop up in each YMCA branch. The displays will contain details about each family (genders and ages) and a listing of their needs and suggested gift ideas.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Check the display for each family’s needs or gift suggestions
2. Take the tag(s) that describes the item you would like to donate.
3. Buy the gift(s).
4. Bring your tag and unwrapped item to Member Services.
5. YMCA staff will wrap and deliver gifts to the families in time for Christmas.

The families the YMCA helps are gathered from several Community YMCA Programs including YMAP (YMCA Achievement Program), Aboriginal Programs and Services, LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada), and Outreach.

Thanks very much for helping out in your community and let the spirit of giving begin!

For more information or to donate, contact your YMCA Branch today.

*Please note: All 2015 Adopt a Family families have been selected.

holidaykids_39862777


Adult Drop In Sports at The Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA

Come celebrate the New Year with new ways to stay active at the Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA!!!

The Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA is introducing Co-Ed Adult Drop In’s for the New Year.  Three nights a week, starting on Monday, January 4th, 2016, enjoy adult only drop in Volleyball and Basketball.  Change up your workout and come play in a fun, safe and inviting environment.

Volleyball Poster 2016 Soccer Drop In Winter 2016

Contact Member Services at the Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA for more details.


Create a positive Child Minding experience for you and your child

When the needs of a child guide parents and caregivers in their actions, it helps children to have positive experiences that support them in their growth and development.

YMCA Calgary aims to provide your child with a safe, caring and stimulating environment – one filled with lots of opportunities for them to explore and learn as they play.

We know that it is very important to have open, positive relationships between parents and caregivers so communication is effective. This allows children to make connections between their home and the broader community while gaining an understanding that the adults in their life are working together… for them!

YMCA Child Minding areas are places children become very familiar with as they gain confidence for being away from their parent. In the Child Minding area they develop relationships of their own with other children as well as the staff and volunteer caregivers. As a values based organization we pride ourselves on providing opportunities for children to learn about, and practice behaviours of, respect, responsibility, caring and honesty. In the child minding areas you can see this –

  • When children observe caregivers and parents warmly greeting and calmly speaking with one another
  • When check in and sign out processes are smooth and worry free for children, parents and caregivers
  • When children clean up the toy or piece of equipment they were playing with prior to leaving the area
  • When caregivers let the phone go to voice mail while they play and engage with children. Messages can be picked up in a few moments, a wonderful play moment shouldn’t be interrupted
  • When a parent or caregiver voices a concern to the other adult and they hear each other out prior to determining how they can best work together to support the child

YMCA staff and volunteers want all children to feel comfortable and happy within the Child Minding area. They truly enjoy working with the children and are committed to providing them with the care and attention they need.

For more information about YMCA Child Minding areas visit our website at https://www.ymcacalgary.org/childminding/

 

Reminder: Child Minding Block Booking for winter 2016 Session (Jan 4 – Mar 20, 2016)

YMCA Members     Book beginning Monday, November 23, 2015

Non-Members       Book beginning Monday, December 7, 2015

 

 

 

Baby Blue Eyes_61264360

 


Beat the heat this summer

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.

girl swimming

 

Summer fun for the entire family!

 


Healthy Eating: Practical Tips, Tricks & Answers to Your Questions

On Wednesday, May 13 from 6-8pm Saddletowne YMCA will host a workshop called Fundamentals of Healthy Eating.

This workshop will offer very practical information with ideas, strategies and recipes that you can take home and put to use right away. Our presenter Cheryl Strachan, a registered dietitian, offers a very down to earth perspective that covers not only the ‘what & why’ but the ‘how’ of creating healthy eating habits with plenty of examples along the way and answers to all of the commonly asked questions & concerns.

Click this link to sneak-a-peak:

http://www.sweetspotnutrition.ca/ymca-workshop-05-13-15/

Register early by calling 403-237-2393 and quoting course# 102733.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 | 6-8pm
Saddletowne YMCA, Studio A
Members/Staff/Volunteers: $10
NonMembers: $15
Course#: 102733

 


FREE Weekend in the Mountains for Flood affected families!

Camp Chief Hector YMCA is offering free weekends for ANYONE affected by the 2013 Southern Alberta Floods! 

Flood Relief Respite Weekends poster - 2015We are welcoming everyone affected by the 2013 floods, no matter how great or small, to spend a weekend at Camp Chief Hector YMCA to rejuvenate in the mountains.

Enjoy activities such as:

  • Archery
  • Canoeing
  • Hiking
  • High and Low Ropes Courses
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Bouldering and Climbing Wall
  • Massage Therapy is available

These weekends are FREE and are provided at no cost. Funding is generously provided by the Government of Alberta and are designed to encourage building strong relationships within your community.

For more information about the schedule and what to expect, click here.

Call 403-269-6156 or 1-866-430-9622  to register.


There is Irony Here

There is such irony in writing an online blog about unplugging to get out to play, but with our increasing reliance on technology and time spent with our noses in our devices, it seems like an okay medium to pass on a message.  Enough about the great irony of reading online about disconnecting from it all, it is now time for my point…

A main obstacle preventing people from unplugging and playing is the convenience and the availability of other types of entertainment.  It seems more convenient to turn on the television, the game system, the computer, or the smart phone instead of going outside to play.  You also don’t need to get dirty to watch television or play a video game.  I work with youth, and what stands out the most is that passive leisure and inactivity is becoming a habit for those of us who are growing up with technology.   This needs to change for the health and wellbeing of everyone.

In his research in 2008, R. Tagles said that “…the absence of direct experiences of natural environments appears to be a significant disadvantage in terms of development and health, and may also have a negative impact on the preservation of natural environments.”  We need these natural spaces around, for food, for activities, for industry, for the health of the planet, and most importantly our own sanity.

I do not feel the need to preach.  I do not feel the need to tell you to throw away all of your technology.  I am not going to tell you to go live in the bush for a month.  Feel free to do any of these things if that is what you wish.  What I am here to do is to share some learning about the benefits of unstructured time in the outdoors, natural areas, things that grow, living actively, and share with you the enjoyment that can be gained from creating balance in our ever technological-focused lives.

When we try to do too many things at once, as it happens so often with technology, it takes away from our relationships, health, focus, work or school, and most importantly our overall enjoyment of what we are doing.  Even what may seem like the most mundane of tasks can be enjoyable if is becomes our sole focus.

This coming Monday, March 23 is “Unplug and Play Day” used to help to recharge your soul.  It is a small step to take to help to focus on enjoyment here and now as well as help to create balance.

This day is a great idea, but I say take it one step further.  It is better to regularly take a little time to unplug and try just focusing on one thing.  Call it “uni-tasking”.  An easy way to do this is to go out and experience nature, or to visit your local recreation facility.  Leave all those gadgets at home and see how enjoyable just being outside of the house looking at the environment around can be.

For some ideas, here are my top “uni-tasks” that I do here and now:

  • Do some “soul skiing” by going for a day on the slopes (no music here);
  • Practice some nature/outdoor photography or drawing (I’m not very good, but it is enjoyable);
  • Bomb a hill on my longboard;
  • Do some gardening;
  • Climb a mountain, a rock face, a hill, a tree, a playground or anything I can possibly jump off;
  • Find a quiet spot to read or journal;
  • Simply go for a walk or long run without my phone.

I want to hear from you!  What do you do to live in the here and now?  How and where do you like to enjoy “uni-tasking”?  Comment here!

 


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