Category: Community YMCA

LINC Reflections

anne_frank_encouragement_quote1At the end of September, the YMCA Calgary LINC program wrapped up another busy semester. With this in mind, many teachers asked their students to reflect on what they had learned over the last few months. One class used this Anne Frank quote as inspiration for their writing, and the results were fantastic!

“YMCA is a source of knowledge, information, and a mentor for newcomers. I can say it is like a tool which carved a stone and turned it into a beautiful sculpture. It brings out your skills, which even you are not aware that you have it in you. In short, they bring out the best out of you, which helps you to accomplish your goals.” – Adarsh, India

“The main theme of this quote is to provide a positive outlook towards the future. As all the LINC students are near the final week of the semester, reading this quote really refresh and rejuvenate their mind. For me, it improves my self-confidence in future endeavors such as job search, family life, social life, and so on. It also enables me to face challenges in life with courage.” – Rajeesh, India

Great job everyone, and good luck in the next semester!!

Horseback riding lessons at Camp Chief Hector YMCA

Horseback riding lessons | 7-8Y and 9-11Y
Camp Chief Hector YMCA
Sundays | September 13, 20, 27 and October 4 | 2:30-4pm

Instruction includes how to groom a horse (brushing, picking hooves), how to tack and untack (saddle & bridle), and basic riding skills in the arena. Time will be split evenly between horsemanship and riding. Participants will learn to feel comfortable around horses while having a fun learning experience.

To register: 403-269-6156 or 1-866-430-9622

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Grade 6’s Blew the Roof Off!

AllGymEau Claire was BOOMING this past Friday as our Grade 6’s congregated on the third floor to celebrate the past 10 months we’ve spent together.

What a truly amazing year we’ve had! Between impromptu gaga ball face-offs, nutrition workshops, tournaments, dance parties, Lego sessions, and cooking classes, it seems we have done it all at the YMCA! This past Friday, we got all of our branches together for our Grade 6 Year End Celebration, and it was incredible! Even though we were rained out of our Riveredge site, we still managed to collect a whopping total of 122 grade 6 students under the Eau Claire roof!

After enjoying some pizza and veggies, we split off into groups and participated in a variety of different stations. All our grade sixes got to HarveyStudiotry a little bit of everything; from Lego, to Kin ball and team building, to the first ever YMCA dance-rap-karaoke party!

We even got to meet Harvey the Hound and former Flames defenceman, Rhett Warrener!

The best part was having all of our members come together and experience something new with their fellow branches. All of us were excited to be a part of something so different – and we ensured that everyone in the building knew it! We are the first cohort of Calgary YMCA’s Grade 6 members, Flamesand we made sure to sign this school year off with a bang!

Summer is just around the corner and we are all bustling with the exciting opportunities that await us! To find out more information on what your branch is doing this summer, take a look at our Activity Page or contact your Youth Coordinator!

Thanks again to all of our lovely grade 6 members who have made this year at the YMCA one of our most memorable! And thank you to all of our incredibly dedicated staff and volunteers as well as the Calgary Flames Foundation for Life for making this year happen! Without all of us – staff, members, and supporters alike – this year’s success would not have been possible!

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!


YMCA Calgary Celebrates Kids and Dads

Sunday, June 21st is Father’s Day. It is also the first day of summer for 2015.

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Let the celebrations begin – welcome the summer season and take time to acknowledge and celebrate wonderful relationships between kids and Dads.

YMCA Calgary is all about promoting family fun with a health and wellness focus. Here are some ideas of ways to recognize Father’s Day:

  • enjoy a cooling swim in one of YMCA Calgary’s four indoor pools (Crowfoot, Eau Claire, Saddletowne and Shawnessy)
  • take a walk or run in a local park. Eau Claire YMCA has some great running trails right out the front door – check the map that is posted in the lobby
  • explore a natural environment. Nosehill, Fish Creek and Edworthy Parks all have wonderful natural areas. Just slightly further afield is Elbow Falls, Kananaskis Country, Grassi Lake and the whole of Banff National Park
  • visit the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller; making time to walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs along the outdoor trails
  • share a favourite activity with the special kid(s) or man in your life – golf (regular or mini), lego building, princess party, attend a local baseball game…
  • have fun together as big and little kids – a water blast game, backyard fort building, tag games or a soccer game in the neighbourhood field

Enjoy time spent with family and friends on June 21st – perhaps include a mid or late day BBQ. For great BBQ ideas check out Canadian Living Magazine – steaks, side dishes, healthy BBQ and more.

And, for all the Dads out there – HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!


YMCA Calgary: Community Impact Plan 2015

Community Impact Plan 2015

Throughout 2014 YMCA Calgary gathered information from members and program participants to learn about your experiences with the YMCA. These experiences inform the ongoing development of programs and services and also form the basis of our priorities as an Association. Below is a brief summary of the findings and action steps we’ll take to improve your YMCA experience and our impact in the community.

Family jogging

What we learned:

  • Everyone is on a YMCA journey. Thousands of people from all walks of life come in and out of the YMCA each day. Our members and participants embark upon personal journeys to belong, grow, thrive and lead from the moment they walk through the door. The most common reasons people participate are to support their children’s development and to improve their own well-being.
  • Relationships Matter. Member and participant relationships with staff and volunteers are both the catalyst to their personal success and one of the main reasons they keep coming to the YMCA.
  • Commitment to Community. Each of our members and participants contribute to the YMCA’s ability to make a positive impact. The YMCA provides a friendly, welcoming and safe environment for families and individuals to come to be part of something larger than themselves; part of a community.


Where we do go from here?




We’re excited to use the information we gathered in order to create a better, more meaningful YMCA experience for everyone!

LINC Multi-Cultural Celebrations

South Collage 1Twice a year, YMCA Calgary LINC students come together to celebrate their cultures with a special Multi-Cultural Event. Recently, the South LINC classes held a beautiful cultural showcase in the lobby of the Shawnessy YMCA, and the North LINC classes took visitors on an exciting road trip around Canada at 1000 Voices in the Genesis Centre.

If you missed it, here are some highlights of these exciting events. Stay tuned for the next Multi-Cultural Event – we have them every May and November!


North LINC students worked together in groups representing each province and territory of Canada. During the event, students set up displays in their classrooms; each room was a different part of Canada. Everyone had a chance to visit each unique area of Canada, and learn about what makes it special. Of course, Alberta and Calgary got a little bit of extra attention! At each stop, students asked questions, collected stickers on a map, and had a chance to win Canada-themed prizes. By the end of the day, everyone had been to every province and territory!

North Collage 2

North Collage 1

Meanwhile, on the opposite end of Calgary, South LINC students worked together in groups representing dozens of countries from around the world. They showcased their cultures with traditional games, delicious food, beautiful clothing, and lots of music. The event was open to the public, so visitors of all ages from the Shawnessy community were able to experience the fun and excitement of the celebration.

Great job, LINC! What a fun and exciting day for everyone. I can’t wait for the next event!

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Y7G: Empowering Youth to Reach Their Potential

Written by Shay Whitney, Aboriginal Manager, Community YMCA.

Exciting News!

Y7G is now a High School Accredited program at Crescent Heights High School.

This provides participants who take the course to gain high school credits, while learning new and exciting skills and cultural knowledge. This is the first time that Y7G has had high school credits given out with the program. Once the students successfully complete the program, they are awarded the credits just like any other high school course. Currently Y7G is only running at Crescent Heights High School, but is looking to expand into other high schools soon.



What is Y7G?

Y7G is a leadership program for Aboriginal youth in the city of Calgary. In the program, the participants are given opportunities to discover traditional leadership skills, employment skills, modern life skills, education and study skills, relationship building and team building.


Mixed in with traditional teachings and practices, arts and identity discoveries, Y7G seeks to create a holistic balance with the curriculum and knowledge that the participants are involved with. The goal is to help instill an essence of self-empowerment as a youth and as an Aboriginal person, while embracing the Seven Sacred Teachings of our people and the YMCA Four Core Values.


Space still available for overnight camps at Camp Chief Hector YMCA

As of May 27, the following camps still  have room:


10Y Mistaya 13-day | Traditional | Jul 5-17

10Y Mistaya 13-day | Mountain Bike | Jul 19-31 & Aug 2-14

11Y Mistaya 13-day | Trip to Gray Jay | Jul 5-17 & Jul 19-31

16Y Leadership 1 27-days | Hike/Horse | Jul 5-31 & Aug 2-28

17Y Leadership in Training | Jul 23 – Aug 14 | Application


10Y Mistaya 13-day | Mountain Bike | Jul 5-17

10Y Mistaya 13-day | Traditional | Aug 2-14

13Y Kananaskin 13-day | Canoe | Aug 16-28

13Y Kananaskin 13-day | Hike | Aug 2-14 & Aug 16-28

13Y Kananaskin 13-day | Horse | Aug 16-28

14Y Pioneer 13-day | Hike (Mainsite) | Aug 2-14

15Y Pioneer 13-day | Hike (Gray Jay site) | Jul 5-17 & Aug 2-14

15Y Pioneer 13-day | Hike/Horse (Gray Jay site) | Aug 16-28

16Y Leadership 1 27-days | Canoe/Hike | Aug 2-28

16Y Leadership 1 27-days | Hike/Horse | Jul 5-31 & Aug 2-28

17Y Leadership in Training | Jul 23 – Aug 14 | Application


Read about all of our Summer Camps at our website. Did you know that we offer weekend programs, site rentals, weddings and more?

CONTACT US: 403-269-6156 or toll free 1-866-430-9622.

As with all YMCA Calgary programs, financial assistance is available through our Strong Kids Campaign to those who qualify.

Introducing Fuel, the YMCA Calgary Magazine!


Read the first issue here!


Fuel covers

The word “fuel” has a lot of meanings here in Calgary. It’s the stuff that helps to drive our economy, and it evokes that can-do spirit for which Calgarians are known. It’s symbolic of the energy you

feel when you get your heart rate up, challenging yourself through physical activity.

For us here at YMCA Calgary, fuel is also a word that brings to mind the passion of our staff, volunteers and members to take a 114-year-old organization boldly into the future. In these pages, you’ll learn more about the broad impact YMCA Calgary programs and services have in the Calgary community.

This is one of the most exciting times to be part of the YMCA. Through a true partnership with the City of Calgary, we will soon be operating three new Centres of Community, adding to the work we are already doing in our five established branches and in over 60 other sites across town.

This magazine is devoted to some of the stories of ways we are fulfilling our vision of communities that are vibrant and healthy because youth and adults belong, grow, thrive and lead. From our award-winning child care curriculum Playing to Learn, to our jewel in the Rockies, Camp Chief Hector YMCA, to South Health Campus YMCA, the only Y in a hospital facility in the country, we are embracing
a future where people of all ages move more, connect more and are energized by the people around them.

We’re YMCA Calgary, and this is our fuel.

Enjoy it.

-Helene Weir, YMCA Calgary president & CEO