Tag Archives: summer

Meet the Saddletowne YMCA’s Youth and Day Camps Director!

Adam Luciuk aka Splinter

Youth, Climbing and Day Camp Director


With so many Summer Day Camps offered throughout the city, why should families choose YMCA Saddletowne Day Camps?

We offer fun, adventurous and safe summer experiences for children of all ages in our vibrant community. They can explore swimming, climbing, off-site day trips, gym activities, arts and crafts, the great outdoors and much more. Very few other camps offer as many different activities within their regular day camps as we do. Let your children discover a new passion with us!

What are you most excited about this summer?

I am very excited about our NEW Sport Development Camps. Our skilled sports coach will help young athletes of any ability to achieve their potential this summer. Whether your child is passionate about soccer or basketball, or wants to try something new and excited this summer, this camp is for them.


When you’re not leading our Day Camps this summer, what will you be doing?

When I’m not at work, I’ll be spending time in the great outdoors, camping and exploring new places. When I’m not spending time in the outdoors, I’ll be working on a project: planning what experience I will embark on next or looking for a creative way to share my knowledge with others.

Thinking back to last summer, what did our Day Campers teach you the most?

That life should be fun!

Continue to Travel this Fall

YMCA Calgary Daycamps have come to a close for the summer of 2014.

At Saddletowne, the campers spent the final week travelling around the world.  They started in South America, and then headed off to Asia, Europe, Africa, and finally finished thing off in North America. During the week, campers tried new sports, created cool art, and learned a great deal about the variety of people and things that our great world has to offer.  Now we are all returning home, heading back to school, back to the routine for the fall.

StrongKids_Week8Over the summer, we saw thousands of campers across all of our branches take part in travel in their imagination, and visit new and exciting places all over the city.  Many of these campers received the support they needed to take part in the camp experience from the “YMCA Strong Kids Campaign”.

There were 105 Saddletowne Turtles, as we called them, supported by donations through fun-filled events that raised just short of $500 here at the branch.  Some of these events included a disco dance competition, medieval jousting, a treasure hunt and a mystery auction featuring “Mystery Cookies”, just to name a few.  No matter the fun event, and no matter the branch, campers all over Calgary supported a great cause.

All of the campers are gearing up to head back to school, while YMCA’s across the city are busy gearing up for fall.  Stay up to date on all of the exciting programs by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, checking out our website, or by signing up for our newsletter.

Just because the summer is over doesn’t mean that the fun doesn’t stop.  Fall program registration is open; the YMCA door are open and we want you to avoid the normal grind.  Continue to travel this fall to meet your potential of healthy living with us!

“We may not have gone where we intended to go, but I think we have ended up where we needed to be.” ~Douglas Adams~

North LINC Picnics

hill climb

Last week, North LINC students celebrated summer with one of Canada’s favorite past-times: a picnic!

LINC participants invited their family members, ranging from 6 months to 80 years old, to take part in a fun day in the great outdoors.

The students and their families met at Prairie Winds Park in Northeast Calgary, where they joined culinary forces to produce an amazing spread of food from around the world. Of course, students made sure to include lots of “Canadian” foods like pizza and corn dogs to go along with the picnic theme.

Although the food was the main attraction, everyone had fun playing games together before and after the meal. There was a lot of laughter and friendly competition as adults teamed up with their kids for activities such as relay races, badminton, a hill climb, and soccer.  The teams got very competitive, and everyone had a blast playing together. Prizes featuring Canadian images such as maps, beavers, hockey sticks, maple leaves, and flags were a huge hit with the participants at the end of the day. LINC students are very patriotic when it comes to their new home!

We had all of the ingredients for a successful picnic: a beautiful location, perfect weather, delicious food, and fun games. LINC staff, students, and their families enjoyed spending time together, relaxing and having fun, on this beautiful summer day.

Check out photos of our picnics on Facebook: the Evening Group Picnic and the Morning Group Picnic

South LINC students have their picnic planned for the end of September, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, summer’s not over yet! So grab your coolers, blankets, and bug spray and go have a picnic!


Food Drive Time


This summer will mark the 15th Annual YMCA Calgary Kids in Motion and Day Camps Food Drive!  This year’s food drive will take place the week of August 11th, 2014.  Keep your eyes open for enthusiastic YMCA kids and youth who will be collecting food donations in your community in support of the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank.

We will also be accepting nonperishable food donations in our branches, so keep a look out for a box in your branch’s lobby. 

Kids in Motion and Daycamps will be collecting in the following sixteen communities on the following days:

Wednesday, August 13:
Connaught, Millican/Ogden, Vista/Mayland Heights, Marlborough Park, Falconridge

Thursday, August 14:
Rosscarrock, West Dover, Inglewood, Albert Park/Radisson Heights, Huntington Hills, Arbour Lake, Sunnyside, Altadore, Somerset, Martindale

Friday, August 15: 
Auburn Bay


What is Kids In Motion?

YMCA Kids in Motion (KIM) is a summer outreach program that gives elementary school aged children (ages 9-12) the opportunity to volunteer in meaningful community projects in their neighbourhoods such as the food drive, community gardens, working with community organizations or older adults. As a reward for their work, the participants get to enjoy recreational activities they might not otherwise have the opportunity to do like swimming, outdoor activities and visits to local attractions. KIM lets participants learn about community responsibility and encourages community involvement, caring for others and teamwork. Children also gain community service experience, have a chance to meet new friends, and gain increased self-confidence knowing they have helped to better their communities.


Our Sponsors

We would like to recognize and extend a big thank you to our Food Drive sponsors this year. Without their efforts and continued support the Food drive would not be possible!


Eagle Well Servicing operates a fleet of 65 mobile, freestanding single, double and slant service rigs from centres throughout Western Canada. With an industry leading operations team and state-of-the-art rigs, Eagle rises above the rest when it comes to safe, efficient, functional well servicing.

Staff from Eagle Well Servicing will be donating their valuable time to helping the food get from the communities to the Food Bank.  In addition, they will be donating a considerable amount of food themselves.

Southland Transportation Ltd. is committed to safety and service in the people transportation business. Southland operates school, charter, commuter and specialized transportation buses throughout Alberta and in Saskatchewan.

Southland Transportation Ltd. will be the main form of transportation for a Kid’s in Motion group during August 13, 2014. The busing company will follow a group of children through the Connaught community and pick up any donated food. Southland Transportation Ltd will then drive the kids to the Food Bank to participate in the festivities and help unload and weigh food.

5 Golden Rules of Sunshine


Summer fun and sunshine just seem to go together.

We need sunshine – our skin absorbs Vitamin D. This vitamin is important for strong bones and teeth. But sunshine can also pose some risks, especially for children. Too much sun can cause sunburns, damage to the eyes, dehydration and sunstroke.

Protect yourself and your family from the sun by following some simple tips.


Seek Shade

Find shady spots whenever possible, or bring a sun shade or umbrella with you. You’ll still get the benefits of being outside, but you’ll avoid potentially harmful direct rays. Babies under 12 months old should always be kept out of direct sunlight.


Drink Water

Heat and sweat can cause you to become dehydrated faster than normal. Check out our tips on avoiding dehydration and making water more exciting here.



Wear sunscreen. Even if you’ll only be outside for 15 minutes. The higher the SPF the better. Reapply at least every two hours or more often if you’ve been sweating or playing in water. Do not put sunscreen on babies younger than 6 months old, keep them in shade instead.


Cover Up

Hats and light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants made of breathable fabric provide protection from harmful rays and will keep you surprisingly cool. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.


Limit Sun Time

Don’t spend prolonged time out in the sun. Take breaks to go indoors and cool off. Sunscreen is not meant to prolong time in the sun but to provide protection from it.


*Photos via Flickr: Ralph Daily & David Smith

Every Day at Camp is an Adventure!

We’re asking parents why they send their kids to Camp Chief Hector YMCA.

Here’s what Shannon said:

“I’ve been sending my two happy campers to YMCA’s Camp Chief Hector for four years- since they were old enough to go! I have fond memories of CCH from when I was young so I couldn’t wait till they could go too. Every day at CCH is a fun adventure, no matter the weather!  I love that they learn about nature and First Nation’s culture in a nondenominational environment. The camp councilors are so enthusiastic and the kids just adore them. Everything is at CCH is well run- all the activities, the crafts, the meals, the outtrips and of course, grand council.

“We camp as a family but a week at Camp Chief Hector builds a sense of independence and self confidence that only comes from being away from home.

“We are grateful to have this wonderful camp so near to us and we plan to send our girls for as many years as possible. The eldest is already asking for a two week stay next summer!”


Here’s what her daughters told us:

CCH-Shannon1 CCH-Shannon2 CCH-Shannon3

10 Ways to Make Water More Exciting


We often hear that keeping yourself hydrated is a key to health and wellness. With hot summer temperatures it can be even more difficult to make sure we’re drinking enough fluid.

Common Signs of Dehydration

    • thirst
    • dizziness
    • tiredness
    • nausea
    • chills
    • headache
    • muscle cramps

Dehydration Stats

    • Adults need 2-3 litres of fluid per day
    • Sweating helps cool the body, but it can also cause dehydration if you haven’t been drinking enough
    • If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated
    • Sip water throughout the day rather than gulp it when you feel thirsty

Sometimes plain old water can be boring, especially when there are so many tastier (and more sugary) options out there in juices, sodas, iced teas, slurpees and frapps.

But water is still the best option for keeping the body hydrated. So… add some things to your water bottle (or your kids’ water bottles) to make it more exciting.

 10 Ways to Make Water More Exciting

1.   Lemon, Lime or BOTH!

2.   Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, oh my!

3.   Cucumber and Ginger

4.   Great balls o’melon!

5.   Fresh Mint

6.   Orange Slice ice cubes

7.   Frozen sliced grapes

8.   Cinnamon Stick it!

9.   Fun, funky water bottle

10. Colourful, twisty straws!

Tweet us your favourite water tips with #H2Otaste at @YMCA_Calgary.


Dehydration information from dieticians.ca
Photos via rgbstock.com.

Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot Summer Day Camps

gym kids

Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot Summer Camps

Voted by 2013 Calgary’s Child Magazine Parents’ Choice awards for Best Children’s Day Camp, YMCA Crowfoot Summer Camps are back to for another exciting summer! We have limited spots so register early so your camper can experience the highlight of their summer!

What better way to spend the summer than with friends- old and new, kicking a soccer ball or figuring out whose cannonball made the biggest splash in the pool? Crowfoot YMCA Summer Daycamps offers each child the opportunity to grow, thrive, lead and belong in a safe, fun and exciting environment.

Whether they are making geckos out of beads & string, a new superhero mask, or visiting great places in and around Calgary such as Rotary Park, Butterfield Acres, TELUS Spark, each day in our Daycamps guarantees not be the same as the last.

Register today to reserve your child a place and get them ready for an action packed summer. Call 403-547-6576!

Find out more about Crowfoot YMCA here.


6 Water Safety Tips for Summer

Swimming at Saddletowne YMCA
Summer weather has begun to arrive in Calgary and many families are heading out to the lake to enjoy sunshine, sand, and water activities. Before you grab your boogie boards, beach balls, and brightly coloured towels remind yourself of some water safety tips.

1 – Make sure everyone knows how to float and swim. Teaching kids some basic swimming skills and how to properly float can save lives. The YMCA offers swim lessons for people all ages.

2 – Wear a lifejacket. Even if you know how to swim. Even if you’re not in a boat. Even if the water doesn’t seem all that deep. Red Cross Alberta suggests that wearing a lifejacket could eliminate up to 90% of all boating-related drownings.

3 – Always supervise and never go alone. Practice the buddy system when going on or in open water and always supervise children when around water, even if it’s just a kiddie pool or bathtub.

4 – Recognize the current. It’s easy for someone to get swept away in a current or surprised by sudden drop-off. Be cautious when swimming in open water.

5 – Respect wildlife. Nature and bodies of water are home to a lot of wildlife. For your safety and theirs, respect their space and keep your distance from them.

6 – Protect your skin. Playing out in the water and sunshine is a lot of fun, but it also exposes your skin to rays and reflections. Slather on a high SPF and reapply every few hours.

As always, keep hydrated by drinking lots of water.

It’s YYC Bike Month!

Family Biking


The City of Calgary has declared June to be Bike Month. There are events throughout June all over the city.

Check out the City of Calgary’s website for events and a fun checklist of things to with your bike.

There’s even an iphone with maps of the City of Calgary’s Pathways & Bikeways! (I’ve downloaded it and it’s great!)


6 Great Things About Biking

1 — You can cycle alone or with a group. My husband and I love biking together on the paths along the Bow River, the trails in Fish Creek Park, or on trails in Canmore and Banff.

2 – It’s free! Yes, you need a bike – but the one-time cost opens up an infinite number of days of free activities.

3 – Anyone can go on a bike ride! Babies can ride in seats or trailers, toddlers can ride tricycles or bicycles with training wheels, and kids and youth can get their very own bikes in whatever colour they choose. I grew up going on family bike rides along the trails in Red Deer – a caravan of six bicycles in a row, Dad leading and Mom being a watchful rearguard.

4 – Biking is easy on the joints. My brother has had multiple knee surgeries and running is just too painful now, but biking he can do with ease.

5 – You get to be outside and see the scenery. One of the best parts of biking is discovering new paths, new neighbourhoods, and new areas of nature. You can enjoy warm weather and cooler weather alike, all you need is a light jacket and the exercise of pedaling to keep you warm.

6 – You can go fast or slow. Some folks enjoy the speed and the breeze, others prefer meandering along quiet paths or streets. I love seeing how fast I can get going, then tackling a big hill, and then I cool down with a slow meandering pedal through a neighbourhood and enjoy the scenery of nature and the always interesting diversity among the facades of older homes.


Before you head out on your family bike ride, check out our 10 Tips for Biking Safely blog post.