Tag Archives: volunteer

Émilie Tremblay: Camp Chief Hector YMCA Youth Volunteer of the Year



Meet Émilie Tremblay, Camp Chief Hector YMCA’s Youth Volunteer of the Year!


What is your volunteer role at YMCA? 

I am a camp counselor. It certainly is challenging: I wake up in the tipi at around 7:45AM, make sure the campers are ready for the day with all their necessary equipment, manage mealtimes and activities during the day, and maintain steady group dynamic throughout the session with games and group activities.

What do you like about volunteering at YMCA?

I love seeing kids make connections and friendships at camp,and challenge themselves to try new things. As a former camper, I am enthusiastic about making their camp experience as life-changing as it was for me.

I also adore working in the outdoors. Every morning, when my group and I walk down to breakfast, and Yamnuska Ridge is on one side, Lookout Mountain is on the other, the sun is rising over Hector Field, sometimes fog rolls over the mountains like a blanket. The fresh air, the forest, the connectivity of it to the body, spirit and mind – it sounds like a lot of hippie nonsense, but one really has to live there to experience it.

Why did you choose to volunteer at YMCA over another organization?

As a camper, I fell in love with camp life, and as I got older at camp, there were more opportunities to become a better leader, particularly in Leadership 1, where we had opportunities to play “mini counselors” during the days of our three-week long out-trip. I would often say, “I’m never really going to leave camp. I’ll just eventually live on top of Lookout forever.”

How did you feel when you found out you were Volunteer of the Year?

I was so proud! Working at camp is one of my favourite things and I work my hardest at being a good leader, team mate, and volunteer. To be recognized for it is really amazing. I am so grateful for it.

Why are you a volunteer?

Because I love what I do, and though it is a really difficult job, it is so rewarding! Seeing kids grow and learn, learning with them, spending summers in nature is where I love to be. Coming home knowing I’ve done something to improve my and maybe others’ perspectives on the world is what I love about my summers at Camp Chief Hector. Which is part of how I want to change the world one small step at a time.

What are your plans for the future? How has YMCA benefited you for school or your career?

Camp has allowed me to expand on my leadership and authority skills. My dream for the future is to direct animated films and learning leadership skills, while connecting to the environment for inspiration will really help me not only achieve career goals, but also balance in my daily life.

Working, volunteering, and attending Camp Chief Hector YMCA has given me the tools to create my own moral code and standard of living. I am stronger physically, growing emotionally, and improving spiritually with every year I spend at camp. I highly recommend that kids come to play, and adults come to work there. It truly is life changing.


Ever wanted to volunteer for Camp? We are looking for drivers to help get campers to and from their outtrips.

Volunteering with Camp Chief Hector YMCA provides meaningful experiences that contribute to our camping community. We are currently seeking Outtripping drivers looking to connect with current campers and staff by providing safe transportation to and from hike and canoe routes.

Find out more about Day-long drives and Long-drives.

boys  with canoes on trailerpioneer girls 3canoes

National Volunteer Week – April 12-18

National Volunteer Week is a time to recognize, celebrate and thank all the volunteers in our community.


THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS! We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without you.

More than 1,200 YMCA Calgary volunteers work together with YMCA staff to provide more than 100,000 hours of time and talent each year.

Contact the Volunteer Coordinator at any YMCA Calgary location or view Volunteer postings on YMCACalgary.org

We are Hiring Lifeguards and Swim Instructors – Apply Today!

Join Us! YMCA Calgary is hiring Lifeguards and Swim Instructors throughout the city.

As a member of our aquatics team you will have a fun, exciting, and rewarding job that builds up your leadership skills. You’ll help others everyday – from providing a safe pool experience to all, to teaching children how to swim.

Perks include:

  • Flexible hours – a great opportunity to make money while in school
  • Team environment
  • Training opportunities
  • Free YMCA Membership


At YMCA Calgary we are:

  • Passionate about our work
  • Building healthy communities
  • Part of a strong team – we are welcoming and support one another

Interested? It’s easy to apply! See ymcacalgary.org/careers

Are you a parent with a child in swim lessons?
We would love to talk with you about how your child can start on the path to becoming a lifeguard or swim instructor. Youth 14 years and older have the opportunity to volunteer with our aquatics team.

Are you currently finishing your certifications or thinking about a job in aquatics?
You can volunteer as a swim instructor with us – this is a great opportunity to see if this is the right job for you.

Contact us at  careers@ymcacalgary.org to find out where you’re at in the process, and what you need to do next.


LINC Volunteer Wins Volunteer of the Year

Blog post by Kelly Colson, LINC Director

We are happy to announce that one of our LINC Volunteers, Zobia Asif, won Community YMCA Adult Volunteer of the Year!  Zobia was honored at the YMCA Annual General Meeting on April 30th, along with the other amazing Volunteer of the Year recipients.

Zobia - Volunteer of the Year

Zobia’s YMCA experience began with a membership at the Saddletowne YMCA about three years ago. She started helping out with translation in a fitness class, which sparked her interest in community involvement and volunteering. After learning about the LINC program and Community YMCA, Zobia knew that her personal experience as a newcomer could help others.  Zobia became dedicated LINC volunteer, and we’ve been incredibly lucky to have her as part of our team since September 2012.

Zobia’s experience as an immigrant woman in Canada has made her a fantastic role model for the LINC participants.  She is always willing to help out a newcomer who may be struggling to adapt to life in Canada, and to share her story in order to inspire and motivate others.

Congratulations, Zobia! We are so proud of you!

To see Zobia’s Volunteer of the Year video, check out our Youtube page. You can also check out the interactive Annual Report on our website for more amazing YMCA stories. Look for Zobia’s cartoon above the Y logo … Happy reading!

Crowfoot YMCA is Hiring

Do you like working with people? Do you want a job that makes a difference every day? Crowfoot YMCA is hiring! Being part of the Y means spending your time positively affecting the lives of others in the community.

View current job opportunities

View current volunteer opportunities

Apply today!

Don’t Let Your Health Vanish into the Smoke

My name is Chad Baird and I am an ex-smoker. Usually the suffix ‘ex’ is associated with negativity. For example, the terms ex-boyfriend, ex-landlord and ex-wife. However, to be an ex-smoker is an occurrence that I believe to be the most positive thing I have ever and will ever experience.

Even though the health risks associated with smoking are prominently advertised, thousands upon thousands of people still do it. Furthermore, young people continue to smoke without fully understanding the dangers they are exposing themselves to. There is not a high school in North America that one can go to where there will not be a rebellious, group of smokers standing somewhere just off campus smoking away without a care in the world. I have yet to pass a school in Calgary around lunchtime without witnessing this scene time and time again.

It honestly breaks my heart and I assure you that I feel a weight on my soul as I write this to you. I know the road that they will go down and it is not a road I suggest to anyone. I woke up sick every single morning for six years because I poisoned myself the day before. My health slid and my fitness level plummeted. I coughed constantly. I became permanently irritable and I felt generally horrible all of the time.

When I finally made the decision to quit smoking, I felt like a superhero. This is not a figure of speech. I literally felt like I had superpowers. After just a few weeks of quitting smoking, I could run faster, exercise longer, lift more and enjoy my work out instead of coughing through it. It is a truly enlightening moment when you take a deep breath and don’t feel a gurgling pain inside yourself for the first time in years. Every ex-smoker will know exactly what I mean.

You cannot pursue a life of health and smoke at the same time. It is 100% impossible. You will never reach your full potential behind a smoke screen. I promise that the moment you quit, you will feel the superpowers just as I did. Your life literally turns 180 degrees for the better.

The book, “Allen Carr’s: The Easy Way to Stop Smoking Canadian Edition” helped me. It is available at bookstores Canada-wide and online at Amazon.ca for about $10 – $12 (ironically about the price of a pack of cigarettes). Get this book for yourself, your parents, your friends, your kids. Please listen to my following words because they are of utmost importance.

This book saved my life.

Win the battle against your demons and become the smokeless superhero you were meant to be.


Written by Chad Baird | BCMM Public Relations Student | Mount Royal University

More Blogs by Chad:

Do You Even Lift, Bro? Series

The Top Five Things Not to Do In A Running Race Series

Volunteer Open House at the YMCA Saddletowne Preschool

The YMCA Saddletowne Preschool is currently looking for Preschool volunteers who will help teach and supervise small groups of children between the ages of 2-5 years of age.  Our volunteers work in groups of 2 or more, and get to take part in activities at the classroom art table, in our story corner, in the gym, and more!

If you would like to volunteer at the Saddletowne YMCA Preschool please accept this invitation to attend the following open house-

Thursday, July 18th from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Please ask for directions to the Preschool room from our main desk when you arrive, and please bring (2) pieces of government ID and (2) references.  I look forward to meeting you; please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Steve Elliot



Nexen volunteers spent a day at Camp Chief Hector YMCA

Thank you to the Nexen volunteer group who got lots done during their day at Camp.

The Nexen group did various jobs at camp on May 28.
They pulled wood from the forest which camp will buck up later.
They helped get the Children’s Garden ready for planting.
They pulled rocks from the paddocks which will help keep the horses hooves safe.
They helped fix the walls and some seating at one of our Grand Council sites.

A grand time was had by all. Thank you for your hard work!