What’s In It For Me (A must read)?
As Fall Break comes to a close, many of you are returning back to town after a week of fun… or maybe some of you have been scrambling trying to work or get things done while also tending to the kids who are out of school.
Twice this week, I’ve been asked around town, ‘Where are your kids this week?” Twice I’ve responded that my children are at Fall Break Camp at the YMCA and ironically, both times the response was, “We aren’t members of the Y, so that’s not an option for my kids.”
Last month, I attended a birthday party at one of our YMCA branches. I overheard one mom say, “This is such a great party idea, but we aren’t members, so we have to think of other birthday party ideas.”
Of course in all three instances, I replied (with more excitement than they probably expected), “Yes you can!” These services and other services are for members and non-members.
You see, the YMCA is FOR ALL – not just those who are our members, but for everyone. Whereas, at most membership-driven places, if you are a member, you’re in and can sit at the “cool table,” but if you’re not… well, it’s just too bad. But you might be surprised the programs at your disposal through the Y even if you aren’t a member (which of course, you should be!).
- School Break Camps – As mentioned above, we just finished a packed house of Fall Break Camp at each of our branches. But it doesn’t stop there. We offer camps to members and non-members throughout the year when school systems are closed (Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break, Christmas Break, Spring Break, etc.). Curious what our kids have been doing? Daily swimming, reading, physical activity, playground time, crafts, and more. Did I mention swimming? Even better, included in the cost is a provided healthy lunch.
- Summer Break Camp – Just like School Break Camps, we offer Summer Day Camp to members and non-members. Packed with all of the above activities like School Break Camp (and lunch offering), summer camp kids also have planned field trip days. Unlike 99% of all other summer camps, the YMCA also offers early drop-off and late pick-ups for working parents.
- Birthday Parties – Nope, you don’t have to be a member to book a party at a YMCA branch. Parties can vary from just swim parties, to a la cart rentals (like inflatable swim slides at North River), to the Adventure Center (at Hamilton). Set up and clean-up is included. Who wants to book a party where the kids are occupied, you don’t have to set up, and there’s zero clean up? Pretty sure that’s all of us.
- Swim Lessons – You guessed it. Offered to members and no-members YEAR ROUND.
- Youth Sports – Ok, so you might have known about this one, but share with your friends! Youth Sports at the Y is for everyone!
- Some a la cart specialty programs – Like the elite program, Bridge City Strength & Performance Downtown, or Pedaling for Parkinson’s at several of our branches; Rock Steady Boxing (for Parkinson’s patients), LIVESTRONG at the YMCA (our program for cancer patients), and several others. Call your local branch and ask about healthy living programs available to you.
- Downtown YMCA Preschool – Yes, there’s a preschool and get this: if you enroll your child in our top-notch preschool, you get a membership automatically. Pretty cool, huh?
- Parents’ Night Out – Date night, anyone? No membership required. This one is a no-brainer.
- YMCA Camp Ocoee/Adventure Guides/Adventure Princesses – We feel redundant… you get the picture.
In summary, yes we are biased and believe there’s IMMEASURABLE value in joining the Y as a member –you join us in a cause that betters the community, but if, for whatever reason, you aren’t a member, the Y still exists to serve you and strengthen you and your families.
Call any one of our branches to seize these (and other) opportunities.