Hello Friends of the YMCA:
Summer is finally here and summer camps are just about to begin. It’s one of my favourite times of year when I get to meet our new camp leaders and to listen to the sounds of children having fun.
There are still a few spaces available so you are not too late to register your child for a truly enriching and entertaining camp experience. We have camps for crafts, dance, sports, fitness, exploration and cycling. We also have financial assistance available as we never want cost to be a deterrent to a child’s participation at the Y.
Our new summer guides are also available and swim lessons and private lessons are filling up fast. If you are interested, please register soon to avoid being disappointed.
I would also like to share with you information about an event that took place at Teen Night two weeks ago as there have been so many inaccurate rumours spinning on social media.
Teen Night was established at Brockville Y prior to the pandemic at the request of the community and teens themselves so there would be a safe place for teens to socialize. At the Y, teens are able to use the pool and fitness centre, get a meal, participate in activities or simply hang out with friends. This free event has become very popular and we average about 150-200 teens each week.
Two weeks ago, three youths were involved in a fight, which our staff brought under control and called the police as they should do. Additionally, another teen ingested a pill before coming into the Y and became physically ill. Again, staff stabilized the situation and called paramedics to ensure the young person received any needed medical attention.
Both instances demonstrate the need for Teen Night. While we are concerned that they took place at the Y, we are also grateful that they didn’t occur somewhere that was unsupervised. With a robust staff ratio of one staff for every 13 to 14 youth, we are able to respond in a timely and professional manner.
During the regularly scheduled summer break in Teen Night programming, we will assess the program, as we would do every summer, however, we look forward to continuing both Teen Night and Teen Drop-in this fall.
If you are interested in hearing from the youth who attend Teen Night to hear what the program means to them, I encourage you to have a look at our annual report. . I also spoke about it with Bruce Wiley on Move FM, which you can listen to here. To get a sense of our strategic approach to program delivery for the coming three years, we have also posted our Bridge Strategy that you may find interesting.
As a final note, I wish you all a very happy Canada Day long weekend and a very happy summer. I hope that you are able to enjoy time with family and friends or doing something that you enjoy. I am very much looking forward to travelling to B.C. with Jean and Declan for my son, Holden’s wedding. It will be a very special time for us all. Thanks also to our amazing Y team for all the work they do everyday and best wishes for a well-deserved and fun-filled summer break.
Have a safe summer!
CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario