Written by: Alix W.
For most parents, back to school has a bittersweetness to it. The long, lazy days of summer are amazing. Water fights, sunshine, bubbles, watermelon for lunch, there’s a relaxed feeling in the air. Kids read books upside down on the couch, the only gear you need is flip flops and hats, and no one needs a bath, they’re running through the sprinkler every day. There’s no rushing from place to place, the sun boosts everyone’s mood, and you have the chance to create some real memories together as a family. But by the end of August, kids get bored, parents run out of ideas – everyone is ready for new company and the school year to begin.
While the transition back to school is welcome, it can also be challenging for some families – mixed emotions, routine defiance, a decline in connectiveness and more.
For families where both parents work, maybe your routine wasn’t all that disrupted by summer. Your kids might have had a blast at our YMCA Calgary Summer Camps and are used to the morning hustle, bagged lunch and full days. In that case, your family might be ready to tackle the long days of school, after school care and the routine that comes with it. For other families who just went with the summer flow, the transition may not be that easy.
Every family, every kid is different, and there is no fix-all solution to make the transition easier. For my kids, I try to add a little closure to summer, which can allow them to process the idea that we’re moving on to the school year. Create a summer photo album, and print off all your favourite photos from the last few months. Every evening spend a few minutes looking at your summer pictures and talking about what you liked best about summer. It’s an excellent way to relive some memories and then branch into talking about what they are most excited about for the school year. It also is a great routine to keep their mind off heading to bed a little early.
Once you are back in the swing of school, freshen up your regular routine:
- Find new lunch options and switch them up often
- Build a fresh play list to sing along to on the way to school
- Listen to some new podcasts on the way home
Our annual “transition routine” has helped my family keep our fun summer memories alive, easily transition back to the school and continue to develop those important family connections we build over the summer months.
The YMCA Calgary float demonstrates the action, community-building, and fun that makes the YMCA what it is. A variety of activities children, youth and adults can experience at the Y are illustrated with figurine outlines that can be any person from anywhere, emphasizing our inclusivity and our welcoming of all people. They are playing basketball, lifting weights, running, doing yoga, skateboarding, playing music, canoeing, and hiking.
All the figures are placed on, in and around colorful ribbon-like pieces that intertwine to demonstrate the community-building that occurs when children, youth and adults gather together to participate in activities they enjoy. The ribbons also intertwine in and around the acronym YMCA to demonstrate how the Y has activities within its Centres of Community but also around the city in 60 different sites including community centres and schools.
These ribbons gather together at the front of the float to create a push bar for the people pushing the structure. The float is in the shape of a Y and is led by large YMCA logos, a recognizable symbol of welcome, community – a safe space. The basketball backboard at the back of the float symbolizes the ingenuity of the YMCA (basketball was invented by Canadian James Naismith at a YMCA in 1891) and the constant flow of new ideas and activities at local YMCAs around our city, our country and in 120 countries around the world. The words around the base of the float are YMCA key concepts supporting our mission – learn, grow, belong, thrive, lead, volunteer and work. They speak to the vision of YMCA Calgary, that our communities will be vibrant and healthy because children, youth and adults belong, grow, thrive and lead.
In honour of Mental Health Week, YMCA Calgary wants to remind everyone the importance physical activity plays in both mental and physical health.
It is proven that daily exercise will improve your overall well-being. What is also known, is that the type and intensity of exercise doesn’t matter. Daily physical activity, whether it is an intensive boot camp, an hour-long swim or a 30-minute walk, will significantly improve your mental health
Many of us face stress throughout our daily lives in our work, family, finances and relationships, which can negatively effect our mental health. Incorporating daily physical activity into your routine will:
- Increase your energy
- Improve your mood
- Reduce stress
- Improve self-esteem
- Reduce depression and anxiety
- Improve both mental and physical health and overall well-being
Information was referenced from: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-using-exercise. To read more about how exercise can help your mental and physical well-being click on the link above.
Camp Chief Hector YMCA is pleased to announce a new program for families who homeschool their kids.
FAMILY OUTDOOR SCHOOL is an exciting opportunity for the whole family to experience Outdoor Education at Camp! This 3-night, 4-day Outdoor School experience is offered in June 2018. This program is a great way to get unplugged, reconnect with your family and get into the woods with your children.
Registration is open NOW!
403-269-6156 or 1-866-430-9622
CAMP CHIEF HECTOR YMCA
Family Outdoor School
June 11-14, 2018
1st Adult $285 | 2nd Adult $100 | 5Y – 17Y $260 | 0-4Y FREE
November is Strong Members for Strong Kids Month.
What does that mean? It means anyone interested will have the opportunity to engage in feats of fitness and pledge dollars for every rep/inch/second they complete, all in the name of raising funds for the Strong Kids campaign! One day per week throughout the month of November there will be a “Strong Members” booth set up in the lobby of the Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA where you can stop by to see how strong you are for Strong Kids.
Through philanthropy, the YMCA and our donors are removing barriers to help children, youth and families live healthier lives and achieve their full potential. Our annual Strong Kids Campaign gives children and youth the opportunity to participate in YMCA programs that positively influence their health and well-being and connect them to a caring community. 100% of all Strong Kids donations directly support participation in YMCA experiences. In 2016, YMCA provided 23,000 subsidized experience and the need has only increased in 2017!
The specific days and themes of our Strong Members for Strong Kids campaign are listed below with the booth open from 6:30-8:30am, 11:00am-1:00pm, and 4:00-6:00pm each day. Whether you come at the crack of dawn Mondays or lunch time Thursdays, there will be a day and time where you’ll have the opportunity to have fun and show your strength for Strong Kids!
Wednesday November 1– Push Ups, reps per minute.
Thursday November 9– Skipping, reps per minute.
Friday November 17– Jump Height, inches jumped.
Monday November 20– Plank, seconds held.
Tuesday November 28– Wall Sit, seconds held.
This Calgary YMCA App will enhance your YMCA experience. Here are some of the features that you can enjoy:
- First choose your home branch (Example: Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot)
- See Facility information such as branch hours, location and contact information
- Set up your Membership Card under Check-in. Once you do this you can use your phone to scan in!!
- See the most up to date facility drop-in schedules. You also have the ability to set a reminder in your calendar to attend your favorite drop-in classes
- Review the most recent program guide
- Connect with us on Social Media via the App
- Receive facility notifications (ie. schedule changes, closures etc). Please see the attached information sheet to see how to ensure that you are only receiving notifications for the branches that you are interested in.
- Get updates on your Grade 6 Membership. View monthly calendar and posters for events.
If you have any questions or require further assistance with this App please feel free to pop into your branch and speak with a Member Services Representative.
Join us for a FREE facility wide ladies only event at the Saddletowne YMCA. This event is designed to introduce ladies in our community to the fun and healthy benefits of exercise, in a non-intimidating environment. As this is a facility wide event, our facility will be restricted to women only during these hours.
Bring a friend or family member and join us for a fun night full of a variety of exciting activities!
Group Power begins this coming February. Join us for a full hour of high-rep weight class that will push your muscles to the limit. A quick and easy way to achieve full body strength and boost your metabolism. Group Power will be a drop in class, included with your YMCA membership. Stay tuned to our drop-in fitness schedule for times
Are you looking to engage within your community? Instruct a new sport or provide leadership? We are looking for volunteers to work with youth in a variety of programs! Instructors follow a curriculum which helps youth build fundamental skills through physical literacy. Instructors will utilize their own experience, creativity, leadership and help youth grow into themselves and their community. Instructors choose a program to lead, volunteer 1.5 hours/week, gain leadership skills and participate in valuable training!
Benefits of Volunteering:
- Free Membership to the YMCA
- Leadership experience
- Looks great on your resume and we’d love to be your next reference!
- Build a relationship with the YMCA – We may be your next dream job!
How to apply:
- Blog - Featured
- Camp Chief Hector YMCA
- Camp Riveredge YMCA
- Community YMCA
- Grade 6 Membership
- Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA
- Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot
- Quarry Park Child Development Centre
- Remington YMCA
- Saddletowne YMCA
- Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge
- Shawnessy YMCA
- South Health Campus YMCA
- YMCA News