Volunteer Spotlight: Jonathan Shelby

MAKING AN IMPACT

When you volunteer at the Y, you not only enhance your personal well-being but also take an active role in bringing about meaningful, enduring change right in your own neighborhood.

A freshman at Plainfield North High School, Jonathan Shelby found that volunteering at the C. W. Avery Family YMCA in the summer camp program has not only helped his community, but it was also a fun experience that has helped to shape his future.

Jonathan has been involved at the C.W. Avery Family YMCA for many years which included spending numerous summers as a day camper and participating in many activities around the Y.

After finding out about the chance to volunteer at the Y through his parents, Jonathan instantly knew it was an opportunity he had to take.  He admits volunteering was a big step forward at first and it was an interesting transition going from a Y camper to a Y volunteer. However, it was the comfort from the Y and the home-like feel that helped Jonathan thrive. Greater Joliet Area YMCA Volunteer

“The Y is like a second home,” he explained. “There are so many kids having fun; I enjoy hearing the laughter of the kids.”

While volunteering, Jonathan discovered that he was able to help with sports he grew up playing such as basketball and soccer.  Jonathan’s volunteer role involved assisting the Y staff with sports camp set up in the mornings and helping youth sports players, ages 6-10, with games and drills in their respective sports.  Even more importantly, Jonathan was able to see the campers he worked with grow as players and individuals.

As a long-time Y member, Jonathan looks forward to volunteering more in the future and encourages others interested to give it a shot.

“Volunteering is actually fun and it’s a good experience before starting a job,” he said.

On behalf of the Y and all the kids in the Avery Y’s summer camp program, we would like to thank Jonathan for being such an important part of our summer camp family!

Do you want to be a part of something bigger?  To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Y, please contact Volunteer and Development Operations Manager Dori Fugate via email at [email protected] or by phone at (815) 267-8600, ext. 210.

Coach Eric Kimble– Our Y’s Everyday Hero

Eric Kimble

Greater Joliet Area YMCA Volunteer

On September 7, the Joliet Herald-News honored 16 individuals in our community as Everyday Heroes. Among these 16 Everyday Heroes was Eric Kimble, who volunteers his time as a youth basketball coach at the C.W. Avery Family YMCA.

On behalf of the Y and all the kids in our youth basketball leagues, we would like to congratulate Coach Kimble on this award. Thank you for being an amazing mentor and leader in the community.  In our eyes, you truly are an everyday hero!

Read Eric Kimble’s full story here.

Volunteer Spotlight: Trinity Yates

Trinity Yates: Camp Volunteer

Developing Future Leaders

At the Y, our volunteers play a vital role in the success, quality, and quantity of programs we offer.  We are able to give back to our community thanks to volunteers like Trinity Yates, who volunteered her time this summer at the C.W. Avery Family YMCA.

For the last several years, Trinity loved attending summer camp at the Y.  So much so that when her time was ending as a camper, she didn’t want to leave.  She soon learned of an opportunity to stay involved as a volunteer with the Y’s summer camp program.Greater Joliet Area YMCA Volunteer

During her time volunteering this summer, Trinity helped with craft stations, while working with kids in grades K-4.

“My favorite part was working with the kids, having fun and doing activities,” explained Trinity.

ENRICHING LIVES

While having fun and staying involved at the Y has been a great experience for Trinity, her parents have seen an even more significant benefit to her volunteer opportunity.

“I have seen her grow and mature since becoming a volunteer,” said Trinity’s mother, Rasa Yates.  “She has really flourished in the last couple of months.”

Trinity’s father added that it has been a wonderful experience watching his daughter go from a young child in camp to a responsible young woman.  He laughed as he said, “It’s been “terriciting,” a terrifying and exciting experience watching her grow this summer.

Looking towards the future, Trinity plans to volunteer again at the Y and hopes to maybe one day become a summer camp counselor.  She encourages those interested in volunteering to get more involved and Trinity’s mother couldn’t agree more.

“It’s a great volunteer program to give the kids a chance to go on after being a camper,” said Mrs. Yates.  “It really prepares them for jobs in the future.”

On behalf of the Y and all the kids in the Avery Y’s summer camp program, we would like to thank Trinity for being such an important part of our summer camp family!

Do you want to be a part of something bigger?  To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Y, please contact Volunteer and Development Operations Manager Dori Fugate via email at [email protected] or by phone at (815) 267-8600, ext. 210.

Practicing Water Safety Skills with the Y’s “Go Blue” Program

Water Safety Programs

For many families, visiting a beach or pool during the summer is an easy way to cool off from the heat. Some may even visit a pool year-round. But it’s important to remember that even something as fun as a pool, or any body of water, can pose a serious threat if you or your child does not know how to swim.

As America’s most trusted swim instructor, the YMCA has been teaching kids how to swim for more than 100 years. Swim lessons at the YMCA will help your kids stay fit, healthy and strong when they spend time in the water. But, most importantly, they will gain confidence and learn vital water safety skills that will last them a lifetime.

The YMCA’s Swim Lesson Curriculum is based on a continuum that focuses on a skill-based progression that builds confidence and supports skill development for swimmers of all ages. Swim lessons are available six days a week for adults and children, as young as six-months-old. Enrolling your child in swim lessons at a young age will help them to get familiar with the water and teach them critical water safety skills. (Check out the Y’s many other aquatic programs offered this fall.)

SUMMER CAMP FUN

To ensure our summer camp participants have the opportunity to develop this essential life skill, the YMCA has introduced the “Go Blue” Water Safety Program into its camp curriculum. As part of the “Go Blue” Program, campers take a mandatory swim test before entering the pool. Based on their swimming abilities, campers receive a red, yellow or blue wristband. To “Go Blue” means that swimmers have enough strength, skill, and confidence to pass the blue swim test, which includes jumping into the deep end of the pool, treading water, and swimming the length of the pool using a front crawl stroke without stopping.

To improve their swimming skills, all red and yellow wristband campers participate in 15-minute swim lessons several times each week during summer camp. The goal is to help all non-swimmers and intermediate swimmers “Go Blue” by the end of summer.

GO BLUE RESULTS

Now that summer camp has come to an end, we are very excited to share the results of this summer’s “Go Blue” Program. Congratulations to our summer campers and our aquatics and camp teams for a job well done!

C.W. Avery Family YMCA:

  • Red Swimmers to Yellow Swimmers: 34
  • Yellow Swimmers to Blue Swimmers: 42
  • Overall Percent of Campers Who Are Now Blue Swimmers: 74%

Galowich Family YMCA:

  • Red Swimmers to Yellow Swimmers: 14
  • Yellow Swimmers to Blue Swimmers: 12
  • Overall Percent of Campers Who Are Now Blue Swimmers: 46%

Morris Community YMCA:

  • Red Swimmers to Yellow Swimmers: 8
  • Yellow Swimmers to Blue Swimmers: 13
  • Overall Percent of Campers Who Are Now Blue Swimmers: 47%

Smith Family YMCA:

  • Red Swimmers to Yellow Swimmers: 21
  • Yellow Swimmers to Blue Swimmers: 19
  • Overall Percent of Campers Who Are Now Blue Swimmers: 52%

Registration is underway for fall swim lessons. To learn more, visit www.jolietymca.org or contact the Aquatics Director at your local YMCA branch.

Celebrating the Grand Opening of the C.W. Avery Family YMCA Wellness Center

Wellness Center Plainfield Ribbon Cutting

The C.W. Avery Family YMCA celebrated the grand opening of its expanded Wellness Center on Friday, July 27, alongside many Plainfield city officials and YMCA board members, volunteers, members and staff. Open seven days a week, the newly renovated Wellness Center gives the community a special space to focus on their health and well-being with many new features, including:

  • A new group exercise room
  • An abundance of new strength and cardio machines
  • A private personal training area
  • A new group cycling room

GROWING STRONGER TOGETHER

The Greater Joliet Area YMCA has been serving Will County families, regardless of age, income or background since 1928 and with the expansion of the C.W. Avery Family YMCA, the Y is able to provide additional exercise space to Y members. Plainfield Mayor Michael P. Collins described the expansion as a “jewel” of the Plainfield community and a “diamond” to Will County.

Want to come to check out the new space? Try the Y for free before you join! With a YMCA membership, you have access to all four branches in Joliet, Plainfield, and Morris—along with many exciting youth and fitness programs for everyone in the family to enjoy!

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