News

Meet New School Age Child Care Director Amy Peterson

Get to know Amy Peterson, our new School Age Child Care Director, and find out about all the exciting things she has planned for Summer Camp this year!

"My name is Amy Peterson and I’m so excited about my new role as School Age Child Care Director here at the Y – it is a dream job for me!  I am always looking for ways to offer child care that gives parents peace of mind as well as promotes family time. For example, in SAFE, our Before and After School Care program, we focus our afternoons on homework and reading in an effort to free up working families nights so that they are able to enjoy quality time together.

I am bursting with excitement for Summer Camp this year!  This summer, I have assigned 2 main goals to the program; 1. kids are excited to come to camp every day and 2. parents feel included and informed.  In order to achieve these goals, we have been working hard to rethink and build on the current summer camp experience.


This summer, I have assigned 2 main goals to the program; 1. kids are excited to come to camp every day and 2. parents feel included and informed.


One of the ways we plan to do this is by introducing a new camp structure focused on 8 unique experiences throughout each day.  Children will rotate through Sand n' Sun, Water Wonder, Calypso Cabin, GaGa Ball, Reading Nook, Racing Alley, Tournament Time and Relaxation Station, while still swimming and participating in field trips.  We will also include stations at our new West Branch location in Sandwich. Children attending West Branch will swim weekly, go on field trips, spend time at the West Branch Y and visit the Sandwich Library for special activities.

To keep parents informed, we are automatically registering parents for Remind App notifications.  This will be the best way to stay in communication with parents regarding weather, upcoming field trips and so much more.  We are also introducing Express Pick-Up –– if you give us ten minutes notice before your pick up time, we will have your child waiting for you when you arrive! To learn more about both these new features, please mark your calendars for Orientation Night: May 21st at Central at 6:30 pm or May 22nd at West at 6:30 pm.

In addition to all of their rigorous safety training and Early Learning education, our counselors are also in training to learn new ways to problem solve, engage children and get to know them and all their unique traits. Also, by rewarding positive attitudes and actions, counselors will promote our new Good Citizenship program.

Together the staff and I are excited to kick off summer and we look forward to getting to know each and every one of your children!"


Ask Amy!

A few fun facts about Miss Amy

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
If I were a crayon color I would definitely be in the fluorescent crayon box.  I'd be Razzle Dazzle Rose although my Assistant, Emily Grace, says I'd be Screamin' Green. Whatever!!

What is your favorite hobby?
My favorite hobby is refinishing furniture. 

Three words to describe your personality?
Passionate, excitable, personable

What inspires you?
I am inspired by people who set goals and follow through –– saying and doing are oceans apart!  Those who set goals and create a roadmap to achieve those goals are usually exceptional people.  It takes discipline, perseverance and focus.  All things I strive to improve on!

Who’s your favorite Pokemon?
I don't have a favorite Pokemon, yet! But I am hoping to brush up on it this summer and get back to you in August.


Learn more about all things Summer Day Camp here.

 

Summer Camps & Enrichment Programs

 

Achieving Summer Goals Together

There is no place like the Y for summer camps and programs - a home away from home where kids laugh, learn, explore and grow while creating memories and friendships that last a lifetime.  Kids discover not just the wonders of camp, sports and/or the arts but the joy of exploring their unique traits, talents and interests and the power of sharing their strengths and skills with their peers.


Click a category to find a summer camp that's just right for you!
 

 

SUMMER DAY CAMP
BEST SUMMER EVER
Our most popular camp for summer-long fun

 

 

SUMMER ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS
Daily and weekly themed camps

 

 

SUMMER SPORTS PROGRAMS & CAMPS

 

 

PRESCHOOL SUMMER ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS
Week-long themed camps for preschool-aged children

 

Part-Time Summer Memberships

Achieve your #summergoals at One Low Price for the Whole Summer

Perfect for college students, teachers on summer break and families looking for a summer full of fun – check-out PART-TIME SUMMER MEMBERSHIPS! Beginning May 15th, pay one low price for the whole summer. Valid until 9/3/2018. Prices are a one-time fee and cover membership for the duration of the summer.

SUMMER MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS:

  • Unlimited FREE group exercise classes ranging from Les Mills BodyPump® to Yoga
  • Unlimited use of the Fitness Center including state-of-the-art TechnoGym® equipment, free weights and Cybex machines
  • Free Water Exercise classes
  • Reduced prices on programs, such as swimming, dance, music, gymnastics, sports, and more!
  • Free activities for the entire family
  • Heated, eight-lane indoor pool and full-size gymnasium at Central Branch
  • Use of both Central and West Branches
  • Nationwide Membership
  • Belonging to an organization that cares and gives back to our community

Read more about Y memberships and all of the benefits here.

SUMMER COLLEGE 
(ages 19-24)
$80 NO JOIN FEE
SUMMER ADULT
(ages 25+)
$99 NO JOIN FEE
SUMMER FAMILY $199 NO JOIN FEE

Souls of the Y: David Thielk

David, Kelly, Eli, Maia and Nevin Thielk

David's family left to right: Nevin, Maia, David, Kelli and Eli

My fitness journey started when I joined the Sandwich Wrestling team at age 13. Wrestling taught me that with hard work and determination I can fight through and overcome anything in life. I graduated high school in 1996 in the best shape of my life, attributed to wrestling. Shortly after high school I got married and started a family with my beautiful wife of 20 years. We have 3 crazy kids. With starting a family came a large responsibility and I thought I had to sacrifice my gym time, which also meant my health, in order to manage it all. For 17 years my attempts at the gym and eating healthy were a yo-yo trick of ups and downs. Once my children entered high school and started working out at the YMCA they became my motivators and the gym became our family time. I/we make time for the gym as a family now. The thing I realized over the past few years is that I deserve gym time and that when I take care of myself I can take better care of my family.


 "The thing I realized over the past few years is that I deserve gym time and that when I take care of myself I can take better care of my family."


I am journeyman/lineman and my job requires me to travel due to storms and other natural disasters. No matter where my job takes me there is always a YMCA for me to workout at. Over the last 2 years, I have stopped at YMCA's all over Illinois. YMCA's in Galesburg, Plainfield, Morris, Kankakee, Plano, Springfield, Rockford and more, they are all amazing and welcoming but West Branch in Sandwich is my home. My job, like others, can make it difficult to get to the gym. 

Working on powerlines is exciting and very rewarding! I love what I do for a living and it makes me feel proud to be a part of a brotherhood of the strongest. I love the fast pace, intense demands of focus and the adrenaline working my job; journeyman/lineman is one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs.

David visiting the Haverford Area YMCA in Pennsylvania

The rewarding part of this job is when we go out in a storm to help people that have lost power due to a natural disaster. We are usually sent in before these disasters hit and we ride the storms with the first responders or move in shortly after they hit. I have been to many states for storm restoration including Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and most recently, Florida for Hurricane Erma –– all of which participate in the Y's nationwide membership programphoto caption: David visiting the Haverford Area YMCA in Pennsylvania.


  

"I have the staff at the Y pushing me –– Jackie yelling at the front desk, Nicole’s laugh, Bambi’s smile, and my family by my side to motivate me.  This is my Y!"


 

There are no words to describe what it feels like to ride out a hurricane or any other natural disaster, not knowing the devastation that you will see when it is over. Once the storm calms, our job starts, we work 16 plus hours helping to restore power. The conditions are tough and the tasks are not easy. Hurricane Erma left people out of power for three weeks. Those amazing Floridians were so kind; feeding us and bringing us drinks while we worked despite all they had been through.

Thinking back to my high school wrestling days, I loved being a part of a team and Coach Gerrish pushing us to keep going and never give up. I’m older now and those days are still part of my core values and it is probably why I love working hard at my job, my marriage, and being a good dad. Now instead of Coach Gerrish I have the staff at the Y pushing me –– Jackie yelling at the front desk, Nicole’s laugh, Bambi’s smile, and my family by my side to motivate me. This is my Y!


Learn more about the Y's Nationwide Membership Program here.

BECOME A MEMBER! Take advantage of NO JOIN FEE on April 21st at Healthy Kids Day.


 

We are the Y

Hellos in the hallways. Splashes in the pool. Me time in yoga. Feeling at home, even off the field. You know the feeling – being part of something bigger. We are The Y!

 

 


Whether it was a goal to get in shape or learn to swim, below are the some of the stories that make our Y strong.

  

MEET LANDA

"I have been on the Fox Valley Flyers Gymnastics Team since 2nd grade. During those six years, I have learned a lot, made new friends and have become a better gymnast. Going to gymnastics at the Y was always the highlight of my day, especially during the school year. The coaches are super nice but also know when to push us to make us stronger.  The team girls are just like family – the whole team is supportive, encouraging, understanding and fun! Gymnastics has been an amazing experience for me and I'm excited for what the next four years has in store for me!" 


From a one week trial to a love of our Group Ex Fitness classes, meet Tammy!

• Why have you chosen to workout at the Y?

I started with the one week trial because I wanted to see what the group classes were about. I realized right away that the Y is more of a community than a workout facility. The instructors have strong relationships with their classes and everyone is friendly and welcoming. I'm very thankful for the friendships I've made through the Y. 

• What is your favorite class?

My favorite classes are Pilates and Les Mills BodyPump. Pilates helped me correct my diastasis recti after having my second baby, and that made a big difference in all areas of my fitness.

• Do you or your family participate in any other Y programs?

My son does swim lessons off and on and my husband sometimes plays in the open gym basketball games. My 2 boys also go to the kid zone while I work out and they love it. They ask to go there every day so I love knowing they're having fun and socializing while I get a good workout in (and get to socialize myself!) 

• Have you experienced positive changes or benefits that you would attribute to working out at the Y?

When I started this fitness journey I had no idea where it would take me, but I've noticed so many positive changes. I have grown to love group fitness classes. I am much healthier than I've been in probably a decade. I have more energy to keep up with my boys, and working out has been a great stress reliever for me.


MEET LINCOLN

"Lincoln always came to class with a big smile on his face. He was either dressed in his favorite superhero clothing and was excited to see his friends. Lincoln was eager to participate and share during our Morning Circle. He liked to make his friends laugh and had a great sense of humor. During the school year, he worked really hard on writing his name. By the end of the year, he could write his first and last name fluently!"  –Mrs. Poss, Lincoln's Preschool teacher.


 

MEET BEN

"I've made new friends outside of school and enjoy hanging out with fellow swimmers. My favorite event is the 50M Back Stroke." said Ben. With just 2 seasons under his cap, Ben is already excelling as a member of the Aqua Force Swim Team and in more than just his favorite event. This past weekend, Ben took 2nd place in his age group in the 200M Freestyle at the YMCA Swimming Championships. "Ben showed potential and I was excited to work with him at practice. Now his hard work has paid off at big meets. I can see his enthusiasm, especially when he's on that podium holding a medal!" says Swim Coach, Kevin Satler.

While Ben practices with the swim team, his 2 younger sisters, Lily and Maddy, take swim lessons.  Their mother Katie says, "The kids love the water – they beg to be signed-up. Swim lessons have prepared the girls to swim in the lake. Lily is now comfortable putting her face in the water and Maddy swims on her own instead of holding onto me. AND when the girls and Ben swim, I get to work out! I enjoy Les Mills BODYSTEP and BODYPUMP as well as Spin."

 


 

 


MEET DEAN

Dean, member since 2009, deliveries beautiful, home-grown roses to our front desk all summer long. Not only do Dean's flowers brighten the desk, they also brighten our day! THIS is what it means to be a member at the Y. Because we're more than a gym – we're family.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


MEET ERIC 

 

When we asked Eric if we could take his photo for this feature, he replied, "Get this pose, you can really see my muscles." 

That sense of humor and confidence makes him well-liked by staff and members. But his commitment to a healthy lifestyle is why he chooses the Y. "Fitness leads to a healthy life. A healthy life leads to a happy life. And a happy life leads to a well-lived life."  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


MEET EMMETT
“My favorite part of soccer was making goals and being on a team with all of my new and old friends,” says Emmett.  Not only is the commitment to a sport beneficial to a child, it's also a benefit to the family as a whole. "Our family has made lifelong friends at the Y. Our whole family looks forward to sports days,"  said Emmet's mother, Tiffany. "Coach Ed clicked with all the kids and I could tell he truly cared for all of them. It was fun to watch each kid on the team improve their skills and grow their confidence."

 


 


 

GYMNASTICS

Instructional Camp  |  Ages 6+  |  9am-3pm  |  $145M/$175NM

Fairies, Mermaids, Unicorns –– OH MY! Come join us for our Magical Gymnastics Camp. This camp is for girls 6+ and runs 9am-3pm, Monday through Thursday. We will work on all four gymnastics events, plus swim and participate in indoor and outdoor activities each day. Campers should bring a swimsuit, towel, lunch, and a change of clothes. All gymnasts who would like to be considered for The Fox Valley Flyers competition team must attend this camp. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. 

PRE-SCHOOL CAMP  |  Ages 4-5  |  9am-12pm  |  $80M/$160NM
This camp for boys and girls runs 9am-12pm, Monday through Thursday. Campers will work on all four gymnastics events, plus swim and participate in indoor and outdoor activities each day. Campers should bring a swimsuit, towel, snack, and a change of clothes.

 

SPORTS

BASKETBALL SKILLS CAMP
JULY 23-27
AGES 5-7  |  9-10:00 AM
AGES 8-10  |  10-11:00 AM
AGES 11-12  |  11:00AM-12:00 PM
$50M/$70NM

Campers will work on the fundamentals of the game including dribbling, passing, and shooting. This camp is open for all skill levels. Balls are available but participants are welcome to bring their own.


CHICAGO FIRE SOCCER CAMP
YOUTH 
SOCCER CAMP
JUNE 18-22
3-5 YEAR OLDS  |  8-9:00AM  |  $95
6-12 YEAR OLDS  |  9-12:00PM  |  $170

Kick off your summer by signing up for a Chicago Fire Soccer Summer Camp! Play, learn and train with our passionate, highly qualified Chicago Fire coaches who will support your child to develop soccer skills in a week of soccer-filled fun. Programs are suitable for all ages and ability levels. Spaces are limited! All players registered will receive a SITC Dri-Fit jersey, ball, individual player evaluation and a ticket to a Chic

ago Fire game at Toyota Park!

Little Sparks: Introduction to soccer where children and parents can take their first steps in soccer together!

COMMUNITY: Build on your child’s key soccer skills through activities and themed practices.

COMPETITIVE: Develop your child`s performance through game-related scenarios.


 

SPECIAL NEEDS SPORTS CAMP
Ages 5+  |  July 16 - July 20  |  $50M & NM
At the Y, we strive to be inclusive and to provide programs for all kids. Our Special Needs Camp will provide opportunities for fun and physical activity for youth and teens with special needs. Whether you’re a beginner, a seasoned athlete, or just want to have fun, we encourage you to take part in our special needs camp. Parent participation is welcome but not required.
 


FLAG FOOTBALL CAMP
July 30 - August 3
Ages 5-7 | 9-10:00AM
Ages 8-10 | 10-11:00AM
$50M/$70NM | Central
Our flag football camp will emphasize basic to advanced skills and practice in the areas of passing, receiving, and defense. Campers will learn the rules of flag football based on their age group as well as team concepts and sportsmanship. This camp is ideal for any youth flag football player looking to improve their football skills or a player who wants to learn the fundamentals of flag football.

 

Cooking

AGES 6-12 | $75M/$113NM

KIDS CAN COOK
June 11-14  |  Mon-Thurs  |  1-3:00pm  |  Central
Lets get creative in the kitchen! These cooking classes are hands on. So, get ready to learn your way around a kitchen and create yummy, fun recipes!


COOKING AROUND THE WORLD
June 18-21  |  1-3:00pm  |  Central
If you traveled to Mexico, what would you eat? How about Italy? During this camp we will explore different countries and the food they cook and eat.


CULINARY ROAD TRIP
June 25-28  |  1-3:00pm  |  Central
Come take a food tour across the United States! Each day we will “travel” to a different part of the country and make recipes based on the area. Find out what food cities across our country our famous for and then cook them during this camp!

 

MUSIC

MINI MUSICIANS
Ages 3-5  |  $65M/$98NM
June 12-28  |  Tuesdays & Thursdays  |  10-10:45am  |  Central
Do you have a preschooler who loves music? This is a hands-on class where children ages 3-5 play a variety of musical instruments as well as listen to their instructor play songs for them.


UKULELE CAMP
ages 7-12  |  $80M/$120NM
June 13-27  |  Wednesdays  |  10:00am-12:00pm  |  Central
Get into the tropical spirit and learn the basics of playing the ukulele. Kids will learn a few simple songs and enjoy other Hawaiian activities each day. Please register two weeks prior to the start of camp.

 

ART & STEM

CENTRAL BRANCH
AGES 6-12  |  $85M/$128NM

WHO LIVES UNDER THE SEA?
Mondays  |  10-11:30am
Take an adventure under the sea; each class will explore a new sea creature and learn how they live. For instance, do you know how many shark species there are? You will after this class!

TIE DYE DAYS
Tuesdays  |  10-11:30am

Have you ever worn a pair of tie-dye socks? Let's learn to tie-dye more than shirts! Come join us for a very colorful summer!

ART MANIA
Thursdays  |  10:00am-12:00pm
Come share your passion for art and creativity with us! Learn how to use different kinds of art supplies including paint, clay and chalk.

MAD SCIENCE EXTRAVAGANZA
Fridays  |  10-11:30am
Do you want to learn how to make slime? or make a volcano and watch it erupt? Then this class is for you – let's get messy while we learn!