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.



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!


Our most popular camp for summer-long fun



Daily and weekly themed camps






Week-long themed camps for preschool-aged children


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.


  • 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.

(ages 19-24)
(ages 25+)

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.


In this season of giving, Second Chance Cardiac Solutions has generously donated an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to the Fox Valley Family YMCA.  The Cardiac Science AED is the second one in service at Fox Valley Family YMCA Central Branch and will be located on the pool deck of the indoor lap and recreational pool.

Use of the pool continues to grow through the Y’s Aquatic Programs including swim lessons, aquatic fitness, special events and Aqua Force Swim Team and this addition will make swimming at the Y even safer. “Having an AED on pool deck increases the safety of the pool – in the event of a cardiac emergency, pool staff will have access to the most effective solution.” Kevin Satler, Aquatics Director.  “We are very grateful for the AED donation from Second Chance.” 

Elizabeth Heriaud, President of Second Chance Cardiac Solutions, stated, “We are thrilled to support our home YMCA with this donation.  Making more AEDs readily available promotes a heart-safe environment for Y members and guests.”  Second Chance Cardiac Solutions, a local AED  supply and safety training company, also provides CPR/AED training for Y staff and community members.

Automated External Defibrillators (AED) are lightweight, portable devices that deliver an electric shock to a fibrillating heart via electrodes placed on the chest.  AEDs have the potential to restore a normal, effective heart rhythm to victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  An AED should be used in combination with CPR whenever available for the victim’s best chance of survival.  Illinois law requires having at least one AED available at all physical fitness facilities serving over 100 individuals and trained staff to be available during every hour of operation. 

Get to know Second Chance Solutions here:


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.


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.


"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.



"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."





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.











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."  












“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."