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A Message from our CEO, Rob Armstrong

YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka CEO, Rob ArmstrongSince unveiling the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Strategic Plan last year, we have been hard at work laying the foundation for the next few years. Most importantly, we have been working towards achieving all of our promises.

YMCA’s dedication to the youth of Simcoe County and Muskoka

Youth are a very important piece to the puzzle in the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka. It is our goal to enable youth to have promising futures by opening our doors and providing access to youth programs and resources within the YMCA. By creating new initiatives and programs that allow their personal growth, we are influencing success individually and within the local school boards.

Keeping the spirit of Camp Kitchi alive

YMCA Camp Kitchikewana, located on Beausoleil Island, has been a gem in the area for over 90 years. It has been a place to create memories and grow in mind, body and spirit. Camp “Kitchi” will continue to provide all the great activities and skills that campers look forward to and for the second year in a row will be giving our leadership youth a chance to participant in yet another unique opportunity. Over 120 youth will earn a provincially-recognized high school credit through their leadership experience at YMCA Camp Kitchikewana. This program is delivered by YMCA staff in partnership with Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board teachers, and through this partnership youth will earn Grade 11 Healthy Living and Peer Leadership credits. These participants will earn an advanced waterfront certification or First Aid/CPR certificate.

Geneva Park partners with SCDSB & District of Muskoka

New this year, through a similar partnership with the Simcoe County District School Board and District of Muskoka, another 40 youth will have a similar opportunity at YMCA Geneva Park. If you have never joined us at Geneva Park, it’s a must see in the area. It’s located on over 150 acres and touts three kilometres of shoreline on Lake Couchiching just outside of Orillia.

Helping youth acquire high school credits in Simcoe and Muskoka

Our newest initiative in this area began this winter and allows youth to acquire a high school credit while working on their advanced aquatic certification. Fifteen youth have the opportunity to become a leader around the water by taking one of the many Lifesaving Society offerings at the Midland YMCA. This program not only allows students to earn credits towards graduation, but also to continue to be part of our YMCA family as a swim instructor and lifeguard.

YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Youth Leadership Program

Over the next year we anticipate that over 200 youth will acquire high school credits through these initiatives, which are recognized throughout the Province of Ontario. It is our goal to inspire youth with a sense of belonging now and in the future as they grow into active and engaged members of our communities.  We are so pleased to be able to provide these programs through partnership with our local school boards. Working together provides us all with more opportunity to grow and prosper.

Want to know more about our youth initiatives? Leave a comment below and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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