Recently, I had the opportunity to spend time with other leaders of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka to consider the challenges of our communities, and how the Y can continue to play a role as a catalyst to help build healthier communities. Upon arriving at Geneva Park (our conference centre on Lake Couchiching) we spent Friday evening in discussing some of the internal factors that resulted in our growth over the last few years and what our YMCA might look like 5- 10 years down the road.
As the weekend progressed into Saturday, our conversations evolved as we began to discuss the important needs of our communities, the challenges our youth are facing and the growing concerns about the health of our next generation. As discussions shifted from an internal perspective to an external one. Looking externally at the needs in our communities began to challenge all of us around the role of the YMCA in making our communities a better place to live. As we develop our new Strategic Plan, the role we want to play in or communities will focus us on 3-4 impacts that we want to achieve over the next 5 years.
Helping us achieve this goal is a wealth of broad program offerings that can directly impact and improve the lives of the citizens in our community. Our facilities become tools that serve as conduits to our communities, providing warm welcoming environments for families, youth and adults of all ages to broaden their own definitions of community and build a lifetime of health and values together. Spending time at the Y together allows people to experience a sense of belonging in a positive space.
By taking time to reflect on how we are interacting today, our leadership team also recognized that part of our job is to ensure that we continue to effectively expand our reach by communicating in a clear and consistent manner about who we are, what we do, and how we play an important role in all the communities we serve. To do this will require an outward focus that engages key partners and maximizes impact for all involved.
Want to be apart of the plan? Look for our Strategic Plan Feedback link to be available in early February.