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When I think of the YMCA, I can’t help but think of the Village People and their hit song from the late 70’s. To this day, it is still a really popular song for parties and weddings with young and old alike.
Here’s a verse from the song…
Young man, there’s a place you can go
I said, young man, when you’re short on your dough
You can stay there, and I’m sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time
It’s fun to stay at the YMCA.
After having a recent phone interview with Cynthia Klever, executive director of the Northshore YMCA, I am convinced that you will find “many ways to have a good time” at the YMCA.
You might say that Klever is a bona fide expert on the YMCA subject as she has spent the last 20 years working in many different capacities throughout the United States for YMCA. She started as an exercise instructor in Boston, and from there worked in Los Angeles, Denver and downtown Seattle before settling into her current position at the Northshore YMCA a year ago.
There are facilities and programs for young children through seniors at their two main campuses (Bothell and Woodinville at the Carol Edwards Center) as well as many other locations for programs that the YMCA supports.
“We are a place for families and for the community,” Klever said.
You can take an exercise class (including yoga, Pilates, Zumba, cycling class, etc.), swim lessons and open swims, family dance classes, or join an adult pickup basketball game. While you get a workout, you can leave your kids in the Kids Zone where staff is on hand to keep them happy and busy. After school, a teen drop-in provides an opportunity for 10-16 year olds to socialize and participate in safe programs.
Of course, very soon summer will be upon us, and it will be time for camps. Klever said “We will have 500 kids in camp this summer.” They have a daily Discovery camp as well as outdoor camps, sports camps, and teen camps. She added “It is a really fun time for us.” For more information on YMCA summer camps, visit ykids.org.
YMCA also hosts some nontraditional sessions such as ELL (English Language Learner) to help reduce summer learning loss of English for second language students. Other programs include the Hunger Initiative, holiday baskets, and the Bold & Gold weeklong camp for teens. The Bold & Gold adventures focus on leadership development while exploring some of the most beautiful and natural places in the Pacific Northwest. According to Klever, scholarships are available for qualifying teens. For more information on Bold & Gold, visit ymcaleadership.org.
She also mentioned a program that is in the works with the Northshore School District and the NSD Foundation to offer swimming (lessons and programs) for all 4th grade students in the district starting next fall.
With all the camps and programs, the Northshore YMCA’s staff increases to 400 over the summer months. If a student in your household is looking for a summer job, have them visit seattleymca.org to complete an online application.
The YMCA wants to be the place where families and our community can always feel welcome regardless of financial ability to pay. A recent fundraiser will help support YMCA’s programs and provide financial assistance to those in need but the support is needed throughout the year. Keep in mind that the YMCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit if you want to include them in your future giving plans.
“We want to make the community better,” Klever said. She encourages you to stop by and discover all of the programs and services the YMCA offers.
Northshore YMCA serves North King and South Snohomish counties, including the communities of Bothell, Woodinville, Kenmore, Duvall and Carnation, 11811 NE 195th St, Bothell, www.seattleymca.org/locations/northshore-ymca, 425-485-9797.