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Shawnee YMCA resumes summer activities, camps

Galen Hawes

With the exception of childcare programs for children of essential workers during the COVID-19 quarantine, many programs were put on hold at the Shawnee Family YMCA, but activities are slowly resuming with precautions for the summer.

Throughout COVID-19, Shawnee Family YMCA kept their childcare program open for children of emergency management, doctors, nurses and other essential workers.

“When COVID-19 hit we put together a task force to meet the needs of the community,” said Brandon Bell, CEO. “Once we were able to reopen, we did so similar to the State of Oklahoma with three phases.”

Since March 23, the YMCA has volunteered 473 hours of emergency childcare (free or highly subsidized) through its child care program as Phase 1 of their reopening, he said.

On May 1, the facility began Phase 2 by holding no classes and moving to primarily online registration for programs like child care, swim lessons, and sports.

The Y began Phase 3 on June 1 and started holding normal classes and swim lessons.

Special precautions were put in place to keep everyone as safe as possible, such as checking temperatures at the door and making sure the day camp kids are not in contact with individuals attending normal classes or swim classes.

In efforts to keep everyone safe, Bell said employees will have masks and equipment will be cleaned frequently.

The June/July Summer Day Camp (Child Care) started June 1 and goes through July 31, with weekly registration fees for children ages 5-12.

The Y is currently offering free lunch every Monday through Friday until July 31 for any youth under the age of 18.

The Y is holding eight free safety around water (SAW) class opportunities in June and July to teach kids safety in water. The SAW classes are free for members and non-members first come, first serve registration only. The class dates available are June 22, 29, July 10, 17, 24, and 31. All SAW classes are scheduled for 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Progressive swim lessons are also offered with limited class sizes and must be registered and paid for online. The Y offers four options for swim lessons. Option 1 is held Monday-Thursday for two weeks with an 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. start time from June 8- 18, June 22-July 2, July 6-16 and/or July 20-30.

Option 2 is held on Mondays from 5:30-6:15 p.m. and is a swim lesson once a week for 7 weeks from June 8-July 20. Option 3 is private classes.

Option 4 is parent/child lessons that are held on Wednesdays June 10-July 22 5:30- 6:15 p.m. Register online.

Wee ball and Tee ball for ages 3-6 starts in July, although registration ends June 30. There will be two practices and six games beginning July 7 and going every Tuesday and Thursday. The fee is $30 for members and $50 for non-members, with a T-shirt included once registered.

The Y is currently renting out their baseball field space to teams. Contact Steve by email at smcelwee@shawneeymca.org to rent the field.

 Activities also available within the facility, including basketball in the gym, summer volleyball for ages 14 and up, and group exercises.

To use the YMCA, there are six membership type options with no contracts, no initiation fees, and 24/7 fitness access capabilities, Bell said.

The Y is open Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Fitness Center is open for 24/7 access for members only.

When visiting the YMCA, patrons can stay safe by spending no more than 60 minutes in the facility per day, staying home if they feel ill or sick, cleaning equipment before and after use, and bringing a towel and padlock.

Services not available currently include towels, day locks, Group Room No. 2, coffee and break areas and guest passes.

“Thank you to those in the community who stood by us when we weren’t able to operate due to COVID-19,” said Bell. “The support of our community is what helps us to continue offering child care, swimming lessons, group exercise classes, and many more activities.”

The Shawnee Family YMCA has been serving the community since 1903 and is owned, operated, and managed by a local group of volunteers from within the community to help in offering financial assistance on membership and programs. 

The YMCA offers six membership options with no contracts, no initiation fees, and 24/7 fitness access capabilities. Financial assistance is available for swimming, sports, child care, and memberships for those in need.

“At the Y we are all about youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility,” Bell said. “Our mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit mind and body for all.”

For more information about Shawnee Family YMCA call 405-273-4386 or visit www.shawneeymca.org or Shawnee YMCA Facebook Page.