On a warm summer Thursday evening, I made my way to the Binghamton branch of the YMCA of Broome to try the 6:30 p.m. Cycling Class. I found the Cycling Studio tucked in a corner of the Wellness Center. I brought along a hand towel and a water bottle in anticipation of trying the cardio-pumped workout. The first participant to arrive, Maria, carried a mega water bottle and a bike helmet! Both left me wondering what I was in for during the next hour. I chatted briefly with her and quickly learned she had taken cycling classes with nearly all the YMCA instructors. She greeted Billy, the Y-Fit instructor, when he stopped by the Wellness Center before his class. Found out she had taken this intense cardio/functional fitness class as well. The next attendee to arrive was a friend of Maria’s she met through their volunteer efforts with VINES, a local group tending community gardens. Maria introduced Chris and explained she invited him and he was also a first-timer. I breathed a silent sigh of relief…until I learned Chris’ YMCA workouts included Wellness Center cardio work-outs and lap swimming. He had also recently joined a Triathlon Club and biked outdoors. He said he was working toward running a half marathon when he injured his meniscus. Even with his injury, I felt uncertain of my ability to keep up in a class with such highly trained athletes. in fact, I almost convinced myself I’d take a seat in the back of the room as an observer, when Jen, the instructor, arrived. I knew Jen as a fellow Aquatics Staffer. Though I had never taken one her classes, I appreciated her reputation; she taught with enthusiam, professionalism and excellent cuing.

Jen quickly put me at ease as she set up for class. She greeted the participants as they arrived. The regulars adjusted their cycles to accomodate their height, leg and arm length. Jen helped Chris and I to comfortably “fit” ourselves to ours. She carefully explained how the cycles operated as she loaded her music. She warned us the workout would get intense at times but we were free to choose whether to gear-up (changing the tension as we pedaled to produce more resistance on the chain by turning a knob clockwise), stay at the same level or gear down (turning the knob counter-clockwise). She said part of the class we would sit to pedal and part of it we would stand. She warned that standing, especially when paired with a gear-up would quickly raise the cardio effects. She said we could keep the tension even and/or opt out by maintaining a seated position or returning to a seated position if necessary.

I chose to stay on the cycle the entire class. My machine required multiple adjustments because of my short stature…but I had just enough leg length to pedal. Jen took us through a short warm-up with a variety of stretches, then gradually increased the intensity. When we reached a steady level, she switched from the bright overhead lights to colored lights. The room temperature seemed to immediately drop a few more degrees in the already cool room. As we progressed in our stands with gear-ups simulating travel uphill and through sand, we appreciated the brisk air as we grabbed our hand towels to wipe the sweat beading on our foreheads. The most intense sets included a short series of “jumps” accomplished by switching beween standing and sitting. Jen threw in a more moderate set and finished up with an “ominious” song that pushed everyone to exert all their energy in one final set. Then she cued for a transition into a gradual cool down.
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Each paticipant left the class feeling challenged by the class. Though I modified my work-out by sitting while others stood or by not gearing up, I definitely reached my sustained cardio level. And I enjoyed the class! Chris appreciated the ability to modify his extreme outdoor activities with a more controlled class on a stationary cycle as his meniscus recovers. One member added this class to her Boot Camp routine. Twenty-seven year old, Elizabeth, liked the flexibilty of the class. She said, “it provides the opportunity to make it as hard as I am up to that night.” Maria called Jen “a very capable instructor, who ensures we all have good form.” And added,” Jen’s class provides a great cardio workout!”

The climate-controlled enviroment of the cycling studio allows a safe and consistent workout year-round. One class participant said the class encouraged her to push herself harder than she would exercising on her own. The classes are offered at convenient times in the early morning and evening, with capable instructors. Child Watch is available during the evening classes. Check the YMCA website for more information about the Fall Schedule.

I would recommend using a gel seat if you have not ridden a bike in a long time. I was so relieved to discover no bike helmet was needed during the entire class. I smiled as I left the facility and spotted Maria buckling on her helmet before climbing on her bike parked by the YMCA entrance. What a great “Ah ha” moment! Maria’s last workout for the pleasant evening was pedaling home.

With a smile that could brighten the dreariest day in Broome County, Sandy repeated again and again, “Thank you God” as she retold her story. She began with an event she faced exactly a year ago:

On July 17, 2016, Sandy said she suffered massive trauma in an auto accident. Then she thanked God her life was miraculously spared. After a week in the hospital, Sandy spent 2 months in a local rehab facility that provided non-weight bearing care facilitated by a Hoyer Lift. When she finally arrived home in October, she was grateful to be walking, even if ambulation required a cane. She relied on the assistance of others for groceries, laundry and transportation. When she made enough progress in PT, they suggested she follow-up with water exercise.

Sandy knew exactly where she would go-the West Family YMCA. She took her first water fitness classes at the YMCA about 15 years earlier when she broke her hip in a fall and required a hip replacement. At that time she worked as an office manager and needed to get back to work in her desk job. Sandy looked to the Y for help in her recovery by strengthen her muscles and hip joints. Initially, she and her husband, Bill, joined and they went together to the Wellness Center for circuit training. Later, Sandy found she benefited more from water workouts. So Bill continued in the Wellness Center and she opted for Rusty Hinges and Arthritic Classes in the pool. She even tried Water Zumba once and really liked it. Sandy felt water fitness classes always provided a great body workout and socialization in a positive environment, when her work schedule allowed. Sandy finally had more time to enjoy both and spend time with Bill after she retired a few years ago. Sandy also found more hours for volunteering. She and Bill looked forward to helping at the Annual YMCA Community Thanksgiving Dinner. She also devoted many hours to the Johnson City Firehouse Stage and the Cidermill Playhouse. Then, 4 years ago, she faced a deep loss, her mate of 35 years passed away. The following year, her 52 year old son died from lung cancer caused by smoking. The YMCA community provided some comfort for Sandy in the months following.
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The YMCA once again became a partner in Sandy’s recovery; this time when she returned in January 2017 after the July 2016 accident. A friend offered to give her a ride and they both joined the early morning Aqua Therapy held during open swim. Sandy has made great strides ever since. She’s back driving on her own and volunteering at the Johnson City Firehouse Stage. She said she is looking forward to returning to the Cider Mill Playhouse. With deep gratitude she shared a few other goals she’s aiming for: workouts in the Wellness Center, ditching her cane, building enough stamina to visit family across the USA, Israel and Germany…and maybe even taking some Zumba classes!
On Monday, July 17, 1917, exactly one year after her accident, she smiled and simply stated before she left the pool, “Every day I am alive is a good day!”

Len, a YMCA of Broome County lap swimmer, hit his 6,000 mile on May 17, 2017 at the Binghamton pool. To put the distance in perspective, one of the southern most points of South America; Comodoro, Argentina is 6,106.72 miles from Binghamton, as the crow flies. Likewise, traveling east, Jerusalem, Israel is 5,723.11 miles. Len said he was always a swimmer, but didn’t begin tracking his progress until the 1980’s. At that time, the Y provided a chart for the lap swimmers to record their daily “mileage”. Len said he never set out to set break a record. He was just a part of a “brotherhood” who swam during his 7 a.m. routine 4 or 5 days a week before work. He mentioned another factor influencing his commitment, healthy living. In 1984, Len performed CPR on his dad after he suffered a heart attack. In spite of his effort, his dad died. Len hoped the pool work-outs would gain him more time with his two sons than his dad had with him.

Len said when his boys were younger, he spent less time in the pool so he could have more time with them. When they got old enough to swim with the “brotherhood”, they added a family tradition…Saturday morning swim followed by breakfast out. Len will always cherish those times. Len’s job includes lots of travel, both within New York and nationwide. Rather than using hotel facilities, he seeks local YMCA pools, many of which honor reciprocal memberships. He enjoys meeting and interacting with “a lot of people.” He rattled off a few host cities he’s visited: In NY: Olean, Ithaca, Corning, Albany; and nationally: Minneapolis, Kansas City, Philly and St Louis. Swimming in the Olympic Aquatic YMCA in Orlando, Florida impressed him. He marveled at “little kids learning to swim in a 50 meter pool.” His frequent stays in Chicago added 100 miles to his total. In all, Len’s travels have taken him to about 30 different YMCA facilities. Lenny

Len’s lap time includes swimming a mile straight and working on the efficiency of his stroke. He says he used to practice a “no excuses/no matter how I feel” dedication to his pool time, until he got double pneumonia several years ago. With 30 plus years of life under his belt and the loss of his aging mentors in the original brotherhood, Len says his 35 minute swims now provide more of a “meditative-type relaxation.” And the valuable friendships forged at the YMCA offer tremendous support through tough times and celebration in the good times. It was not Len who kept track of his 6,000 milestone but a newer member to the group, 76 year old Casey, who learned to swim at 75, and John, who completed 2,800 miles. The pair headed up a party honoring Len’s accomplishment and arranged for donations to a charity with special significance to him.

Way to go, Len! From the YMCA Community!

We’re encouraged, “to stop and smell the roses!” Everyone living in Broome County can also add “Relax and read the rocks,” while checking out the flowers.
Broome County is “Rocking!” Artists under the age of 5 to over the age 85 are decorating rocks and placing them at entrances to businesses, in flower beds and rock gardens, on brickwalls and at a neighbor’s doorstep! They leave them on trails, benches, picnic tables and in tucked tree trunks. They appear anywhere, including the YMCA of Broome County. The intended mission of each rock is to spread joy and kindness. BCR1

If you discover one, please touch! Pick it up for a closer look. Turn it over, look for the message, “Broome County Rocks”. Or if the rock traveled further, the name of its place of origin. Enjoy the message, take a picture and leave it for someone else to find. Or…take it with you, keep it as your treasure. If you choose, relocate it instead to brighten someone else’s day.

Amy, a 7th/8th Grade Special Education teacher in Harpursville, launched the Broome County Rocks Facebook Group on April 7, 2017 after seeing a similar one, Susquehanna Rocks in PA. She said, “The whole concept is to bring joy to others and spread kindness. If the message on the rock makes someone smile, it has fulfilled its purpose. The overall response has been amazing. I’ve had people from as far away as California ask to join the page. The page has really taken off, with close to 11,500 members currently. It’s awesome to get private messages about the joy it’s brought to people. The whole process is to paint a rock and hide it somewhere, anywhere outside, is great. If you find a rock, you can rehide it or keep it and paint a new one. If people have Facebook or Instagram, they can take pictures of the rocks they paint and/or pictures of the rocks they find and post them and/or their stories on the public Facebook Group, Broome County Rocks. If they don’t, it’s no big deal. Again, the whole purpose is to bring happiness to everyone. BCR2

I think it’s so important in the world we live in to remind our children there is still kindness in the world. Also, it’s important for my children/students to spread kindness.”
YMCA member, Fran, said, “I did the BCR project with my grandchildren, first with a 6 year old and a 4 year old living in the area. We sat on a big blanket on the garage floor on a rainy day and painted rocks from the yard. Then we sprayed them with a glitter sealer. They were beautiful. We discussed where to place them. We decided to put 2 in the flower garden outside the ER at Lourdes Hospital. My 4 year old grandson said, ‘if someone has to come to the hospital with a broken leg, they will see our “wocks” and feel better.’ Then we placed 2 at St. Patrick’s Church for their great grandma, after they attended her memorial mass. We left the last 2 at West End Park. My other grandchildren, ages 9 and 7, painted two apiece during their visit here. The 9 year old wrote a favorite saying she memorized on one, “You are brighter than sunshine on a rainy day”. She also chose to leave it at the Lourdes ER. Her other rock said “Smile”. The 7 year old painted hers a variety of beautiful colors, including a rainbow. She enjoyed mixing the colors to produce more shades. She loved her rocks and decided to take them back home to Massachusetts! The children also found a few rocks and were delighted each time. I love this activity to bring beauty into the world one rock at a time.”BCR3

Guidelines, Hints and How-to’s for “Rocking”:
*Please be mindful, children view the Facebook posts and rocks, so no inappropriate paintings or inappropriate/negative comments. Misuse will result in being blocked.
*Make sure to keeps rocks outside; please, don’t place them in stores or any other facilities.
*Painting rocks: use weather-proof paints, markers and a protective clear coat finish, such as fast-drying polyurethane spray. (Permanent markers run when sprayed with polyurethane; use fine tip or extra-fine tip archival or paint markers for best results)
*Be creative, have fun, inspire others!

Keep looking….you might discover a Broome County Rocks at the YMCA of Broome!

When Mark experienced pain during his workouts on the machines in the Wellness Center, he pushed through even harder. He’d dealt with it for years, figuring it was an old gym injury. His public service in the military, law enforcement and 42 years in fire service trained him to perform under adverse conditions no matter what. He ran into burning buildings when others were running out. Mark maintained a very active lifestyle on and off the clock. He particularly enjoyed rides on his motorcycle…until the day he went to climb on his bike early this spring. He tried lifting his leg to put it on the peg, but couldn’t. Hip-mark

This fail finally caught his attention! Mark made an appointment with his physician, who immediately sent him to an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon informed Mark he had arthritis in his hip joint and he required a total hip replacement. “It’s just up to you to decide when.” Mark said he opted for sooner rather than later.

One factor ultimately drove this decision, his daughter’s graduation from a Police Academy in Alexandria, VA on June 23rd. Not only did he plan to be present for the ceremony, he was also determined to walk across the stage, without a cane, and personally present her with her diploma. This was an honored tradition among law enforcers and veteran law enforcers.

With a surgery date of April 25th, just a few weeks away, reality hit Mark hard psychologically. He had never faced surgery and the pain he ignored for so long hammered him with a crippling vengence. He answered back by shifting into take-charge mode. Mark and his wife armed themselves with every bit of information to prepare for pre-op/pre-hab through post-op/post-hab periods. They started with the Joint Academy Class co-sponsored by Lourdes at the West Family YMCA. He met Aubrey Hazel, the on-site Athletic Trainer, through this one day program and sought her advice. Aubrey recommended adding water fitness classes to his Wellness Center work-outs. So he joined Rusty Hinges and Aqua Pilates to supplement his established strenghtening regiment.

Mark and his wife also prepped the house for post-op by putting riser on his bed to accommodate his tall, post-op frame. They installed handrails and set up his flat screen tv for binge watching his favorite tv series, Game of Thrones. He also got plenty of advice. The one piece that stuck most came from a close friend. He encouraged Mark to think of his hip replacement as trading one (long-term)good-to-get-rid of pain for another(short-term).

Directly after the procedure, he hurt so much he couldn’t move his legs even an inch from side to side. Sally, a PT assistant he met in the Joint Academy, got the “cookie trays” to trigger his muscle memory. These enabled him to push himself to reach the 1 inch side-to-side goal…and beyond. His progress earned him his release to start in-home therapy. When he answered the door unassisted, after a few sessions, his amazed PT team decided he could meet with Aubrey at the YMCA instead. They devised a schedule: Monday, Wednesday and Friday he worked with Aubrey; Tuesday and Thursday he went to the pool for water fitness classes. Mark said there were some bad days, but if you stick with it, the hard stuff eventually gets easier.

Mark descibed Aubrey as both his guiding light and his whistle blower. She constantly assessed his progress, by far one of the most impressive recoveries. Sometimes she allowed him to step up the pace when Mark claimed the slow rate of the “baby steps was killing him.” Other times she put the brakes on, like when she found out he mowed the lawn. Mark’s wife also played an important role in his rehab. She took time off from work and pushed him when he needed an extra nudge. They got lots of exercise walking their Jack Russell Terrier. Mark became a Rachel Ray fan as he recouped. He kept busy whipping up some pretty impressive dishes. All the therapy and hard work paid off. In 3 months, Mark achieved a hard-won fluid gait.

The proudest shared moment in his recovery is preserved forever in the June 23rd photo of his daughter’s graduation…as he handed her her diploma!

Mark official retired from his Fire Service career on May 31st. He can no longer rush into fires as a volunteer for Prospect Terrace Fire Department, but he assists in other ways. He added another volunteer position, sharing his testimony in Joint Academy Classes. He says he doesn’t candy-coat the message but he does encourage participants to keep working through the pain and taking the baby steps that eventually lead to the bigger steps!

Being a YMCA Member is Very Good

Betty started in YMCA Water Fitness programs on and off again 20 years ago. She attended a 7pm class with her sister. They earned special notoriety for changing out of their swimsuits into their pjs before they left the Y for home. Since Betty retired 6 years ago, she bounces out bed, tucks a pink or white flower behind her ear and heads to the West Family YMCA for early morning classes 5 days a week. On Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, she takes the 7 a.m. Aqua Intervals followed by 8 a.m. Deep Water Jog. On Tuesday and Thursday, she joins friends for the 7:45 am Aqua Zumba class and finishes her workout by treading water for 1/2 an hour.

Betty works with an intensity that keeps her a youthful 65. She appreciates the health gains from her pool time: cardio benefits and the benefits for aching joints, bones and muscles. She says her loss of 43 pounds leaves her without a nagging back issue; she is now free of pain and pain medications. Without skipping a beat, she says also enjoys adding an extra element to the morning routines, clowning. She loves singing along with the oldies, changing up the words and adding a little extra laughter to the fun atmosphere in the pool. This includes shouting, Elvis has left the pool!” when his version of Hound Dog finishes playing off the instructor’s song list. Immediately, the class lights up with a collective smile and lots of chuckles. Betty says, “Eating healthy and moving are great for your body; laughter and friendship are equally important.” Rubber Ducky Day and any competitive sets energize her workouts even more…and make the classes more enjoyable. Betty, a middle child of 13, says class participants smile when they hear she was extremely shy until age 23 or 24. She says some in the class don’t know her by name but ask, “Where is the lady with the flower in her hair, ” when she is missing, like after a recent major surgery that kept her out of the pool for two months.

Betty feels her positive experiences at the YMCA of Broome are meant to be shared. So through her personal invitation, 12 of her friends and family members, including her husband, Rob, have joined! Many of those individuals signed up for family memberships as well, multiplying that number. blog-betty

Betty summed it up by saying, “I have met wonderful friends at the YMCA. I organized a group of about 10 of my new Y friends and my other Y friends to do lunch the second Thursday of the month. We take turns picking where to go. No matter where we go, by bus, car of boat (we have done all 3), we ALWAYS laugh! And that is a very good…

Being a Y member is a very good!”

The YMCA of Broome Universal Pre-K Moving-Up Ceremony was held on Thursday, June 22, 2017. Parents, family members and friends filled chairs in the room the class used all year. The well-wishers watched, videoed and snapped pictures as each student walked through the red star doorway to the left of the stage, then strided, sashayed, skipped or strolled to reach the wooden bridge center stage. One by one the soon-to-be kindergartners stood tall, shook Ms. Courtney’s hand as she awarded each child a certificate of UPK completion and then he or she crossed the bridge to fill the rows of pint-size seats waiting on the other side.

Then the youngsters, Ms. Courtney and Mr. Erhen and their preschool teachers, Ms. Marijo and Ms. Janiece sang a couple of choruses officially announcing, “Kindergarten, here we come!” A video of the year followed, complete with excited bursts, “That’s AJ,” That’s Bella,” “That’s me,” “That’s me, again!” Photo credits at the end featured each of the 20 “stars” and his/her favorite memory of UPK. With a catch in her voice, one mom sighed. “I hope this gets easier by high school.”

Twins, Alexis and Alana’s mom, Jacylyn, gratefully recalled the girls’ UPK year at the YMCA as well as the rest of the time they spent at the YMCA Child Care Center. From birth until 3 1/2 years old, the girls were cared for by relatives. When that care was no longer available, their parent, Jaclyn and Daniel, searched for an affordable, dependable and nurturing option. The YMCA site offered the best fit for the girls. Jaclyn said the girls cried when they first came to the center. Then Jaclyn fondly pointed out Ms Marijo, the YMCA teacher who helped the girls adjust to the change. Soon the girls only cried when they COULDN’T come due to illness. Though no longer their teacher, Marijo sat right among class smiling and encouraging them from the sidelines. Jaclyn, Daniel and other relatives captured the Moving Up Ceremony with videos and pictures from almost every angle. Jaclyn expressed much appreciation for their positive experience at the YMCA Day Care Center. The girls are now ready for kindergarten at Thomas Jefferson Elementary this fall.

Another set of twins, Matthew and Leah, started in the YMCA Childcare Center by 8 weeks old. They move up to kindergarten in Union Endicott and YMCA School-Age Child Care. They are looking forward to an exciting summer in the YMCA of Broome Create-a-Camp 2017 Program.
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UPK children must be 4 by December 1st and will enter Kindergarten the following year. A developmental learning approach which is combined with opportunities for self-expression along with many language and literacy based activities in classrooms taught by NYS certified teachers.
Participation is based upon school district application and requirements. We have additional classrooms for all other school districts who are looking for full or part time care. Classes are held September through June with care before and after the program available. http://ymcabroome.org/universal-pre-k/

The Y of Broome County
Childcare Center
61 Susquehanna St.
Binghamton, NY 13901
607-772-0560 Ext. 236

For more information about the YMCA Child Care center please visit: http://ymcabroome.org/center-information/

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87 golfers turned out for the 13th annual YMCA Golf Tournament held on the picture-perfect first Friday of June at Traditions Golf Course in Johnson City. One, three person team who played in nearly every tournament since it began, were among the first players to load their clubs in their cart. Two were long-time YMCA members and the other a YMCA employee. The trio discussed Mulligans and other strategies as they prepared to hit the greens. They looked forward to spending the day together and supporting th YMCA at the same time.IMG_1134

A foursome arrived at their cart as newbies to the event. In fact Wayne, one of the team members had never golfed! Wayne said his childhood friend, Andy, was returning for a hometown visit from San Diego. Andy checked for local events scheduled during his stay and discovered the YMCA Golf Tournament. He generously covered the fees for everyone on the team, Wayne, Wayne’s dad and another longtime friend.They arrived back from the course in good spirits around 6pm, anxious for the dinner buffet waiting in the food tent. Before he joined the others, Wayne smiled as he chatted about the experience and fondly recalled playing youth sports at the YMCA.

The YMCA of Broome County appreciates the generous support of the 2017 YMCA Golf Tournament by the Title Sponsors: Postler & Jaeckle Corp Mechanical Contractors and Walsh & Son Construction, Cart Sponsors: Mirabito Energy Products, the volunteers and other sponsors…and the 22 teams. This fun event and charitable effort will make a sizable impact on our community through the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.

I say “walk”; she runs. I say “stop”; she goes. As a mother of a strong-willed, fearless 2 year old, I worried about opening our pool this year. I put child-proof door knobs on each door, gated the porch on the way to the deck, gated the deck on the way to the pool, and draped a pool alarm across the water. Overkill? Maybe. But how safe is “too safe?”

Siena spent the summer before her 1st and 2nd birthdays swimming with a puddle jumper flotation device in our pool. This swim aid allowed her to feel at ease in the water. In fact she swam so confidently, she had absolutely no concept that if she jumped in without one, she would most definitely sink. Since Siena operates in strong-will mode most of the time around me, I knew I needed to find someone else to teach her to swim without it.

I enrolled her in a 2 year old group swim lesson at the West Family YMCA. On the first day, I jumped in with her, full of optimism and excitement. The initial instruction, “Parents, lift your children up onto the side of the pool and help them jump into the water to you,” seemed easy enough. I watched as each “compliant baby” jumped in and cuddled tightly to mommy’s or daddy’s neck. Cue Siena’s turn. She jumped in…and swam away. I retrieved her from the preschool class area where she was trying to make friends. Then the instructor handed her a basket of toys and told her to take two. She took them all, climbed out of the pool and ran across the deck. I got her back “under control,” and ducked into the locker room clutching her in my arms, desperately trying to come up yet another plan.

I met with Patti Scotto, the Aquatics Director. After listening to my concerns and weighing the options, we settled on finding her a private teacher, even though she was a little young for this program. A swim instructor named Bryan agreed to take her on, even though I warned him it might not be an easy feat. The first day he walked over to where Siena waited on deck, then kindly asked her to follow him to the water. She walked slowly behind him, in the completely controlled manner he modeled. She followed each of his instructions: “Carefully walk around the pool”, “Sit on the edge and wait for instructions”, “Jump in”, “Kick and stop; kick and stop,” It was as if someone had taken my child, replaced her with an exact replica, only this one followed directions.

In just 3 lessons, Siena was swimming without a float. Now, I won’t remove my Fort Knox Security System around our pool; but I also won’t be calling 911 anymore when I’m out and my husband doesn’t answer the phone. Siena still has lots to learn: holding the railing going down the steps into the water, not running around the pool to retrieve toys from the skimmer, not jumping directly onto her mommy in the deep end. My goodness! This parenting stuff is exhausting!
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The YMCA, and specifically, Bryan, have been a godsend in helping Siena develop listening skills, teaching safe habits around the pool, weaning Siena off the security of her flotation device…and giving her mommy and daddy some peace of mind. Thank you, Bryan.

The YMCA of Broome County offers a variety of options to promote water safety and teach children to swim. Summer is a great time to learn these skills!
Safety Around Water Program
Date: June 20-June 23, 2017
Time: 4:00-5:00pm, Tuesday-Friday
Location: Binghamton Y
Price:http://ymcabroome.org/safety-around-water/ Free

There are a variety of Summer Swim Lesson options this year. Both the Binghamton and the West Family Y offer 1 or 2 Day/week options. There are also Off-site Options. Please check the YMCA of Broome County Website or contact:
Patty Scotto 607 770-9622
Aquatics Director
ymcabroome.org/summer-swim-lessons/

Though Sam started as a YMCA Aquatics Staffer 4 years ago, she first experienced the YMCA as a child in youth swim lessons. This positive exposure to YMCA programs led her to become a youth volunteer at age fourteen and anxiously await her 16th birthday so she could be hired to teach youth swim lessons. Sam said, “I love working with children and hope to continue to do so after I graduate from college.”

Sam also took lifeguard training and has guarded ever since. Two years ago, she shadowed veteran water fitness instructors and then taught a Deep Water class on Tuesday mornings for a few months. Last summer she accepted the position offered to her for supervising Saturday YMCA morning swim lessons.

Sam says, “I am the type of person to take on everything life offers because I want to gain as many experiences as possible. I currently attend Binghamton University and carry 18 credits. I also belong to three campus clubs. In addition, I am a teacher’s assistant (TA) for an English class and hold two internships. On top of all of that, I work three part-time jobs. The YMCA has been so understanding and allowed me a very flexible schedule. While in school, my only consistent hours were 9-12 on Saturday and any sub shifts I could manage in my “spare” time.”
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The leadership skills Sam gained at the YMCA prepared for her campus life. Sam said “Learning how to work with pool patrons and staff by taking a step back and being fair-minded carried into all of my activities and roles at SUNY Broome. Last year, I served as a senator in the student assembly, where I was a voice for students. This position helped create a stronger sense of community. I also served as the sole student representative on the International Student Advisory Committee as part of my internship with LINGONET (a campus club that paired American students with international students to bridge cultural gaps and advocate for international students)” Sam added, “My experiences have landed me some really amazing opportunities, including being selected to give SUNY Broome’s commencement speech at graduation last year.

Working at the YMCA has shaped me into the leader that I am today. I so appreciative the Saturday staff. Without the great lifeguards and swim instructors, Saturday swim lessons would not run smoothly. My goal is to make sure the staff feels their work matters. I commit to small act of kindness: helping swim down a lane line, saying hi to the lifeguard or just telling someone they are doing a great job. I PROMISE it makes a huge difference!”

Sam said the best part about the YMCA is that I have made many friends and it makes work really fun. I also love working at a place that touches so many lives. Knowing I am making a difference for someone, no matter how small, is the most rewarding feeling in the world.