Y Stories

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and happenings from the Ozarks Regional YMCA and its 7 branches.

Why the Y Matters

This is a day in the life of a single working mom: My kids are out of school for the summer. I still have to work my minimum wage job. Are they old enough to stay home? Maybe or maybe not. Do I want them binging on Netflix or playing X-Box? Not really. I need more for my children. A safe and positive environment. The YMCA provides that peace of mind for me in several ways. I am a single mom. I can still go to work every day and not worry where my children will be. They are safe. They are learning to listen, follow rules, play games, field trips, crafts, swim and all the things I otherwise could not provide. I am a single mom working to provide the basics for my children: food, shelter, clo

Aquapalooza for Water Safety

On May 20th the Ozarks Regional YMCA lifeguards spent the day in an extensive training that we call Aquaplooza. Guards from Springfield, Bolivar, Buffalo, Lebanon, Cassville, Monett and Camp Wakonda worked to improve the skills needed to ensure the safest season ever at Y facilities.

A Plan For Better Health

Monett Area YMCA - In March of 2012, 65-year-old Dennis Burge weighed in at 253 pounds, clinically obese for his 6-foot-tall frame. He was always tired, had a BMI of 34, was pre-diabetic and had alarmingly high blood pressure. Five years and 80 pounds later, Dennis is transformed. He started with the Paleo diet, joined the Monett Area YMCA, educated himself and never looked back! Now that Dennis has regained his health, he is able to play basketball again – something he hadn’t done for 40 years and thought he would never be able to do again. You can find him at the Y playing full-court basketball 3-4 times per week with men half his age. “I have more energy now than the Energizer bunny, and

How YMCA Kids Are Having the Best. Summer. Ever!

School Age Services YMCA Camp Wakonda and The Ozarks Regional YMCA offers DAY and RESIDENT camp to give kids and teens in our community an adventurous, active and healthy summer— one that will surely be described as “the best summer ever” for years to come. YMCA camp programs offer youth fun and unique experiences with an opportunity to explore the outdoors, meet new friends, discover new interests and create memories that last a lifetime. Summer is the ideal time for kids to get up, get out and explore. But, for some kids summer means no access to recreational and educational activities to help them learn, grow and thrive during out-of-school time. Attending one of the Ozarks Regional YMCA

Teaching Our Four Core Values

Did you know that all YMCAs have four core values which we try to incorporate into all of our programs, special events, and membership? These four values are respect, responsibility, honesty and caring. Often times we don’t fully understand the impact we have on our program participants. We don’t get to see how they have absorbed the lessons we share or how they identify the four core values we teach them. At the Y we all work diligently to impart this wisdom on all who come here. This past winter basketball season, we focused on one core value color and word each week. We would ask the groups what the words meant to them and shared with them what color it represented. Each team wore one of

Standing Strong On Our Core Values

Years ago when I first came to the Pat Jones YMCA as a fitness instructor and personal trainer, it didn’t take long for me to understand why everyone kept saying, “The Y is more than a gym.” Every day I see more ways the people in the Y community help each other and truly model social responsibility. We could put a formal definition on the phrase, saying social responsibility is “an ethical framework suggesting than an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large.” But what does that mean in layman’s terms? It means we give back to our community. For all the fun we have at the Pat Jones YMCA, we take social responsibility very seri

What the Y Means to Me

One day an older man came into the Y, He said, “I used to come in here and drink coffee with a bunch of people. Do they still do that?” I showed him around the Y and visited with him several minutes. I told him about our coffee time and about the monthly potlucks and even about the exercise. We made a plan for him to return the following week. As he was leaving he said, “Well my wife died just yesterday so I’m going to need some folks to drink coffee with.” The stories of the people at the Y are enough to change lives.

Membership Spotlight: Cynthia Lipscomb

At the Y we are more than a gym and swim, we are a family. Member Cynthia Lipscomb says her Y journey started at the Ward Downtown YMCA in 2009. She came for group exercise classes, but stayed for the community she found. “It’s like a family here,” Lipscomb says. Originally, she came to try out Yogalates with a friend. Eventually that turned into trying spin with Susie Turner. Even when her friend moved to Chicago, Lipscomb stayed, because she was starting to make new friends during her new lunch time group exercise hobby. “It was always the same people, and I noticed everyone was friends,” she says. The group soon took her in and made her one of their own. “It was fun and made the workout g

Swim Lessons Just Got even Better

The Y is the standard when it comes to group swimming lessons since we began them in 1906 and we continue to lead in this area. In 2016, Erin Shaw, who is currently the Executive Director of the Pat Jones YMCA, became Y-USA Swim Lesson Faculty. Because of her involvement in the development of new curriculum, our Bolivar facility was able to pilot a completely new way of teaching swimming lessons last year. Now in 2017 those lessons have been rolled out nationwide What is different? The fish names we used to use for different swimming levels—like pike, eel and ray, have been eliminated. Research and interviews revealed that students had trouble translating them into clear understanding of abi

June 6 is Founders Day

On June 6, the YMCA marks its 173rd anniversary. This global organization began with a simple but powerful idea to help people build healthier, happier lives. Today, the YMCA is one of the world’s largest volunteer organizations known for helping people of every background reach their potential. YMCA - A GLOBAL MOVEMENT From its humble beginnings in London, the Y met the practical and spiritual needs of young men flocking to London during the Industrial Revolution. Since then, the Y has grown and changed, meeting the needs of children, families and adult in 10,000 communities in the U.S. and 119 countries around the globe. Along the way, the Y is responsible for a number of innovations tha

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