Rye Y Camp Changes Lives

Summer Options for Youth at the Rye Y

summer_swim_lessons armelle[RYE, May 29, 2013] Summer Camp is not the only way for kids to experience a fun, active summer at the Rye Y! In addition to its popular swim program, this summer, the Rye Y will offer both Rock your World Music with Armelle and Super Soccer Stars. The summer session runs from June 22 to August 16 and registration begins for members on June 5 and for non members on June 7. Online registration is available at www.ryeymca.org for non-aquatics classes.

Rock Your World Music with Armelle

A fun filled class introducing music and musical instruments from all over the world. It is offered on Tuesday and Thursday morning at 9:30 for ages 9-24 months and 10:30 for ages 2-4 years. All classes are located at the Rye Arts Center.

Member: $130
Youth Member: $140
Non-Member: $170

Super Soccer Stars

A great way to keep your children active and engaged on the weekend. Positive reinforcement is used to teach children soccer skills and build confidence in a fun, educational environment.

Classes are offered on Sundays as follows:

Age 2: 10:30 – 11:10
Age 3-4: 11:35 – 12:20
Ages 4-5: 10:30 – 11:20
Grades: K-2 – 11:35 – 12:35

Family Member: $230
Youth Member: $265
Non-Member: $340

Summer Swim Classes

These classes build confidence while introducing and reinforce skills. Classes are offered for all ages and skill levels including parent/baby, pre-school, youth and teens. Several adult classes are also offered. View our swim class schedule online. Online registration is not available for swim classes. Members may mail or drop off their registration form by June 5.  Non Members must register in person starting at 7:30 am June 7.  Evaluations are required for most classes.

Summer Camp

Ages: 3-15

Our Kinder Camp is ideal for those looking for a first camp experience. The camp, for ages 3-5, is located in the air conditioned Rye Y facility and features daily swim lessons and lots of fun in a nurturing environment. We also have limited openings in our Discovery, Sports, LEGO and Arts camp.  Our Teen Fitness Camp is a fun way for teens ages 12-15 to get fit while enjoying swimming, sports, games, strength training, group exercise classes and more!  To learn more about camp options and register online, please visit ryeycamp.org.

Stay Safe in the Water

blog-swimVickie Kourtelis, Rye Y Aquatics Director

The Y Aquatics Department is dedicated to making sure that all children learn to swim and learn water safety skills that prevent any injury or drowning in the water. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages one to 14 years old.

With the summer season right around the corner, we would like to share some helpful tips to make sure that you and your families enjoy the summer and practice safe summer fun!

No matter what age or swim ability, children need continuous supervision around the water. Young children especially can drown in less than two inches of water so it is very important that caregivers keep a close eye on them while they are swimming! The smallest distraction is all it takes for a child to become part of a horrible statistic, all too many times we hear stories beginning with, “I was only gone for a minute…”or, “I received a quick phone call and a few seconds later…”

Please take water safety seriously this summer and feel free to contact us with any questions you may have or any additional support we may be able to provide you with, Vickie@ryeymca.org or call (914)967-6363 ext. 108. Below are some tips that may help you and your family this summer.


  • Let kids know that they should contact an adult or a lifeguard if there is an emergency. If you are traveling to a pool or beach, point out the lifeguard to your child before you begin swimming.
  • Communication between adults supervising the pool area is key! If you are going to be walking away from the water for a quick second communicate that with other adults so that somebody is supervising the children in the water.
  • Review pool rules with your children and make sure they know what to do in case of an emergency. Teach them to remain calm and YELL for HELP if they find themselves struggling in the water or in case they see somebody else struggling. Go over emergency procedures with the children (while in the car driving to the water, eating a snack, applying sunscreen, right before entering the water, etc.)
  • Children should NEVER serve as the lifeguard. If they see somebody needs assistance their job should be to FIND help, not jump in and help the person themselves. Distressed swimmers and active drowning victims can become uncontrollable and violent in the water which can lead to drowning or injuring the person helping them.
  • Never assume that a child is safe in the pool, even if they are a great swimmer. All kids should be supervised in the water as at any given time something can happen and they may need assistance. Even an experienced swimmer can suffer or worse, drown in the water.
  • Practice makes perfect!!! Set aside 10 minutes every other day to do a mini lesson or just a couple of times during the week. Children like to PLAY in outdoor pools, not practice their freestyle, backstroke, etc. If you stay committed to the learning process throughout the summer then they will improve a great deal.
  • If at a pool with a diving board make sure to stress to the kids that they can’t jump until the person that jumped before them is at the wall and that there is nobody in their way.
  • Practice swimming without goggles for a little bit each day so that they are comfortable swimming without them if there should be an incident when they fall in the water.
  • Be at arm’s reach of your child in the water to provide a helping hand as soon as they may need one. Provide your child a life saving floatation device if they are a non swimmer.
  • Teach children never to swim alone.
  • Learn CPR in case of an emergency, CPR saves lives and the faster you respond to a situation using CPR if needed the more likely a chance of recovery. Only trained CPR professionals should practice this skill. Classes are taught here at the Y!
  • Learn rescue skills by participating in an American Red Cross Lifeguard class! Classes are taught here at the Y!
  • Enroll your child in swim lessons. The Y’s summer session will begin on June 23rd. Swim class is a great way to reinforce pool rules and have children practice their skills in a learning encouraging setting.


  • Never allow your child to swim unsupervised.
  • Have 911 posted by the phone so kids remember who to call in case of an emergency!
  • Having a pool party? Make sure to assign parents to pool duty, have parents in the water with non swimmers, or hire a lifeguard to come and keep a close watch on the kids.
  • Stay away from distracting tasks while supervising your child while they swim. Jump in with them and cool off, play games, or teach them some skills.
  • Fence off your pool area and make sure that gates are self closing and self latching, out of children’s reach.
  • Remove any toys or objects in the pool at the end of your swim activities as children can fall in by trying to grab them.
  • Empty all water out of inflatable pools.
  • If your child is having a play date make sure to find out whether they will be doing any water activities. If so, be sure to find
  • out what kind of supervision there will be in the water no matter what swim ability your child or their friends may have.
  • Be sure to swim test children visiting your pool before you allow them to swim. Swim tests should be done with an adult in the water at arm’s reach to provide assistance if needed.
  • Make sure to separate the deeper end with a divider in the water so that all kids and adults no if there is a change in depth.


  • Make sure to wear sunscreen. Wear hats, drink plenty of water, and don’t forget to reapply sunscreen regularly!
  • Keep cool when you can.
  • Practice the buddy system. Nobody is allowed by the water without their buddy.
  • Point out the lifeguard so the child knows who to approach in case of an emergency.
  • Do not allow children to swim in large waves.
  • Teach kids that if they are caught in a rip current or undertow they should swim parallel to the shore or tread water and yell for HELP.

These are just a few tips to help create a safe environment for you and your families this summer. Again, we urge you to remain focused on water safety this summer. Keeping an eye on your children or making sure they are properly supervised is extremely important to providing a safe and fun environment for all.


My First Camp Experience

hillary2By Hillary Southard
Rye Y Camp, Teen and Family Director

At one time in my life I had purple Keds with large white polka dots on them. I wore them every day and everywhere. They were my favorite shoes.  They were also my only shoes, but of course to a five year-old, that automatically makes them favorite. Growing up in California, we had the Sierra Nevada mountain range within a few hours of our home.  One summer we packed our bags, I put my polka dots shoes on, and we drove a few hours to a place my parents referred to as “camp”.  I had been told about camp before.  They said it was a fun place…I could go swimming…make new friends…play games.

As we drove nearly a mile into the sky, wrapping around what seemed like endless mountains and drop-offs surrounded by the tallest trees I have ever seen, I could feel my ears popping, and I began to become hesitant about this thing they called camp.  The closer we got, the more excited my parents got, the more nervous I became.  What if I didn’t make any friends or all-of-a-sudden forgot how to swim?!

I remember looking at my shoes as my feet dangled off the end of the car seat and began to count the number of white polka dots on them.  I already knew how many were there, but I felt like I needed to count them again.  We rounded the last corner, pulled up to the entrance, rolled down our windows and a group of teenagers I had never seen before, all wearing the same bright orange shirt, came running over to my window and they were so happy to see me!  They started singing a song with MY name in it and clapping and dancing.  Immediately I felt like a star and that this was MY camp and that my shoes and I are going to be just fine.

Hispanic Resource Center and Rye Y Launch Teen Leaders Club

youth-group2(RYE, May 20, 2013) The Rye YMCA and the Hispanic Resource Center (HRC) have teamed with a group of 18 outstanding high school students to launch a new Teen Leaders Club.

Through their own initiative, the teens drafted a complete charter and bi-laws for the newly formed Mamaroneck Leaders Club.  This week, the club voted in the new charter and conducted its first elections.  The club president, vice-president and secretary will serve during the 2013/2014 school year and lead the club through its inaugural year.

“The students will set their own year-long goals, the club’s vision for the next several years and their own recruiting strategy,” says Scott Umbel, club advisor.  “They will have many challenges ahead of them; however, I’m immensely impressed with their accomplishments so far.”

“Our HRC staff is excited to partner with the Rye Y once again,” remarked HRC’s Executive Director Zoe Colon.  “In the past, the Rye Y brought high quality fitness programs to the families we serve.  We’re looking forward to this new venture that focuses on developing leadership skills in highly motivated teens.

The Leaders Club is a self-governed group of high school students that will meet weekly with their advisors (Jirandy Martinez, Hispanic Resource Center and Scott Umbel, Rye YMCA).  The leaders are united under the common goal of building themselves and each other through teamwork and community service.  Volunteer activities might include mentoring and serving as workforce for the Hunger Task Force.

In addition to service hours, the leaders will gain personal skills through weekly “values” workshops that focus primarily on growing as a leader and as a young adult.  Jirandy Martinez shared that the values focus will “allow the leaders to address the multi-faceted needs of our community.”

The Leaders Club is one of the oldest and longest running teen programs within the YMCA movement, stemming from the early 1900’s.  For more information or to join the Leader’s Club, please contact the Jirandy Martinez at the Hispanic Resource Center or Scott Umbel at the Rye YMCA.  The club is open to any high school students and meets Tuesdays at 5:00pm at the Hispanic Resource Center in Mamaroneck.

Rye Gymnasts in Record Numbers at Championship Meets

ClaraFarres-MayahJohnson-LeahMartins-NutsaBerdaze-OliviaAbbott[Rye, May 16, 2013] The Rye Y Gymnastics team continued to show their strength and balance at the YMCA Northeast Regional Gymnastics Championships in Waterville, Maine, May 3-5. Numerous medals were earned in the competition against more than twenty teams from seven states.

In recent years the gymnastics team has displayed new depth and ability, competing at higher levels and increasing the number of gymnasts qualifying for championships. There are currently forty-three gymnasts representing levels 4-7 as Rye YMCA gymnasts, with an impressive thirty-nine gymnasts who have qualified to compete at the YMCA National Championships to be held the week of June 25- 29 in Savannah, Georgia.

To learn more about Rye YMCA gymnastics programs online or call 967-6363, ext. 250.




Level 4:
  • Jordyn Shohet placed 3rd on floor with 9.225, 8.225 on vault, 8.5 on bars, 8.6 on beam.
  • Mia Worman scored a 8.4 on vault, 8.65 on bars, 8.0 on beam, 8.425 on floor.
  • Clara Farres placed 4th on bars with 9.15, 8.45 on vault, 8.65 on beam, and 8.875 on floor.
  • Maiyah Johnson scored 8.525 on vault, 8.35 on bars, 8.725 on beam, and 8.625 on floor.
  • Leah Martins placed 5th on bars with 9.1, 5th on floor with 9.0, 6th on vault with 9.125, and 8.4 on beam.
  • Nutsa Beradze placed 6th on beam with 9.025, 6th on floor with 8.9, 8.9 on bars, and 8.75 on vault.
  • Olivia Abbot scored 8.65 on vault, 8.575 on beam, and 8.7 on floor.
Level 5:
  • Taylor Worman placed 6th on vault with 8.45, 8.6 on beam, and 8.3 on floor.
  • Marin Endo was the 6th place all-around champion with 8.7 on vault, 8.5 on bars, 8.775 on beam, 8.775 on floor.
Level 6:
  • Ilana Serin scored 8.6 on vault.
  • Cayla Brown scored 8.65 on vault, 8.05 on floor.
Level 7:
  • Rachel Waxenberg scored 8.0 on vault, 8.0 on beam, 8.4 on floor.
  • Lily Donohue scored 8.8 on floor.
  • Chloe Schettino scored 8.875 on vault, 8.15 on bars, 9.05 on floor.

Rye YMCA to Host Family Camping 101 Workshop

tent(Rye, April 25, 2013) The Rye YMCA will host a Family Camping 101 Workshop for people who want to experience a taste of wilderness but don’t know where or how to start. The interactive event, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Saturday, May 11 from 10:30 a.m. – noon at the Rye Y (21 Locust Avenue.)

The workshop will be led by several experienced campers, including staff members from the Rye Y, Rye Nature Center and Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS).  It will cover such topics as: finding the right campground, buying or renting gear, cooking outdoors, and staying safe in the woods.  Families will be able to try their hand at setting up a tent supplied by EMS for the event. Participating families and individuals will receive helpful handouts and a free raffle ticket for an EMS gift certificate.

The focus of the workshop will be on “car camping”—staying at a public or privately-owned campground with one’s car nearby—as opposed to wilderness camping or backpacking.

“Camping, especially with young children, can be an intimidating prospect if you’ve never been,” observed Rye Y Executive Director Gregg Howells. “However, the benefits of spending time in nature—sleeping in a tent, swimming in a lake, cooking over a fire—can last a lifetime. We want to take the mystery out of camping and show families how much fun it can be to have quality, unplugged time together.”

The workshop, which is part of the Kids Outdoors initiative, will be held on the lawn behind the Y parking lot.  In the event of rain, the workshop will move inside.  To RSVP or for additional information, contact Denise Woodin at 967-6363, ext. 101 ordenisewoodin@ryeymca.org. Children are welcome at this event, but must be accompanied by an adult.

The Rye YMCA is a family oriented community service organization which welcomes all people and promotes positive values through programs that build spirit, mind and body.  Kids Outdoors is a community collaboration to promote unstructured, physically active outdoor play and exploration for children of all ages.

T-shirt Quilt Showcases the History of the Rye Derby

quiltOn Sunday, April 28, the Rye YMCA will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Rye Derby. To showcase the history of this special event, a commemorative quilt consisting of a collection of Rye Derby t-shirts was created. Volunteers gathered together with instructor Kim Mulcahy to work on the quilt in 5 sessions, first sewing together the t-shirts, then embellishing them with sequins, buttons, yarn and stitching. “The process of creating the quilt also resulted in a small community,” said Penny Cozza, Rye Y Fund Development Associate. “We started off as strangers and ended up as friends.”

The 5K and 5M races start at 10:15 and the 1 mile family fun run/walk starts at 12:15 pm. Runners may register in advance at the Rye Y Member Services desk until noon on Friday and online until 2pm at Saturday. Race day registration starts at 8 am, checks and cash only. Starting at 10:30 am, runners and families are invited to gather at the Rye Y for free activities including active games, jumping castle, live music and a BBQ.


Photo Caption: Rye Derby quilt in Rye Y lobby. Quilters pictured: Ann Edmonds, Amy Katz, Penny Cozza and Kim Mulcahy. Quilters not pictured: Barbara Anderson, Sylvia Chandras, Wendy Galloway, Ann Goldsmith, Karen Klomp, Mariela Leech, Kate Perri and Sheryl Stroud

Olympic Runner to Join Rye Y for Rye Derby’s 25th Anniversary

derby-3RYE, NY (April 15, 2013) The Rye YMCA is celebrating the 25th Anniversary of its Rye Derby along with Healthy Kids Day on Sunday, April 28.

Eamonn Coghlan, co-founder of the Derby, and a former resident of Rye, will travel from his home in Dublin, Ireland to be the honorary chair. Eamonn is a three time Olympian and has been known as the “Chairman of the Boards” for his successes on the American Indoor Athletics Circuit, breaking the World Record for the indoor mile on three separate occasions. In 1983 he won the 5000m event at the World Championships in Helenski.

Runners can choose between a 5K race and a 5 mile USA Track & Field sanctioned race. Both races start at 10:15 am; a 1 mile family fun run/walk starts at 12:15 pm. Several world class athletes as well as local runners are expected to participate in the race. Medals are given to championship race winners in their age groups and there is a cash purse for the top 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in the 5 mile race. Starting at 10:30 am, runners and families are invited to gather at the Rye Y for free activities including active games, jumping castle, live music and a BBQ.

Participants are encouraged to register for the races in advance online or at the Rye Y’s Member Services Desk. Online registration is available for both races and the family fun run. Registered participants receive a Derby t-shirt. The fee for the 5 mile and 5K race is $25 or $30 the day of the race. The fun run/walk fee is $20. Open registration and bib pickup begins at 8 am on the race day. Proceeds contribute to teen programming, financial aid for families and community outreach.

For more information, contact the Rye YMCA at 914-967-6363.

Award Winning Film “Escape Fire” Comes to Rye

Rye YMCA and Healthier Port Chester to Host Screening and Panel Discussion about Healthcare in the United States

escape-fire[Rye. April 3, 2013] The Rye YMCA and the Healthier Port Chester Coalition will sponsor a screening of “ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” on April 18, 2013, from 7:30 -9:30 p.m., at the Rye Free Reading Room.  ESCAPE FIRE is the award-winning Sundance documentary that has been hailed as “An Inconvenient Truth” for the healthcare debate.

ESCAPE FIRE tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: how can we save our badly broken healthcare system?  The film examines the powerful forces maintaining the status quo, a medical industry designed for quick fixes rather than prevention and for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. ESCAPE FIRE follows dramatic human stories and leaders fighting to transform healthcare at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government, and even the US military.  ESCAPE FIRE is about finding a way out. It’s about saving the health of a nation.

This is not a film about political controversy or partisan posturing. It’s about creating a true healthcare system, not a disease-care system.  “I’m personally excited about the film because it addresses the fundamental flaws in the current system and offers ‘escape fires’ –or solutions — that are within our grasp,” remarked Rye Y Executive Director Gregg Howells.

The 90-minute screening, which is appropriate for ages 12+, will be followed by a panel discussion and Q & A with Dr. Daren Wu, Chief Medical Officer of Open Door Family Medical Center and Dr. Henri Roca, Medical Director of Greenwich Hospital’s Integrative Medicine Department.

Learn more about ESCAPE FIRE here: escapefiremovie.com, and view the trailer here: escapefiremovie.com/trailer.

To RSVP, and for additional information, contact Tanya Stack at 914-967-6363, ext 206 or tanya@ryeymca.org.

The Rye YMCA is a family oriented community service organization which welcomes all people and promotes positive values through programs that build spirit, mind and body.

Healthier Port Chester is a broad-based coalition of community leaders working to make healthy living the easy choice for all.