Jim Cowan, Executive Director, and Brian Cowan, Program Director, at the Y spoke to the Byesville Rotary about programs available at the Y. Now called YMCA Family Center, the Y provides programs for children and adults of all ages. The YMCA Family Center is no longer just a gym. The organization has evolved into a place that focuses on family fun and helping people develop a healthy lifestyle
Membership at the Y is not limited to families living in Cambridge. Jim Cowan pointed out that about 30% of membership is people from Byesville, Pleasant City and Senecaville.
Cowan stated that their mission is to make Y accessible to everyone and to never turn anyone away because they are unable to pay membership fees. He explained that about 40% of members apply for scholarships to help defray the cost of membership. The Y is able to provide these scholarships because donations from members of the community support the scholarship program.
For older members of the community, the Y provides the Silver Sneakers program. This program is subsidized by Medicare. Currently, the Y has 478 members 65 and older. Many of these members take part in the Silver Sneakers program which is the nation’s leading exercise programs designed for older adults. The Silver Sneakers program blends physical activity and socially oriented activities that help older adults take greater control of their health.
Brian Cowen is responsible for a developing and teaching programs for a summer camp program offered to some of the youngest members of the Y—kids from K-through 5th grade. Brian explained the camp programs are science and nature based and are designed to help kids learn by doing.
He stated that the Y now offers six weeks of camp. Each week focuses on a specific theme—Animal Camp, Lego Camp, Game Camp, Creative Minds Camp, and Water Camp. In 2015, Brian added a new theme week--"Mystery Camp." Using local historic events as a springboard and involving local community members who enjoy participating in Civil War reenactments, the campers worked together to uncover a civil war mystery at Spring Valley Campground. He said that, “…the camps are a great way to keep kids learning during the summer.”
Byesville Rotary at: www.Byesvillerotary.blogspot.com or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Byesville-Rotary/256548047818283. The club meets 7:30 am, Tuesday at the Stop Nine Senior Center at 60313 (GPS use 60299) Southgate Road, Byesville. Walk-ins are welcome at the club’s meeting.