Work Day Help from Prep School

side 2Here are a few pictures of a group of Juniors in High School from Marianapolis Preparatory School in Thompson, CT. They came to the West Hartford Program Site at the St. Thomas Seminary to help with gardening and landscaping for the upcoming Summer season.

It was an awesome feeling to see so many kids willing to help with getting the job accomplished! They did a wonderful job and has helped with bringing out program site to life!

I build relationships with a couple of the kids in the group when I took them on a tour of our building. I had asked them what they thought of the space and if they had access to it, what would they have in it if they were a local teen in our community areas? It was great to hear the various number of ideas and thoughts that I can bring for the communities we serve hear at the West Hartford YMCA.

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Impacting the lives, one phone call at a time…

Camp season is right under all of our noses and everyone is getting calls and questions about registration, about the programs and more! This past week the West Hartford YMCA had their first open house and have been getting many calls about our summer program offerings for camp. Getting phone call after phone call asking the same questions may seem like a lot, but this week getting those phone calls and helping out new and old members with questions has been great! Hearing new families calling the office asking questions about our camp programs has got me quite excited for the camp season ahead, but when I get previous camp families calling and asking about the new and exciting things that camp has to offer this year has given me the best feeling of excitement, joy, enthusiasm, passion and more about every part about camp. I may have a conversation with someone for 5 minutes or 50 minutes about camp, but all the information and interaction with them has been a great impact on them, but most importantly myself. I know that being apart of an organization like the Greater Hartford YMCA  has given me the chance to impact more and more individual on many level. I am so happy to be apart of something that gives back to each and every individual we serve.

I can not wait to meet more and more new friends at camp this summer and see more and more friends return to the West Hartford YMCA camp of 2013! Get ready it’s going to be an AWESOME SUMMER! 🙂

Just keep building relationships….

This past weekend, the West Hartford Y was part of the “Walk like MADD” event in the center of town (MADD stand for Mothers Against Drunk Driving). We were part of the “marketplace” where we had brought a few activities for many of the kids to try out. I had met many people from all over, from Maine, to New York and many from right in Hartford Areas.

Two families that stuck to my mind were a family from Ellington and one from East Hartford.

The family from Ellington had a son who was full of energy and excited by the atmosphere of the event. I got to talking with his mother who had told me that they currently enrolled his son into the camp over at the Indian Valley YMCA. The mom had expressed how excited he was to begin camp at the Y and so excited for the summer activities ahead. It was great to talk to her more and deepen a relationship with other Y member from other branches.

The second family was from East Hartford and had two daughters, one who is in the East Hartford Y’s After School Programs. I had talked to her mom about her experience with the EH Y after school program and she had explained to me that her daughter Loves attending and the staff members are great. Her other daughter is a bit older, in her tween age and wants to get a job, but not quite old enough yet. I had talked to her about the opportunity of volunteering and getting experience that way, before she gets into a real job. The mother and I chatted for quite some time, and just like the family from Indian Valley, I was so happy to build another relationship with an outside member of the West Hartford YMCA.

Shout out to Jon at Indian Valley- You are going to get a great, fun and energetic kid at camp!

Shout out to Jenn and her staff at the East Hartford Y- Keep up the great work at your after care program! And you may be getting a young adult to volunteer and shine at the Y!

These new relationship made me so excited to think of such a great organization and association we are all apart of here at the Greater Hartford YMCA. I love the work that we do here at the Y!

Sun is Shining and the Weather is Sweet!

Pictures below are of the West Hartford YMCA April Vacation club! During this past week we started getting ready for the camp season by playing camp games, such as gaga ball, capture the flag, floor hockey and more! We have also have had a theme each day, such as “Movie Star Monday,” “Tye Dye Tuesday,” Olympic Wednesday,” “Slumber Party Thursday,” and tomorrow is “Safari Adventure Friday!” The kids have met many new friends here at the Y Vacation Club this week and are sad that tomorrow it is the end of the vaction week! BUT ITS DOES NOT NEED TO COME TO END…. I have been talking to all the parents each of the days about Summer Camp that is just around the corner! All of the parents are very interested and look forward to sending there kids back to the YMCA for the summer. So, our new vacation club friends will now turn into YMCA Friends for a lifetime! Having the kids build the relationship with one another has been an amazing thing to see and I look forward to seeing this each and every day here at our YMCA!

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That is just Genius

Last week, I had to take my third trip to the apple store because of issues with my phone. As I was sitting at the genius bar, deep inside I was huffing and puffing with anger that I was there once again! One of the genius bar associates had recognized me from my last visit to the store, he remember that I had  worked at one of local YMCA’s  around the area. He had then asked me about the Indian Valley Y in Ellington, and recommended him to go check it out (looking out for you all at Indian Valley, new member coming your way!). As we kept talking about the YMCA, he asked again which one I worked at again, I replied saying, “the West Hartford Branch.” There was a man also sitting at the genius bar  whose head shot up when I gave my answer. He then said, “are you Amanda? The one who I get emails from?” As I looked at him, surprised, answered with, “why yes I am. Have your kids done any of our program?” He explained to me that his two twin boys just finished up with at the league with the Shooters division. He has told me that the boys had a wonderful time and enjoyed every minute of it! Hearing and meeting this man, made me feel so much closer to a member of the Greater Hartford YMCA. Who would have known that I would have deepen a relationship at the apple store genius bar?

I walked out of the apple store that day, with a huge smile on my face! Not just because I got my phone fixed, but because I build a new relationship with a member. It doesn’t if you are in a Y facility to deepen a relationship, you can build and deepen relationship anywhere with our members!

Smiles of Y Champions

This may be a simple email and picture but, it makes me realize everyday that we are making a difference and deepening relationships with each member we meet and get to know in our YMCA communities.

To Amanda:

The boys had such a great time playing basketball this season. Thank you for such a great program!

Dan, Danielle, Michael (8), Andrew (4) and Samuel (2)

weiss family

 

I’m a Y Basketball Player

This past Saturday was the West Hartford Y’s 6th week of our Winter basketball league. For our league we have two sites going on at once and one of the sites is the local Middle school. During one of the hours one of the Y staff was in the locker room and was passing a young Y basketball player. The Y basketball player looked like he was in search of something in the locker room, so our staff stopped and asked if they could help find something. The young Y basketball player said, “I need a locker…” The staff member then went on to asked why they needed the locker, and the basketball player then said proudly, “I am a Y basketball player and I need a locker to hold my belongings while I play my game today!” The staff member and the Y basketball player had then gone on a search for an empty locker for him to use. Once they found the perfect open locker for him to store his belongings in, he had then shouted “Thank you!” and continued running out to the court. The staff member had then stood back and giggled a bit at the fact that the child expressed and felt as if this was his big game and he was ready to go head to head with Lebron James! He then put in perspective that these kids in our Y basketball program look forward to every Saturday to practice their skills and perform in front of a crowd of family and friends. We give the kids the opportunity to kids to shine, perform and express themselves in many ways!

Design Your Own Y Basketball

mweiss2Through one of our communication pieces to all of the families in the West Hartford Y 2013 Basketball League, we had sent out a “Design your own Y basketball” with a question of what is their favorite part about basketball.

These pictures were designed by Michael, 8 years old and on the Celtics Team in our Shooters Division (Grade 3 &4). He took the time and energy to create not just one, not two, but three creative and colorful Y basketballs. He has then wrote that his favorite part about basketball is playing with all his friends the YMCA! Michael took the time and  energy to express his positive thought about having a great time with his coaches and teammates at the YMCA!

 

Making Memories at the Y

 

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This is a Valentine from Christopher, he is 4 and is a participant in the West Hartford Y Sports of All Sorts class. Today he came into class so excited as always, but extra excited to deliver his sports valentines.

He came into class and had given me and the other sports instructor our valentines. His mom had then explained to us that while making his valentines for his friends in his pre-school class, he said, “Mom, I want to make one for my sports teachers!”  Christopher thought of his sports teachers all on his own.

I thought to myself, my fellow sports instructor and I have made such an impact in this child’s life. We build a relationship, a friendship and memories at the Y for Christopher to remember for the rest of his life.

 

Connecting Coaches

 The West Hartford YMCA has begun their 2013 Basketball league this past weekend. Lets go going back a week prior to opening day, where the WH YMCA had hosted a coaches meeting and clinic at the St. Thomas Seminary. The coaches meeting consisted of the schedule of how each week was to play out, some FAQ’s about roster, schedule of games, where each division plays, and the best part of the meeting was the coaches clinic that was run by two past volunteer coaches from last season, a father and son.

The father has had more than 40 years as a former associate athletic director, tennis coach and physical education instructor at the University of Hartford. And the son, who is again coaching multiple teams this season for his kids, but also the head basketball coach and athletic director at Grace Academy Middle School in Hartford. The two of them have put together a series of drills and skills clinic that they have use for their own teams in the past. The clinic consisted of ball handling skills, combo of dribbling, passing and shooting drills, and defensive drills for ages 3 up to 6th grade.

The coaches clinic was a success and had a great turnout! The volunteer coaches then had their brains in gear for the season ahead and were ready for their first practices with their teams.

Opening day came along, everyone was so excited to meet their teams and coaches, and receive their team t-shirts. Coaches had then began to conduct their practices, multiples coaches were using the drills from the coaches clinic. The smiling faces of kids and their families and the amount of excitement and joy of playing basketball was an amazing feeling for both the community and the YMCA staff.

This has proved that at the YMCA helps build relationship and connect people in many ways. The coaches meeting brought people together with the same passion of basketball and giving back to the community. I am excited to continue building my own relationships with each and every coach, the participants and their families.