Rye YMCA Blog


Summer Childwatch Hours

Monday – Thursday: 8:30 am-7:30 pm
Friday: 8:30 am-2:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 am-12:30 pm


Rye Y’s Togetherhood Marks 2nd Year of Service with Planting Project

Brook%20and%20Benji%20Newland%20RNC%20projectOn a recent cloudy and cool Saturday, 22 Rye YMCA volunteers gathered at Rye Nature Center to plant grasses and flowers that will provide nectar for the Center’s resident bees.

Led by Taro Ietaka, the Nature Center’s Director of Conversation and Land Stewardship, the group planted spotted beebalm, broom sedge, little blue stem grass, common milkweed, and black-eyed susans. After the planting, the volunteers were treated to an impromptu talk about the lives and habits of bees by Rye Nature Center’s beekeepers. Adults and children alike were fascinated to learn about the complex structure of bee society and enjoyed a close-up look at the thousands of bees housed in the Center’s bee hive.

Togetherhood is a national YMCA social responsibility initiative that engages Y members in community service. Since its formation in May 2014, the Rye Y Togetherhood Committee has organized nine projects for a range of community-based organizations including The Sharing Shelf, Don Bosco Community Center, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, My Sisters’ Place, Bread of Life Food Pantry, St. Ignatius Middle School and the Rye Nature Center. For more information about Togetherhood, contact Denise Woodin at 967-6363 or denise@ryeymca.org.


My First Group Exercise Class

alyssa-smallby Alyssa Wei, Rye Y Student Volunteer

I am honored to say that my first ever group exercise class in my eighteen years of living was a short week ago, right in the Group Exercise Room at the Rye Y. To be quite honest, I can’t even say when my first class would have been had I not volunteered at the Y.

I am an athlete. On a given day I may run anywhere from four to six miles, and then do a short circuit workout or lift a few weightsㅡnothing extreme and all very home accessible. So when my supervisor asked if I wanted to take a group exercise class at the Y, I put on my brave face (and a smile, of course) and said “Yes, why not?” After all, it was a new experience confronting me; and as an athlete, I don’t back down from a challenge.

I took a Pilates class after consulting with a few of my friends. I went in having no expectation, with my internship’s agenda in mind. So I made a few observations as I began the class:

-Members all seemed genuinely happy as they walked in and set up their mats

-There were a lot of people, but not a crowded feel

-I felt comfortable in an environment I had never been in

As the class continued, I began to see why Pilates was most definitely an exercise. I was sweating and shaking and engaging new muscles I didn’t even know I could target in my arms.

As an athlete, trained on the importance of recovery and strengthening, I was delighted to wake up the next morning with a tang of soreness in my abdominal region, slightly more soreness in my glutes, and most definitely a very sore feeling in my back and shoulders. I can’t even explain how happy I was.

Although Pilates was my first and (so far) only group exercise class at the Rye Y, I can say with confidence that the class encompasses the mission of the Y, and creates a welcoming environment for new and returning participants. A workout can be productive and fun, and the Rye Y is definitely more than just a gym. That is the overwhelming message that I have learned as a volunteer and as a member participating in the Y’s activities.

And because of that, I look forward to many more classes to come, and the Rye Y will always hold a special place in my heart as my first ever group exercise class.