YMCA Reopens Outdoor Pools

Erie, PA – The YMCA of Greater Erie is reopening YMCA Camp Sherwin and eastside Y outdoor pools on Monday, June 15, 2020 in compliance with Governor Tom Wolf’s Plan for Pennsylvania’s Yellow Phase which remains in effect in Erie County.

Pool facilities will operate under local and state health department and CDC guidelines including recommended capacity guidelines and disinfecting and sanitizing safety breaks. Patrons will be required to have their temperature taken prior to admittance and masks will be required when moving about the facility (not while swimming). Patrons will be asked to make other accommodations including bringing their own chairs as facility chairs will not be available, refraining from gathering in groups, and social distancing (except for family members). Pools are only open to YMCA members and registered campers/guests at YMCA Camp Sherwin and the eastside Y.

A guide to planning a visit to outdoor pools is available here for YMCA Camp Sherwin and here for eastside Y.

The Y expects to reopen additional facilities as the Governor moves through his Plan for Pennsylvania.

Highmark QUAD Games Goes Virtual for 2020

The Highmark Quad – The Virtual Edition
When The Quad Father started the first Games in 1983 his goal was create the region’s premier fitness program with four year-round events designed to keep you and your family in great shape; while having fun.  That mission will not change in 2020!  It just may look a little different than in years past.

This year the Highmark Quad Games has been challenged — to pivot with the current health crisis and Erie County’s cancellation of all summer events, so we are going virtual!

Each of our events will take place over 8-14 days and participants can ride, run, swim, ski any course available, or the actual Quad event course, then submitting a time through Big White Trailers virtual submission form.  Certain aspects of past events will be replaced with new and exciting editions to make this year’s events still fun for all!

Supporting the YMCA of Erie
All proceeds from this year’s events will continue to benefit the YMCA of Greater Erie and their COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and financial assistance program.  Since 1860 and throughout the Y’s history, the Y have been called upon to provide critical services during challenging or uncertain times. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, our Y closed its physical doors and pivoted operations very quickly to meet emerging community needs like essential childcare for the “life-sustaining” workforce, emergency meals for children living with food insecurity, operation REACH to touch populations to reduce social isolation and launched a virtual platform to provide at-home tips and resources for all.

Before You Begin Health & Safety – 
The Highmark Quad is here to help you focus on what matters most: your health, your family and friends, and your community. Your health and safety is very important to us. 

  1. Review national CDC guidelines on safe bicycling, running, swimming and skiing during COVID-19.
  2. All registered participants will need to complete a COVID-19 participation waiver and accept the added question – acknowledging that all courses are open to traffic without aid stations or fire/police.  Racing will not be encouraged by the Highmark Quad on any race course without traffic control.
  3. Even with social distancing measures, it’s still best to fly solo for the time being. But share your plans with friends or family before going on your ride.
  4. Make sure you have all that you need while out. Check your equipment before you leave the house – are tires inflated, is your bike running smooth. While bike shops are considered “essential businesses”, not all shops have stayed open. Some have limited hours. Plan ahead. Make sure your toolkit is properly stocked to handle any roadside repair that might come up.  Be sure to wear all the appropriate equipment, and bring plenty of water and snacks.
    • Additional details will be sent out relating to each event – run, swim, and ski.
  5. With hospitals and healthcare professionals overworked and overwhelmed as it is, take this time to keep your mind fresh and body healthy and active without going overboard. 
  6. We’re all going through a lot right now. A friendly smile or wave to fellow riders or pedestrians will be appreciated. Remember, we’re all in this together. 

Participation Fee
$35 for Quad Series and $10 for each individual event.  If you previously registered for the 2020/2021 Quad Games at a higher price, you will be contacted by email with options for adjusting your cost.

Overall and Age Group Awards
Due to safety concerns we will not be offering overall and age group awards in 2020.  We don’t want to encourage racing on open race courses without proper aid stations, fire police and traffic control.  We will be offering appropriate competitions and fun contest at each event.

Participant and Championship Shirts
2020 participant shirts can be purchased at our online apparel store.  Anyone who completes all four events will earn a Championship shirt (at no additional cost).

The Bike Event (July 1 – July 12)

  • Course: participants can ride any 12 mile course they please, including completing 12 miles on a stationary bike.  The Quad Bike course will be marked and participants can ride complete their 12-miles on the original course.  Please note that the course will be open to traffic with no additional traffic control or aid stations.  All riders must follow regular traffic laws.
  • Submitting your Time: Big White Trailer will be setting up an online virtual submission form.  Registered participants will need to submit their time using this form prior to midnight on July 12, 2020.  You must submit a time to be eligible for the championship shirt and event contests or prizes.
  • After-Party: The Crossroads Diner in Edinboro will be donating a free takeout meal – burger and fries – to all registered participants.  A meal voucher will be emailed to each registered participant prior to July 1, 2020.  Please give them a lot of love on all our social media accounts!
  • Contests: Win gift certificates to the Crossroads Diner or the Quad Apparel Store, a Summer Access Pass to Mt. Pleasant, Quad Swag or a free registration for our 2021/2022 Quad Games.
    • Strava Segments – top rider and other random awards to those who post a time on our Strava segments along the course (they will be marked by July 1 or find them on Strava)
    • Photo Contest/Scavenger Hunt – while enjoying this year’s course (at a more casual pace) enjoy the scenery and have some fun!  Take photos or selfies at the following locations and post on Facebook or Instagram.  Be sure to tag the Highmark Quad.
      • The starting line….can you find it?!
      • A picture next to the 2nd largest sycamore tree in PA (hint – at the end of the first Strava segment)
      • Can you find a peacock? Or two? Please be respectful of the owner’s property and take your picture from the road. (hint – red barn)
      • It’s not time to ski yet, but take a selfie in front of the Mt. Pleasant sign! Get really adventurous and hike to the top of Chestnut (ski slope) for a little extra work out!  Tag Mt. Pleasant in the post for a chance to win a Summer Access Pass.
      • Little White Church – Washington Valley Christian Church (hint – it’s a little off the course but visible around mile 5.5).  Can you find it?!
      • The finish line – the most glorious site around!
      • A selfie in front of the Crossroads Diner Sign while you are picking up your FREE burger and fries after your ride. Tag the @crossroadsdiner when you pos this picture on Facebook for a chance to win a gift certificate to their restaurant.
      • Best costume – take your fun to the next level and dress up for your ride.  Take a selfie and share on our Facebook page! 
      • Family – Invite your family to join the fun or snap a family selfie (before, during or after the ride)
      • Riding Solo – stay safe and enjoy a solo ride.  Take a selfie of yourself enjoying the ride or click a picture of your beautiful bike.

RULES: This year’s Highmark Quad Bike course will be open to traffic without any additional traffic control.  We ask that you don’t race but enjoy a ride while following all traffic rules.  No aid stations or assistance will be available on the course. Be respectful of neighbors and property along the course.

  • Post selfies to the Highmark Quad Facebook page or tag @highmarkquad to be entered into prize drawings for the scavenger hunt/photo contest.
  • Please be respectful or property along the course.  While taking pictures stay on the side of the road (or in a safe area) while not disrupting the property owners or property; but also be aware of traffic.
  • Be safe and have fun!
  • RaceJoy: We will also be partnering with Big White Trailer to offer RaceJoy (sponsored by UTZ Snacks) for all our registrants – have a virtual cheering section or allow your biggest fans to follow your progress while riding the course.  Please use all safety precautions when using this app.
  • Safety: All Quad courses in 2020 will be open to traffic without any additional traffic control or aid stations.  Please abide by all traffic rules.  Do not race on an open course.  Be sure to carry your cellphone with you, in case of an emergency. Be sure to take any additional equipment with you – water, sunscreen, etc.

The Run Event (September 6 – September 20)

  • Course: participants can complete any 5 or 3.1 mile course they please, including running/walking on a treadmill.  The Quad Run course will be marked and participants can complete their run on the original course.  Please note that the course will be open to traffic with no additional traffic control or aid stations.  All participants must follow regular traffic laws.
  • Submitting your Time: Big White Trailer will be setting up an online virtual submission form.  Registered participants will need to submit their time using this form prior to midnight on September 20, 2020.  You must submit a time to be eligible for the championship shirt and event contests or prizes.
  • After-Party: TBD
  • Contests: TBD
  • Strava Segments – top runner and other random awards to those who post a time on our Strava segments along the course (they will be marked by September 6 or find them on Strava)
    • Photo Contest/Scavenger Hunt – details TBD
  • RaceJoy: We will also be partnering with Big White Trailer to offer RaceJoy (sponsored by AXA Advisors) for all our registrants – have a virtual cheering section or allow your biggest fans to follow your progress while riding the course.  Please use all safety precautions when using this app.
  • Safety: All Quad courses in 2020 will be open to traffic without any additional traffic control or aid stations.  Please abide by all traffic rules.  Do not race on an open course.  Be sure to take all appropriate equipment with you – water, sunscreen, cellphone, etc.

The Swim Event (TBD – October or November)

Due to the uncertainty of access to pools these details are subject to change. 

  • Course: participants can swim 100 yards at any open facility.  If pools are not open, we may change this event to 100 yard rowing competition.  This event is subject to cancellation.
  • Submitting your Time: Big White Trailer will be setting up an online virtual submission form.  Registered participants will need to submit their time using this form prior to midnight on TBD.  You must submit a time to be eligible for the championship shirt and event contests or prizes.
  • After-Party: TBD
  • Contests: TBD
  • Safety: Always swim with a buddy and follow all rules of the facility you are using.  Be sure to take all appropriate equipment with you – water, cellphone, etc.

The Ski/Snowshoe Event (January 1 – February 14)

  • Course: participants can ski or snowshoe any 5 or 2.5 mile course they please, including the original course at Wilderness Lodge.  The Wilderness Lodge Quad Ski and Snowshoe courses may not be marked but a map will be provided along with other area courses (example: Wainer Park).  Please note that the course will be open to other skiers/snowshoers with no aid stations.  All participants must follow rules of the trails they are on.
  • Submitting your Time: Big White Trailer will be setting up an online virtual submission form.  Registered participants will need to submit their time using this form prior to midnight on February 14, 2020.  You must submit a time to be eligible for the championship shirt and event contests or prizes.
  • After-Party: TBD
  • ContestsStrava Segments – top runner and other random awards to those who post a time on our Strava segments along the course (they will be marked by January 1 or find them on Strava)
    • Photo Contest/Scavenger Hunt – details TBD
  • Safety: We always recommend that you ski/snowshoe and follow all rules of the facility you are using.  Be sure to take all appropriate equipment with you – water, sunscreen, cellphone, etc.

Additional Details

If at any time our area moves into a phase that would allow us to host onsite events with all appropriate safety measures in place, we will consider adjusting our event(s) plan.  Please Like us on Facebook or check our website often for the latest Highmark Quad announcements.

http://www.highmarkquad.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/The-Highmark-Quad-–-The-Virtual-Edition-05202020-FINAL-1.pdf

YMCA Partners with USDA to Connect Families to Fresh Produce

Erie, PA – The YMCA of Greater Erie has partnered with the USDA to connect families to free fresh produce.

The produce boxes will be distributed to families during the Y’s regularly scheduled meal distribution for children. Please note that the produce boxes are only available during the schedule below, but meals follow an expanded service

Downtown Y, 31 West 10th Street, Fridays, 3:30-5:30 p.m. – produce

         Meal distribution, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

It is estimated that the Y should receive anywhere from 60-80, 30-pound boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables weekly; one 30-pound box would serve a family of 4 for one week.

Income requirement and Y membership are not required.

Service will begin on Friday, May 22.

YMCA Reopens Glenwood Childcare Location

Erie, PA – The YMCA of Greater Erie is reopening an additional childcare center at its glenwood park  location, 3727 Cherry Street, and YMCA Early Learning Center, 3507 Poplar Street, as employees slowly begin to return to work in compliance with Governor Tom Wolf’s Plan for Pennsylvania Yellow Phase which took effect Friday, May 8.

The Y’s glenwood childcare and Early Learning Center locations will reopen on Monday, May 18 for employees of businesses that have been moved from the red to yellow phase.

Enrollment is open now for children ages infant-15 by calling Stacy Dambaugh at (814) 572-6549 or emailing [email protected] or enroll online at ymcaerie.org.

  • Care is available from 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
  • Staff and children will be given a daily “well-check” upon entry. Should your child meet the CDC’s three warning signs – fever, cough or shortness of breath – your child will not be permitted to remain in care and can return only with a doctor’s excuse.
  • Group size will be limited to 10 or less children
  • Children over age 2 are required to have a face covering
  • Parents are required to have a face covering
  • We will no longer serve family style; staff will serve all meals
  • Parents will NOT escort their children to and from the classroom; Y staff will greet children and escort them to and from the classroom to minimize the number of contacts in our building.
  • We will take extra precaution on cleaning and disinfecting our toys and classrooms; this will be in addition to our licensed requirements.
  • Should your child become sick, the child will be removed and placed in a designated sick room and the parent called to pick up.

The Y expects to reopen additional centers as the Governor moves through his Plan for Pennsylvania.

Reopening Camp Sherwin: Camping with Care

Erie, PA – The YMCA of Greater Erie is reopening Camp Sherwin, 8600 West Lake Road, Lake City,  in compliance with Governor Tom Wolf’s Plan for Pennsylvania Yellow Phase expected to take effect Friday, May 8.

The Y’s Camp Sherwin will reopen on Friday, May 22 observing guidelines provided by state and county health experts and local officials to ensure that the facilities meet the highest standards for hygiene and safety. Camp Sherwin is a public outdoor camping and recreation center.

“We have modified our policies to facilitate safe social distancing practices and certain amenities will continue to be temporarily closed for the health and safety of all,” said YMCA of Greater Erie CEO Gerry Vandemerwe.

Click here for helpful tips in planning your visit.

YMCA REOPENS ADDITIONAL CHILDCARE CENTER

Erie, PA – The YMCA of Greater Erie is reopening an additional childcare center at its eastside location, 2101 Nagle Road, as employees slowly begin to return to work in compliance with Governor Tom Wolf’s Plan for Pennsylvania Yellow Phase expected to take effect Friday, May 8.

The Y’s eastside childcare location will reopen on Monday, May 11; should Governor Wolf’s Plan for Pennsylvania Yellow Phase not go into effect as planned on May 8, the location will still reopen under an exemption waiver to provide the “life-sustaining” workforce with essential childcare services.

Enrollment is open now for children ages 3-15 by calling Stacy Dambaugh at (814) 572-6549 or emailing [email protected] or enroll online at ymcaerie.org.

The downtown location remains open however enrollment is full.

Click here for additional information regarding health and safety precautions.

Membership Options During COVID-19 – Updated 5/19

Your Y needs you to #StayWithUs as we prepare to reopen in a phased approach that minimizes the spread of COVID-19 and maintains a healthy and safe environment for all. 

At this time, YMCAs remain in the red phase of Governor Tom Wolf’s Plan for Pennsylvania. While we have not received any indication from local or state officials when YMCAs may move from the red to the yellow phase and reopen to the community, we are hopeful it will be within the next two-three weeks.

You understand that your Y membership is the cornerstone of a strong and stable Y for today and tomorrow. Your membership will help us in the coming weeks to prepare our facilities and rehire staff in a manner that safeguards our health.

Preparing to Welcome You 

You’ve been helping us prepare for our reopening. Know that we are here for you and will be constantly evaluating our processes and procedures to serve you, support you and keep you safe. Trust your Y to ensure the health and safety of all people. We’re making significant investments in:

  • Technology for body temperature and mask detection
  • CDC approved disinfecting process utilizing EPA registered and approved chemicals, reducing the risks associated with COVID-19 and limit its spread
  • Signage and facility reconfigurations to allow for social distancing and environment
  • Staff training in health and safety, facility and janitorial

In the coming weeks, we’ll be slowly reopening portions of your Y when restrictions are lifted. You may find that you have to vary your routine – a hybrid of at-home, outdoor and at-the-Y activities while we adjust to a new Y environment. We will be reopening in phases.

We’re Here With You

  • Providing essential childcare services so our local workforce can return
  • Serving nearly 1000 free meals and snacks to children to relieve financial strain on families
  • Distributing 80 fresh produce boxes to families in need
  • Inspiring total wellness with free virtual resources including local, live classes and activities for families
  • Reaching out to our members to reduce social isolation and provide community connection
  • Supporting those at-risk for diabetes with virtual prevention program

#StayWithUs – Membership Options

We know you are dealing with challenges at home and we are thankful to have you with us, even if just in spirit. We’re asking you to stay with us if you can. Select from the following:

Remain an Active Y Member-

There are two options here. By continuing to pay your 100% or 50% of your membership dues, you will help us to be financially solvent during this chaotic time, build Y resources for when we do reopen, build virtual content to support you and your family and ensure we can continue offering critical childcare as our workforce returns  as well as free curbside grab & go dinner meals and snacks in partnership with local schools. We will also be able to reach out and support our seniors by phone to help ease the challenges of isolation.

Option A: Use 100% of my monthly dues as a donation to the Y’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. With this option, your membership dues become tax-deductible donations to the YMCA. With the passage of the CARES Act, you will be able to deduct up to $300 in charitable donations on your 2020 taxes, even if you do not itemize. When our YMCA is able to reopen, you will receive a tax letter for the amount you donated. If you choose this option, no action is required.

Option B: Reduce my monthly dues by 50% and use as a donation. Refer above. If you choose this option,  YOU MUST call the Y at 452-3261 or email [email protected] by Thursday, May 28 between 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday otherwise 100% of membership dues will be processed June 1, 2020. Should the Y reopen in June, you will not be charged for any days we are open.

If you chose this option previously, you must call to renew this option; we would not want to assume that your financial circumstances have remained the same.

Membership Hold –

This option places your membership on hold until we re-open. To place your membership on HOLD, please call the Y at 452-3261 or email [email protected] by Thursday, May 28 between 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday otherwise your membership dues will be processed on June 1, 2020 and a donation receipt issued. If your membership is currently on hold, we’ll extend your hold until June 30  – no need to call us. Should the Y reopen in June, we will remove the hold prior to our first day of operations and you will not be charged for any days we are open.

*If you have paid for your membership in full, we will credit your account for each month that the Y is temporarily closed. Please call the Y at 452-3261 to make these arrangements.

*If you have registered and paid for a program that was to begin after March 16, we will be crediting your YMCA account for those program fees.

Go Above & Beyond

If you would like to donate additionally to help fund the Y’s efforts to provide community services as referenced above, you can make a donation online. Any amount is valued and appreciated.

We have the opportunity, right now, to decide what the future looks like. We are learning a lot in real time, and we’re adapting.

Most importantly, this is not forever. We’re standing by you during this difficult time and ask that you stand by us as well. There’s a bright future ahead, but the only way we get there is together.

Thanks for #StayingWithUs

Virtual Health and Wellness

In the coming weeks, we’ll be reopening the Y in three phases following guidance by the CDC and state and local health officials. You may find that you have to vary your routine – a hybrid of at-home, outdoor and at-the-Y activities while we adjust to a new Y environment. We’ll continue to offer you popular classes led by your favorite Y instructors on our Facebook page.

We’ll also continue to add resources and activities for families.

Facebook LIVE & Zoom Classes

Join Erie Y instructors for daily Facebook LIVE classes – Catch pre-recorded classes from ZOOM throughout the week that you can do anytime. Click here for this week’s schedule.

Y360
The YMCA workouts that you love, but at home! Choose from a variety of classes including Barre, Yoga, Bootcamp and Active Older Adult Videos. Workout videos are 8-30 minutes and categorized by type of exercise.

YTHRIVE
Stay virtually connected to the Y through these activities from Ys across the U.S. that will help you maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit from the comfort of your home.

Les Mills At Home On Demand
Thanks you our partnership with Les Mills, this temporary site allows free access to 100+ workouts during the COVID-19 disruptions. There is something for everyone from high intensity interval training designed to improve strength and fitness fast, dance fitness workouts, the martial arts inspired BODYCOMBAT Invincible program through to mindfulness practices to slow the stream of thoughts that can cause our stress. The BORN TO MOVE children’s workouts will get everyone from 4 to 16 years moving, and out post-partum series will help get mothers back to exercise safely.

Beachbody
During this unprecedented time, we want to continue helping families stay healthy and sane by offering some fun ways to expend energy together. With schools not in session and no formal recess or P.E., we hope you will use these workouts to make family fitness fun and a part of your daily routine.

Life Fitness Digital Coach
Choose from three workout of the day categories each day. Digital Coach can be launched using any web browser on your computer or mobile device. Refresh each day for a new set of workouts, created by our Life Fitness Academy trainers (ACE and NASM certified), you can stay in shape at no extra cost until you can get back into the gym.

SilverSneakers On Demand
SilverSneakers members can view classes, health tips and workout videos designed by top SilverSneaker instructors.

Health

Educational Resources

Family Fun

Video Resources 

Tips for At-Home Learning from our Friends at WQLN

PBS KIDS has a variety of free resources to support families:

  • The PBS KIDS 24/7 channel offers anytime access to trusted educational series for kids ages 2-8 on WQLN 54.4 (a rescan of TV channels may be necessary).
  • The PBS KIDS Video app is available on mobile, tablet, and connected TV devices and offers on-demand educational videos, and a live stream of the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel. No subscription required! (Search for “PBS KIDS Video” where you find your apps).
  • The PBS KIDS Games app has nearly 200 educational games, which can be downloaded for offline play anytime, anywhere. Learn more about these and PBS KIDS’ other apps here.
  • PBS KIDS for Parents offers information, activities, and tips for parents, including this resource on “How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus.”

Visit PBSKIDS.org for daily activities and tips to help kids play and learn at home.

Governor Wolf Announces School Closures

We are here to support families during this challenging time. The Y is continuing to provide essential childcare for current Y families who need childcare to be able to work and support their families. Should you choose, children currently enrolled in our childcare program will attend at an alternate YMCA location. We will daily evaluate this decision and our operations for the safety of all.

YMCA staff will transition to the alternate YMCA program location. Breakfast, snacks and lunch will be served as always.

Wattsburg Elementary children will attend at the Eastside Family Y

Northwestern Elementary children will attend at the County Y

Fairview Elementary children will attend at YMCA Camp Sherwin

Elk Valley Elementary children will attend at YMCA Camp Sherwin

Klein Elementary children will attend at the Eastside Family Y

Perry Elementary children will attend at the Glenwood Y

McKean Elementary children will attend at either the County Y or the Y’s program at Summit United Methodist Church.

We will accommodate your child’s school district’s out of school learning as best we can.

We appreciate your patience during this unexpected transition.

We will continue focusing extra attention on sanitizing high traffic areas and commonly used surfaces including counters, tabletops, doorknobs, phones, light switches, keyboards, tablets and toys. Additionally, we are encouraging everyone to do their part in helping prevent the spread of germs and viruses. Hand washing remains the most effective method of preventing the spread of germs, including flu and coronavirus. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Frequent hand washing is practiced throughout our programs by staff and children.

How can you help?

In partnership with families like yours, the Y encourages healthy habits so that children and adults stay well. When people are healthy, their resistance to illness is high.

  • Keep kids hydrated
  • Encourage a good night’s sleep.
  • Implement best practices such as frequent hand washing and safe sneezing/coughing
  • If your child has symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, or fatigue, keep them at home for 24 hours after fever has ended. Contact your medical provider.

Currently, there are no suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus in our YMCA programs or Erie County. While no one can predict with certainty how severely Erie County will be impacted by coronavirus, we are monitoring the situation and preparing for the possibility that our programs could be temporarily impacted if the situation significantly worsens. We will keep all families updated with information as it develops.

Additionally, we encourage everyone to regularly check the CDC’s website for important updates and safety information. The American Academy of Pediatrics also has helpful information specific to children and families.  

Jill Simmons, Vice President, Youth Development, YMCA of Greater Erie