Taking flight at Children’s Island and more Y news

More than 30 YMCA of the North Shore team members and Board volunteers — including myself, Board member Garry Callahan, and YMCA of the North Shore Board President Jennifer Buras — recently traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, to the General Assembly of YMCAs. The General Assembly is the national gathering of senior leaders, local volunteers and key program staff who work in YMCAs across the United States. It serves as a forum for networking, inspiration, education and an opportunity to connect and unite.

Local Y leaders recently went to the national General Assembly of YMCAs. COURTESY PHOTO

There were passionate and thoughtful messages from Dr. Bernice King, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, actor Cal Penn, journalist Lisa Ling and YMCA of the USA President Suzanne McCormick … all focused on the theme of the conference, “Uniting andInspiring.”

This theme aligns with what the Y does each day as it works to unite and inspire the communities and individuals it is honored to serve. From developing the next generation of leaders to championing affordable housing, the Y remains steadfast in its mission to be a place where everyone can come together to learn, grow and thrive.

YMCA after-school program at Marblehead elementary schools

The Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA is proud to partner with the Marblehead Public Schools to provide after-school programs at each elementary school in Marblehead. The Y after-school program officially opens for families on Tuesday,Sept 5. The Y after-school team is ready to support families after school providing homework support, enrichment activities, active play time and a healthy snack each day after school.

The Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA serves over 250 children in both Marblehead and Swampscott each day. For more information on program please contact, Sandi Novello at novellos@northshoreymca.org.

Join the Sharks Swim Team

Be part of our incredible team with year round competitive swimming, fun team spirit, friendships and more. Evaluations are still open for the 2023-2024 season. Open to swimmers ages 5–18 years old. To schedule an evaluation, contact Jack Van Meter at vanmeterj@northshoreymca.org or Erik Jensen at jensene@northshoreymca.org.

Shout-out to Marblehead Scout Troop 79

We are so grateful for the 30 scouts and adult leaders who worked tirelessly to activate a trail path for Y campers this summer by carving out a trail and cleaning up trash on the way down to Ledge Hill Pond. What a great resource for campers this summer! They have been able to use the trail to explore nature, science, local animals and vegetation right in the Y’s own backyard.

Mass Audubon Society explores Children’s Island

It has been a wonderful experience for staff and campers to have Mass Audubon visiting Children’s Island this summer to monitor the unique bird species on the island. In addition to the bird surveys, Mass Audubon is working with camp staff to provide bird-focused programming during summer camp. Mass Audubon staff is also providing some training to the camp staff to increase their knowledge of the birds and other wildlife on the island while also sharing some nature educational activities, specifically focused on birds and bird watching. 

Why is Children’s Island so special to birds? Did you know that Children’s Island provides critical nesting habitat for great egrets, snowy egrets, glossy ibis, little blue herons and black-crowned night herons? These are species that have been declining in numbers, which makes Children’s Island even more important and special for the birds and the campers.

Thank you, golfers

Thank you golfers, sponsors, Y staff and Tedesco Country Club for helping to make the first Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA Golf Tournament a success. With the community’s generosity, the Y was able to raise more than $60,000 to provide local kids with campscholarships.

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Editor Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter.

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