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August 2015 Newsletter
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Healthy Living

Camp Visits are under way! The Alliance has been out visiting YMCA camps all across the Commonwealth. We've seen some unique and amazing things happening at all the camps, especially around physical activity and nutritional food.
Youth Protection
Social Responsibility

Congressional Photo Contest
is Underway! 
August recess has officially started for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators head home soon! Don't forget to submit photos
of your members of Congress or other public officials engaging in programs at your Y.





Flu Shots to Benefit Y's:


I am excited to let you know about a cause marketing partnership with the Y, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Ahold Grocery Stores that will benefit the State Alliance and all the Ys that you support through Alliance work. Led by Wendy Schultz, Director of Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Y-USA, this flu shot campaign, will result in each Alliance receiving a guaranteed minimum of $5000 for unrestricted use.


For every flu shot that customers receive at Stop & Shop, Giant or Martin's pharmacies, 50 cents will be donated to the Y. The partnership will be supported via social media, circular ads and on end caps in all of the stores.


We do hope that local Ys will support the partnership and promotion where possible and appropriate. Co-branded posters supporting the promotion will be mailed to local Ys in the hope that they will be displayed on behalf of the partnership. Please take a look at the attached slide deck that includes the co-branded materials. It should be noted that this does not preclude any Association with a similar partnership from moving forward as this is not an exclusive agreement.


This campaign will launch on August 1st and it is important that we let our local Associations know as the co-branded materials will start to become visible. Any support that you can provide to distributing this information through the Alliance network is appreciated. I would also encourage you to have a discussion with your leadership team as to how best to use the $5000 to support your Alliance work.


If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call or to contact Wendy or Mary at Y-USA. Their contact information is on the attached materials.

Early Fall Regional Training Event 
Sept. 17th - 24th Springfield, MA
  • Team Leader Courses
    • Intro to Leading Others
    • Intro to Volunteerism
    • Intro to Fiscal Management 
  • Multi-Team Courses
    • Advanced Fiscal Management
    • Project Management & trainer course!
  • Intro to Listen First & trainer course!
  • Facilitation Skills - Become a trainer!
  • Cultural Lens
    • Held at W. Suburban YMCA, Newton
  • Creating the Member Experience
  • Healthy Lifestyle Principles
  • Foundations of Group Exercise
Youth Protection NewsYouth

Letter from Ed Hurley, CEO of Hockomock Area YMCA and Chair of Alliance Youth Protection Committeeletter 


Recently, at a Youth Protection Committee meeting, Laureen Browning of South Shore YMCA shared how the Praesidium training had made a difference in the lives of one of the children in their program. A staff member listened to what a little girl was telling him and through that process a child is no longer being harmed by her father. The teacher directly credits the training he received from Praesidium.


As Ys across the Commonwealth have agreed to take advantage of the free resources being offered by Praesidium through YUSA, the Youth Protection Committee thought it would be important to take a moment and check where all Ys are in this process so that we can all have stories like Laureen's.


Making our Ys and our communities safe for kids has never been more important. The resources from Praesidium - available free of charge - are incredible. Many of our Ys also are finding the Stewards of Children online training, available free to Ys through the Darkness to Light Foundation, incredibly helpful in creating a culture of awareness and safety for adults.


A primary focus of the Child Safety Committee is to help Ys in MA make connections to the resources needed to accomplish this important initiative. To that end you will find in this newsletter links to the following:

  • YUSA resources for training and best practices
  • List of local resources in Massachusetts
  • Template for a Youth protection brochure to adapt and customize for your Y
  • Sample Program audit forms for child safety to customize for your Y

As we work together with Praesidium, remember that the CEOs from pilot Ys and their staff colleagues are also available to any of your staff. The Hockomock Y, Jeanette Robichaud at the Athol Y, and Stacie Peugh at the Cape Cod Y are all ready to help with any questions you may have regarding how to implement and work with the process. Praesidium is also an invaluable resource for you.


We are developing a short survey to evaluate practices that each Y in our state has in place related to youth safety. We want to learn from one another because as we know we are always better and stronger when we work together!


We would like to hear from you regarding what you are learning through this critical process. Based on the results, we will develop recommended next steps for Ys once they have completed their Praesidium self-assessment.  Working together we must determine our next steps and best practices in our effort to enhance a culture of vigilance and safety where children thrive and predators have no access.


Thank you for all you are doing.





In addition, the Hockomock Area YMCA has shared some documents that Ys can use as resources!

Nationwide Background Check check


After some initial concerns with being able to implement the process, the FBI now supports nationwide access by youth serving organizations to the national fingerprint registry and the associated data bases for criminal conviction, most specifically, sexual offenders. Thanks to the advocacy efforts of the Government Relations Office of YMCA of the USA and many Ys across the country, legislation is now making its way through Congress that would allow all states economical access to these data bases. Stay tuned for more information regarding how you can specifically advocate for this necessary step in protecting those we serve. 

Task Force to Protect Massachusetts Children Against Sexual Abusetask


The legislation creating this task force was adopted at the close of the Patrick Administration. The Execute Director of the Alliance, Peter R. Doliber, was appointed by the Governor to sit on the task force. The group is comprised of State Commissioners, State Representatives, and key personnel from multiple youth protection and youth serving organizations in the Commonwealth. The task force is in the process of developing a recommendation, including legislation, for policies, procedures, and practices for youth serving organizations to protect youth and employees. 

Child Abuse Prevention Webinar: Screening and Selecting Staffabuse


A robust screening and selection process is the first line of defense in protecting youth from sexual abuse. Learn more about Child Abuse Prevention best practices for screening and selecting Y staff by joining a webinar on July 8 led by Anne Calvo, Y-USA's Senior Director of Child Abuse Prevention, and Britt Darwin-Looney, Praesidium's Vice President of Youth Development. Topics covered will be: 
  • How sending a "zero tolerance" message can discourage high-risk applicants
  • Tips for critically reviewing applications from potential employees
  • The basics of criminal background checks
  • Strategies for productive reference checks
  • Behaviorally based interview questions that may reveal applicant characteristics that indicate an increased risk to abuse
  • And much more!

Community Resourcesresources


The Alliance has put together a page with community resources for dealing with child abuse prevention. Community resources include county advocacy centers, state agencies, and state/national organizations offering training, treatment and prevention resources and tools.

To view Community Resource Page, click here.


Additionally, Y-USA has a page on Exchange for Child Abuse Prevention resources and tools. Click here to access Y-USA's Child Abuse Prevention Page.

Social Responsibility
Congressional Recess/Photo Contest:

August recess has officially started for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators head home soon! Don't forget to submit photos of your members of Congress or other public officials engaging in programs at your Y. Photos must be taken between April 25 and Sept. 7. A winner will be selected at random and will receive free registration and hotel for National Advocacy Days in Washington, DC in 2016. 

Email your photos to, or tweet them with the hashtag #YAdvocates. Your photos will be shared with the YMCA Advocates Action Network and on Exchange. Or send them to at the Alliance and she will submit all Massachusetts photos. Photos will be accepted until Sept. 10. Please use Y-USA's photo/video release. 

Healthy Living
Camp Visits:

The Alliance has been out visiting YMCA camps across the Commonwealth this summer. We've had the opportunity to see some unique programs at each camp. Each camp does physical activity a little differently, from BMX bikes at Springfield's Camp Weber to dirt-bikes at Tri-community's Camp Fosket to Gaga pits at almost every camp. And while they all do it a little differently its been a pleasure to see the campers engaging in vigorous physical activity.
It has also been wonderful to see how each camp tackles feeding its campers. A number of the Ys also have working farms! Camp Burgess of the South Coast YMCA has an organic vegetable and fruit farm with goats, sheep, and chickens as well as a pizza oven! Cape Cod's Camp Lyndon feeds summer meals to all the surrounding areas, bringing meals to public parks for community members to share in. We've also been so excited to see all the other programs happening at camp! At Central Massachusetts's Camp Blanchard all the campers work with a literacy specialist during the week and at Old Colony's Camp Clark they have created a blue room where campers can go for a little quiet time.
Finally we've been astounded to see how each camp helps their communities in need. At Attleboro's Camp Finberg they are providing camp, free of charge, to all the children that live in the motel in their area. At the Metrowest Day Camp in Hopkinton they have a High Flight Camp where parents can decide how much they are able to pay. These were just a highlight of the camps we have seen, we have seen many more and each one is doing amazing things to serve their campers and their communities.



Your Alliance 
Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs | |
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Suite 803
Boston, MA 02180