Feature Article - June 2013
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YMCAs, YWCAs, JCCs and Boys & Girls Clubs

A Look at Trends in YMCAs, YWCAs, JCCs and Boys & Girls Clubs


Every single YMCA respondent covered by the survey offers programming of one kind or another. The most common programs found among YMCA respondents' facilities include: day camps and summer camps (offered by 89.8 percent of YMCA respondents); holiday events and other special events (89.8 percent); fitness programs (89 percent); youth sports teams (88.1 percent); mind-body/balance programs like yoga, tai chi and martial arts (83.1 percent); swimming programs (80.5 percent); teen programming (78.8 percent); programs for active older adults (78 percent); aquatic exercise programs (75.4 percent); and educational programs (74.6 percent).

While no area showed an increase over 2012, aquatic exercise programs did rise to appear on the list, replacing personal training.

Some 37 percent of YMCA respondents indicated that they have plans to add programs at their facilities over the next three years, compared with 29.8 percent of non-YMCA respondents. The top 10 planned program additions include:

  1. Sport-specific training, such as golf or tennis lessons (no change from 2012)
  2. Performing arts programs, such as dance, theater and music (up from No. 3)
  3. Environmental education (did not appear in 2012)
  4. Nutrition/diet counseling (down from No. 2)
  5. Educational programs (did not appear in 2012)
  6. Teen programming (down from No. 4)
  7. Youth sports teams (did not appear in 2012)
  8. Mind-body/balance programs (no change)
  9. Arts and crafts (did not appear in 2012)
  10. Day camps and summer camps (did not appear in 2012)

There was a great deal of change, once again, in the top planned programs among YMCA respondents. Many types of programs dropped off the list from 2012, including trips, sports tournaments and races, fitness programs, programs for active older adults and adult sports teams. Many other programs that were not included in the top 10 last year rose to appear on the list, including environmental education, educational programs, youth sports teams, arts and crafts, and day camps and summer camps. Sport-specific training remains the No. 1 planned program among YMCA respondents for the second year in a row, after jumping from the No. 9 spot in 2011.