Youth Development Programs

Youth Recreation

Kids just want to have fun!  We love providing a place and programs here at our Y where kids are able to be kids in a safe and fun environment. Through our Youth Recreation programs, kids are able to spend time with other kids while enjoying fun activities and while being given the opportunity to broaden their horizons to new things.

Middle School Night (Grades 5-8)

One Saturday a month, middle schoolers get the YMCA all to themselves!  Middle schoolers get access to the Flex Space, Wellness Center, Zone Challenge, Group Ex, Basketball Gym, Forese Pool, and Wagner Room. There will also be a special event each month, so keep a look out for the themes! Not only will there be plenty of fun games and activities but also a concession stand with snacks, drinks and pizza! Note: Advance registration is highly recommended and available online: Save money and avoid waiting in line the night of the event.

This program runs in the Fall, Winter, and Spring.

Time: 7:00-9:30PM
Fee: $12 Members; $15 Non-Members; $18 at the door
Your receipt is your ticket it! Permission Slips are required for each event.

View our current brochure for upcoming dates.

Board and Card Game Club (Grades 5-8)

Some things never get old and board/card games are certainly timeless!! We will be exploring all different types of board/card games that all involve a certain level of strategy and mental focus. Games like Risk, Stratego, Chess, Spoons, Kemps, and a new game called Exploding Kittens!!! If you’ve never played these games before or a fanatic, this is the place for you to come, hang out, and enjoy some friendly competition!

Exploding Kittens is a game that was invented a few years backs that involves four different types of cards. It’s a game of chance and skill where you are given cards in the beginning and then draw cards at random for the rest of the game. But these are no ordinary cards; they can either save you, eliminate you, give you abilities, or can be collected to steal cards from your opponents. The object of the game is to survive the kittens and be the last player left.

This program runs in the Fall and Winter.

Ski and Board Club Saturdays (Grades 5-8)

Join us as we get outside and enjoy the wonderful New England winter with six day trips to Ski Sundown! Beginner to advanced skiers and snowboarders welcome! Sign up for as many days as you like!

This program runs in the Winter.

Middle School Ventures (Grades 5-8)

Haven’t made plans for February break? Don’t bother! The New Canaan YMCA is going to be running a vacation camp!! It is a great way to stay around town, be active, and try new activities! During the three days, we will be going on day trips to It Indoor Ropes Course, Rock Climbing, and My Three Sons. After these fun trips, we will return to the Y and spend the rest of the day in the gym, flex space, and Rec pool. We will have different sports, arts and crafts, and games running all three days to keep everything fresh and everyone entertained.

Young Adult Leadership Program (Grades 7-8)

Do you like adventurous field trips, time at the Y, and the possibility to gain valuable life lessons?! Then this is the program for you!! Once a month, we will be going on exciting field trips to Skyzone, GoKarting, Stamford Twin Rinks, and The Rock Club. On the weeks we don’t have field trips we will get two hours of access to the new Intergen space, flex space, and basketball court. Additionally we will be working on one community service project a month.

This program runs in the Fall, Winter, and Spring.

The Non-Traditional Sports Club (Grades 5-8)

Everybody knows the big name traditional sports but what about the little ones. During this nine week program, we will get the chance to explore some of the lesser known sports. We will play Gaga, Nine-Square, Mat-ball, Dodgeball, and Ultimate Frisbee. All of these sports are a little out of the ordinary but are easy to learn and enjoy. We will spend a week on every sport except for Ultimate Frisbee, where we will be spending two as it requires a little more practice. The last extra three weeks we will revisit the group’s favorite sports.  

Gaga is the Israeli version of dodgeball where you are in an octagon shaped pit and have to hit a ball on the ground with your hand in an attempt to hit your opponent’s foot. Nine-square is a beefed up version of four square. Not only are there more squares but rather than hitting the ball down onto the floor you have to hit the ball over the raised Nine-Squares. Mat-ball is also a spin on dodgeball where the bases are enlarged, you can have an unlimited amount of people on the bases, and you must round the bases twice.

This program runs in the Winter and Spring.

Junior Leadership Program (Grades 5-6)

This is the lead-in to our Y.A.L.P program and offers 5th and 6th graders a chance to experience what’s next. This program will meet every Saturday for two months and will consist of time at the YMCA and two off-site day trips. The time at the Y will be spent in the Flex space, gym, Wagner room, and back field (weather permitting). The two day trips will be similar to the Y.A.L.P ones in that they will creatively challenge children. We will also be planning and completing one community service activity during these two months.  

This program runs in the Fall and Spring.

Youth @ the Y (Grades 1-4)

The middle schoolers have always had their chance to take over the Y but now it’s the elementary schoolers turn! Groups of children will be led around the Y by staff to various stations where events will be run by specialist staff. Activities will include use of the Rec pool, Group EX, Wagner room, Flex space, South gymnasium, Kid’s Zone, and the month’s special activity (to be announced before the event). Not only will there be plenty of fun games and activities but a complimentary snack! Y members only.

This program runs in the Fall, Winter, and Spring.

General contact for these programs:  George Bennett at 203-966-4528 ext. 188 or gbennett@newcanaanymca.org.