BOISE, Idaho — Summer is officially here, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may be forcing you to find new ways to stay active and healthy. That's where the Treasure Valley Family YMCA comes in.
"We've got some smaller offerings than usually do, but I'll tell you what, we can keep some kids busy," says David Duro, president and CEO of the Treasure Valley Family YMCA. "We've got great day camp programs that are running week-long at a time, several hours a day, and there's a wide variety of activities."
While the end of May typically marks the start of summer break, many kids have been out of school since March when the pandemic began. That's left them without time in the classroom and around friends to develop critical skills--something that's a focus for the YMCA.
"Kids are really needing some stimulus right now. It's too bad schools had to be closed right here at the end of the school year. We need some academic stimulus, some social, emotional, and just being outside and active. So I think kids are really hungry this year, even more than normal," says Duro.
Adults also looking to get active have the option to do so at home through virtual classes or to join in-person classes that are being offered once again. The YMCA has been opening its facilities across the Valley since May 26 while following new guidelines for safety.
"You need to sign up for them [classes] and reserve a spot. You can also swim at the Y's now. You have to, again, sign up for a lane so that you can swim. We also have our weight rooms, our cardio rooms, and a number of different offerings available so slowly, safely, and responsibly we're opening more and more of the facility as we get this thing figured out," says Duro.
The Treasure Valley Family YMCA is among the businesses making a number of changes in response to the pandemic, all in an effort to keep visitors and staff safe.
"We've got limited hours, we've got a limited capacity, smaller group sizes, incredible cleaning. In fact, we close midday at every facility for an hour just to clean the entire facility, midway through the day. Staff are in masks. Members are encouraged to wear masks, but not required. So we've got a number of safety measures in place. Screening at the door. All staff are temperature checked. All children in every program are temperature checked. So we're doing everything we can think of and everything we possibly can to make it a safe and healthy environment," Duro explains.