MINOT — The Minot Family Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) has been serving the community for almost 80 years.
Tia Huber, director of program services, explained what the YMCA currently does.
“The YMCA is a non-profit here in the Minot community,” said Huber. “And we focus on three different areas. We have healthy living, social responsibility, and youth development. Essentially the programs we create are not in competition with what the community already has. We want to supplement the community. So, in a lot of ways where our youth development comes from is our youth programing, whether it is through camps or sports like basketball or maybe swim lessons.”
Huber said the youth development focuses on teamwork, friendship bonds, and more.
“With social responsibility, those are more programs geared towards helping the community from a social aspect,” Huber explained. “So, maybe that’s providing a space where seniors can gather and have coffee in the morning. Or providing programming that is great for people with chronic diseases to get together and work on that health and wellness aspect and create bonds with those who have similar ailments.”
Huber said that the Y provides sponsorships for those that may not be able to afford a membership.
“In terms of healthy living, obviously we’re mainly a gym,” said Huber. “So, we provide fitness equipment and group programs and playground equipment for kids.”
Huber explained that while most of the programming happens right inside the YMCA building, it also has a camp near Garrison where kids can stay for a week.
The YMCA focuses on the family by having programs for all ages, according to Huber, and activities for kids to do after school, such as a rock wall, swimming pool, and more.
Huber explained how YMCAs across the country work, “We are under the same brand essentially, but our policies are all different. How they do it in Fargo is not necessarily how we do it here, because maybe they don’t focus on the same things that we do. All of the Ys, we get together, and we meet.”
Huber also explained that the first Ys started in Europe. Many had housing for people who were coming back from war.
“Obviously for some Ys, they still do [housing], but for us it didn’t really make sense to do that,” said Huber.
Huber said that the YMCA takes donations, which go to buying items such as new equipment.
“Membership funds our staff,” Huber explained. “It kind of goes into our maintenance for our building. So, depending on how many members we have is kind of how many staff we can have and how we can pay them.”
Huber explained some of the trends in the fitness industry, “Right now, pickle ball is huge. It was racket ball. It goes through trends. It’s about getting those people in our building who have never stepped into our building before and offering a space for them to do what they want to do. We’re not just a fitness facility, we’re a community. People come here because that’s where their friends are.”
The YMCA was formerly for young men, but, according to Huber, started programs for women in the 1980s.
“It’s always been the Young Men’s Christian Association,” Huber explained. “It’s based on Christian values and that’s how it started, but the Y’s for everyone.”
Huber said that not all YMCAs are fitness facilities.
“There’s a Y down in South Dakota that is strictly free, there’s no fitness equipment, it’s all for kids,” said Huber.
The YMCA has about 12-13 full-time staff, according to Huber, including maintenance.
“But overall, on any given time, we usually have about 100 people go through our payroll,” Huber clarified. “But throughout the year, around 300.”
“It’s one of those things you just have to come in and check it out for yourself,” Huber described. “We have anything from aqua-aerobics to “Delay the Disease,” which is a chronic disease program for people who have Parkinson’s or cancer or stroke. So, there’s those things. But then we also have a kid’s gym. So, it’s a little bit of everything for a little bit of everybody.”
More information on the Minot Family YMCA can be found here: Minot Family YMCA.