Summer Camping Opportunities at the Y – Day Camps and Overnight Camps

Posted: April 15, 2014

Summer is just around the corner and the Y of Greater Saint John is providing fun and educational summer camp options that will get kids outdoors, active and having fun!  We believe that camps are like no other childhood experience and that every child deserves to take part.

Mad Science Camp, Wilderness Adventure, Dirt Camp, Cupcake Wars, Superhero and  Outdoor Sports Camps are just a few of the over 60 Day Camps the Y is offering at 7 locations this summer. Camps begin the week of June 23rd and will be held at the Y’s Prince Edward Square location, Millidgeville Community Centre, Forest Glen Community Centre, Barnhill School, Glenn Carpenter Centre, Quispamsis Community Centre and the Bill McGuire Centre (new this year).

If you want to enjoy more of the great outdoors, then consider spending a few days or more at Camp Glenburn on the beautiful Belleisle Bay.  Don’t miss out on the chance to learn new skills such as canoeing, high ropes and outdoor survival while you meet new friends and create lifelong memories. This safe, fun, skills-based camp has provided new adventures for children for over 80 years. Overnight camps start the week of July 6th.

Camp registration is now underway and camps are filling up fast. For more information or to register contact the Y at 693-YMCA or view our online registration form here.


McDonald’s Restaurants to Support the New YMCA Facility

Posted: April 7, 2014

The new Y facility received another major boost today with an announcement from McDonald’s Restaurants of Saint John and Quispamsis.  Demonstrating their commitment to the community, McDonald’s will be contributing $50,000 to the YMCA’s Capital Campaign.

This contribution is part of a 5 year commitment to partner with the YMCA for McHappy Day, along with the Boys and Girls Club of Saint John.  First celebrated in Canada, McHappy Day is now a worldwide event which unites McDonald’s restaurants globally in support of children in need in local communities. Wednesday May 7th marks the 21st McHappy Day in Canada

“At McDonald’s, we have always been committed to giving back to the communities we serve,” said Michael Schulze, McDonald’s owner/operator in Saint John and Quispamsis. “Selecting the YMCA of Greater Saint John as one of our McHappy Day partners enables us to provide significant support to their new building which will support the youth in our own backyard. On McHappy Day, we bring together our employees, our customers, our suppliers and our friends in support of local charities dedicated to improving the lives of children in communities large and small right across Canada. McHappy Day is a true celebration of the power of community.”

“This is a true demonstration of community support, ” said Shilo Boucher, CEO of the YMCA.  “To be receiving support along with the Boys and Girls Club sends a strong message to our community, that collaboration and partnership, is the way to accomplish great things”

“Mike and his entire team have been tireless supporters of the community and we are excited that they have chosen the Y Capital Campaign to help not only financially, but to boost the profile of the community campaign even higher,” stated Dale Knox, Chair of the Capital Campaign.  “This is truly a community building adventure we are on and having our new neighbors at McDonald’s offer this support makes us feel very welcome on Churchill Boulevard. We look forward to seeing everyone out on McHappy Day to help move the Y even closer to our goal.”






Posted: April 3, 2014


When Daryl Steeves looks at the framed YMCA Red Triangle Award hanging on his wall in 10 years, he’ll be reminded there’s still a long way to go to battle the obesity epidemic that he says is killing people at the same rate as the black plague once did.

Steeves has dedicated his life to encouraging healthy lifestyles and was honoured for his work at Wednesday’s sold-out YMCA Red Triangle Gala, along with 2014 YMCA Leader to Watch Danny Jardine.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s almost surreal,” Steeves said as he mingled with his family before receiving his award.

The gala raised more than $55,000 for the Y Strong Kids Campaign, which helps pay for underprivileged children and families to attend Y programs. Last year, the money raised at events like the Red Triangle Gala helped 3,600 people access recreational opportunities.

By the end of the campaign, YMCA of Greater Saint John president and CEO Shilo Boucher hopes to have raised $135,000.

“A tremendous amount of children and youth and families are going to get an opportunity to participate in Y programs because of tonight,”Boucher said, who worked at the Y as a teenager and later as fitness director.

He’s also worked as manager of the Aquatic Centre, organizes weekly group walking and running sessions and once travelled the world with Joints in Motion, encouraging people with arthritis as they prepared to run a marathon for the first time. “There’s nothing more exciting than seeing somebody who never dreamed they could do it come across the finish line,”he said.“They’re laughing. They’re crying. To see that kind of enthusiasm from people is incredible.”

He’s most proud of helping develop an online program that encouraged both physical activity and literacy in young people. He estimates about 15,000 people signed up to take in the message of living a balanced life.

Steeves sees his Red Triangle Award as a symbol of hope in fighting the obesity epidemic.

“The onus is on us now to help these kids get strong and ready to handle what we dropped the ball on in our time,”Steeves said.

Danny Jardine was chosen as the Y’s Leader to Watch for his volunteer work in the community.

The P.E.I. native moved to Saint John in 2000 to study at the University of New Brunswick Saint John. Not long after he relocated to the Port City, he was a big part in bringing the first rainbow pride parade to the city.

Since then, much of Jardine’s work has been aimed at helping people in marginalized communities, whether it be people living in poverty or families affected by domestic violence.

“It’s very humbling and exciting to be recognized by the community and your peers for the work you do. But to be honest, I would do the work anyhow,” Jardine said.

In addition to his day job with Horizon Health, Jardine recently completed a master’s degree in public administration from Dalhousie University. He’s also helping redesign the way grants are given out at the United Way of Greater Saint John and the Greater Saint John Community Foundation to make sure the money is going to the right community groups.

Shortly before receiving his award in front of a packed room, Jardine emphasized the importance of getting young people involved in their community.

When he looks at Saint John and beyond, he still sees a lot of inequality. He hopes to inspire young people to help those on the margins of society, as he does every day in his own life.

“To get out and do your part as best you can to ensure everybody’s treated equally in society is all we can ask anybody, really,” he said.


Red Triangle Award recipient Daryl Steeves, left, and Leader to Watch Award recipient Danny Jardine pose with their awards during the YMCA of Greater Saint John Red Triangle Award Gala on Wednesday.



New Donor to the YMCA Capital Campaign

Posted: April 3, 2014

We have some exciting news to share with regarding a new donor to the YMCA Capital Campaign. We would also like to give you a sneak peak of the Donor Wall that will be installed in our new facility. Sheryl Crowley, the local artist that is creating the wall, will be on hand to share her design and the ideas that inspired her creation.


                        Date:             Friday, April 4th

                        Time:             10:30am

                        Location:      YMCA 

                                                Prince Edward Square


Dave Veale interviews Y President & CEO, Shilo Boucher

Posted: March 18, 2014

Find what you’re passionate about and everything else will fall into place.


Be prepared to learn a lot of different skills
As published in the Telegraph-Journal, Saturday, March 16, 2014

Shilo Boucher never dreamed she would be the CEO and president of the YMCA of Greater Saint John. She knew when she was a teenager that she wanted to be a chartered accountant and, as a woman who likes to get things done, that is exactly what she did.

After attending UNB Saint John, she quickly attained her chartered accountant designation and prepared to launch into her profession.

Shilo initially set her sights on building her career at Deloitte. When she became a manager, Shilo started looking for ways to give back to the community and she landed on the YMCA as the perfect place to volunteer. Through a friend, and mentor, the newly minted chartered accountant became a director and eventually the treasurer on the YMCA board.


It was a pivotal time for the YMCA, which first opened it doors in 1854 (making it the second YMCA in Canada). The organization was having financial challenges and desperately trying to get back on track.

Fast forward to today and Shilo finds herself leading a revitalized and energized YMCA that will, thanks to $9 million in federal and provincial government funding, break ground this spring on a 70,000-square-foot building. This new location will include an indoor running track, swimming pool, fitness centre and studio. Shilo expects the building to be open to the public in 2015 and continues to run a capital campaign with a goal of raising $7 million.

Shilo described her journey from volunteer board member to CEO of the YMCA during our recent interview. I began by asking her what the situation was like at the YMCA when she first joined the board.

A: The Y was in a serious financial crisis. We were looking at closing our doors or finding a new way to do things. It was dire. The Y at that time was 150 years old. The staff and volunteers were working their hardest to get back on track.

Q: What was it like leaving the corporate world and becoming an executive in a non-profit organization?

A: I remember it being a huge leap for me – I completely changed my career path. A lot of the partners at my firm were very supportive because I was heading to the Y – how could they argue if I was willing to work at the Y? I figured I’d go fix the YMCA the best I could and then go back to the accounting firm. But when I experienced working with the staff and the amazing culture at the Y, where they embrace you, I was hooked. They become your family.

Q: Your first role with the YMCA was as CFO, how did that happen?

A: Pat Davis was hired to lead. She joined the Y the year before I came on. She was a CEO who didn’t have a financial background and they decided to add someone with that skill set to support Pat. At that time the Y was steadying itself. The cash flow was becoming a little more consistent. There were still huge challenges to overcome and an aging building we couldn’t afford to maintain. It was decided that I would be brought on as CFO.

Q: How did you transition into president and CEO?

A: Pat got sick. I was asked to fill in as CEO while she was recuperating. So I did that for about a year and Pat recovered from cancer, which was amazing. At that point, after leading the Y for a period of time, I was named COO – still overseeing the financials, but incorporating operations as well. Pat focused on the new building. After a year or so, Pat’s cancer came back and I became acting CEO again. Pat passed away the day before we announced the location for the new Saint John Y.

Q: So it was very sad circumstances that brought you to your current role.

A: I’ve never been through anything like that. I don’t ever want to do it again. It was hard on everybody.

Q: What advice would you give to someone leaving the corporate world to lead a social enterprise?

A: Be prepared to learn a lot of different skills. I never thought in a million years I’d be fundraising, that I would enjoy raising money to support the kids and families in our community. I never thought I’d be building the partnerships, working with the amazing people that I work with and partnering and collaborating the way we do.

Q: What do you enjoy about being the CEO?

A: Every day at the Y is different. It is so diverse. We are running a business – a social enterprise. There are so many stakeholders and so many folks that contribute to the Y.

Q: What are you finding critical to developing strong partnerships?

A: I really think it’s listening, being open and finding that ‘win-win’ situation when you are partnering. Listening is so important.

Q: What’s the best advice you ever got?

A: That you have to be passionate about something. You have to believe in yourself and you have to be yourself. Sometimes you think being yourself isn’t enough, but it is because it is who you are.

Q: How would you finish the following sentence? A leader’s job is to…

A: Motivate and inspire.

Q: What can the community expect from the YMCA in the next few years?

A: They’re going to see the Y in a whole new light. The new building is going to be well underway, but it’s not about a building – it’s what we’re able to do within that building that matters.

Last year we served 16,000 people but there are 70,000 people in Saint John (120,000 in Greater Saint John). We’re going to be able to double the number of people we serve. The community is going to feel like the YMCA is definitely alive and well here in Saint John. We want to work with the community so people say “Wow, this is my Y.”

Q: What are the obvious challenges you are going to face as you chase down these goals?

A: We’ll need to run a successful capital campaign. Capital is always important to any organization – we don’t want to have to spend all of our resources on debt or just to pay for the building. We’ll be launching our capital campaign soon and the information will be on our website: Another challenge will be staying focused on increasing the number of families and kids that we support. Just because we’re building a huge asset doesn’t mean we can stop all of the things that we’re doing everyday for the community.With the new building we’re going to have to hire more staff members. We’re also going to need so many more volunteers. We have 650 just with our 13 locations.

Q: What are you most proud of at the YMCA?

A: I am most proud of our ability to see what’s needed in the community. I’m also proud of the community partnerships that we have built – these partnerships are making the Y a success. We can’t do this alone.


See full article here:

Dave Veale [] is a leadership coach and founder of Vision Coaching Inc. in Saint John.



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