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Youth Programs

Ages 13 – 21 

A safe, welcoming, supportive, and inclusive space just for YOU.  

Our Youth Programs have been created in consultation with youth across our Three Rivers’ communities (Guelph-Dufferin, Stratford-Perth, and Waterloo Region). Through these FREE and paid programs, youth are provided with the chance to make new friends, develop new skills, grow into their potential, and get involved in their community. 

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2SLGBTQ+ (Ages 13 – 18) 

Cost: Free!

Expressing your true identity with confidence is KEY to growing into strong and engaged community members. Created in consultation with 2SLGBTQ+ youth, this program has been designed to create safe, welcoming, and inclusive spaces for all to live as their authentic self. This NEW program offers a safe, inclusive space for youth who identify as Two-Sprit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, or Questioning to connect weekly. The program includes recreational drop-in time and targeted programming focused on interacting with friends and adult allies, and to connect with resources. Each weekly session also includes a community meal, where participants help with cooking and clean up.

For more information send us an email

Locations: A.R. Kaufman (Kitchener), Chaplin (Cambridge), Guelph

Check location schedules for program times.

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Basketball – 3v3 Tournament (Ages 13 – 18) 

Cost: Free for members, $2 for non-members

Show off your basketball skills and win it all! Register a team of three or as a free agent. Each team is guaranteed two games, and the winning team will walk away with prizes. YMCA membership is not required — members and non-members welcome!

For more information email Emily.

Locations: Stratford
 

Check location schedules for program times.

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Basketball – Teen Ball (Ages 13 – 18) 

Cost: Free for members, $2 for non-members

A great place to hang out with your friends and shoot some hoops. Improve your skills and just have fun. All skill levels and abilities welcome.

For more information send us an email


Locations: A.R. Kaufman (Kitchener), Chaplin (Cambridge), Guelph, Stork (Waterloo)

Check location schedules for program times. Registration not required — drop in anytime!

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Community Meal (Ages 13 – 18) 

Cost: Free!

Staff and youth join together to prepare and enjoy a nutritious family-style meal. Join in on discussion, play some games, and just hang out with friends. This program takes place at the Cambridge Teen Drop-in Zone on Wednesdays.

For more information send us an email


Locations: Chaplin (Cambridge)

Check location schedules for program times. Registration not required — drop in anytime!

Financial Literacy (Ages 13 – 19) 

Cost: Free!

The YMCA is proud to introduce Financial Literacy Programming, sponsored by Manulife. Through financial literacy programming, children and youth will learn how to manage their money and make well-informed financial decisions, both today and in their future. From understanding the terms of a student loan or the actual cost of a new cell phone contract, participants will experience first-hand the impact of effective, daily financial management in achieving long-term goals.

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Food Sense (Ages 13 – 18) 

Cost: Free!

It doesn’t matter if you know your way around the kitchen, want to learn to cook or are just looking for a fun night out - this class is for you! Make a simple nutritious meal, learn hands-on cooking skills, and enjoy a family-style meal of the delicious food you’ve prepared. Join us for one week or every week, it’s up to you!

For more information email Emily.

Locations: Stratford
 

Check location schedules for program times. Registration not required — drop in anytime!

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Homework Help (Ages 13 – 21) 

Cost: Free!

Need help studying for a test? Not sure if you’ve answered everything for an assignment? Want someone to help proofread your work? Our Youth Workers are here to help! Homework Help promotes positive attitudes about learning and school, providing on-going support throughout the school year to youth ages 13 to 21.

For more information about the Stratford location email Emily.

For more information about all other locations, email Michelle.


Locations: A.R. Kaufman (Kitchener), Chaplin (Cambridge), Stratford

Check location schedules for program times. Registration not required — drop in anytime!

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Just Hangin' Out (Ages 13 – 21) 

Cost: $140​

Designed to provide a safe and inclusive place where youth ages 13 to 21 with varying abilities can interact with their peers, practice positive social skills, and develop life skills. Just Hangin’ Out includes recreation opportunities, hands-on learning, interactive activities, and personal development with an emphasis on character building, health and well-being, and life skills. A family style meal is provided each week with the opportunity for participants to help with preparation.

For more information email Michelle.

Locations: Chaplin (Cambridge), Guelph

Check location schedules for program times.

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Moving Black Lives Forward (Ages 13 – 21) 

Cost: Free!

An 8-week program providing a safe space for Black Youth ages 13 to 21, to develop awareness, preparedness & wellness within themselves and their community. The program focuses on topics such as wellness and self-care, leadership development, financial literacy, civic duties, legal rights, education, entrepreneurship and career development. 

For more information email Ibti.

Locations: A.R. Kaufman (Kitchener)

Check location schedules for program times.

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Newcomer Youth (Ages 13 – 21) 

Cost: Free!

The Newcomer Youth Program empowers youth ages 13 to 21 who have recently arrived in Canada with the knowledge and tools to successfully integrate and settle to Canadian society. The program introduces youth to the community, and provides them the resources and the opportunity to make meaningful connections with peers in a fun and inclusive environment.

For more information email Ibti.

Locations: A.R. Kaufman (Kitchener), Chaplin (Cambridge), Stork (Waterloo)

Check location schedules for program times.

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Safe Sisters

Cost: Free!
 

Designed to provide a safe space for girls and female-identifying youth to learn about and discuss personal safety and positive well-being in terms of their community, their own body and social media. Enjoy activities and conversations with your peers, and YMCA Youth Workers, discussing everything from day-to-day life to a variety of issues facing youth today. Together we’ll cook a nutritious meal and complete an activity and discussion about the weekly topic. Once a month, we’ll do a physical activity outdoors or at the Guelph Y.


Each week offers a new theme based on relevant issues participants are facing in their neighbourhood, their schools and their personal lives. Topics include body image, self-esteem, substance use, self-harm, mental health and wellness, importance of physical health, personal boundaries, nutrition, social media, life skills, positive relationships and more.


For more information email Florencia or Charlie.



Locations:

Shelldale Family Gateway — Grades 7 – 10
Tuesdays 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Join us after school at the Shelldale Family Gateway (20 Shelldale Crescent, Guelph).

Register by phone: 519-824-8498

Sharing Our Voices (Ages 13 – 18) 

Cost: Free!

Sharing Our Voices is an intergenerational program that brings high school students and people living with dementia together through storytelling and art experiences. This program gives participants the opportunity to build social connections and explore collaborative creative processes. Art pieces created as part of this program will be showcased throughout Waterloo Region.

For more information email Michelle.

Locations: Stork (Waterloo)

Check location schedules for program times.

Soccer (Ages 13 – 18) 

Cost: Free!

Join us for drop-in Soccer in the gymnasium. Pass, shoot, and score while you meet new friends and build your community. All abilities and skill levels welcome.  

For more information email send us an email.

Locations: Stork (Waterloo)

Check location schedules for program times. Registration not required — drop in anytime!

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Teenage Parents Program (Ages 14 – 25) 

Cost: Free!

Are you a young parent looking for help finishing school, getting a job, or finding child care? Or maybe, you’re just looking to connect with other young parents who understand the challenges (and joys) of parenting. Our TAPPs program, offered in partnership with the YWCA, fosters a safe space where pregnant and parenting youth age 14 to 25 can find a sense of belonging and community.

Learn about topics like child development, nutrition, stress management, budgeting, healthy relationships, behaviour management, goal setting and more through weekly activities. At TAPPs you’ll find support from your peers, Youth Workers, and resources for you and your children. Free child minding and a meal are provided every session.

For more information email Florencia.

Locations: TAPPs is offered at the 10C Shared Space (42 Carden St., Guelph) on Mondays
and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Registration not required — drop in anytime!

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Teen Drop-in Zone (Ages 13 – 18) 

Cost: Free!

The Teen Drop-in Zone at the Chaplin Family Y in Cambridge is a space just for YOUth! Drop by anytime the Teen Zone is open to relax, enjoy a game of pool or table tennis, grab a nutritious snack, or explore the computer lab and music room. Youth Workers are on site to connect with you and foster a safe environment for all.  

For more information send us an email


Locations: Chaplin (Cambridge)

Check location schedules for program times. Registration not required — drop in anytime!

The Grove Hubs (Ages 13 – 24)

Cost: Free!

The Grove Hubs are your one-stop-shop for youth mental health and wellness. By youth, for youth.
When you walk into any of The Grove Hubs locations, you’re greeted by another youth, just like you, who chats with you and lets you know what’s happening. You can choose if you want to get involved in anything today. And maybe you do. Or maybe you don’t. But you know it’s there if and when you’re ready.

For more information email Charlie.

Locations: Guelph

Check location schedules for program times. Registration not required — drop in anytime!

Y Mind (Ages 13 – 30) 

Cost: Free!

Our free Y Mind Teen Program offers support to teens ages 13 to 18, and youth ages 18 to 30, for those who are experiencing mild to moderate anxiety or stress. Y Mind participants learn evidence-based coping skills based on Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness, and self-compassion, and connect with peers who are experiencing similar thoughts and feelings.

Youth Drop-in (Ages 13 – 18) 

Cost: Free!

A great place to drop-in and hang out with your friends. Engage in conversation, games, and even grab a snack on us! 

For more information for the Stratford location email Emily.

For more information for the Guelph location email our youth program team. 


Locations: Stratford

Check location schedules for program times. Registration not required — drop in anytime!

Youth Leadership Development (Ages 10 – 12 and 13 – 18) 

Cost: Free!

Develop and enhance your leadership skills to be an incredible leader in your community. Improve your communication skills, learn how to be an advocate, make connections with local young experts, and so much more! All in an engaging, inclusive, and supportive environment. 

For more information email Gavin.

Locations: Chaplin (Cambridge), Guelph, Stork (Waterloo)

Check location schedules for program times.

Youth Soccer (Ages 13 – 18) 

Cost: Free!

Join us for drop-in Soccer in the gymnasium. Pass, shoot, and score while you meet new friends and build your community. All abilities and skill levels welcome.  


For more information email our youth program team. 

Locations: Stork (Waterloo)

Check location schedules for program times. Registration not required — drop in anytime! 

Youth Sports (Ages 13 – 18)

Cost: Free!

Do you like being active and trying new things? In this multi-sport program, you'll get to play different sports each week, while meeting friends and having fun. Have a sport you want to try? Send us your suggestions! All skill levels and abilities welcome.

For more information for the Stratford location email Emily.

For more information for the Chaplin (Cambridge) location email our youth program team.


Locations: Chaplin (Cambridge), Stratford

Check location schedules for program times. Registration not required — drop in anytime!

Youth Swim (Ages 13 – 18)

Cost: $5

Enjoy all the pool has to offer during this swim time just for YOUth to enjoy the pool with friends. Aquatic admission standards apply.

For more information email Emily.


Locations: Stratford

Check location schedules for program times. Registration not required — drop in anytime!

Youth Swim Special Events

Once a month, we host a special Youth Swim event:

Film and Float — January 19 2023
5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Join us for a movie and pizza before youth swim.

Water Polo — February 16 2023
7:45 p.m. – 8 p.m.

During youth swim we will face off with a game of water polo.

Special Events

In addition to our regularly scheduled programming, we offer Special Events throughout the year that are catered to the interests of youth in our community.

Have an idea for a Special Event? Email our youth program team.

Ice Skating (Ages 13 – 18) 

Cost: Free!

Date: Thursday, February 2, 2023

Time: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. 
Please arrive at the Stratford YMCA (204 Downie St., Stratford) at 1 p.m. and we will walk to the arena together.
Space is limited and registration is required. Register at the link below.

Looking for something to do on your PD Day? Come ice-skating with us at the William Allman Memorial Arena (15 Morenz Dr, Stratford). Trip includes one hour of skating and we will walk to and from the arena together from the Stratford YMCA. Please bring your own skates. We recommend bringing a helmet. Hockey sticks are not permitted.

For more information email Emily

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