General Questions

The Rochester Area Family YMCA offers memberships for individuals, families, seniors, and students, as well as corporate memberships for individuals and families. We also offer a scholarship membership which has a reduced rate based on income.

The Y is the unparalleled cause for strengthening community because we are the community. Together with you, your family and your neighbors, our movement strengthens America’s towns and cities through promoting three things: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. We’ve done it for nearly 160 years already, and we’re determined to keep doing it. In becoming a member of the Y you are supporting your local community.

Exclusive membership perks include:

  • Unlimited facility usage-including fitness center and aquatic center
  • Group fitness exercise classes
  • Recreational equipment rental
  • 30-minute consultation with one of our Certified Personal Trainers
  • Opportunity to utilize Kid’s Care services
  • Discounts on YMCA programs
  • Priority registration dates for programs
  • Special events throughout the year
  • Community involvement opportunities
  • AWAY Program
  • Programs for all ages and much more!

As part of our mission, the Y raises money annually through our Annual Support Campaign to provide scholarships for membership and programs to those who could not afford them otherwise. Open Doors applications are available online at and at the Welcome Center. All applications take approximately two weeks to process, and memberships are offered in six month increments. You are required to reapply every six months for a scholarship. Opportunities to help raise money for this program are always available!

The Rochester Area Family YMCA participates in the AWAY (Always Welcome At the YMCA) which allows members from other YMCA’s to use our facility for 14 times per calendar year. Out-of-Town visiting YMCA Members with a valid membership from a YMCA that participates in the AWAY program are welcome to use the Rochester Area Family YMCA’s facilities with a valid YMCA membership card.

Swim Lessons, Kung Fu Fitness, Youth Sports, Martial Arts (Karate, Kendo), Small Stuff Sports, CPR/First Aid, Nutrition Classes, Y-tots Pre-School Camp, and Y-Smart are all programs that can be registered for on our website.

All monthly draft memberships must be canceled in writing 15 days prior to the next draft date. Please visit the Welcome Center Desk to receive the cancellation form.

Providing for the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of the individual, family, and community. The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. We nurture the potential of children and teens, improve health and well-being and give back and support our neighbors.

The Rochester Area Family YMCA has programs for all ages. We offer over 80 group fitness classes a week and put on several community events throughout the year including Healthy Kids Day in April and the Harvest Fest event in October.  Learn more by viewing our schedules or call 287-2260.

In Rochester, the Y has 7,000 members. Nationwide, 21 million people of all ages, incomes, backgrounds and abilities come to the Y to learn and grow. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Y member, stop by the Welcome Center and ask for a tour or call 287-2260.

There is no other nonprofit quite like the Y.  Because the Y is for everyone, we bring together kids, families, adults and communities like no other organization can. The Y offers a facility all can enjoy with two gymnasiums, racquetball courts, fitness center and a state of the art water park. We don’t turn anyone away due to lack of income through our Open Doors Scholarship Program.

Come visit us! The Y is located at 709 First Avenue Southwest next to Metropolitan Marketplace and historic Soldiers Field. Open seven days a week. Visit our Contact Us for hours.

Swim Lesson Questions

On average, it takes most children about 3 sessions to learn and successfully complete all the skills in a given level. However, some skills will come to children very naturally, and others will take more time. While we cannot guarantee that your child will pass if they come to all of their classes, we can tell you that children who come to all classes tend to be much more successful than those who don’t.

The YMCA has a pre-school track and a school age track for Y swim lessons. This allows children to be placed in classes with their peers, both of similar swim skills and age. When preschoolers’ “age up” into the school age track, they will not necessarily have to start over at the beginning; you can place them in the appropriate corresponding school age level.

That’s simple – let their teacher know! We encourage you to talk with your child’s instructor, as insight from you will help them plan their lessons. Keep in mind, however, that although your child may have completed all but one of the skills in a level, the other kids may have more they need to work on. If you’re interested in more individualized attention, private lessons can be a great way to help your child get past a particularly challenging skill.

Swim progression is not always linear. A lot of factors can influence a child’s progression – things like growth spurts, emotional readiness, and how busy they are with other activities. Have patience and keep encouraging them! If it seems that your child’s struggles are more than just a rough patch, feel free to contact your Aquatics Director for suggestions and direction.

That’s an individual decision, and the “right” answer varies by child and by family. We usually recommend doing a few sessions per year. The consistency will help children progress through skills more quickly and diminish skill regression. However, as with any activity, watch your child for signs of burn out. Kids will learn best if they see swimming as a fun activity, so we encourage you to make time to come to open swim and play in the pool as a family.

This really depends on the child! Some kids need a little push and a reminder to stay focused; some kids will learn best when they figure it out on their own. Whichever kind of child you have, please let their instructor know – that will help the instructor use the best strategy for teaching your child.

YMCA swim curriculum exposes kids to a variety of swim strokes and water safety skills. Our priority is teaching kids to be safe in and around the water. Our focus for beginner swimmers is on introducing them to many different skills, helping them to become proficient and well-rounded. These skills will help prepare them for the competitive opportunities that arise as they progress through swimming.