WEST CHESTER, PA — As a part of an ongoing effort to meet the needs of the community and to provide value to families in Chester County, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) announced that it is offering free outdoor pool memberships to individuals who are current members (some exclusions apply) or who join prior to March 31, 2023.
Outdoor pools are available at the Brandywine YMCA (Coatesville, PA), Jennersville YMCA (West Grove, PA), West Chester Area YMCA (West Chester) and the Upper Main Line YMCA (Berwyn) and pools are open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Additionally, a 50 Meter Outdoor Pool for lap swimming is available at the Upper Main Line YMCA and has an extended season.
“We’re thrilled to be able to make these changes to our membership offerings to ensure that the community has access to quality and safe pools and to thank our members for choosing the YGBW,” shares Kim Cavallero, Vice President of Membership for the YGBW.
Individuals who join YGBW after the March 31 promotion and wish to use the outdoor pool, will need to pay a separate outdoor pool fee, in addition to their YGBW membership. More information is available at ymcagbw.org/pool.
A Commitment to Safety
The health and safety of the community are of the utmost importance for the YMCA of Greater Brandywine and lifeguards at all YGBW facilities are Ellis-Certified, the gold standard of lifeguard training programs.
“Pools, in general, come with high risks and we take that responsibility incredibly seriously,” shared Terri Edgar, Vice President of Operations. “We conduct regular audits of our facilities, scale usage based on pool size and necessary staffing ratios and routinely monitor for water quality. Additionally, our pools are staffed by lifeguards at all times when they are open.”
Like many organizations, YGBW has faced tremendous challenges in recruiting lifeguards in order to staff its many indoor and outdoor pools.
“We are not willing to compromise on safety and have worked very hard to not raise member rates, even more so now, given the financial pressures many are facing due to inflation,” shares Jim Paro, Chief Strategy Officer. “As such, we had to make some difficult decisions. We recently announced the closure of the outdoor pool at the Lionville Community YMCA and the discontinuation of outdoor pool memberships at our Kennett Area YMCA, though the outdoor pool at Kennett will continue to serve the community through Summer Camp and Swim Team use this summer.”
With this in mind, YGBW is encouraging regional use of outdoor pools – and is ensuring that the organization leverages the available resources to safely operate outdoor pools in each geographic region within the YMCA service area.
Continued Staffing Challenges
Nationwide, YMCAs are struggling with staffing challenges – most heavily impacting lifeguard and childcare positions. These positions require dedicated and focused individuals who provide critical services. While the positions can be demanding and require ongoing training, the rewards and job satisfaction are well worth the effort.
These staffing shortages began long before the pandemic, but the current hiring climate has pushed the storages into crisis.
Benefits Beyond a Career
The YMCA is actively seeking interested candidates for lifeguard, childcare and summer camp positions, as well as other opportunities. While teens and young adults make up a large percentage of our lifeguards, camp counselors and childcare and membership support teams, the positions offer flexibility and an opportunity to make a significant contribution for individuals of all ages and experience.
To further our commitment to employee growth and development, YGBW has expanded employee benefits in 2023 to include:
A sign-on bonus of up to $5,000 for qualified childcare positions – now through March 31, 2023
Free Ellis Lifeguard Certification for qualified lifeguard candidates
Free YGBW Family Membership that includes access to outdoor pools for both part-time and full-time employees
Tuition reimbursement of up to $1,500 per year for employees who work more than 20 hours per week
Numerous training and development opportunities
Opportunities are also plentiful for YMCA staff’s families. Staff with children appreciate our discounts that provide a safe, loving environment for children while parents are at work. In addition to qualifying for member discounts, staff receive additional savings on summer camp, childcare and program enrollments. Employees also qualify for up to four hours of free childcare daily while they work.
For more information on Lifeguard positions, and other opportunities to join the YMCA staff team, please visit ymcagbw.org/careers.
More information about outdoor pools and membership options is available at ymcagbw.org.
For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News.