Fostering Fun & Fitness
For roughly 30 years, children and adults alike have benefited from the various programs at the Rancho Family YMCA. Serving the communities that lie between Escondido and Scripps Ranch, the Rancho Family YMCA was founded with a mission of meeting the needs of these communities with quality programming that brings families together. From dance and swimming lessons to teen leadership conferences to a 267-mile bike ride, their facilities have something for everyone. Join along as Membership Engagement Director Monica Duggan gives 92129 Magazine the inside story on how the Rancho Family YMCA promotes youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.
Q&A with Membership Engagement Director,
When and why was the Rancho Family YMCA Founded? What is the history behind it?
In 1985, the Rancho Family YMCA began as a result of conclusions made from a survey conducted by the YMCA of San Diego County. It became apparent that there was a great need for a YMCA to be built in the North County, along the I-15 corridor, and within the area between Scripps Ranch and Escondido.
The Rancho Family YMCA began operating as a storefront location providing backyard swim lessons and day camps to the surrounding community in 1989. In January of 1995, the new Rancho Family YMCA had its grand opening for the building now known as the Program Center. The Rancho Family YMCA opened a main facility in 2000, featuring a full workout center known as the Wellness Center, an interactive outside pool, main pool, and a multi-purpose room.
What is the Rancho Family YMCA’s mission?
The Rancho Family YMCA is dedicated to improving the quality of human life and to helping all people realize their fullest potential as children of God through the development of the spirit, mind, and body. We work towards our mission by serving the community’s needs with quality programming that brings families together.
What communities are served by the Rancho Family YMCA?
The Rancho Family YMCA serves the communities of Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch, 4S Ranch, Rancho Peñasquitos, Sabre Springs, Poway, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Torrey Highland, Rancho Bernardo, Santa Luz, and surrounding areas.
What do you most enjoy about working with those communities?
Our community is very diverse. I really enjoy learning about the different cultures our YMCA serves.
What are some of the different types of programs offered by the YMCA?
We offer a wide range of programs for children as young as six months old through the ages of 65 plus. Our youth programs focus on skill development through character building. We believe our programs are catalysts to teach children our core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. Some of the programs we offer include gymnastics, swimming lessons, youth sports, group exercise classes, water aerobics, and yoga, to name a few. Through our character-building mission we strive to change lives for the better.
Rancho Family YMCA By The Numbers
Staff Members: 144
Donations Raised in 2015: Just over $203,000
Goal for 2016: $210,000
How did you personally become involved with the YMCA?
When I moved here from England with my family I wanted somewhere that my five-year-old daughter could meet other children in our community. A neighbor suggested the YMCA in Rancho Peñasquitos. My daughter had the best time, so when we moved to Carlsbad we joined the Ecke YMCA. I quickly realized that I believed in the YMCA mission and I met so many wonderful people there that I knew this was a positive environment to work in and also raise my children in. Now I’m back at the Rancho Family YMCA, but this time helping families such as mine enjoy all we have to offer!
What is your current role within the organization, and what duties does it entail?
I am currently the Membership Engagement Director for the Rancho Family YMCA. My position entails all aspects of our YMCA experience. My goal is to make all members feel like they can call our Y home, starting from the first time a member walks in the door. I also aim to get people and families connected with each other and to the areas they are interested in through our “onboarding process.” This really helps create a strong sense of belonging and gives members confidence to begin achieving success and reaching goals. I believe in making sure that our members and potential members have the best experience with all areas they are involved with at the Rancho Family YMCA.
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
To see the members reach their fullest potential. To hear the stories of how the Y has impacted their lives and made a difference. The most challenging? My challenge personally is to connect with every member and make sure they benefit to the fullest from their membership at the Y.
Please tell us a little about your team. How do they add to the environment of the facility?
Membership is the glue that sticks the branch together. My team is amazing. They care about their interaction with our members and notice if a member stops coming to the Y. They bring new and innovative ideas to help connect with the member and make them family.
Can you tell us about the camps offered at the Rancho Family YMCA?
Rancho Family YMCA camps are F.A.B.! We believe that children thrive in environments where they can create Friendships, gain a sense of Achievement, and feel a sense of Belonging. It is our priority to ensure that whether your child is with us for one week or 10 that they leave Y Camp with new friends, new experiences, and a place to call their own. We also understand the importance of teaching campers the value of being a global citizen by including a minimum of one hour of global education each week. Most importantly, we want all campers to have fun! We offer a variety of creative, active, and traditional camps each week. Some new camps for Summer 2016 are Extreme Art, LEGO: Simple Machines, Around the World Cooking, Y-Olympics, and more!
“A lot of people aren’t aware that we are more than a gym and swim, we are a cause. The YMCA is a family-oriented nonprofit organization that believes all families count.”
What are some ways that community members can contribute to the YMCA?
Our YMCA is for everybody and we welcome community-minded individuals to make a difference at the Y. Ways to make a difference include: volunteering, sharing our message, and donating to our Annual Campaign. Our Annual Campaign raises funds so we never have to turn any child, family, or individual away due to the inability to pay.
What do donations to the YMCA go towards?
Donations to the Rancho Family YMCA go towards programs and membership for members of our community. We offer extra camper support at no additional cost for children with disabilities as well as financial assistance for families, children, and individuals to participate in programs and membership. This campaign also keeps programs running that serve our community such as the 267-mile Annual Ride Across California and Playground Partners, a program that aims to eliminate school bullying.
How have your programs grown or changed over the years?
Our Y is constantly growing and innovating with the needs of the community. As the community changes and issues and challenges become apparent, we work to become part of the solution either with new programs or working with the community in collaborations and partnerships. Our team is always working to connect with members and families to know what direction things are headed and how we can help support and be part of the thriving area we serve. We hope the impact we make will be lasting.
What have been the most popular programs this year?
Our swimming lessons have always been the most popular program at the Rancho Family YMCA. We pride ourselves on being the nation’s swim instructor, teaching safety & confidence in the water. Our annual 5th grade Ride Across California is another amazing and unique program we run that has over 200 participants each year. Fifth graders learn the importance of hard work and dedication as they bike across the State of California with their family. Our summer camp program is always a favorite in this community and we pride ourselves on what this program can do for youth when school is out of session. Y Campers are given a sense of belonging when they attend and are welcomed into the YMCA Camp Family. Our Scripps location is the host to our new archery range where families and youth can participate in this growing sport. We are continually looking for new programs to offer to our changing community!
Are there any exciting new programs or events coming up soon?
Just introduced in January, all San Diego Country YMCAs are all-access. Anyone with a San Diego Y membership will have all-access to visit any one of our 17 YMCA locations in the county. This means members will continue to enjoy all the current benefits of their home branch but can now also take part in new offerings at our 17 locations across San Diego County.
- New and renovated state of the art facilities, equipment, and amenities
- Free two hours a day of child watch/kids club for family memberships
- Premium Group Exercise classes including BOBYPUMP, Zumba, TRX, Pilates, Yoga, and Family/Child Classes
- Children seven years old and up can work out with their families
- Free family events
- Free family swim time
Please tell us a little about your off-site locations. Where are they, and what kinds of programs do they offer?
We offer gymnastics and dance classes from ages 12 months and up. Our gymnastics program is held at Canyonside Recreation Center which is located on Black Mountain Rd. Our youth sports and day camps are held at our Scripps Poway Parkway location. This location hosts basketball courts, grass fields for soccer and football, a ga-ga pit, and archery range.
Like all of our youth programs, these are a starting point for many youth to learn about becoming and staying active, and developing healthy habits they’ll carry with them throughout their lives. And the benefits are far greater than just physical health. Whether it’s gaining confidence from landing a first cartwheel or building positive relationships that leads to good sportsmanship and teamwork, our programs are about building the whole child, from the inside out.
If you could grant the Rancho Family YMCA one wish, what would it be?
That we continue to receive the support from our volunteers, donors, and members so that we can make an even greater impact and serve more families in our community.
If you had to describe the Rancho Family YMCA using only five words, what would they be?
Safe, Fun, Nurturing, All-Inclusive, Family-Orientated.
Is there anything you’d like to share about the Rancho Family YMCA?
A lot of people aren’t aware that we are more than a gym and swim, we are a cause. The YMCA is a family-oriented nonprofit organization that believes all families count. We have been serving the community for 30 years and look forward to many more! We have some exciting things planned in 2016 for our community. Be on the look out for some new, exciting programs!
At-A-Glance | Membership Engagement Director
Name: Monica Duggan
Education: International Business and I.T. at Lancashire University, U.K.
Hobbies: Spending quality time with my family and new grand baby!
Favorite Spot in 92129: Rancho Family YMCA!