Who can participate at the Y?

All individuals are welcome to attend Y programs and use our facilities as members regardless of race, ability, religion, sex, national origin, or level of income. To make our programs accessible to all, we provide Financial Assistance, which is made possible by generous donors to our Annual Campaign.


The protection of members and guests who are utilizing the YMCA is of paramount concern to the YMCA of Greater Rochester. Therefore, we reserve the right to deny access or membership to any person whose behavior is judged to be in conflict with the welfare and safety of other members and/or staff; who is a registered sexual offender; has pleaded guilty to or been convicted of any crime involving sexual abuse or a crime against persons such as child, spousal, or parental abuse or any offense relating to the sale or transportation of illegal, habit forming or dangerous drugs; or who is presently clearly under the influence of intoxicating beverages or behavior modifying drugs.


All guests, program members, and those joining the Y must bring a government issued photo I.D. with them. The I.D. is then ran through the Hall Pass software system.  Hall Pass instantly compares visitor identification data against a comprehensive database of sex offender registries for every state. When a known sex offender is detected, Hall Pass sends instantaneous alerts preventing access for these predators. This zero tolerance policy helps ensure the security and safety of all our patrons.


How can I join the Y?
The YMCA of Greater Rochester is a membership organization. You may join the specific facility of your choice, which, in most cases, grants access to all YMCA of Greater Rochester facilities. This is called a Passport Membership. Our YMCA also offers a Neighborhood Membership, which grants access to the Maplewood, Monroe and Southwest Branches only.


What is the difference between a Passport Membership, a Neighborhood Membership and a Program Membership?
A Passport Membership provides access and membership privileges to all YMCA of Greater Rochester facilities. Members receive year round program access and facility use. Many programs are offered at no additional cost, and there are savings on programs where a fee is charged.

A Neighborhood Membership provides access and membership privileges to the Monroe and Southwest Branches only. Neighborhood Members receive year round program access and facility use at these two facilities.

A Program Membership provides an alternative to facility membership for those who wish to enroll in only selected classes/programs. It does not include fitness or aquatics facility privileges.


Do I have to pay extra for certain programs/benefits?
Many of our programs are member benefits, meaning there is no additional cost. A few special adult services such as personal training and massage, and some youth programs do require additional payments. Please consult the specific branch handbook for details.


I only use one part of the facility. Do you offer partial memberships?
We do not offer partial memberships. A Passport membership enables you to use all of the YMCA facilities in the Rochester area.


What is the joining fee used for?
The joining fees are accumulated in our Capital Projects Funds, which are reserved for making upgrades and improvements to the building, equipment, and grounds at YMCA locations.


Can I tour the facility before deciding to join?
The best way to learn about the YMCA is to tour one of our facilities. Tours can be given anytime the branch is open. In addition to showing you the facility, we will spend some time getting to know you and your health and wellness needs to ensure that you will get the most out of your YMCA membership.


If I travel, can I use YMCA’s in other cities?

The YMCA of Greater Rochester participates in two different programs for national membership:

We are dedicated to ensuring our facilities, programs and services are open and welcoming to all. As part  of this effort, we are proud to offer our members access to YMCA facilities across the United States that participate in Nationwide Y Membership. This way, our members can use the Y as often as they like, making it easier to achieve their health and wellness goals.

Another benefits is the AWAY  “Always Welcome at the Y” Program.  When you travel, you can use your YMCA membership card at over 600 YMCA’s throughout the country, at either no charge or half of that YMCA’s guest fee. Please allow our Member Service Center to assist you when you are going out of town.


Can I sign up for membership or a program over the phone?
Membership signups may be done online or in person at any branch. Registration for individual programs can be done either in person at the branch or by utilizing our enroll link on the home page.


Can I make changes to my membership over the phone?
All membership changes must be done at the Member Service desk in writing. This ensures that all changes are received, recorded, and handled correctly.


Can I give you my new credit card information over the phone?
For the security of our members, only a few specific staff members are permitted to take credit card information over the phone. If you cannot come to a branch, please call any branch member service desk for assistance.


I lost my membership card. What do I have to do to replace it?
Lost cards may be replaced free of charge.  Arrangements can be made by visiting the member Service desk in the lobby of any branch.


What payment options are available?
Most Y members take advantage of our convenient, automated monthly payment system, which can be done via bank draft using a credit card (American Express, VISA, MasterCard, or Discover) or a bank account. Membership dues may also be paid in one annual payment, which is renewed yearly.


Does the Y offer Financial Assistance?

Yes. Thanks to the generosity of members, small businesses, corporations and foundations, the Y is able to offer Financial Assistance to keep Y programs affordable for all, regardless of the ability to pay.


What types of insurance co-payment benefits can I use at the Y?

The YMCA of Greater Rochester recognizes reimbursement benefits with both MVP Health Care and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. These benefits include, but are not limited to:

TriVantage and Preferred Gold are plans offered by MVP Health Care:

  • SilverSneakers is the nation’s leading exercise program designed exclusively for older adults and is available at no additional cost (beyond any monthly premium) to Preferred Gold members. Ask a member service representative if your health plan is eligible.
  • Members of TriVantage Active Lifestyles Plan receive up to $300 per year per subscriber for healthy adult activities such as a YMCA membership, personal trainers, exercise classes or joining a healthy weight support program.
  • Members of TriVantage Family Focus Plan receive up to $300 per year per subscriber for healthy activities for dependents under 18. These activities include but are not limited to a YMCA membership, swimming lessons, Lifeguard Training and summer camp.
  • TriVantage Healthy Alternative EPO members can receive reimbursement for specific non-traditional therapies such as Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Message Therapy.

For more information about MVP programs and benefits, visit www.mvphealthcare.com or call (585) 325-3113.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Benefits:

  • Blue Healthy Choices subscribers with the Fit & Healthy Option are eligible for up to $300 per calendar year for a YMCA membership or toddler gym and swim programs.
  • Blue Healthy Choices subscribers with the Healthy Family Option are eligible for up to $100 per calendar year for a YMCA membership or toddler gym and swim programs.
  • Healthy Blue subscribers can earn HealthyRewards dividends by participating in health & wellness programs at the YMCA.
  • Effective January 1, 2012: All Medicare Advantage members are eligible for a yearly YMCA membership through the Silver & Fit program. This Excellus BCBS program requires a $25 yearly annual fee paid to Silver & Fit to participate.

For more information about Excellus BlueCross BlueShield programs and benefits, visit www.excellusbcbs.com or call 1-800-671-6081.


How do you register for programs?
Y programs are scheduled into six sessions throughout the year. Members always receive priority registration, which typically begins two weeks prior to the start of the session. Most programs are available for online registration using our easy, convenient Easy to Enroll system. Members may also register for programs by visiting the member service desk. Many classes have limited enrollment, and all registrations are taken on a first come, first served basis.

Can I bring a guest who is not a YMCA member?
Guests are welcome at the YMCA. YMCA members are allowed to bring 3 guests per year, and may bring only 1 guest per visit. An individual guest is allowed 3 visits per calendar year and must be accompanied by a YMCA member while using the facility. You may also print a Guest Pass from this web site to visit a branch without a sponsor member. We provide the guest registration form online so you can print it and fill it out ahead of time before coming into the branch.

What are the Y hours of operation?
Hours of operation vary from branch to branch. Please check with your branch for details. In addition, some areas of the facility such as the pool and gym are restricted based on schedules. Please visit your branch’s Member Service desk regularly for schedule changes.

Are YMCA facilities completely handicapped accessible?
All facilities have handicapped parking with ramps to the sidewalk, front door push button handicapped access, chair lifts for pool accessibility, and handicapped accessible locker rooms. Gyms and fitness centers are located on the ground level or accessible by elevator. Because of the age of some of our buildings and facility space constraints, some branch programs are offered on the second floor and require stair climbing; however, most of these programs are also offered at additional times on the ground level.  Please check with the individual branches for specific details.

What safety / first aid equipment and procedures are in place?
All of our land and aquatic fitness instructors are required to be CPR certified, as are Child Care supervisors at all sites. We have Automated External Defibrillator (AED) equipment at each branch and first-aid kits are available throughout the facilities.

Can I rent the YMCA facility for a business or family function?
Our camp facilities can be rented for private use. No alcoholic beverages are permitted on YMCA property. Please contact the individual facility for details and availability.

How do you register for programs?
Y programs are scheduled into six sessions throughout the year. Members always receive priority registration, which typically begins two weeks prior to the start of the session. Most programs are available for online registration using our easy, convenient Easy to Enroll system. Members may also register for programs by visiting the Member Service desk. Many classes have limited enrollment, and all registrations are taken on a first come, first served basis.

Can I register for a program if it has already started?
As long as there is still room for participants in a program, you may still register. If there is a fee associated with the specific program, the fee will be pro-rated based on the number of sessions remaining.

Are there age restrictions for certain classes / programs?
Wellness Center – 13 years old with orientation; 12 years old with completion of “Got Strength” Youth Strength Training Program or enrollment in ReadyFit Program

  • All Group Exercise classes – 13 years old
  • Sauna / Whirlpool – 16 years old
  • Lap swimming – 13 years old
  • Family swim – children ages 5 and under must be accompanied into the water by an adult member, children ages 6-7 must be supervised by an adult member in the pool area, 8-12 year olds must have an adult member in the building or be signed in to Prime Time Kids when available
  • Child Watch / Adventure Center – 6 weeks – 12 years old
  • Pickup Adult Basketball – 19 years old

How do I know what to bring/wear for a class?
Individuals should wear comfortable clothing and non-marking athletic shoes for all active programs. For your safety, sports sandals and open-toed shoes are not appropriate workout footwear.

I have never used gym/fitness equipment before, so how do I get started?
Please stop by any branch at your convenience. One of our professional staff will be happy to work with you to develop a program that is appropriate for your specific health and wellness needs.

Will someone assist me with my workout?
At the same time you sign up for your membership, you can schedule your complimentary appointment with one of our fitness staff representatives (ReadyFit coach) who will work with you to develop a program that is appropriate for your specific needs. You may also consider working with one of our personal trainers for a nominal fee.

What is ReadyFit?
ReadyFit is a series of personalized fitness programs designed for persons of all athletic abilities by the YMCA of Greater Rochester and is FREE to members. Whether you are just beginning to exercise or you have been exercising for years, ReadyFit has a personalized program to meet your specific needs. The series of ReadyFit programs utilizes the new, advanced FitLinxx technology. Your coach will help you find a ReadyFit plan that is right for you.

What is FitLinxx?
FitLinxx is a computerized system that helps you track your workouts both inside and outside the YMCA. You can input all of your daily fitness activities into the system and get monthly status reports via e-mail to manage your fitness progress toward your personal goals.

How much does it cost for personal training?
Please consult individual branch handbooks for specific personal training fees. A complete fitness assessment is included with the purchase of personal training.

Does the YMCA provide childcare?
The Y provides child care from ages 6 weeks – 5 years old, including infant/toddler programs, preschool enrichment classes, nursery school, and universal pre-K.  The Y also provides Before and After School care from Kindergarten through age 12 with structured activities to develop individual abilities. In addition, complimentary Child Watch is available for up to 2 hours while you are using the facility. For more information, click here.

When schools are closed does the YMCA provide emergency/temporary child care?
Vacation Fun Clubs are held on most school holidays. These are optional care days for which there is an additional fee. We also offer Emergency Fun Club Days when school is closed due to inclement weather. All Fun Club registrations take place at the branch. For more information, click here.

What are the hours / ages for Child Watch?
Please consult individual branch handbooks for specific Child Watch hours at each facility.

What do I need to bring to Child Watch?
You should bring diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes if your child is not toilet-trained or is in the process. Snacks are available for children, however you should bring a labeled cup and a snack if your child has any allergies. Please do NOT bring any products containing nuts!

Are there family open gym times?
Please consult individual branch handbooks for specific open gym hours at each facility.

What youth sports are available?
We provide Youth Sports classes and leagues for 6-12 year olds and will work on individual skill development, how to work as a team, and the introduction of sport specific team strategies. For parents seeking balance for their children, the YMCA offers multi-sport camps, as well as specialized instruction and structured league play for more than 20 assorted sports, from soccer and floor hockey to karate and track and field. While the YMCA does offer competitive leagues, good sportsmanship and character development are ultimately the goal of any YMCA sports program.

Where are youth sports events held?
Depending on the sport and the number of participants, youth sports are held at branches, at Y camps, and at many local schools and parks in neighboring communities.

What types of parent / child programs are available?
Family specific events are wonderful opportunities to spend time with your family. Events include Family Fun Nights, holiday events, and our annual Healthy Kids Day. Y Adventure Guides assists the parent and school-age child on a journey of discovery. While activities with the whole family are important, there is tremendous value in supporting and strengthening the ability of a parent and their child to communicate at an early age. Y Adventure Guides can be for one parent and child or the entire family.  There are also parent / child fitness programs at various branches. Consult individual branch handbooks for specific class information.

Does a child have to be a Y member to attend camp?
Any child between pre-school and 8th grade may attend various sessions at camp. YMCA members benefit by paying reduced fees for camp programs. For more information, contact your local branch.

Why do I need to provide health forms for my child to attend camp if I already provided the forms for another YMCA program?
The New York State Department of Health requires that a health form (that is less than one year old) be available on site when a camper enrolls in camp.

What is the instructor to student ratio for swim lessons?
We strive for the following instructor to student ratios for swim lessons:

  • Pre-school [Pike/Eel/Ray/Starfish] –  1:4
  • Beginner youth [Polliwog/Guppy] –  1:6
  • Intermediate youth [Minnow] –  1:7
  • Advanced youth  – 1:8
  • Adult lessons [over 13 years old] – 1:4

Why does a child have to pass a deep end test?
For safety in deep water, a child must be able to pass the deep end test by swimming in the deep end on their stomach (front crawl) to the rope, swimming back to the wall on their back (back crawl), and then treading water for 2 minutes.

Is the YMCA a charitable organization?
Yes, the YMCA of Greater Rochester is a non-profit organization, recognized by the IRS with a 501(c)3 charitable designation. All donations made to the YMCA of Greater Rochester are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. When you donate money, 100 percent of your donation is used to subsidize program costs or to provide financial assistance to those in need.Click here for more information about making a donation.

Why does the YMCA have a fundraising campaign?
The YMCA of Greater Rochester raises financial support through its Annual Campaign. The Campaign funds the YMCA’s three areas of focus: youth development; healthy living; and social responsibility. The Y awards over $3M per year in financial assistance. The YMCA’s membership size coupled with its geographic footprint makes it imperative that it continues to provide financial assistance to children, families and seniors who would otherwise be unable to participate in its local programming and health-enhancing services. Community philanthropic support gives the YMCA the ability to serve all in need.

May I volunteer at the Y?
Volunteering is an important part of the energy and excellence of the Y. Y volunteers work at each location, they serve on committees, and some lead as members of the Board of Directors. We are grateful for all volunteer help and we need a wide range of skills and interests to meet the needs of the organization.

What types of volunteer opportunities are there for adults?
We have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities to match your passion, skills, and schedule. You can be involved in: our Boards of Directors and Committees, raising funds to ensure the Y is accessible to all members of the community; coaching our sports teams and teaching many of our classes; motivating and supporting youth in building the character strengths, skills, and relationships; extending a hand to help adults who want to do more, be more, or live healthier; advocating for the Y’s efforts to influence policies and initiatives that positively impact societal issues of importance to the nation and your community; or participating in opportunities to give back and support neighbors.

How old do you have to be to volunteer?
You must be 15 years of age to volunteer, although we do offer service programs for youth under the age of 15. The V.I.P. Program for ages 12 – 15 years, which runs weekly during the summer, allows youth to experience and understand the value of volunteering in their community. Through well-trained staff, YMCA programs have a huge impact on individuals and families. Participants will see what it takes to make a difference and what opportunities may be available in the future. Leaders Club, which runs during the school year, is a specially designed club for youth aged 12 – 18 years. Ages 15 years and up can also volunteer without being part of a specific program. The YMCA is committed to helping develop its members through leadership training, personal growth, service to others, and social development. An application and references are required prior to starting these programs and the Volunteer Handbook must be reviewed.

Can my child earn volunteer credit hours for school?
YMCA staff can validate the necessary school paperwork when youth complete their volunteer hours for a particular activity or event.

Do I have to be a member to volunteer?
We are always looking for community volunteers to support our programs and special events. Anyone volunteering must have an application and references on file prior to starting their volunteer assignment. The Volunteer Handbook must also be reviewed.