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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Check out our list of frequently asked questions below to help you prepare for your next visit to the YMCA.

MEMBERSHIP

Who can be a member 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 Experience Scholarships, which are 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 those joining the Y must bring a government issued photo I.D. with them. The I.D. is then run 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.

Who can participate or visit the YMCA?

The YMCA of Greater Rochester is a member-based organization that serves the community. Access to our facilities is reserved for members of the YMCA of Greater Rochester. Unless otherwise noted, all activities and programs are for our members. To join the Y and experience all the fun, build your membership here.

How can I join the Y?

Visit any Location or Join Online today.

What is the difference between a Passport Membership and ROC City Membership?

A Passport Membership provides access and membership privileges to all YMCA of Greater Rochester facilities.

A ROC City membership grants you access to the Maplewood Branch, The Thurston Road YMCA Neighborhood Center and The YMCA at Innovation Square.

Do I have to pay extra for certain programs/classes?

Many of our classes and programs are member benefits with no additional cost. The YMCA has numerous paid programs for all ages. Some of these fee-based programs include swim lessons, personal training, pickleball lessons/leagues, youth sports, and summer camps.

View All Programs

Who has access to Child Watch/Adventure Center areas?

During designated Child Watch hours, Child Watch gives parents and guardians with Family, Family Plus and Individual Parent memberships the chance to have their kids be in a safe, clean space while they workout or take a class for up to 120 minutes. This benefit is for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old. Parents/Guardians cannot leave the building while children are signed into Child Watch care.

We also have Family Time hours, where families can enjoy the space together. Those with Family, Family Plus and Individual Parent memberships can utilize the space when designated in the facilities schedule. Children cannot be left unattended in the Child Watch/Adventure Center areas without adult supervision during Family Time.

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?

Yes. Tours are available in person or online. Take a Virtual Tour.

What type of assistance should I expect when calling the branch?

All changes to the membership cannot be handled over the phone. These changes could include credit card changes, membership terminations, new program sign-ups, new memberships, etc. This ensures that all changes are received, recorded, and handled correctly.

We will be happy to answer all questions you have about our memberships, programs and facility. We do accept payments over the phone.

How do I cancel my membership?

If you wish to cancel your membership, please contact your local Y. The Y does not accept terminations over the phone. We require a 30 day written notice for all membership cancellations.

How can I get my key tag replaced?

We recommend you download our app YMCA of Greater Rochester. You can enter an electronic key tag within the app. You will also have all the facility schedules, hours and information at your fingertips.

If you rather have a physical key tag, these are free of charge and can be replaced at the Member Service desk.

What payment options are available?

Our standard monthly renewal memberships are auto drafted through either a bank account or credit card (American Express, VISA, MasterCard, or Discover). You may pay for your first month cash, credit card or check if you choose.

Some of our programming drafts monthly or weekly, please check with your branch for more details.

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

The YMCA of Greater Rochester is proud to partner with Renew Active, SilverSneakers, and Silver&Fit to provide free memberships for qualifying Medicare insurance holders. Qualifying Medicare insurance carriers include UnitedHealthcare, Excellus BlueCross BlueSheild, MVP, Aetna, and others. To find out if your insurance plan will cover your membership, please call your insurance provider.

Insurance-based memberships must be signed up for and renewed in person at your local Y. All insurance-based memberships expire December 31 and must be renewed on or after January 1.

GUESTS

Can I bring a guest who is not a YMCA member?

The YMCA of Greater Rochester does not offer guest passes.

FACILITIES

What are the Y hours of operation?

The hours of operation are available on each branch’s homepage. Or you can download our app, YMCA of Greater Rochester.

Can I use my camera and cell phone?

Use of phones and cameras is prohibited in all locker room and program areas. Photos and videos may only be taken with consent and permission from the YMCA of Greater Rochester and participants.

Can I rent the YMCA facility for a business or family function?

Our camp facilities and some of our main facilities can be rented for private use. No alcoholic beverages are permitted on YMCA property. Please contact the individual facility for details and availability.

What are the age requirements?

All children ages 8 and younger must be under adult or staff supervision in the facility at all times. Children ages 9 to 12 must have an adult in the facility at all times.

Swimming:
Children five and younger must have an adult member (18+) in the pool with them at all times. Children ages 6 years to 8 years must have an adult member (18+) on the pool deck at all times. Children 9-12 must have an adult in the facility at all times. Children 15 and younger who want to swim in the deep end must first successfully pass the deep end test. Children 9+ who have passed their deep end test are able to participate in lap swim.

If your child (15 years and younger) has not passed the deep end test they are not allowed past the shallow/deep water divide line. If the water they can go in is deeper than the center line of their chest one of the following three options are available to them to safely enjoy the pool. 1) Wear a Coast Guard approved lifejacket. 2) Have an adult caregiver over the age of 18 within arm’s reach. 3) Participate in a swim lesson. An adult caregiver can have up to two non-swimming children with in arms reach, if you have more than two children with you that have not passed the deep end test those children will need to wear a lifejacket when in the water.

Child Watch:
Free for Family, Individual Parent & Family Plus Memberships only.
For facilities with one Child Watch location, children ages six weeks through 12-years-old are served in that one location. For facilities with two locations: Child Watch serves children ages six-weeks to 5 years and the Adventure Center/Depot/Mystery Cavern areas serve children ages 5 years to 12 years.

Group Exercise:
Members must be at least 13-years-old to participate.

Sauna:
Members must be 16+ to use.

Sports Performance Center (Eastside Family YMCA):
Children 12-years-old must have a Wellness Consultation to use the Sports Performance Center. We recommend anyone 13+ to have a Wellness Consultation prior to using the Sports Performance Center.

Wellness Center:

  • Children 8 years old: Allowed access to tracks with active adult supervision.
  • Children 10-12 years old: Limited access to cardio equipment with active adult supervision.
  • Children 12 years old: With a Wellness Consultation, full access to cardio equipment without active adult supervision.
  • Children 13 years and older: Full access to cardio and strength equipment
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 use my locker overnight?

Lockers are available for daily use only. Participants are encouraged to bring a lock or use our Valuable Lock Box for free. The YMCA of Greater Rochester is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.

Corning has convenience lockers, locker services and laundry for additional fee. Schottland offers a towel service for an additional fee.

What is the membership Code of Conduct?

The YMCA of Greater Rochester is founded on Christian principles and prohibits inappropriate behavior and conduct including, but not limited to: profanity or abusive language or attire, smoking, use of alcohol or drugs, the removal of YMCA property and criminal conduct of any kind.

We reserve the right to deny access or membership, or revoke and suspend membership, to any person who’s behavior is judged to be in conflict with the welfare and safety of others; who is a registered sex offender; has pleaded guilty or been convicted of any crime involving sexual abuse or a crime against a child, spouse or parental abuse, or any offense relating to the sale or transportation of illegal, habit-forming or dangerous drugs; or anyone who is presently under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Can I smoke at the Y?

Smoking, including e-cigs and other forms, is prohibited throughout our YMCA facilities and grounds.

PROGRAMS

How do I register for programs?

If you want to start a program that has already started, you may if there is still room for participants in a program. If there is a fee associated with the specific program, the fee will be pro-rated based on the number of sessions remaining.

View all programs here.

When can I register for programs?

Registration opens for two months of programming at a time, generally two-weeks before the program sessions start at 10 am. 

  • Registration for the January/February Program Session opens at 10 am, December 18.
  • Registration for the March/April Program Session opens at 10 am, February 12.
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.

When schools are closed does the YMCA provide emergency/temporary child care?

School's Out Camp are held on most school holidays. These are optional care days for which there is an additional fee. We also offer Emergency School's Out Camp when school is closed due to inclement weather. All School's Out Camp registrations take place at the branch.

For more information please contact your local YMCA.

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.

SWIMMING

What is the instructor to student ratio for swim lessons?

We strive for the following instructor to student ratios for swim lessons:

  • Swim Starters (parent/child) – 1:10 in pairs
  • Swim Basics: Preschool (3-5 years) and Youth (6-12 years) – 1:5
  • Swim Strokes Preschool and Youth – 1:8
  • Teen/Adult (13+) – 1:4

View All Group Swim Lessons

Why does a child have to pass a deep end test?

Children five and younger must have an adult member (18+) in the pool with them at all times. Children ages 6 years to 8 years must have an adult member (18+) on the pool deck at all times. Children 9+ must have an adult in the facility at all times. Children 15 and younger who want to swim in the deep end must first successfully pass the deep end test. Children 9+ who have passed their deep end test are able to participate in lap swim.

For safety in deep water, anyone 15 and under must complete the deep end test. The test includes two components: 1) swimmer must swim 15 yards on front, then 15 yards on back, in shallow water without stopping unless changing direction. If they successfully pass they move on to 2) swimmer must enter water greater than their head, swim 15 yards on front using proficient front crawl stroke, maintain a back float position for 30 seconds, swim 15 yards on their back using proficient backstroke, then tread water for one minute with their face and ears out of the water.

What happens if my child has not passed the deep end test?

If your child (15 years and younger) has not passed the deep end test they are not allowed past the shallow/deep water divide line. If the water they can go in is deeper than the center line of their chest one of the following three options are available to them to safely enjoy the pool. 1) Wear a Coast Guard approved lifejacket. 2) Have an adult caregiver over the age of 18 within arm’s reach. 3) Participate in a swim lesson. An adult caregiver can have up to two non-swimming children with in arms reach, if you have more than two children with you that have not passed the deep end test those children will need to wear a lifejacket when in the water.

What is proper swimming attire?

Proper swimming attire means a modest, fully covering and comfortable swimsuit for men, women and children. Street clothes are not permitted.

The YMCA of Greater Rochester requires proper swimsuit attire in its aquatic facilities at all times.

What is the Lap Swim Etiquette Policy?

For your safety, please follow these guidelines while lap swimming.

  • Two swimmers per lane: split the lane. 
  • Three or more swimmers per lane: circle swim. Circle swimming is expected for three or more swimmers.
  • Be sure to notify swimmer(s) when you are entering a lane. This is done by sitting at or on the edge of the pool, waving a kickboard under water or standing in the water in the corner of the lane.
  • When passing, wait and pass at the wall. Gently tap the foot of the swimmer ahead of you indicating you wish to pass. Do not attempt to swim around a slower swimmer as this may cause collisions with swimmers coming in the opposite direction.
  • A lead swimmer, who feels a touch on the feet from an overtaking swimmer, should continue to the next wall, then stop in the corner of the lane to let the faster swimmer(s) pass.
  • When resting, please rest only at the end wall(s) and stay in the corner of the lane to allow for others to easily turn.
  • If able, choose a lane with swimmers of similar ability/speed.
  • Those using lap lane(s) to leisure swim or water walk, may be asked to move when lap swimmers arrive to use the lane based on scheduled swim times. All lap swim, open swim and water walking times can be found on the schedule.
  • Be courteous and responsive to other who are sharing the lane with you.
  • Be respectful of any requests made by the lifeguards.
A chart showing a split lap lane for two swimmers, and circle swimming for 3+ swimmers.