The Young Leaders Initiative (YLI) is a group of staff, volunteers and High School Ambassadors ages 13-32. This group is focused on providing advice and direction to the YMCA to foster youth voice, engage young people, and provide opportunities for skill development across the Halton Region.

Click here to meet your local ambassadors!

For more information on current projects of our Young Leaders Initiative, or to find out how you can get involved, please contact Katherine Dziedzic.

The YMCA offers a variety of leadership programs for children and youth aimed to enhance interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.

Offered out of the YMCA building (410 Rebecca St), this program focuses on stroke correction, endurance and begins to work on some key elements of instructing, lifesaving and first aid. Participants in this program will have the opportunity to assist in the delivery of member swim lessons.

Offered out of the YMCA building (410 Rebecca St), this program provides the opportunity to assist in the delivery of our YMCA member swim lessons. Participants will have a pool orientation and train in preparing to assist YMCA swim instructors, as well as emergency procedures while assisting in the pool area. Participant is required to complete the level of YMCA Star 7.

Offered out of Valens Conservation Area through our Summer Camps Department, this fun and intensive three-week program will provide campers with the leadership skills necessary to become a camp counsellor. Some of the objectives of this program include learning how to work with children, understanding group dynamics, planning and facilitating activities, and learning how to be part of a camp team! This program also includes Standard First Aid training.

Upon successful completion of the Counsellors in Training program, participants will be provided with a certificate, and may have the opportunity to volunteer in one of our camps. During the three weeks at camp, there will be a three-day, two-night overnight camping experience.

The Halton Sport Leadership Program (HSLP) is a collaborative asset-based leadership development initiative for youth. It was inspired by the success of the Toronto Sport Leadership Program launched in 2005. The need to replicate the program in Halton was realized and spearheaded by the Halton Poverty Roundtable, who were concerned about youth unemployment rates in Halton region.

Officially piloted in Oakville in 2014, HSLP is collaborative in nature and involves a number of partners. The curriculum and program framework was developed by the YMCA of Oakville & the Town of Oakville, and the pilot project was realized because of an individual donor of the Peter Gilgan Family YMCA.

For more information, please click here or contact Jerod Hannah.

Offered out of 3 of our summer camp locations, in this two-week program, campers will focus on developing leadership and team skills that can be easily applied to all facets of life! They will participate in team-building activities, group initiatives, active games and sports, and be involved in a group initiated community project.

Participants will be provided with a certificate upon successful completion of this program. During the two weeks at camp, there will be an overnight camping experience.

A program that takes a holistic approach to wellness by encouraging young people to get in touch with their mental health through physical fitness. This program will support participants through building resilience, improving team work and providing a social network.

You will have access to coaches who will provide mental wellness support, a robust peer network and given the resources to be empowered on your physical fitness journey.

Offered in collaboration with Halton District School Board Welcome Centre, mentors will earn volunteer hours for their participation, and will mentor small groups of 2-3 elementary school students to help with settlement issues, cultural questions, create a supportive network of peers, help with homework, etc. Mentors will be planning the sessions according to the needs and interests of the mentees.

This program gives them the opportunity to create strong social bonds with other in the community whilst working on their leadership skills, and getting additional support from older peers.

Current Program: Wednesdays | 3:30 – 5:30 pm | Weekly | contact [email protected] or [email protected] for details or to register today.

Offered in partnership with HMC Connections, participants will enhance leadership skills and make a difference in their community.

This program is designed for individuals who have completed Newcomer Youth Leadership Development to use their leadership and team work skills to make a positive difference in the Oakville community, take ownership of the ways they impact the community, and earn volunteer hours!

Offered out of the YMCA building (410 Rebecca St), the Together as Girls Leaders program is a space to develop strong friendships with girls your age, a place you can be yourself, develop your leadership skills and make a difference. Our TAG Leaders program digs deeper into issues that matter most to girls, and gives girls the opportunity to take on leadership opportunities in our community.

Its GIRLS ONLY, and you get the entire facility to yourself at this after hours YMCA program.

Offered out of Valens Conservation Area through our Summer Camps Department, Wilderness Leadership is a great option for those that love the outdoors! Campers will spend the first 2-weeks getting to know each other, participating in group initiatives, democratic living, portaging, and the fun camp activities Valens has to offer. During the second week, there will be a double-overnight experience, and campers will be trained in Emergency First Aid & CPR.

During the last week of our Wilderness Leadership Development program, participants and staff will travel to YMCA Camp Pine Crest to start out their six-day, five-night tripping adventure to discover Ontario’s breathtaking Boreal forest, pristine lakes, and beautiful campsites set on ancient granitic rock. This trip is designed according to the group’s interests, goals and skill levels and is led by two of YMCA Camp Pine Crest’s skilled and certified staff. YMCA Camp Pine Crest’s staff are certified in Wilderness First Aid skills, paddling and tripping skills, and lifeguarding. Additional support and supervision will be provided by highly-trained YMCA of Oakville summer day camp staff.

Offered out of the YMCA building (410 Rebecca St), our Youth Leaders program is designed to build community leaders! Participants will enjoy leadership skill development, advocacy training, team-led projects and games while building new friendships, increasing self-confidence and expanding communication skills! Participants of this program will receive an evaluation, certificate and volunteer hours.

Along with our summer Leaders in Training program, this course will be viewed as a pre-requisite to our summer Counsellors in Training program.

The YMCA of Oakville offers many opportunities for young people to get connected, active and healthy!

Offered in collaborations with HMC Connections, this is a fun program designed to support newcomer youth in their settlement journey, helping them to make connections and form meaningful friendships with peers, connecting them to their community in a way that supports their unique experiences as newcomer youth. We do fun activities such as playing games, talking about anime, supporting with English language fluency, crafts, yoga, art activities, a talent show and so on.

Current Program:  Tuesdays | 4:30 – 6:00 pm | Weekly starting October 13 | contact [email protected] or [email protected] for details or to register today.

This group will be meeting on the last Saturday of every month to explore some local conservation areas, get away from the city, engage with nature, with each other, and get fit (socially distanced). YMCA staff will transport participants from the YMCA building (410 Rebecca St) to the month’s location for an opportunity to get away from screens and just have fun outside!

Current Program: Saturdays – October 31, November 28, December 19 | 10:00 am