Adapting in 2020
Much like we recapped our 2020 cover stories, we also want to highlight the top stories from the year that helped the industry adapt and overcome during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March, we shared our first COVID-19 article highlighting how YMCAs are taking precautions ahead of the virus and shared examples of how to prep your facility. The industry quickly learned how important it is to have an adaptable plan ready at all times.
“When something like this happens, there’s very little time to respond,” said Jonny Eberle, the communications director at the Pierce and Kitsap Counties YMCA. “The best we can do is be prepared for a wide range of possible scenarios. Having a detailed, adaptable plan ready to go can help you drastically cut down the time it takes to go from gathering information to taking action.”
Read the full article, YMCAs Are Taking Precautions for Coronavirus — Here’s How You Can Prep Your Facility.
In April, the Eugene Family YMCA, located in Eugene, Oregon, closed on March 12 after they learned a staff member was being tested for COVID-19. Quickly after, their team learned just how important communication with staff, members and the community would be throughout the whole year.
“Our community members are hungry for reliable, pertinent information, and they will turn to well-known and well-loved sources, such as a local YMCA,” said Beth Casper, the marketing and communications manager for the Eugene Family Y. “This is the perfect opportunity to show your members how you’re continuing to deliver your mission in new and innovative ways during the pandemic.”
In the full article, Casper shared five tips other facilities can implement to help improve their communications during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Houston YMCA Converted Outdoor Pavilions Into Group X Studios.
In June, the industry was well into pivoting by finding creative ways to serve members and the community with COVID-19 safety guidelines in place. Particularly difficult to navigate was social distancing guidelines.
To overcome this challenge, the YMCA of Greater Houston partnered with facility design company Gro-Development, to repurpose its outdoor pavilions into group exercise spaces that allowed for social distancing during classes.
Read more about how the Houston Y converted outdoor pavilions into Group X studios.
In July, the African American YMCA CEOs teamed up to help others unlearn systematic racism through a virtual town hall. The town hall featured a variety of presenters who discussed what systematic racism is and what it looks like. Their goal was to help others understand systematic racism exists and learn what they can do to eliminate it.
In September, Adam Shilling helped us look ahead by asking the industry to rethink membership operations.
“If people have maintained their exercise habits throughout the pandemic without our facilities, what will make them want to join once COVID-19 transmission is no longer a concern? For community recreation professionals, part of the answer lies in rethinking the business model that characterizes our membership operations.”
In the full article, Shilling provided questions to help foster meaningful dialogue within your organization to encourage rethinking membership operations.