Area YMCA offering outdoor services

First Posted: 7/15/2014

Summer is in full swing and the Greater Scranton YMCA is offering their services for people to enjoy all the outdoor recreations the warm months have to offer. Beginning on July 28 on Mondays and Thursdays there will be canoe rentals available at Hillside Park from 5 to 7 p.m.

Life vests and paddles for the canoes will be included. The cost for a 30-minute rental is $5. It’s $10 for an hour. The canoes can accommodate eight people and all of the YMCA staff in charge of the rentals are certified lifeguards. Children must be accompanied by an adult to be in a canoe.

A “Boating Basics” class will be offered July 21, 22, and 24 at Hillside Park from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and costs $15 per person. The class will focus on basic boating skills and how to safely enjoy the lake.

“It will be for basic skills and [we’ll] take them out on the water,” said YMCA aquatic director Diana Dempsey.

The Pennsylvania Fish & Game Commission visited the YMCA to go through boating training with the staff. Attending all of the courses will be YMCA employee Colleen Haley. Those interested in taking the Boating Basics class can register online at the YMCA’s website There’s no registration process for renting a canoe; it’s on a first-come first-serve basis.

A full-range of wellness activities are being offered through a series called “Y Wellness Monday.” The program begins July 21 and extends to Aug. 18 at Hillside Park, rain or shine. The series is free of charge. All of the activities center on healthy living and include Zumba, Pilates, and a “Mindful Meditation” yoga class.

Classes will take place at the pavilion each week at 6 p.m. overlooking the calming view of the lake.

“It might take a while for people to realize it’s there, but I hope everyone enjoys it,” Haley said.

The YMCA is optimistic that people will take advantage of the activities offered.

“It’s the first time so we’re not sure what to expect, but we’re hoping we get a few and that they can enjoy themselves,” Dempsey said.

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