Friday Morning Walk

Today I treated myself to an early morning walk along Swasey Parkway during pre-work hours. It was high tide, the moon was still hanging tough in the sun-filled blue sky. The wind was a tad gusty bringing in an ocean scent.

How I love Exeter. The river, skyline of steeples and historic places just shouts of quaint New England.

A new YMCA Facility is soon to be added on Linden Street. It is not as if Exeter is missing anything, but this new Y will certainly enhance the Exeter area. Almost like that perfect piece of jewelry adds a bit of sparkle to your favorite outfit.

The Y will offer health, wellness, a stronger community and so much more.

What a wonderful morning walk imagining the possibilities!

~Bev Bowles

The Right To Play

At the YMCA, we believe the pillars of a healthy family home are eat healthy, play every day, get together, go outside, and sleep well.

Now that school is back in session and kids will spend much of their day indoors, we encourage parents to help their children spend time outside. Protect your children’s right to play! Parks and playgrounds are wonderful environments for unstructured outdoor play. They provide opportunities for children to test out their abilities as they climb, slide, swing and hang. Parks are also good environments for parents to watch but not hover as children interact with one another in a safe setting. Having the opportunity to explore, problem solve and resolve the occasional conflict will help your child develop a healthy sense of independence. Balance independent exploratory time with your own efforts to be active with your child.

There are incredible resources for families looking for information and ideas to support their healthy family home. The YMCA website is a great place to start!

Download this quick start kit to help your family accomplish Healthy Family Home goals to play every day!

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FUN With Your Family

August is Family Fun Month! There are only a few weeks left before school starts. Here are some fun and creative ideas to have fun with your family. How many can you complete this month?

1. Visit a local park: Go for a walk, toss a frisbee, pack a lunch, and don’t forget your picnic blanket!

2. Host a dance party: Turn your living room into a party zone by dressing up in funky clothes, dimming the lights, and turning on your favorite dance music. Disco ball is optional!

3. Beach outing: We are lucky to live in an area close to the beach, take full advantage while there is still a little bit of warmth! Take your kids out to the beach and let them boogie board while you soak up some sun and relax.

4. Book Night! You don’t always have to leave the house to have fun. Take a trip to the local library and check out some books so you can huddle up with your family and read. You might want to include a longer novel where everyone can read a chapter or two.

5. Scavenger hunt: Give your kids a list of things that they will need to find around the house or in your neighborhood. Have some prizes ready for the person who finds all items on the list!

6. Backyard movie night: Why not watch a movie in your own makeshift movie theater? Play your family’s favorite movie using a projector and a blank wall. Make sure to pop some popcorn!

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Friendship Day

Today is Friendship Day! We think about friendship daily at the YMCA as we watch children and staff creating bonds, learning together, and building community.

Considering the valuable role friends play in our life it was deemed fit to have a day dedicated to friends and friendship. The United States Congress, in 1935, proclaimed the first Sunday of August as International Friendship Day. Since then, celebration of Friendship Day became an annual event. The idea of honoring the beauty of friendships caught on with people worldwide and Friendship Day has become a hugely popular festival in many countries.

In 1997, the United Nations named Winnie the Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship.

How will you celebrate Friendship Day?

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Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries… Oh My!

Many people wonder why New Englanders love living here, why we suffer through months and months of cold and snow and mud. One of the best reasons to live in New England: berry season. Now is the time, my friends. Don’t hold back. Pick as many of these delicious fruits as you can, share them with your family and friends, hide some in your freezer for fall smoothies or winter pancakes, and take some time to let the sun on your face while you enjoy the sweet taste of fresh picked berries.

Did you know that eating blueberries can protect against memory loss? Learn more about these healthful fruits!

Where do you go berry picking? Seacoast Harvest, a project of Seacoast Eat Local, offers a searchable index of local farms. If you want to pick berries, make sure to search pick-your-own. If you want to visit a farm to buy berries, simply look for local farms that offer the product you want. You can also find fresh berries at your local farmers market!

What are your favorite berry recipes? How do you incorporate them into your meals or snacks?
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Every Duck Makes A Difference

Thank you to everyone who purchased a duck as part of the Every Duck Makes A Difference fundraiser on July 12! We raised more than $1,200, all of which will go towards scholarships for local children to attend year-round YMCA programs such as School Age Child Care or summer camp at YMCA Camp Lincoln.

The winning ducks were:
First place- 222, Second place- 261, Third place- 197, Fourth place- 259, Fifth place- 69

Congratulations to our Rubber Duck Race winners!

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Happy, Healthy 4th of July!

Let the Y help you kick your 4th of July snacks out of the park! Check out these creative, easy, and best of all, healthy snacks to make with your children tomorrow. You probably even have most of these ingredients at home right now. Let the celebrations begin!

Start the day off right with 4th of July toast. Spread cream cheese or butter, then red jam on toasted bread. Top with blueberries and sliced bananas to create your American flag!
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Snack time? Break into your cookie cutter box and dig out the star: it’s time to make fruit salad. You can use whatever fruits you want (or have on hand). The stars work best with watermelon or pineapple.
4th fruitMake sure you stay hydrated this summer! Fruit infused water is a delicious way to increase your water intake. You can simply put fruit into your water, or try out these fruit ice cubes!
4th fruit waterWhat are your favorite 4th of July snacks? Comment here and we will share on our Facebook page!