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Lower Cape Cross Winds

News & Updates on the Lower Cape YMCA

Fall ’21    In this Issue


YMCA Achievers Set Sights on the Stars

For the Y Achievers, it’s not rocket science, it’s volunteering. This weekend the Y Achievers gave back to the community when they volunteered at the Cape Cod Natural History Museum, helping teach the public about the soon to launch $10 bil James Webb Space Telescope.

It was a beautiful day for learning as the Y Achievers got off the bus in Brewster, ready to help the public learn about the new James Webb Space Telescope. The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History was selected as an official NASA host for Cape Cod’s James Webb Space Telescope Community Event. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be the largest telescope in space, 100 times more powerful than Hubble, and able to see back in time almost 13.5 billion years to observe the earliest galaxies. 

The event drew in over 350 members of the public and offered 25 hands on STEM activities to help them learn about the new telescope, space, and the importance of exploration and understanding. Achievers rotated throughout the event, helping to staff each event as they expanded their understanding of space. “This is one of 500 events happening across the country for this telescope, so for the Achievers to be a part of that is something special”, said Shonderrick Powell, Program Director of the YMCA Cape Cod’s Y Achievers Program. “The Achievers weren’t able to do much during Covid, so to be able to get out here, and start our year with such a large and impactful event really sets us on the right path! It’s been great to see the Achievers helping again”. 

This event allowed the Achievers the ability to serve as role models and give back to their community. Through distance learning and virtual meetings, the ability to work together and serve as role models was missing for many teens. The YMCA Achievers program is a program aimed at helping underserved youth set their path towards college and career. Composed of college tours, finance and credit instruction, and life skills, this program has been implemented at Barnstable High School and Dennis Yarmouth Regional High School. As the program expands, events like this make it possible to help youth across the Cape!

“I want the Achievers to understand that if we can go above and beyond for the other businesses in our community that they respond by inviting us back for other events. It’s how our community grows and I’m glad they’re learning the importance of this” Powell commented.

Is there a community event that you think the Achievers would benefit from? Reach out to Shonderrick to learn how you can help get the Achievers involved!


Lower Cape YMCA Project Update

Part of developing a Y is developing partnerships, and we’re exploring the idea of a partnership with the Town of Brewster for a potential YMCA community center public/private partnership.

The Town of Brewster recently announced that it would be purchasing the Cape Cod Sea Camps property and the YMCA Cape Cod congratulates them on a successful vote. For information related to Brewster’s vote and the Sea Camps property, click here.

The Y continues to seek partnerships within the communities we serve.  As the Town’s process unfolds, we hope to discover natural and organic partnerships that serve the needs of the community aligned with the expertise of the YMCA Cape Cod and vision of the Town of Brewster.

Prior to their vote, the YMCA Cape Cod was listed as a potential partner moving forward. While this is in no way a promise of service or a signed contract by the town, we are excited to know that our programs are noticed and are excited about the possibilities. 

YMCA Cape Cod has been invited to participate in the planning phases of the property’s master plan and to serve as a possible partner in interim summer day camp operations while the master planning process plays out. An interim operation would provide for ongoing use of the property benefiting the citizens of Brewster and the Lower Cape.



Task Force Spotlight-

Meet Laurel Hartman

Brewster resident Laurel Hartman began volunteering with the Y after learning about our home delivered meals program nearly a decade ago! Thousands of meals, and a term as Chairwoman of the Board later, she remains engaged by all that the Y does to meet the community needs. She’s excited to bring those resources to the lower Cape!

Laurel Hartman is a realtor with Kinlin Grover Real Estate,  a board member of the YMCA Cape Cod, and a Brewster Resident excited to bring everything the Y has to offer to the Lower Cape!

Here’s what she had to say about her experience with the Y.

What’s your experience with the Y? What’s your “Y Story”?

My Y story starts with my Grandfather. He was shot in the knee at the Battle of the Bulge in WWII, and when he returned, swimming was the only exercise he could comfortably do. He swam religiously at the Y and would take me. That’s whereI learned to swim. I worked my way up through the classes, from Polliwog class and up. So we went together. 


Why do you volunteer with the Y?

The home delivered meals program was what first really got me excited about serving on the board 9 years ago and getting to see all that the Y does to meet community needs keeps me engaged. I love how the food programs have grown and I’m proud of how much we’ve expanded child care offerings, including Head Start and Early Head Start. The Y is really making a difference in the community, and I’m proud to be a part of that. 


Why do you want a Y on the Lower Cape?

I think a Y would be a great addition for Lower Cape Families. The Y provides so many wonderful services to the community but increasing the availability of water safety training would be very important for Lower Cape families. There’s a real challenge finding water safety classes for kids, and water is all around us. We can always use more places for people of ALL age groups, and I know the Y would provide that. 


What’s your Favorite Quote? Why?

I love this quote from Audrey Hepburn.  “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” – Audrey Hepburn . It just reminds me of what a great person she was and the way she composed herself. She gave so much back, particularly later with the UN .


Ready to join Laurel and help make this idea a reality? Email Brad Crowell to join our team! 


What’s Next?

There are a lot of stops on our journey to build a new Y. But just because the journey is long doesn’t mean it needs to be confusing. Here’s what the next part of our journey looks like.
Market research studies help us learn what the community is looking for. Do they want a Y? A Pool? How many lanes? A gym? Where do they want it? What needs does the community have? Are they already being met? Etc.
We are re-exploring this study to ensure that results are not influenced by Covid-19 numbers and that we are reaching both seasonal and year round residents.
We care about the communities we serve, and we want to make sure we do what’s best for them. So we want to get this right! We’ve hired PB&A Marketplace Intelligence, a well-respected market research firm that specializes in helping YMCAs, to help us answer those questions.

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