A Message from our President & CEO, Shilo Boucher

Entering 2024, we’re fueled by the energy of our 170 years of community service, now marked by a name change reflecting our commitment to a broader regional impact.

Reflecting on the remarkable strides we made in 2023 fills us with gratitude and pride, all of which was made possible through the generosity and unwavering support of individuals like you. Together, we achieved extraordinary milestones, including the raising of an impressive $1.9 million to address pressing community needs, including our special project, the Glenn Carpenter Outdoor Education Centre. This substantial sum has been instrumental in breaking down barriers for over 3,200 individuals, providing them with vital resources and opportunities they desperately needed.

Furthermore, our combined efforts have facilitated the creation of much-needed spaces in childcare, offering relief and support to countless families struggling to balance work and childcare responsibilities. Through initiatives aimed at enhancing accessibility and inclusivity, we have welcomed hundreds of new families to the Saint John Region, fostering a sense of belonging and community that lies at the heart of our mission.

As we look ahead to the challenges and opportunities that await us in the year ahead, we do so with unwavering optimism and determination. Guided by our core values of belonging, inclusive, responsible, caring and honesty, we remain dedicated in our commitment to serving as a driving force and support for all those who rely on us. Together, let us continue to build a brighter, more inclusive future for generations to come, united in our shared vision of a thriving, resilient community where every individual has the opportunity to shine bright.

Shilo Boucher, CPA, CA, ICD.D

Community Impact by Numbers

Glenn Carpenter Outdoor Education Centre

At the YMCA of Southwestern New Brunswick, our commitment goes beyond the ordinary. We are not just a charity; we are the spark that ignites potential, fostering enduring personal and social change. Our mission is simple: to provide opportunities for individuals to shine, ensuring that cost is never a barrier to participation.

In this monumental 170th year of impact, we are embarking on a visionary project. Our goal is to raise $2 Million, propelling us to expand free programming, broaden access to Child Care, and operate Youth programs across Southwestern New Brunswick. The heartbeat of this initiative revolves around our hidden gem, the Glenn Carpenter Centre.

Imagine a place where children can be their authentic selves – safe, joyful, and immersed in nature. Glenn Carpenter envisioned this haven, which materialized as a 220-acre property at Ashburn Lake owned by the Wilson family. With a lodge, a lake, and ample space for boundless adventures, the Glenn Carpenter Centre opened its doors in 2000, a tribute to Glenn’s dream and legacy.

Over two decades, the Centre has been a beacon, serving thousands of youth. It stands as a testament to a community-powered initiative, where hundreds of individuals have generously donated their time, talent, and resources to maintain and nurture this vital facility.

Glenn Carpenter’s dream extends beyond the physical space. It’s about making today’s youth tomorrow’s leaders. The Centre allows children to immerse themselves in nature, sparking curiosity, creativity, and a profound connection to the environment. Through inclusive activities, we empower marginalized youth, kindling a passion for the outdoors.

The YMCA of Southwestern New Brunswick serves individuals and communities at over 20 locations, spanning from Sussex to St. Stephen. Our diverse range of programs includes health, fitness, recreation, licensed child care, camps, outdoor education, employment, education, newcomer services, leadership development, and volunteer opportunities.

To expand these impactful programs and ensure universal access, we rely on the generosity of donors like you. Your support is a beacon, allowing all individuals, regardless of background, to shine bright in our community. Together, let’s continue igniting potential, fostering change, and building a brighter future for all.

For more information:

Jennifer Yeomans
Chief Development Officer

Foundation and Grant Support

Thank you to the following funders, who have made contributions to the YMCA’s programs, services, and facilities in 2023 to keep up our charitable work in the community:

  • Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities
  • Community Services Recovery Fund
  • Crabtree Foundation
  • Department Tourism, Heritage and Culture
  • F K Morrow
  • Fundy Community Foundation
  • Harrison McCain Foundation
  • Mayflower Sharp’s of Sussex New Start Foundation Inc
  • Medavie Health Foundation
  • New Brunswick Children’s Foundation
  • RBC Royal Bank of Canada
  • Regional Development Corporation (RDC)
  • Saint John Exhibition Foundation
  • Shannex
  • Sussex Area Community Foundation INC.
  • The McCain Foundation
  • The Paul Barber Foundation
  • The Sir James Dunn Foundation
  • The Windsor Foundation
  • Tropical Shipping

Community Y Stories

Community Y Story: Amina & Farhiya

In the heart of summer, amidst the laughter of children and the warmth of the sun, two sisters, Amina and Farhiya, embarked on a journey of discovery at Y Summer Day Camp program. Through the kindness of donors, their dreams of camp became a reality, leading to a summer filled with laughter, growth, and sisterly love.

Amina, a confident 14-year-old, and her spirited 9-year-old sister, Farhiya, eagerly recounted their camp experiences with bright smiles and infectious enthusiasm. “We’ve been going to camp for three years now,” Amina shared proudly. “It all started when some friends told us about it, and I just knew I had to be a part of it.”

With memories of hiking adventures and science experiments still fresh in their minds, the sisters reminisced about their favorite camp moments. “Last year, we made ice cream from scratch in science class,” Farhiya exclaimed. “It was so much fun adding all the toppings!”

Amina nodded in agreement, recalling the warmth and kindness of the camp staff. “The people there are just so nice,” she said with a smile. “They’re really helpful and I’ve made a lot of great friends.”

Reflecting on the unique experience of attending camp together, Amina and Farhiya shared their perspectives. “It’s been great having my little sister with me,” Amina confessed. Farhiya shared, “I love having Amina at camp with me,” she declared. “She’s always there to play with me and make sure I’m okay.”

Their camp journey took an exciting turn when Amina was invited to participate in the camp’s leadership program. “It means a lot to me,” Amina explained. “I’ve always wanted to be apart of the team since I first started, I’m very grateful.”

As they reflected on their personal growth, Amina and Farhiya shared their newfound confidence and skills. “Camp really helped me to break out of my shell,” Amina admitted. “I used to be shy, but now I’m not afraid to speak up and be myself. I gained a lot of confidence.”

Farhiya chimed in, sharing her own triumphs. “I learned how to swim!” she exclaimed proudly. “It was hard at first, I failed at first but I kept trying, and then I finally passed my swim test on the last day!”

When asked about the importance of camp, Amina and Farhiya spoke passionately about the friendships and opportunities it offers. “Camp is a place where you can be yourself and make so many new friends,” Amina said. “It’s an experience everyone should have.”

Amina expressed her thanks to the donors that allowed her to attend camp for the first time. “Thank you, a lot of kids don’t have the opportunity to go to camp And I was really grateful that I had the opportunity to go there. Thank you again for supporting us.”

Their message to those considering camp echoed their own journey of discovery and growth. “Just go for it,” Amina encouraged. “You never know what you might discover about yourself.” added Farhiya.

Thanks to the YMCA Atlantic Gift of Camp Campaign and those that have been so kind to believe in the mission of the Y, Amina and Farhiya have been able to take part in an incredible journey through camp.

This journey from camper to counsellor is what the Y is all about, igniting potential in our youth through leadership.

Children in our community are facing barriers keeping them from experiencing camp and developing confidence, growth and discovery.

Mutiat Adeleke: Volunteer & Substitute Child Care Provider

Mutiat has volunteered in our Admin department and also works as a substitute Child Care Provider at some of our Child Care centres.

When asked what she loves about being at the Y, Mutiat said, “Being able to reach as many people as possible…even if it is for just five seconds of making somebody happy. When you give back, you not only make that person happy, you also benefit from that happiness. You get to share in somebody else’s happiness.”

To learn more about how you can join Mutiat and others to become a volunteer, go to our Volunteer Page.


Atlantic YMCA Gift of Camp

Last year the Ys in Atlantic Canada came together to create awareness, with a joint effort on providing kids with the opportunity to attend summer camp. Together we were able to send over 600 kids to camp. We are coming together again this year to continue the impact. That impact can be seen in stories like Amina and Farhiy that you read above.

YMCA camps provide life-changing experiences. Friendships blossom, self-confidence emerges, independence grows, and through it all our campers build resilience to help them face new challenges.

Newcomer and other underserved populations of kids are facing barriers including, financial, transportation, camp supplies and food.

By providing kids with this opportunity we can help them grow, connect and build their confidence.

Breaking Barriers

In 2022, the YMCA of Greater Saint John welcomed roughly 150 Newcomer families (750 people total) to Saint John through various types of immigration streams. We have continued to welcome many newcomer families throughout 2023. Each family’s circumstances are unique depending on their backgrounds prior to their arrival in Canada.

With the many barriers Newcomers face when arriving in a new country, the YMCA has much to offer through our supportive and inclusive community. By providing immediate access to our membership at the YMCA, our Newcomers can adapt to their new surroundings and culture through the open doors of the welcoming community and supportive programs the YMCA has to offer.

We extend our gratitude to the FK Morrow Foundation for the support of our Breaking Barriers program in 2023. It is our hope that programs such as these will continue to support our newcomer families and drive a positive impact in their lives.

Featured in picture:
Belal Kasem – 39 – father
Qamar Alsham Kasem – 11 years old ( female on his left side)
Laila Kasem – 9 years old ( female daughter on his right side)
Karim Kasem – 13 years old
Ahmad Kasem – 6 years old.