Women at The Y

Last updated: April 9, 2024, at 12:13 p.m. PT

Originally published: March 22, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. PT

It’s believed the first “unofficial” female YMCA member joined in the 1850’s in Brooklyn, NY. In 1946, post-war, women made up only 12% of the membership in the country. Now, in Seattle, women make up 55% of our members and represent a majority of our staff and volunteers. We have come a long way since our foundation and still have room to grow.

Thanks to the contributions of female leadership, the YMCA of Greater Seattle, continues to focus on ways to create inclusive and supportive environments for women to reach their fullest potential. Positioning the Y to tackle chronic disease, through programs like the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, Wellness for Life, and general Healthy Living Programs; the Y has drawn the support of high-ranking government officials. In 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama chose the YMCA as the venue to launch the pillars of her "Let’s Move" campaign.

At a local level, Senior Executive Director of Camping & Outdoor Leadership, Meredith Cambre (pictured above) is one of the women who continue to push us forward. Thanks to Meredith and her leadership we have been able to dive even deeper into providing culturally responsive programs such as:

  • Latino Family Camp
  • LGBTQ Family Camp
  • African American Males Weekend
  • African American Females Weekend
  • Islamic Family Camps
  • Exceptional Families Family Camp
  • Women’s Wellness Camp

During our Women’s Wellness camp women enjoy various creative crafts such as pottery and jewelry making, the zipline and the giant swing. Strengthen your body with activities such as yoga, kayaking, and hiking. Replenish your spirit with a massage or a walk on the beach. Reconnect with friends and make new ones while nurturing your spirit, mind, and body.