By joining the Y, you are joining a charitable organization committed to strengthening our community. For 30 years, the Sparta/White County Family YMCA has been inspired by a Christian mission rooted in a belief that all of God’s children deserve the chance to lead full and productive lives. Together with our members, volunteers and donors we support those on a journey to better health, nurture the potential of children and teens and provide a sense of community and belonging to those who need it most.
We’ve compiled this handbook as a quick reference for you. Please review our policies, and learn more about our programs and the purpose behind our organization. Let us know how we can help you make the most of your YMCA membership.
Thanks for being a part of the Y!
History of the YMCA
In 1990, Mayor Bob Breeding and Vice-Mayor Margaret Pearson lead the way in transforming the original building of West Sparta Elementary School, built in 1948, in to the City of Sparta Recreational Center. On March 24th, 1992, our local city government chartered the YMCA which made the Sparta-White County Family YMCA officially validated to function under the name of the YMCA.
Mission, Values & Cause
There is the YUSA, the governing organization of all Ys, but each YMCA is independently operated and develops its own brand. Each Y is welcomed to create their own purpose, practices, and core values.
To serve as a positive catalyst for our community by providing quality programs that promote lifelong personal growth for all. We aim to glorify God by being faithful stewards of everything that has is entrusted to us and help people love and remember their experience in Sparta.
- Relentlessly do the right thing for our community
- Communicate and lead for God's purposes and not our own
- Love our members actively and intentionally
How Do We Live Out Our Values
Values come alive through service in 3 areas:
- Youth Development
- Healthy Living
- Social Responsibility
Bravery around our goals and humility to operate for the community gives us the impetus for a committed group of servant-leaders who are committed to our cause.
Why Do We Exist?
- Advancement of religion
- Relief of the poor, distressed or the underprivileged
- Lessening the burdens of government
- Ease of neighborhood tensions
- Eliminating prejudice and discrimination
- Defending human and civil rights secured by law
- Promoting health and wellness, fighting epidemics
Our Commitment Is to Social Good
The Sparta-White County Family YMCA is an independent 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization under the IRS code, which means that donations to the Y are tax deductible. It is the goal of the Y to provide programs and services regardless of an individual’s or family’s financial ability to pay for participation. Every day, the Y brings together people of all ages and from all walks of life with a shared commitment to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to live life to its fullest.
Simply put, the Y is for everyone. All people in our service area are invited to join and enjoy our life-enhancing programs and services, regardless of age, faith, race, background, ability or socioeconomic circumstance. With a YMCA membership, you have full access to our facility, as well as priority registration and member-only rates for programs and services.
*Please note that each person seeking to use portions of the facility or benefit from member-only rates must be an active member. For example, a dependent looking to utilize Kidzone must be a named member on an active membership.
We offer an array of flexible membership categories to ensure you find a fit for your unique household.
Choose the membership category that’s right for you from the list below:
ADULT - One adult age 18-59
COUPLE - Two adults age 18-59 or an adult plus one dependent living in the same household
FAMILY - Two adults and three dependents in the same household
FAMILY PLUS 1 - Two adults and 4 dependents in the same household
FAMILY PLUS 2 - Two adults and 5 dependents in the same household
YOUTH - One youth under age18
SENIOR - One adult 60+
SENIOR COUPLE - Two adults ages 60+ who live in the same household
ONE MEMBERSHIP, MANY Y’S
Sometimes it’s more convenient to visit a Y in a different location when traveling, near a workplace or in another region. Our YMCA participates in the YUSA Nationwide Membership Program. Full facility/full privilege YMCA members have the flexibility to use participating Y facilities at no extra charge. The Nationwide Membership Program is valid for YMCA full facility/full privilege members only. Visitors to other Ys must present a valid YMCA membership card and photo ID upon their first visit and complete a visiting member waiver or standard membership application form with liability waiver.
YMCA full facility members must use their home branch at least 50% of the time. Program discounts do not apply. Participating YMCAs reserve the right to restrict facility or program access. Other restrictions may apply. To find a list of participating YMCAs, visit www.ymca.net.
As a member of the Y, you’re part of an organization committed to helping everyone in our community have the opportunities they need to learn, grow and thrive. Our membership policies are designed to ensure we can continue to provide a safe, positive and nurturing environment where individuals and families feel welcome and at home.
MEMBER CODE OF CONDUCT
All members must act in accordance with the values of the YMCA to maintain an atmosphere that’s free of offensive and unlawful conduct.
We show no tolerance for:
- Use of abusive/vulgar language
- Disrespect for property and equipment of the Y
- Conduct or actions of a sexual nature
- Derogatory or unwelcome comments based on individuals’ sex, race, ethnicity, age, religion, marital status, citizenship, disability, sexual orientation or any legally protected status
As a private organization, the Y reserves the right to cancel the membership of any member who does not follow the Member Code of Conduct at any time — while on-site at a Y center or during participation in any YMCA-affiliated event regardless of location.
YMCA staff members may define what is considered inappropriate behavior in determination of a member’s suspension or termination. Y members or guests who observe conduct not fitting the Member Code of Conduct should promptly report concerns to Y staff so that we can make every effort to investigate and resolve issues promptly, confidentially and effectively.
PROTECTING OUR STAFF
YMCA leadership seeks to offer protection and psychological safety to our staff. In order for Y staff to provide you with exceptional second-mile service, they must feel as though they work in a safe environment.
For this reason, your membership is subject to termination for any of the following:
- Abusive/excessively rude language or behavior toward staff
- Derogatory or disrespectful comments regarding staff
- Failure to follow staff request or issued guidelines
If members/guests do not comply with staff request or refuse to leave upon request, Y staff reserve the right to call the Police or local authority.
If you feel you have been treating unfairly or discriminated against by YMCA staff, you can put in a compliment to the Y leadership/office staff. Leadership/office staff may gather information, review camera footage, and question witnesses. Please note the YMCA leadership trust its staff and empowers them to make tough decisions in the moment. What the Y staff says, goes. Only in extenuating circumstances in which YMCA leadership determines that staff acted inappropriately, will any decisions be overturned.
SEX OFFENDER POLICY
To help enhance the safety of the members, guests and staff in our facilities, the YMCA monitors the sexual offender registry. Persons on the registry will not be eligible for membership, guest access or program participation with the Sparta/White County Family YMCA.
MEMBERSHIP CARDS & PHOTO IDS
Safety is a cornerstone of our center operations, and membership cards (and photo IDs) are essential tools to maintaining safety at the Y. All members age 12 and older receive membership cards. Members under age 12 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who possesses a membership card.
We require that all members, adults and children, have a current photo on file in our system. Having pictures of adults and children in our software system ensures those entering into the YMCA are who they say they are and that our children are with the adults identified on their membership unit.
Your membership card is very important. Please keep track of it and present it at the Welcome Center every time you enter a Y location. If your card is misplaced, you will be charged a $5 replacement fee. If you happen to arrive without your card, you may show another form of photo ID, such as your driver’s license, to secure entry. If your card does not scan, we will verify your membership by other means, such as an additional form of identification, while you wait. If we find your membership is not current, you may not enter the Y. Never loan your card or transfer your membership to someone else; these actions are grounds for termination.
MEMBERSHIP FEES & PAYMENTS
Your prompt, consistent payment of membership fees helps us continue to offer our community-focused programs and services. The best way to ensure your payments are always on time is to set up a monthly bank, debit or credit card draft through the bank or card issuer of your choice. With an automatic draft, we deduct your monthly membership fees directly from your bank or credit account—with no hassle to you—as long as you’re a member.
Here are a few things to remember when you set up an automatic draft:
- To set up automatic payments, the Y will ask you to provide a voided check, debit card or credit card.
- If you must cancel your membership or change your account information, we will gladly make those changes for you.
- Cancellations or changes must be made 48 hours before your scheduled draft date. If you fail to inform us of changes before the 48 hour time frame, no refunds will be issued.
- Please monitor your monthly bank or credit card statement for discrepancies. You must report errors within 90 days of occurrence to enable us to correct our mistake and refund the appropriate amount to you (after 90 days, we will only be able to correct our error with no refund.)
- If you prefer to be billed, we offer annual invoice options in addition to payment by monthly draft. You will receive an invoice at the time the payment is due. If we do not receive your complete payment within 30 days of your payment due date, we will assume that you are canceling your membership.
- To update your payment information, visit the Welcome Center or create a free online account at spartawhitecountyymca.org/membership.
RETURNED PAYMENT POLICY
All returned payments (checks, electronic funds transfers and credit card payments) will result in a $10 charge. Outstanding balances resulting from uncollected returned payments must be cleared up before the participant can be granted access to the YMCA facility or programs. For returned payments, a redraft of the original amount plus the $10 fee will occur up to two times if the initial attempt is unsuccessful. The YMCA will reach out to you to try to resolve the account balance.
If you are not completely satisfied with your membership within the first 30 days, we will refund both your joining fee and monthly dues in full.
PROGRAM REFUND POLICY
If participating in a YMCA program, refunds will only be issued prior to the start of a program session, or the date indicated by the program’s policy. After the program has started, the parent or participant cannot receive a discount. If the parent or participant is dissatisfied with the program, they can report any issues to the appropriate Y staff.
OPEN DOORS PROGRAM
Membership to the Sparta/White County Family YMCA is available to everyone, regardless of ability to pay. Through the Open Doors Membership Assistance Program, we offer financial assistance to subsidize the monthly membership fees for friends and neighbors who have demonstrated a financial need. Members who receive assistance are guaranteed the same quality experience as full-pay members.
An application to participate in the program is available online at spartawhitecountyymca.org/open-doors and at the Welcome Center. In addition to providing a completed membership application and a completed Open Doors application, interested members will also need to provide verification of income for all incomes in the household. Everyone, including existing members, is welcome to apply. If your income changes during the course of your membership, you are welcome to contact us to learn more about this program.
The Sparta/White County Family YMCA offers a variety of discounts for various groups and demographics. These include but are not limited to:
- College Student
- City of Sparta Employees
- Member Referral Program (Better Together Buddy Program)
YMCA discount groups can be terminated at any time without warning to the members inside the group. Please note at any time you may be asked to pay full membership fees.
CHANGES TO YOUR MEMBERSHIP
Change is inevitable, even when it comes to your YMCA membership. Thankfully we offer a simple process for you to alter something related to your membership. Whether adding or removing a family member or updating your address or bank account information, you can submit updates any time with ease. Before making any changes to your account, the Y staff will ask questions about membership information on file to verify you have authority over the account in question.
Changes that will impact your monthly membership fees, including upgrades, downgrades, holds or cancellations, must be submitted at least 48 hours prior to your draft date.
UPGRADES: Do you need to add someone to your membership? Simply let us know of the upgrade. Of course, adding participants to a membership may push you to a different membership category with added fees. If that’s the case, please note that you will be responsible for paying additional membership dues, as well as the difference in pro-rated fees, at the time you submit your change form.
DOWNGRADES: If you need to remove members from your membership, simply let us know and return the membership cards of those no longer participating. We’ll adjust your membership category and dues. Refunds will not be issued for the current billing period but changes will be reflected on your next draft/invoice. We cannot refund or provide a credit for the original joining fee.
MOVING: Memberships to the Sparta/White County Family YMCA are not transferable to other Ys. If you’re moving out of our area but would like to maintain Y membership elsewhere, you must cancel your membership here and join again in your new city. At your request, we will be happy to provide a letter stating the cancellation date of your membership here at the Sparta/White County Family YMCA and the amount of joining fees you paid. Contact the Y in your new area to find out their policies, joining fees and dues, as details will vary.
HOLDS: Because your Y membership is intended to be an ongoing commitment, we only offer membership holds or suspensions due to medical issues or travel. To request a hold or suspension for one of these approved reasons, contact us at least 48 hours prior to your next draft date. Any other reasons require cancellation of your membership (and we will happily welcome you back whenever you are able to return). We can only hold your membership without dues 3 months at a time, a total of 6 months of the year. If you schedule a hold and not inform us otherwise, your membership dues will resume after the scheduled hold with no refunds. It is your responsibility to contact us and extend the hold.
CANCELLATIONS: To cancel your YMCA membership, contact our Welcome Center and verify your account information at least two days prior to your next draft date.
Note that the YMCA reserves the right to cancel a membership with appropriate notice.
CHANGE TO MEMBERSHIP FEES
The YMCA may increase rates for members or terminate a specific membership type with a minimum 30 day written notice.
REJOINING THE YMCA
You are welcome to rejoin the Y any time after canceling your membership. If more than 30 days has elapsed since your cancellation, we will assess an additional joining fee. No matter when you choose to rejoin, you will be responsible for paying current membership dues and any outstanding fees owed, if any.
If you choose to end your membership after our 30-day “Satisfaction Guarantee” period, we’ll gladly halt the automatic withdrawal from your bank account on request with a 48 hour notice. However, no refunds will be issued for any reasons, including lack of use or non-attendance. Help us help you by monitoring your monthly bank statements. After 90 days, the Y will correct issues for future membership payments, but retroactive corrections will not be made.
APPLICABLE TO ALL GUESTS:
- Each guest must provide a valid photo ID on each visit
- All guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent on the first visit. Parents will be asked to sign a youth waiver
- Guest under the age of 12 cannot be unaccompanied without a parent/guardian on the Y facility premises even if the initial waiver has been signed
- Each guest must be properly checked-in through the Welcome Center
- YMCA members cannot bring a guest free of charge
- Non-member guest can be turned away by Y staff at any time for any reason
HOURS OF OPERATION
Facility hours may change at any time based on member needs. Check with the Welcome Center or visit spartawhitecountyymca.org to see our current facility hours.
We provide locker rooms for adults by gender. Children age 7 and younger should be accompanied by a parent of the same gender. When using any of our locker room facilities, please wear a towel or clothing at all times. Also, do not use cameras or video recording devices in any Y locker room. These practices will ensure all Y members’ standards of privacy are respected and safety is prioritized.
When it comes to bringing personal belongings into the Y locker rooms, remember it’s up to you to watch them and lock them. You are solely responsible for all personal belongings you bring. Lockers are available to rent for $5 per month on a first-come, first-served basis. If there are open lockers, you may provide your own secure lock for protection of your items while visiting the Y. Lockers are only to be used during normal operating hours. Unauthorized locks left overnight may be removed and contents placed in the lost and found if staff is unable to identify and contact owner.
The Y is a family-oriented organization, and your attire must always be appropriate throughout all areas of our facilities. Swimsuits are required in the pools –– no cutoffs or street clothes are permitted. Proper workout attire and gym shoes should be worn in the wellness centers, group fitness and spin studios, basketball courts, and other program areas. Coverage is required even in the locker rooms, so keep a towel, wrap or other clothes on at all times.
We do everything we can to ensure your security and safety while on any Y premises. The YMCA facilities are monitored by cameras and other security systems. However, we cannot be responsible for any theft or damage to your personal property, either in our buildings or parking lots. Please remember, you are responsible for securing any items you bring on site.
If you do have one of your possessions stolen or damaged, please complete an incident report at the Welcome Center. Be assured that we do track such incidents and take any steps we can to prevent them from happening again. Leave valuables at home, and protect the property you do choose to bring by securing it in a locker in a locker room (you must
provide your own lock). YMCA staff is not permitted to hold or watch your valuables for you. Also note that we do not recommend leaving valuables in a locked car.
In short, our policy is this: no weapons of any kind, at any time on YMCA property.
SMOKING ON YMCA PROPERTY
Smoking on YMCA property is not permitted. This includes all vapes and various forms of E-cigs and electronic devices.
LOST & FOUND
If you lose something on site, promptly check with the Welcome Center to see if the item has been retrieved. We hold items found within the facility in Lost and Found for just one week, and unclaimed items are donated to charity. Remember, the YMCA is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Please get a medical exam prior to beginning any exercise program. This is a wise first step to engaging in any wellness-related activity. Some programs may require a written and signed physician’s approval prior to participation. Also, be sure to keep your contact information up to date with the YMCA offices. It’s essential that we have your current address, phone number and emergency contact information in case of an emergency.
The YMCA offers caregiver passes for families who rely on the support of outside-the-family caregivers. Households and caregivers must first complete and sign our caregiver pass policy. Once the caregiver pass has been issued, the pass holder may visit the Y at any time in the company of the dependent(s) in a supervisory capacity. Caregivers must be with the dependents they are supervising at all times. Please note that the caregiver pass does not constitute a membership and holders are not entitled to the benefits of membership.
NANNIES & BABYSITTERS
Your membership may be upgraded to include a nanny or babysitter who does not live in the same household. Any nanny or babysitter must be an active member of the YMCA in order to supervise your children at the YMCA. As an active member of the Y, your nanny or babysitter will have full access to all the amenities available to members, including Kidzone, group fitness classes and more. For children age 6 or younger, nannies must be at least 18 in order to supervise at our facility.
CHILDREN IN THE YMCA
At the Y, we’re committed to giving children and teens the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each day, kids come to the Y to learn, play, dream and achieve in a safe, fun and welcoming environment. Kids’ experiences at the Y are made even better when parents and guardians are aware of the policies regarding the supervision of children at our facilities and programs. These important policies are designed to ensure the Y is a secure, caring place for all children.
All children under the age of 12 must be directly supervised by their parents or guardians while on YMCA property or at a YMCA program location. The only exceptions to this policy are occasions when children are participating in an organized YMCA program or activity, such as our Child Watch area (Kidzone), swim lessons, etc. Only children age 12 and older are allowed to be at the Y in an unsupervised environment without their parents or guardians present.
*Please note all youth memberships will not permitted unless the waiver is signed by a parent/guardian.
- All children signed into Kidzone must be a named member on an active membership.
- Children may stay in the Kidzone for up to two hours per day and a maximum of 10 hours per week. This is a state-mandated limit and not per our YMCA.
- Parents, legal guardians and adults 18 or older are authorized to leave a child in the Kidzone, and are required to remain on-site at the Y during their child’s visit.
- Parents are allowed to stay with children on the initial visits to ensure the child feels safe and comfortable in the environment. Once the child is comfortable without the parent, we ask that parents exit the Kidzone after checking in the child.
- Only the adult who signs a child into the Kidzone may sign them out or pick them up.
HEALTH & FITNESS GUIDELINES
The Y strives every day to provide a welcoming place where anyone—from beginning exercisers to competitive athletes—can come to improve their health and well-being. The following health and wellness policies are designed to help ensure the safety and positive experience of all members who use the Y.
PERSONAL TRAINING GUIDELINES
Only staff members employed by the Y are allowed to provide personal training within YMCA facilities and programs. Our staff members are trained and certified by the YMCA and they are committed to carrying out our mission by providing high-quality programs. Personal trainers who are not employed by the YMCA are strictly prohibited from training or conducting business in a YMCA facility. The YMCA has this standard in order to provide safe, high-quality personal training at all times.
WELLNESS EQUIPMENT POLICY
We constantly strive to supply our members with a wide variety of well-maintained wellness equipment, and we oversee the safety of equipment used by members. We ask that you refrain from bringing personal fitness equipment for use within the YMCA. Per our member code of conduct, we ask that you treat YMCA equipment respectfully. This includes cleaning equipment after use.
WELLNESS CENTER/GROUP FITNESS AGE REQUIREMENTS
Your Y’s wellness floor is reserved for members and guests age 14 and older.
Children ages 10-13 can only be granted access to the Wellness Center or Group Fitness classes after completing an assessment by a YMCA Personal Trainer. The trainer may not permit the member access to the Wellness Center or Group Fitness classes if he/she feels it is unsafe. If the member passes the assessment, the trainer may still place restrictions on the member’s access. Members and guest under the age of 12 cannot be left at the YMCA without a parent or guardian, regardless of passing a YMCA fitness assessment.
Youth ages 9 and under may not enter the Wellness Center of Group Fitness class unless they are there to participate in a program or class specifically designed for them (such as a youth or family-friendly group fitness class).
Specific rules and expectations for our Wellness Center are posted inside the Y. Please honor all policies, as well as conduct and etiquette expectations as posted within the Y.
The Y Pool is an outdoor, season pool. Dates of the Y Pool may vary from season to season. Generally, the Y pool will open near the end of the White County School Year. Closure of the Y Pool for the season may be based on a variety of issues, including usage and attendance.
SWIM TEST & WATER SAFETY
At the Y, water safety is a key part of our mission to encourage health and active fun in the water. Our policies ensure our pools stay safe for everyone. All swimmers under age 18 must pass a swim test before they can be in the deep end of the pool. Parents/guardians of swimmers under age 10 must remain on-site at the pool. All swimmers age 10 and older who have passed the test may use the pool on their own.
Swimmers who do not pass the swim test must remain within arm's reach of an adult. Youth who have not passed the swim test may not go down slides or enter the deep end, regardless of the presence of a parent or the use of a personal flotation device. Swim test are generally on the Y Pool schedule early in the season. Later in the season, swim test must be scheduled with appropriate Y Pool Staff.
The swim test consists of the following:
- Jump into the pool, submerge fully, return to the surface and immediately begin swimming without pushing off the wall.
- Swim in a horizontal position on top of the water using a forward crawl or breast stroke. The swimmer’s arms must achieve full extension on every stroke and he/she must maintain one or both of the strokes for the full 25 yard swim. Pausing is only allowed when the swimmer is rotating or turning to breathe.
- Exit the pool without assistance using either the wall or pool ladder.
LIFEGUARDS & WATER SAFETY
We partner with American Red Cross, the industry leader in water safety. All Sparta/White County Family YMCA lifeguards are trained to prevent aquatic emergencies and conduct emergency and rescue care whenever necessary. During your visit to the Y Pool, you may observe ongoing training exercises, including live water safety and rescue drills. Such training allows the Y’s lifeguards to stay prepared as the guardians of your family’s safety and well-being.
Y POOL AGE REQUIREMENTS
Parents/guardians of swimmers under age 12 must remain on-site at the Y Pool, even if a swim test has been passed. The Y Pool follows the guidelines of the entire YMCA facility, no children under 12 can be dropped off or attend the YMCA without the supervision of a parent/guardian.
Click here to download the member handbook.
If you have any questions about these policies, please contact the Y.