Testimonials | YMCA DC


When COVID first shut down most of Northern Virginia, I really missed my classes  at the Y.  I was exercised at home, but I really missed the community.  I received a survey from the YMCA about any concerns about re-opening.  They really listened. When it re-opened for limited activities, I went back  to see what protocols had been put in place and if I felt comfortable there.  I was completely impressed.  Temperature checks for everyone at the entry door, hand sanitizer and wipes in every room, clearly marked 6-foot distances, clear and enforced rules on mask-wearing, one-way only entrance and exit, and constant cleaning.  I feel much safer at the YMCA than I do at my workplace, so much so, I recently applied to become a substitute instructor. Again, all safety precautions were taken. I’m anxious to get started as part of the YMCA team that has managed to balance mission with safety. Talk to you soon.


After being a member of the Y for forty plus years, I can say I’ve seen it’s the worst of times. But, now I’m seeing it in the best of times. The pandemic has altered many things and it has consequently rearranged our lives.  The SS YMCA seems to have adjusted to accommodate and help its members in myriad ways from food to exercise. All forms of exercise classes and activities are available outdoors and the Y makes every effort to encourage members to participate. It provides a sense of normalcy in abnormal times.

I’m a pool person. I swim outdoors several times a week and I’ve done this for most of my life. The Aquatics director,Jarrod Bennett, has worked tirelessly to make the pool accessible to as many people as possible.  While reserving a lap lane was a little  challenging during the peak of our steamy summer, fall has made it much easier. Between booking at the right time,and the waiting list option,I rarely have a problem booking my three times a week. And the waiting list sometimes provides me with more times to swim . The pool is spotless, the system is running seamlessly,the lifeguards are competent and incredibly friendly. Every attempt is made to wipe down and clean surfaces, as well as social distance and wear a mask, to protect us from germs. I feel safe and welcome there. Truly, I look forward to swimming at the Y and keeping my life active during the pandemic. It’s where I like to  be. Thanks so much.


“I just wanted to tell you how impressed I am with the reopening of the Y.  Coming into the building was handled cheerfully and quickly by staff.  Directions to get where I wanted to go were clear – the signs on the floor were really helpful.  And in case I got lost there was always someone to direct me.  The Pilates class in the pavilion was delightful.  We were talking about how it felt like we were at a resort with the breeze and birdsong.  We decided the only thing missing was a waiter with mai tais!

Anyway, it was clear that you all worked really hard to reopen in a way that keeps everyone safe while they enjoy their workouts.  And it was so nice to see familiar faces again.  I think one of the hardest things about this pandemic has been not being able to see friends.  I felt welcomed by friends when I came into the Y.

Thanks to you and the staff for all you do.”

– Valerie

I’d like to express kudos and appreciation to Andrew Mason, Jarrod Bennet and the entire SS aquatics staff at the SS Y. They are doing a great job in difficult times. The pool Is being managed efficiently and smoothly. Additionally, the pool is sparkling clean and definitely made sanitary and safe between swimmers. Lastly, the staff is friendly, welcoming,smiling and accommodating.

I hope you will share this letter with everyone involved in the “high up” positions. This facility deserves all the recognition it can get. It is awesome to be a valued member there.

– Julie G

“I am very happy to be back at the Y and wanted to tell you how wonderful my experience has been.

Tuesday and Wednesday morning I attended classes taught by Serenity. She is new to the Arlington area, but has experience teaching at the Virginia Beach Y. She is an enthusiastic instructor and knows her stuff, offering alternative moves/exercises, fun music and encouragement.

The classes were located at the basketball court and had well-marked circles so we each knew where to stand to follow the social distance rules. Before I entered the Y, I was asked a number of health-related questions and my temperature was taken. I was then directed to the check-in desk which has partitions separating me and the staff. Since all is going so well, I have registered for outdoor classes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning.”

– Carol

“Everything is so Clean!  You’re all so conscientious!”

– Skip Calvert

“As a Y member since I was eight, and a daily lap swimmer my entire adult life, I was devastated when the Y’s had to close. But they showed resilience, pivoting to community service, and now back into operation sooner, I believe, than anyone else. The teamwork and collaboration is evident and a tribute both to the core values and the management skills of the Y staff. Thanks from a grateful member.”

– Connie Row

“Thanks so much! I went swimming this evening and loved it. You all have done a great job opening up.”

– Maeve A. OConnor

“Everything looks so great!  Very thankful for you. Helps having peace of mind.  Thank you.

– Elizabeth Partoyan

“So happy to be back in classes!  No fast forwarding  like you can do on the videos….or sit and watch while lifting a fork or glass of wine. Even with the strict protocols, this is a little bit of “normalcy”  – just going to the Y and seeing it open!”

– Carolyn Myles

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YMCA Facility Percentage to Capacity as of 11am: YMCA Alexandria -0% • YMCA Arlington - 7% • YMCA Fairfax County Reston - 47% • YMCA Bethesda Chevy-Chase - 24% • YMCA Silver Spring - 16% • YMCA Anthony Bowen - 21%