When you join our Y, you’re committing to more than simply becoming healthier.
Our Y has policies in place for the benefit, safety and welfare of our members, guests and our organization. All policies are approved by the YMCA Board of Directors. Our policy and procedures page acts as our Member Handbook, so please read the following information before using our facilities to be knowledgeable on the policies you will be held accountable to uphold!
Our Mission & Focus
Diversity & Inclusion
Our Commitment to Inclusion: The Y is made up of people of all ages and from every walk of life working side by side to strengthen communities. Together we work to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, age, cultural background, ethnicity, faith, gender, gender identity, ideology, income, national origin, race or sexual orientation has the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity. Our core values are caring, honesty, respect and responsibility—they guide everything we do.
For All is a simple but powerful phrase. Without it, the Y mission is incomplete. Our commitment to inclusion creates better communities, a better country and a better world. We know that the key to effectively empowering young people to reach their full potential, improving individual and community well-being, and inspiring action in our communities is a passionate, experienced and diverse array of staff, volunteers and members who value what everyone brings to the table. Working in 10,000 U.S. communities and more than 120 countries worldwide makes strong diversity and inclusion practices paramount for the Y. We are passionate about strengthening communities and know that our ability to achieve it begins with reflecting and partnering with people from all walks of life.
For A Better Us™
Youth Development: All kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve, under the guidance of caring adults who believe in their potential. Through the Y, millions of youth today are cultivating the values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and educational achievement.
Healthy Living: We help people and families build and maintain healthy habits for spirit, mind and body in their everyday lives. Through programs like LIVESTRONG® at the Y, Pedaling for Parkinson’s, and Diabetes Prevention, we are helping the nation battle chronic disease and improve individual and community health through programs that promote wellness, reduce risk of disease and help people reclaim their health.
Social Responsibility: With our doors open to all, we bring together people from all backgrounds, and support those who need us most. We take on the most urgent needs in our community and inspire a spirit of service in return.
Our Mission, Vision, & Core Values
Our Mission: To be a charitable non-profit organization that improves the quality of life in our communities through programs and services that strengthen the spirit, mind, and body for all.
Our Vision: Transform lives through Healthy Living, Social Responsibility, and Youth Development.
Our Core Values: Language, attitudes and behavior will reflect the Y’s core values Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility.
Always Welcome In Every Community
Nationwide Membership enables you to visit any participating Y in the United States through membership at your home Y. This is an essential part of our mission to strengthen communities. To find a Y in another location, go to ymca.net.
Traveling? Commuting? We want you to take advantage of the Y wherever you live, work or travel. With Nationwide Membership, you have the flexibility to use participating Y facilities across the United States at no extra charge. This enables you as a Y member to reach your health and wellness goals wherever you live, work, or travel; and connect with the larger Y community in meaningful ways.
How does it work? If you plan to visit another Y, Stop in anytime at the Valparaiso Family YMCA Courtesy Desk and sign a Nationwide Membership waiver. When you visit any participating Y across the nation, your key tag from the Valparaiso Family YMCA will scan at those locations. You will need to maintain your active membership at the Valparaiso Family YMCA and use your home facility at least 50% of the time. Enjoy the convenience and support in your health journey!
Our membership is 21 million strong, and spread across more than 2,600 YMCA associations nationwide.
Nationwide Membership Liability Waiver: By participating in the YMCA Nationwide Membership Program, I agree to release the National Council of Young Men’s Christian Associations of the United States of America, and its independent and autonomous member associations in the United States and Puerto Rico, from claims of negligence for bodily injury or death in connection with the use of YMCA facilities, and from any liability for other claims, including loss of property, to the fullest extent of the law.
Youth Supervision, Child Watch, and Youth Activity Room
Youth Supervision: Children under the age of 10 years old must be accompanied by parents or trusted adults at all times if not enrolled in a program. Please understand that we DO NOT PROVIDE staff supervision outside of program areas. Valparaiso Family YMCA staff who encounter an unaccompanied child will respond and take control in the following manner for the protection of the child:
- Staff will detain the child by engaging in conversation. Because many times a child has simply run ahead of parent, by talking to the child, the parent will be able to “catch-up”.
- If after engaging in conversation for a few moments, and parent is still not present, Staff will then attempt to locate parent by searching the immediate/surrounding area; or if child knows where they were or what they were doing, go to that area of the building.
- If parent cannot be located, Staff will take the child to the Courtesy Desk. Courtesy Desk Staff will then make a page for the parent following Code Adam paging guidelines. Staff who brought child to the Courtesy Desk will remain with child until parent responds.
- If parent does not respond, Staff will take the child to Child Watch; when Child Watch is not open, the Cause Driven Leader on Duty will take responsibility of the child.
- Any child under the age of 10 who comes into the facility without an adult will not be allowed access into the facility. Child will be taken to Child Watch and Staff will call parent. When Child Watch is not open, then the Cause Driven Leader on Duty will take responsibility of child and call parent.
We hope that every parent understands that these safeguards are in place in order to provide a safe environment for younger children. The Valparaiso Family YMCA is a family-oriented and welcoming facility, where children quickly become familiar with and feel very comfortable; however we ask that parents always remain with their children who are younger than 10 years of age.
Child Watch and Drop-Off Care: Our quality Child Watch is offered as an in-building service while you are using the YMCA facilities and is available for infants (age 6 weeks & up) and children through the age of nine. The well-equipped playroom is staffed by dedicated and caring employees who spend time reading, playing and talking with the children. Members are entitled to up to 2hrs of Child Watch care while in the building OR 2hrs of Drop-Off Care to leave, which is paid, per day. Hours may not be combined. Since hours may vary for Drop-Off Care, please check with the Child Watch Department for scheduled times.
See Child Watch Handbook for additional information.
Space is limited - reservations are required for Child watch. Log into your YMCA account to schedule your visit or call us 219.462.4185 ext 240.
Youth Activity Room:
PROCEDURES DURING SUPERVISED TIMES IN YOUTH ACTIVITY ROOM:
- Children 5-9 years must be signed in and out by a parent.
- Child will remain in Youth Activity Room until picked up by parent or guardian.
- Parents need to take children to the restroom before coming to the Youth Activity Room.
- All Wii games will be in use at these times.
- Children need to be picked up promptly at designated closing time of the Youth Activity Room.
- Staff will take children who are not picked up at the designated closing time to Child Watch and parents will be charged Child Watch fees.
- One hour time limit
- Maximum of 15 children allowed in Youth Activity Room
- No gum, candy, food or drinks allowed in the Youth Activity Room
Independent Youth Memberships + Facility Access
Learning Independence & Personal Responsibility at the Y
Children aged 10-17 are welcome and able to enjoy our Y independently of their parents/guardians to build healthy living routines and have a safe place to socialize with friends. Youth in this age group are welcome to visit via a Youth Membership, Buddy Pass Visit, or Day Pass Visit.
Please stop by the Courtesy Desk with your child to make sure that their Waiver of Liability, Code of Conduct, and Emergency Contact forms are filled out. If you cannot make it in to the Y, please see the buttons below to complete these required items. Children who do not have these completed will not be able to access the facility as they cannot sign them for themselves as minors. If you do not already have an account, you will be prompted to create one first before signing the required agreements.
Member Handbook | Policies & Facility Rules
Our policies are designed to ensure all members, program participants, staff, and guests feel safe and welcome at the Y. All individuals who visit our facility agree to the following policies by signing a Code of Conduct upon first visit to the Y (or a parent/guardian for applicable minors). By adhering to these guidelines, together we can maintain an environment reflective of the Y’s core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility.
CODE OF CONDUCT
The Y is committed to providing a positive environment that is safe and inclusive to all. We have adopted a Code of Conduct to govern the actions and behaviors of all who are in our facilities and participating in Y programs. Failure to follow any of our policies may result in being asked to leave the facility, suspension, or termination of membership/visitation privileges. The actions listed below are not an all-inclusive list. Other behaviors not listed may be considered unacceptable and result in disciplinary action. The Y reserves the right to deny or revoke membership/access at its sole discretion.
- Profanity or violent language
- Attire that is unfit for the activity being performed, causes indecent exposure, or displays violent/inappropriate messaging
- Smoking (including vaping), use of alcohol or drugs
- Sexually explicit conversations or behavior
- Any sexual contact with another person
- Harassment or intimidation of any kind
- Carrying or concealing a weapon of any kind
- Criminal conduct of any kind
- Inappropriate use of electronic devices or cell phones
- Balances due, outstanding fees, failure to pay
GENERAL FACILITY POLICIES
- Check-In at the Access desk is REQUIRED with every visit. All members and guests will be required to sign the Waiver of Liability and Code of Conduct upon first visit and periodically thereafter. Every individual who visits our facility will be required to show proof a photo ID upon first visit and to have their picture taken. After first visit, members may use a digital barcode or their key tag for check-in.
- Membership & Access Eligibility: The Valparaiso Family YMCA takes a NO TOLERNACE stance for anyone registered as a sex offender. Every individual who is a member of our Y will be screened against the National Sex Offender Registry upon join and on a regular basis to ensure that all in our facility can learn, grow, and thrive in a safe environment. The Y further reserves the right to deny a membership or revoke access privileges at its sole discretion to any person who has been accused or convicted of a crime involving child and/or sexual abuse, the conviction for use/sale/possession of illicit drugs, conviction of significantly violent offenses, or any other offense that may pose a threat to the safety of the facility or others.
- Tobacco & Smoke Free Campus: The Valparaiso Family YMCA is committed to providing a safe & healthy environment for all. Smoking or vaping of any kind is prohibited within 15 feet of all YMCA buildings and is not permitted anywhere in the facility at any time.
- Dress Code: The Valparaiso Family YMCA is a family-friendly facility, and we ask that those using our facility dress in a manner that is suitable for the activity being performed and that does not allow for indecent exposure. Clothing or accessories that have pictures or writing that is vulgar, suggestive or inappropriate are not allowed. Area specific dress codes include:
- Gym & Wellness Center: close toed, athletic shoes must be worn at all times
- Aquatic Areas: family friendly swim attire is encouraged at all times. Specific restrictions on aquatic dress code for the Hot Tub, Steam Room, and Sauna can be found here.
- Accessibility: The Valparaiso Family YMCA is committed to maintaining a welcoming environment to all by following all rules and regulations required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We welcome service animals in accordance with the ADA policy defined and outlined here.
- Conflict of Interest: The Y encourages healthy living routines amongst families and teaching children how to adopt wellness routines that will benefit them throughout their lifetime. However, coaching/training/instructing of others outside of the family unit is not permitted. The Y and its facilities may not be used for informal or formal service delivery that directly competes with YMCA programs. This includes but is not limited to: Personal Training, Swim Instruction, and Sports Coaching.
- Privacy & Electronic Devices: To respect others, the use of electronic devices and cell phones is limited. Cell phones and other camera enabled electronic devices are prohibited from being used in all locker rooms. Devices should be used with headphones for personal use to listen to music, watch videos/shows, or other forms of entertainment that is family friendly. If a member needs to make a phone call or send a message that will take a length of time, please use an area suitable for respecting others and speaking quietly. Use of camera or video equipment of any kind (including cell phones) of others in the facility without their express permission or express permission of the YMCA is prohibited.
- Age Restrictions: In accordance with outlined safety policies, certain areas of the facility have age related restrictions.
- General Facility: children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian at all times when not in a designated program or service (i.e. swim lessons, childcare, child watch). Children age 10-17 may use the facility on their own, with respect to other age related rules below.
- Wellness Center: children aged 13 and under are not permitted in the Wellness Center or on Wellness Center equipment (including mezzanine). The only exceptions to this rule are for children age 10-13 who are accompanied by a parent/guardian or those who have successfully passed our Wellness Center 101 class. Children who have passed the class must check in with the Wellness Desk attendant to obtain a wristband.
- Studios: children aged 13 and under are not permitted in Studios. The only exceptions to this rule are for children aged 10-13 who are accompanied by a parent/guardian or children who are participating in a Kid’s Fitness type class. Children age 14+ can participate in regular Group Exercise classes.
- Aquatic Areas: Hot Tub, Steam Room, and Sauna are restricted to anyone under the age of 15. No exceptions.
- Child Watch: for children aged 6 weeks – 9 years
- Locker Rooms: the adult side of locker rooms is restricted to those age 14+. All others should use the youth side or a Family/Individual use locker room with a parent/guardian.
- Youth Wellness Room: for children aged 5 years – 9 years
VALPARAISO FAMILY YMCA REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER POLICY
The Valparaiso Family YMCA is committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all members, participants, staff, and volunteers. To uphold this commitment, the YMCA has established a Registered Sex Offender Policy to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone involved in our programs and activities.
The purpose of this policy is to outline guidelines for the management of registered sex offenders who may wish to access the facilities, programs, and services provided by the Valparaiso Family YMCA. This policy is intended to balance the Y's responsibility to provide a safe environment with the need to comply with legal requirements and respect individuals' rights.
1. Notification and Verification:
The Valparaiso Family YMCA will require all individuals seeking membership, participating in programs, or volunteering to complete a comprehensive background check, which includes checking the national sex offender registry.
Registered sex offenders will be identified through this background check process. The YMCA will adhere to all legal requirements regarding the collection and use of this information.
2. Access Restrictions:
Individuals identified as registered sex offenders will be prohibited from the Valparaiso Family YMCA facilities, programs, and services.
Information related to an individual's status as a registered sex offender will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. Access to this information will be restricted to authorized YMCA staff members.
4. Appeals Process:
Individuals who are denied access or have their access restricted due to their status as a registered sex offender have the right to appeal the decision if the status is found to be a mistake.
- The appeals process will involve a formal review by an impartial committee designated by the YMCA leadership. The committee will consider all relevant information before making a final determination.
The Valparaiso Family YMCA will communicate the Registered Sex Offender Policy to all members, participants, staff, and volunteers. This policy will be readily available on the YMCA's official website and at its facilities.
The policy will be reviewed periodically to ensure it remains current and compliant with applicable laws and regulations.
6. Training and Education:
YMCA staff and volunteers will receive appropriate training to understand and implement the Registered Sex Offender Policy effectively.
Training will emphasize the importance of maintaining a safe and inclusive environment while respecting the rights and privacy of all individuals.
Failure to comply with the Valparaiso Family YMCA Registered Sex Offender Policy may result in appropriate actions, including denial of access, restriction of privileges, or removal from YMCA programs and facilities.
This policy will be implemented effective 9/1/2023. The designated YMCA leadership team will oversee its implementation, review its effectiveness regularly, and make necessary updates as needed.
AREA SPECIFIC POLICIES
Whirlpool, Steam Room, and Sauna: are located on the deck of the lap pool and are co-ed. Appropriate attire is required. Temperature of each heating amenity is strictly controlled and should not be tampered with. Exercise, horseplay, or misconduct in these areas is strictly prohibited. Extra caution should be used to limit exposure and ensure a healthy visit.
Swimming Pools: Indiana State Law requires that a shower be taken before swimming or using the Whirlpool.
- Pushing, running, dunking, spitting or any other horseplay type behavior is prohibited.
- Food, drink, or gum is not allowed except for water in a non-breakable and sealed container.
- All swimmers who wish to use the Slide must pass a swim test, regardless of age.
- Ladders and stairs are only to be used for entering/exiting the pools.
- Forward dives are allowed only in deep end areas. No other type of diving is allowed.
- Non-swimmers are restricted to shallow areas of the pool and those under the age of 10 must be within arm’s reach of a parent/guardian.
- During crowded swim times, lap swim time should be limited to 30 minutes.
- The lifeguard reserves the right and responsibility to maintain safety at all times through rule enforcement.
We want all who use our equipment and wellness areas to avoid injuries and be well. We encourage each new member to stop by the Wellness Desk, which is always staffed when the facility is open, to take advantage of an Equipment Orientation.
- Clean, close toed athletic shoes must be worn at all times.
- Horseplay, slamming of weights, excessive noise, or abusive behavior is prohibited
- Cleaning of used equipment is required after each use with the provided towels and sanitizing solution
- Return all used equipment to its appropriate location after use
- Gym Bags are prohibited in the Wellness Center. Please utilize a day-use locker for personal belongings.
- During crowded times, cardio equipment time should be limited to 30 minutes.
- Do not rest on machines between sets, allow others to work-in
- Open Studios C & D may be utilized for personal workout space when scheduled Group Exercise classes are not in session. All Wellness Center rules apply to Studios as well.
- Members wearing orthopedic devices, such as a walking boot, should use their best judgment when using the wellness center facility and may do so at their own risk, with the exception of the free weight area.
Gym & Track
- Close-toed, athletic shoes are always required
- Full Court basketball is only allowed when more than half of the gym is available for open use.
- Food and drink are not allowed in the Gym except for water in a sealed, non-breakable container
- Track direction switches by day. Follow the daily track direction posted on entry walls.
- Slower moving individuals should utilize the inside lane of the track, allow those moving faster to use the outside lanes.
- Strollers are not permitted.
Lockers & Locker Rooms
The Y has several inclusive Locker Room options to best fit the needs of individuals and families. Locker Room options include the Women’s/Girl’s group locker rooms, the Men’s/Boy’s group locker rooms, and 10 Individual/Family use locker rooms. Individuals should use the locker room that best fits their gender identity and comfort level. Anyone who desires more individual privacy or families with small children are welcome to use the Individual/Family use locker rooms. Additionally, 2 of the Individual/Family use locker rooms are designated Handicap facilities – please refrain from using these rooms unless in need of these accommodations.
- All lockers, located both in locker rooms and throughout the facility, are day-use only. Belongings may not be stored overnight. Any lockers which are still locked at closing each day are subject to being cut and belongings placed in Lost & Found at the Courtesy Desk.
- We encourage locks on all day use lockers. You may bring a personal lock from home or check one out, free of charge, from the Courtesy Desk for the day.
- The Y is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
PROGRAM SPECIFIC POLICIES
Program Registration: payment of all class fees is required at the time of registration to secure enrollment. Classes that do not meet minimum participant requirements may be cancelled.
Refunds & Credit Requests: may be submitted for review by stopping by the Courtesy Desk during business hours or contacting the Department Leader of the program.
- Aquatics: Nathan Cheek, firstname.lastname@example.org or Deanna Hardin, email@example.com
- Childcare: Melanie Hoffman, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Health & Wellness: Alyse Kominakis, email@example.com
- Sports & Recreation: Kevin Freyenberger, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please Note: All requests for system credit or refund must be made within two weeks after a program ending and are subject to Department Leader approval based upon the following criteria.
- Exemptions from Credit & Refund Requests: Weather Cancelation related requests will not be granted: The Valparaiso Family YMCA is not responsible for providing system credits due to weather related closures/cancelations.
- Swim lessons, group exercise classes, and sports practices cannot be made up. The Sports Dept. will attempt to reschedule a weather canceled game one time. If the game is canceled due to weather a second time, it will not be rescheduled.
- Days missed due to personal reason/vacation requests will not be granted: The Valparaiso Family YMCA is not responsible for these absences and will not issue credits or refunds for them.
The Valparaiso Family YMCA may issue system credits or refunds for the following reasons:
- Death of an immediate family member
- Illness/Injury with doctors note
- Request to drop out of a program prior to beginning of program
- Program is a poor fit for an individual, within first two weeks of starting
- Program conflicts with another YMCA program
- YMCA cancels/closes program for internal reasons
- Moving/canceling membership
- Personal Training/Private Swim Lessons/Individual Coaching: Must be used within 6 months from purchase date. Credit/Refund requests for unused sessions will not be granted.