1970-1980: Programs & Financial Support Grows

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In the 1970s, the YMCA began to reach out to its community in new ways.  In 1970, a new program was added called Y-Princesses. This sister program to the Y-Guides program became a part of YMCA Guides & Princesses, programs that created long-lasting bonds between fathers and their sons and daughters.  Many recall going to campouts at Camp Carter with huge bonfires and traditional ceremonies.  In the late 90s, the program was changed to Adventure Guides, and still works to create those bonds today.

Y Indian Princess program

YMCA Indian Princess Program came to Fort Worth in 1970

Also new to the YMCA in the 1970s was a program that has become a staple in our community: After-school child care.  This program was developed as the YMCA saw the need in the community when many women entered the work force and needed a safe, structured place for their children after school.  School-age child care programs began in Fort Worth at the Eastside and McDonald YMCAs in the mid-70s.  Children were initially picked up by the online casino YMCA from their schools and transported back to the branch.  Now, in most cases, children in the program are cared for by YMCA staff right in their own school, eliminating the need for transportation and making pick up convenient for parents at the end of the day.  Today, the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth offers more than 61 sites for after-school child care in 6 different local school districts, serving more than 2,000 children in kindergarten through seventh grade.

YMCA after-school program at McDonald YMCA

Former McDonald YMCA director Willie Dean (center) joins the kids on a ride to the YMCA for the after-school program at the McDonald YMCA in 1975.

Welcome to the blog celebrating the 120-year history of the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth. In this blog, we will have information for those interested in history, Fort Worth or the YMCA – month by month, decade by decade.

Were you a YMCA member or participant years ago? Do you remember camp outs at Camp Carter or swimming at the Downtown Y? We invite you to share your YMCA memories in this blog – let us know what you remember or what you enjoy most now as a member of the YMCA. We can’t wait to hear from you!