Jack Normoyle collects donations for local food pantry.

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

Junior Club Fit member Jack Normoyle forgoes birthday gifts  to collect donations for local food pantry.

Jack Normoyle supports local food pantry

Jack and his mom, Suzanne, at Club Fit.

Ask any kid what their favorite thing about birthdays is, and the answer will invariably be, “Presents!” Number two on the list is probably parties. Nine-year-old Club Fit Jefferson Valley member Jack Normoyle decided to change things up, skipping the presents and using his party as a vehicle to help the needy.

Jack, who will be going into the fourth grade at Lincoln-Titus Elementary School, held his Minecraft-themed birthday party at the club in May, opting for the Surf & Turf package for his friends. But instead of sitting back and collecting presents from the partygoers, he asked them to bring a nonperishable food donation for the Church of the Holy Spirit Food Pantry in Cortlandt Manor, part of the Food Bank of Westchester. And this isn’t the first time he’s done this. He did the same at his 7th birthday party.

“Jack saw a Facebook post from one of my friends mentioning the idea, and decided he wanted to help people out by doing the same,” says Jack’s mom, Suzanne. “The work that the food pantry does makes a difference in our community, and Jack has seen for himself that what he is doing matters.” The Holy Spirit Food Pantry services approximately 160 families, helping to feed about 600 people.

“I was surprised to see how much food people brought!” says Jack. “It made me happy to help out the people who really needed it.” Suzanne and Jack delivered the food a few days later, and the staff was understandably appreciative, as well as impressed by Jack’s generosity. “The ladies at the pantry definitely make a fuss over Jack!” says Suzanne. As they should!

The Normoyle family, residents of Cortlandt Manor, joined Club Fit just this past March, but have quickly become regulars. Suzanne comes to the club about three days a week, and is working with a Personal Trainer to get her fitness routine back on track. She uses the Fitness Center and Women’s Fitness Area, and husband John is working on getting more time in around his work schedule.

Jack is definitely getting his time in, doing the Junior Cycle kids’ cycle class on Mondays, and the Yoga for Kids class on Wednesdays. “It used to be all girls, but more boys are doing it now,” he says. He also enjoys the Energy Center, where he’s made some new friends, and is looking forward to attending Energy Camp this summer. “I don’t really have a favorite thing, I just like that there are a lot of different things to do here,” he says. He also enjoys basketball, soccer and karate.

We could all take a lesson from this fourth-grader, whose willingness to help is benefitting so many of the neighbors we often forget about. Hopefully other young people in our community will get wind of Jack’s act of kindness and follow his lead! For more information on the programs run by the Food Bank of Westchester and how to contribute, visit www.foodbankforwestchester.org. And if you run into Jack, give him a well-deserved pat on the back!

Tips for Water Safety this Memorial Day and All Summer Long!

Memorial Day is coming up and this is the time of year people begin opening their pools for the Summer. To ensure your family has a happy and safe Memorial Day and a great Summer packed with Swimming, here are some tips to help keep you and your family safe all season long!

Here is some helpful advice from Club Fit Briarcliff Aquatics Director, Ruth Garcia!

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 3.14.24 PM If you are a pool owner, make sure your pool is surrounded by an adequate fence or barrier to protect your family as well as potential wanderers.

Children should start learning to swim around 2.5 years of age. We recommend starting even sooner with infant/parent classes to get them acclimated to the water.

If swimming in an unsupervised area, make sure you have another person with you. Children should never be unattended.

Do not consume alcohol while swimming. It impairs coordination, judgement and your ability to function normally in an aquatic environment.

Use Coast Guard approved gear and non-inflatable pool toys and swim aids. Inflatable floatation devices pose an increased risk of drowning as they are prone to popping. We also do not recommend using mermaid-like/uni-fin fins. This new trend is cute, but not necessarily safe as it positions the body in an unnatural way and has the potential to cause a distressed swimmer.

Be sure to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Here are some suggestions from the American Cancer Society on how to stay safe in the sun!

Sign up for a CPR class so you are prepared in the event there is an emergency. Click here for dates in May.

If you need further information on water safety, visit the American Red Cross for their top recommendations.

Interested in swim lessons at Club Fit? Contact braquatics@clubfit.com or call and speak to someone in our Aquatics department for more information! Club Fit Briarcliff: 914.762.3444 ex. 2108)

“Play” Matters

Why “Play” Matters
By Club Fit Briarcliff Assistant General Manager, Ted Gilsinger

Ted

Don’t underestimate child’s play. It may look like leisure time, but when children are playing, fighting imaginary dragons or organizing a game of kickball, they’re actually developing crucial life skills and preparing their brains for the challenges of adulthood. The bad news, child development experts say, is that free playtime has been shrinking for children over the past three decades.

Play teaches kids to play nice!
Research published in the Early Childhood Education Journal in 2007 revealed that both free play and guided plan can help preschoolers learn awareness of other people’s feelings. Playing also teaches kids to regulate their own emotions, a skill that serves them well as they move through life. “You get to try things out with no consequences,” said Kathy Hirsch-Pasek, a child development psychologist at Temple University. “Play allows you to wear different hats, to master social rules and that’s huge.”

Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.
Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering their fears while practicing adult roles, sometimes in conjunction with other children or adult caregivers. As they master their world, play helps children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency they will need to face future challenges. Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills. When play is allowed to be child driven, children practice decision-making skills, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest, and ultimately engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue.

Summer Camp Play

Summer Camp play

The Club Fit Summer Camp aims to promote a healthy active life style while fostering the benefits of play. Our full-day campers build new friendships all summer long while engaging in a multitude of developmentally aligned activities. Campers from kindergarten through 8th grade have the opportunity to try out new activities such as yoga, tennis, karate, and Zumba, each taught by certified specialists. In addition, campers are encouraged to build positive relationships with their peers and counselors through a variety of sports and gym games where sportsmanship is key. Energy Camp is dedicated to fostering a spirited summer community through camp-wide events like weekly theme days and special events all summer long.

Club Fit’s Summer Preschool Program aims to attend to the whole child by nurturing their psychological, social, emotional, and physical needs. Through a daily morning circle routine, campers will engage with picture books and develop both their number and time sense. In addition, circle time is an opportunity for our young campers to develop meaningful relationships with their peers and teachers. As a community dedicated to the health and physical well-being of our program participants, preschool campers will also engage in a variety of gross-motor activities such as Super Soccer Starts, Quick Start tennis, movement through music, and daily swim.

Check out the new Free Lunch Menu for Summer Camp! Meet our Summer Camp Co-Directors!

Keeping Our Kids Healthy by Avoiding Childhood Obesity

By Ashley DiSalvo, School Teacher and Summer Camp Co-director

When we think of childhood, we think of laughter, playing with friends, and being carefree. However, childhood obesity rates have been on the rise for the last three decades and that means a trend toward devastating physical and mental health implications for our nation’s youth. Luckily, one of the most effective preventative measures is simple: more time spent playing.

The CDC recommends 60 minutes of daily activity for children age six to seventeen. While 77% of children ages 9 -13 reported spending free time on physical activity during the seven days prior to the survey, that number dropped to just 27.1% for high school students! Studies show that by senior year, only 35% of students are even attending weekly physical education classes.

As rates of physical activity decrease, the rates of children and adolescents who are overweight and obese continue to rise. According to the CDC, in 2012, one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Sadly, the obesity rate of children age 6 – 11 rose from 7% in 1980 to 18% in 2012. In addition, children and adolescents are at risk for many of the same weight-related ailments as adults. For example, obesity increases risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. Other health issues include joint problems, sleep apnea, and prediabetes, a condition where high glucose levels indicate a high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Since childhood obesity is a strong indicator of obesity in adulthood, these health issues can expand to include greater risk of stroke and certain types of cancer later in life.

As adults, we are constantly bombarded with media outlets that inform us of the newest super foods and how to “slim down in 7 days,” but the reality is that healthy eating habits and engaging in regular physical activity are habits that are formed over time and they are solidified by genuine enjoyment in the benefits of those habits. Who wants to go hike a mountain, or attend a spin class, or challenge their flexibility in a yoga class if they don’t enjoy it? That’s why at Club Fit’s Summer Camp we provide a variety of physical activities such as Zumba, yoga, karate, swim, and a variety of sports so that all of our campers can find an activity that they truly enjoy and can develop into a lifelong “healthy habit.” Regular physical activity in children and adolescents improves strength and endurance and aids in the development of healthy bones and muscles. But the benefits don’t stop at the physical. Physical activity has also been shown to decrease anxiety and stress and to improve self-esteem. In addition, an increase in self-esteem is linked to greater academic performance as reflected by achievement and more time spent on task during the school day.

National trends depict us as a nation less inclined to physical activity as we age and therefore more apt to develop life threatening illnesses. At Club Fit’s Energy Camp, we encourage children to develop healthy and active lifestyles by providing opportunities for physical activity that are more aligned with “play” than “exercise.” Whether the campers are trying out pickelball for the first time or taking tennis lessons from a pro, summer camp is one of the best ways to introduce children to a variety of physical activities that can help establish lifelong healthy habits.

active healthy girl

Learn more about how your kids will stay healthy and active at Club Fit Summer Camp!

Click here to Meet our Camp Directors!

Want to get your kids involved in an activity or sport now? Check out some of our ongoing programs for kids by visiting the “Sports” section of our website!

Here are just a few things we offer:

Basketball
Flag Football
Sports Nights
Football Kickoff
Pickleball
Pick-up Sports
Soccer
After School Sports
Sports Scramble
Volleyball
Self Defense
Zumba
Yoga
Karate
Tennis
Swimming

We offer programs for various ages from Preschool all the way through High School and Adulthood! Come visit us and try our facilities for free and see what living a healthy lifestyle in a healthy family oriented environment can do for you!

Kids should Lead Active Lifestyles!

By Summer Camp Co-director and School Teacher, Kristyn Reczek

Get kids off devices and into an active lifestyle! They may just thank you for it!

In today’s society, most of us rely on technology to communicate with our friends and family. Cellphones, iPads, and computers have become such a large part of all of our lives, including even our youngest children. Kids today are using various types of technology to learn from, play on, and stare at. Although, there are many benefits from our ability to use technology so readily, we should also want to show our children how beneficial it is to put down our technology devices and be active. “Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build strong bones and muscles, help controls weight, reduces anxiety and stress, increases self esteem, and may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

During the school year, kids are allotted time for activity during physical education. Over the summer months, camps can provide a great source of physical activity for our kids. Educator, author, and psychologist Dr. Peter Scales stated “Camp is one of the few institutions where young people can experience and satisfy their need for physical activity, creative expression and true participation in a community environment.” Activity during a camp day can include playing games and sports, dancing, swimming, or even just running around. But, camp can also help children to build healthy social skills. Camps help children to interact with friends but can also help them to interact with new peers that may turn into new friends. Many children of today find friends not only in school but also online, through social media websites and even by playing video games. Camp provides them with the opportunity to interact face to face with peers to create new friendships.

Summer camp is a fun and interactive way for kids to put down their cellphones and iPads, step away from their computers and enjoy physical activity with some old friends and maybe even some new ones.

Meet our Summer Camp Directors, Kristyn and Ashley!

Click here to learn more about Summer Camp at Club Fit Briarcliff or Club Fit Jefferson Valley! We also offer Tennis Camp at Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley and Swim Lessons at Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley!

Sign up today and receive 15% off enrollment!

Summer Camp Fun

Summer Fun at Club Fit

CPR and Practical First Aid for Caregivers

If you are a parent, nanny, aunt, uncle, grandparent or anyone that spends any amount of time watching children, you need to know these essential lifesaving skills.

Anyone who spends time with infants, toddlers and adolescents knows that kids can get into all sorts of crazy situations and experience an injury. Nearly every parent has been through a mild to severe choking episode with a child that is learning to eat solids. We all see our kids fall at the playground at some point and most of the time, hopefully, it’s a superficial injury, but what about when it’s worse? What about small children and water safety? How do you know what to do in an emergency? Have you had prior training? What you can do is arm yourself with these practical skills in case you need them . . . and hopefully you never will!

What you need to learn in order to feel confident in handling just about any emergency that is child related:

• Conscious and Unconscious Choking
• Chipped Tooth
• Anaphylaxis and Epi-pen Injectors
• Responding to Breathing Emergencies
• Controlling Bleeding
• Signs of Shock & How to Care for Shock
• Diabetic Emergencies
• Sudden Illness
• Concussion Awareness Training
• Recommended First Aid Kit Products
• Appropriate Antiseptics
• Basic Safety Facts and Statistics

first aid for care givers

first aid for care givers

Club Fit will be offering CPR and Practical First Aid for Caregivers on February 20, 2015!
This course is designed to provide participants with lifesaving skills. Gain the confidence to effectively administer care for breathing and choking emergencies in adults, children and infants. Empower yourself with the knowledge to perform practical first aid skills. This course is designed for parents, expecting parents, care givers, and anyone who is looking to become certified in CPR and learn first aid skills.
American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer Certification upon completion

CPR and Practical First Aid for Caregivers will leave you prepared in the event that you encounter a situation that needs attention. For more information on CPR and Practical First Aid for Caregivers visit us online. Questions? Contact Club Fit Briarcliff Aquatics Director, Ruth Garcia at rgarcia@clubfit.com.

The Importance of Play

By Noelle Napolitano
How can Club Fit help your child develop critical early learning skills?

We can answer the above question with one simple word; Play.

Parents can become overwhelmed, questioning if you are giving your child enough vegetables, the best preschool, etc, however, the most important thing you can be giving your child is something as simple as the time to play.

We can become so structured, and live our lives according to where our smartphones are telling us we need to be at a certain time, or running so many errands just to accomplish daily tasks, that we may forget to take the time out of our days and just let our children simply play.

Play helps your child build crucial early education skills such as sharing, socializing, logic, critical thinking, and imagination. These are the skills they will be building on for the rest of their lives, and we need to give them the best foundation.

Play also helps keep your child fit & healthy!

nurserykids

Kids playing in nursery


Club Fit can do all of the above, and beyond!

Dropping your child off in our nursery while you workout gives your child such a great opportunity to help develop these skills. They are building key emotional and social skills, learning to separate from a parent, and bonding with others. They are forming their own social relationships right here at Club Fit! They are learning to explore and make their own decisions. That puzzle you see your child working on? They’re building their problem-solving and logic skills. Those cars you see your child driving down the ramps? They’re helping your child learn motion, gravity, size, & colors. The kitchen set up in the back? They’re role playing and using their imaginations!

Want to have your child’s party here at Club Fit? They will not only have a great social experience with their friends, they will also be developing their gross motor skills, by running, jumping, and getting fit while they have fun!

Take the time to introduce your child to all of the great offerings at Club Fit! Whether it be a trip to the nursery, a game of kickball in the Energy Center, or a Nerf Dart Tag Party, we surely have a way to help your children learn, get fit, and most importantly, have FUN!

Want more information on the importance of play?
Take a look at “10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play” posted by The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

The American Academy of Pediatrics have also done a study, and you can find more information here.

To learn more about the different programs and opportunities for families at Club Fit, visit us at www.clubfit.comor send an email to nnapolitano@clubfit.com to find out about what’s happening in the Nursery!

Club Fit Employee Chris Becker

Club Fit employee Chris Becker with some happy campers!

Club Fit employee Chris Becker with some happy campers!

Beyonce enters a room and people holler “B!!” or “Queen Bey!!” Justin Bieber hits the stage, and followers scream “Biebs!!” or “JB!!” And when Chris Becker strolls into the energy center, his fan base is equally animated. Unlike Beyonce and Bieber, Becker has no nickname. Still, the sound of children calling out to him is sweet music to Chris’s ears.

“When I walk into the energy center and the kids are like, ‘Chris, Chris’ — and they want to hang out with me — it’s such a rewarding experience,” he says. “It’s hard to call it ‘friendships’ when you’re talking about 2 or 10-year-olds — but there’s a real connection, there’s a bond between us. I love the kids here, I really do.”

Chris Becker has worked at Club Fit since the summer of 2011. Initially hired to work as camp counselor to four and five year olds, Chris returned periodically to work at the club during breaks from his studies at SUNY Buffalo (where he majored in early childhood education). Since December 2013, Chris has worked nights and weekends at the club while pursuing his masters in elementary and special education at Mercy College. The only thing consistent about Chris’s schedule is that kids are involved…otherwise, it’s up for grabs. Sometimes Chris is watching infants in the nursery. Sometimes he’s monitoring older kids after school in the energy center. And sometimes he’s hosting weekend birthday parties. That’s the task he enjoys the most.

“Parties are fun; there are so many different options. You could do a two-year-old’s birthday party — where there’s a maze and then you go into the bounce castles — or you could do a 12-year-old’s birthday party where you’re playing dodge ball and capture the flag,“ Chris says. “I like seeing how excited each kid gets.”

The oldest of three children, Chris grew up in Mahopac. He says that a few excellent teachers he had along the way inspired him to want to work with kids. His education on how to handle children has occurred on multiple fronts. Through college classes, substitute teaching, and interactions with kids at Club Fit, Chris learned that to successfully manage children you must a) be patient, b) have the confidence to lead, c) be quick on your feet, and d) be compassionate and empathetic.

“I feel like being able to interact with the kids on their level is really important because the way you interact with one kid is different than the way you interact with another,” he observes. “If one kid has a very strong personality, you’re going to deal with him in a different way than a kid who is very sensitive or shy. I think [working] camp and birthday parties have helped me out most by making me a leader of 20 kids. I have to be completely in charge.”

One thing no one is completely in charge of is life; life has a way of throwing curveballs at us. That certainly happened to Chris. Although he didn’t play baseball in high school, Chris pitched on a college development team and wound up receiving an offer (and academic money) from Clark University in Worchester, Mass. Enter… curveball. “I turned it down because I tore my Tommy John (elbow) ligament,” he says. “But everything happened for the best. I was able to find a different athletic path and still be able to compete.” That path turned out to be running. Chris is a marathoner whose best time is 3 hours and 50 minutes; his goal is to get under 3 hours and 30 minutes. He finished 103rd out of 450 runners in the Brooklyn Marathon and plans to run the New York City half marathon in March.

Chris’ s professional and personal plans for the future are simple. Ideally, after completing his masters, he’d like to land a teaching job somewhere in the Yorktown, Mahopac, Putnam Valley area. And he’d also like to settle down. “A bunch of my friends want to travel the world and do all these crazy things — I just want to have what my family has: A very stable house, dog, kids, family — that’s what I want,” he says. “ I just want the traditional family.”

Know this: The Club Fit family is proud to call Chris one of our own. And if you enter the energy center on any given evening, you may hear loud, verbal evidence that this is true. “Chris, Chris, Chris!!”

Bey and Biebs….eat your heart out!

— by Guest Blogger Joy Cain 

Parisi Director Jack Werther gives back.

Jack-werther-web

Parisi Director Jack Werther

Giving back is something that heightens the spirit and cleanses the soul. It is a good feeling to be able to do something that you are passionate about, and at the same time, help someone in need, or brighten their day – or week, for that matter!

In steps Jack Werther, Club Fit employee / Parisi Speed School Director. On a typical day, you can find Jack managing his speed trainers or heading up a local sports team’s training on the Parisi turf. His passion is working with kids… helping them to become stronger, faster, ultimately better athletes. This is a far cry from his college days, where he attended Western New England College and graduated with a degree in Finance. His love for personal training, pushed him to pursue his certification as a personal trainer in 2011, and in 2013 joined Club Fit and became a certified Parisi Performance Coach.

At about the same time, Jack was introduced by a friend to an organization based out of White Plains — Family Services of Westchester. FSW offers a broad range of innovative programs designed to meet the needs of children, teens, and the elderly through several family centers. What interested Jack the most was a program called “Camp Viva”. Camp Viva’s mission is simple — to serve HIV affected children, families and care partners in Westchester County, who are living with or affected by HIV and/or Aids.

For the past 3 years, Jack has been volunteering as a camp counselor there. Every August for the past 3 years, he has packed up his bags, and spends a full week at Camp Viva, a sleep away camp, located at the Ramapo Anchorage Camp for Children in Rhinebeck, NY.. “Making a difference in these kids’ lives has made me a better person. One of the things that I reflect back on is that kids are kids…they all want to be accepted, they all want to be “cool”, they all want to have friends. At the start of the week, their defenses are up. They come in with a “too cool for school” attitude. By Tuesday, their defenses are down, and they just want to be accepted…they just want to be kids”.

Jack spends the majority of his seven days as a Sports Specialist there, planning activities and running sports programs for these kids. Very similar to his job at Parisi. It’s the love that he has for kids and the love that he has for sports that makes him the perfect person for both jobs.

Inspired by Jack, we will be doing a give back to benefit Family Services of Westchester — a “Mitten, Scarf and Hat Drive” from November 28th through December 13th. New or gently worn items can be dropped off at the Club, and the proceeds will go to families in need throughout Westchester County.

During the month of November, we give thanks and share thanks. A big thanks to Jack Werther — for his unselfishness and the time that he gives back to Family Services of Westchester. If anyone is interested in learning more about Camp Viva, click here.

Top 10 Reasons to make Club Fit your Summer Camp

Summer Camp is something kids look forward to all year long! So, it’s never to early to start researching the best fit for your child. We hope you will consider Club Fit your home away from home (during the day) all Summer long!

1 – Climate Controlled Facility – Rain or shine our campers have the best camp experience EVERYDAY!

2 – Daily hot & healthy lunch is included – One less thing for you to worry about!

3 – Extended Care – As early as 7:30am and as late as 7pm!

4 – Daily FREE Swim – For an additional fee Instructional swim is also available with our fantastic Water Safety Instructors.

5 – Early Registration discounts – The earlier you register the more you save!

6 – FUN – We guarantee your child will have endless fun all summer long!

7 – Flexibility – Come for 1 week, 2 weeks, or the whole summer, you choose. Our registration options are a la carte

8 – Specialists – We have the best Tennis Pro’s, Water Safety Instructors and Soccer Coaches available to your child all summer long

9 – Theme Days – Carnival Day, Mad Science Day, Color Wars & Lego day are just a few of our exciting theme days.

10 – Not just a Camp – Our membership options provide you and your entire family with access to everything Club Fit has to offer!

Swimc

Call today for your tour of our facility.

914-245-4040 x 1127

Click here to learn more about Club Fit Summer Camp!

Five things you can do to help prevent childhood obesity

habits begin early

habits begin early

Did you know that one in five children is overweight or obese by age 6?
You can help.

As parents, your role as a mentor and educator for your child are essential influencers in their lives. Help them learn habits that prevent childhood obesity and can keep them healthy for life.

Focus on a few goals:

1. Physical Activity: Provide 1-2 hours of physical activity throughout the day, including outside play when possible.
2. Screen Time: Try and limit screen time to no more than 30 minutes per day.
3. Food: Incorporate fruits or vegetables at every meal and eat foods closest to the original form
Ex> potato instead of mashed potatoes, or potato chips.
4. Beverages: Provide access to water during meals and throughout the day, and don’t serve sugary drinks. For children age 2 and older, serve low-fat (1%) or non-fat milk, and no more than one 4- to 6-ounce serving of 100% juice per day.
5). Sleep: Be sure children get adequate sleep. It is essential for proper functioning. At least 8 hrs. Per night.

If you are looking to get your children involved in sports, fitness and other great activities that will keep them active, visit Programs for infants, kids and teens at Club Fit Jefferson Valley and Programs for infants, kids and teens at Club Fit Briarcliff for information on some of the things we offer.

Meet Marc Quintiliani, Master Swim Instructor, Assistant Swim Coach and Lifeguard

Lifeguard Marc Quintiliani

Club Fit Master Water Safety Instructor, Assistant Swim Coach and Lifeguard Marc Quintiliani

“One step at a time” is a common sense approach, but not everyone practices it. For a child with special needs, it’s a recipe for success. So says Club Fit Master Water Safety Instructor, Assistant Swim Coach and Lifeguard Marc Quintiliani, who teaches students of every age and skill level, but has a definite connection with this particular group of students.

Marc, a former mechanic who has been with Club Fit for five years and has been a swimming instructor for close to fifteen years, loves to see his students realize they can accomplish what once seemed out of reach. “I like breaking down their walls,” he says of his special needs students. “It’s especially rewarding when I hear parents say they can’t believe what their child is doing, milestones they couldn’t imagine reaching,” he says.

Most parents opt for private lessons, which is helpful because Marc can focus on a child’s particular needs. And “one step at a time” is key. “The first thing I focus on is getting them to be comfortable with me,” he says. He tries to schedule these lessons when the Aquatics Center is quiet, so the student doesn’t have to deal with sensory overload. On the other hand, a certain amount of distraction can sometimes be helpful with children who are nervous about being in the water. “One of my students had a previous bad experience, so I gave him things to do like counting drills to take his mind off of being in the pool.” Another boy would get in the water but actual swimming was a particular challenge…today he is comfortable swimming in all areas of the pool. “I try to get the kids to let their guard down and just relax,” says Marc.

Kaleb is a current student whose grandmother Linda Schulman can’t say enough about the strides he’s made. Kaleb, who turns three on August 2, had a stroke at a very early age, leaving him with motor issues, and one side of his body weak and less functional. Hoping swim lessons would strengthen him, but not completely optimistic, Linda turned to Marc, and has seen improvement in the short amount of time that Marc has worked with her grandson. “Kaleb has a great attitude, and our sessions got even better after I realized that he sometimes uses sign language to communicate,” said Marc, who now supplements his vocal praise with encouraging signs. “We focus a lot on getting him to use his left side more, since that is his weaker side.” Linda is extremely happy with his progress. “Kaleb is almost fearless in the water now,” she says.

Marc’s experience includes more than 10 years of competitive swimming, including Junior Olympic, County and State meets. He currently has a diverse clientele at the club, including everyone from his special needs kids, to triathletes, to seniors. He also serves as Assistant Coach for the Club Fit Swim Team under Head Coach Bill Walsh, and has seen a great improvement with the team. “We had some work to do, but the kids are starting to come together and I’m excited about the upcoming season,” he says, which begins in September.

As for kids like Kaleb, Marc will continue to work his magic and help them achieve what once seemed impossible. “It’s great to see the kids succeed,” he says. “They come in thinking they have so many limitations, and realize that it’s not so hard to overcome them.” For more information on programs available, contact braquatics@clubfit.com.

Why do you train?

Coach Jack wants to know . . .

Why?

Almost every athlete does it. Even non-athletes do it. There almost as many reasons why one would do it as there are ways to do it. Athletic training is a large investment in time, energy (both mentally and physically), and money. It is an investment that certainly pays large dividends if a quality investment is made. Why do you make the investment? Please respond below in the comments section with your reasons why you choose to make this investment, whether for yourself or a child. I’m sure you will find many have the same reasons as you do, and many you may not have even thought of!

Need some information on Athletic Training? Check out The Parisi Program!

Swimming lessons for children with special needs

Here are some of the benefits of this swim program:

1. Development of cognitive and gross motor skills
2. Increased muscle strength
3. Increased muscle endurance
4. Improved relaxation
5. Improved communication skills

Our new program, Adaptive small group swim lessons is for children with Special Needs and is taught by a NYS certified Teacher in Special Education. Each child is taught at their level with a student to teacher ratio of 4:1.

Click Here for more information and for our online registration form!

Meet the Club Fit Camp Directors!


Ashley (left) Kristyn (right)

We’d like to take a few minutes and introduce you to two extraordinary long time members of the Club Fit team: Ashley Di Salvo and Kristyn Reczek. They are also going to be the Camp Director Rockstar duo this Summer! These lovable, talented and accomplished ladies will be the ones making sure your kids have the time of their lives this year!

Meet Kristyn Reczek!

I grew up in Mahopac, NY where I attended high school, playing a variety of sports including basketball and field hockey. Throughout high school I worked as a part of the Mahopac Sports Association, recreation league, as a coach and referee. I discovered my love for working with children as well as athletics in one place. Through my work in high school, I realized that I wanted my work with children to become my career. After graduating from high school, I attended Pace University where I received Bachelor’s degrees in education and mathematics as well as a Master’s degree in special education. I now work as a math teacher at Somers High School where I work with children in a classroom setting but enjoy that I am able to have a work experience with kids in an athletic setting, at Club Fit.

As I began my college career, I also began working at Club Fit. I have been a part of the Club Fit staff since 2008 when I began working in the Energy Center. I was able to again combine my love for working with children with my love for athletics. In 2010 I became an Energy Camp counselor and then took on an administrative position the following year. Being a part of Energy Camp is a one of a kind experience. I am excited to start this new position as an Energy Camp Co-Director along with Ashley and am looking forward to yet another exciting summer!

What I love most about Energy Camp is getting to meet new campers and counselors every year as well as seeing those that are returners. I also love Pizza and Ice Cream Fridays and afternoons with DJ Hopeton! I think it is important for kids to come to camp, but especially ours, because we have campers from a wide area and we can help kids form friendships that they may never have formed in a school setting. I also enjoy that we provide our campers with a variety of activities so they may be able to try something knew that they never would have tried before, like kickboxing or zumba or tennis etc. I would love to continue working with Energy Camp for many years to come and see it evolve and grow into an even better camp than before.

My personal philosophy is to always do what you love and believe in what you do. I have always loved working with children and I am so happy that I have been able to do so by working at club fit. I am so excited to be working with camp at a director level this year because I am really able to make our campers truly enjoy their summers through the program that I have helped create along with Ashley!

Meet Ashley Di Salvo!

I grew up in Garrison, NY where I played basketball and lacrosse at Walter Panas High School. After high school, I attended Penn State where I discovered I wanted to be a teacher. Following four years of Blue & White pride at Penn State, I took a year off to travel before completing a Masters of Literacy Education at NYU. Currently, I teach at the Windward School in White Plains. I love that I get to spend my extra time at Club Fit where I get to not only support a healthy lifestyle but I also get to spend time engaging with children outside of the classroom through our camp programs.

Six years ago I began working at Club Fit Jefferson Valley as a camp counselor. I spent two years there before transferring to Briarcliff where took on a different role as the Assistant Camp Director. Now, as we eagerly wait for warm weather to grace us, I am looking forwarded to taking on yet another new role as a Camp Co-Director with Kristyn Reczek!

This will be my 7th summer with Club Fit and I love that I’ve had the opportunity to work at both clubs as well as both a counselor and a director. I feel like this has given me perspective on how to interact with parents as well as how to understand what it’s like to be a camp counselor. I strongly believe that great counselors are what allow campers to have memorable experiences.

I love summer camp because it provides children with an opportunity to explore new interests and to often step outside of their comfort zone. I love that summer camp gives kids a place to make new friends outside of their schools and to find role models in their counselors.

My long term aspirations are linked to my personal philosophy. I always try to go with the flow and keep my mind and heart open to new opportunities, experiences, and ideas. I believe that by doing this, we allow ourselves to continuously grow and discover new passions therefore creating a future that is open to change. I think that if we teach children to have this mindset, they will have endless opportunities to experience all life has to offer.

Swim Team makes more waves!

Oh Yeah! Here we go again!

13 CFJV swimmers qualified and attended the SVY March Madness LCM meet at Princeton University on 3/18. Danielle Taps was Event Champion in the 200 FR, and 2nd in the 400FR and 200 IM. Lea Frenkel placed 3rd in the 50 BK with a Zone qualifying time of 35.00 and Remy Eppner qualified for Junior Olympics in the 50 BR. Way to go Club Fit/JV!

For more information on joining the Swim Team please visit us!
Click here: Club Fit Jefferson Valley Swim Team

Programs for infants, kids and teens at Club Fit Jefferson Valley!

Here is a great resource for all the Moms and Dads who need a quick resource to see what we offer by age group at Club Fit! It is hard to jump from one page to the next so we’ve compiled a list of all our offerings for infants, toddlers, grade-schoolers, tweens and teens!

Ages: 6 months – 3 years
Parent Toddler Swim Lessons
2 Much Fun
Tumble Tots
Summer Camp
Ages: 3 – 4
Yoga for Kids
Intro to Sports
Pre-School Group Swim Lessons
Summer Camp
Ages: 4 – 6
Pee Wee Karate
Zumba Kids Jr
Summer Camp
Pre-School Group Swim Lessons
Swim Lessons
Soccer (ages 5-8)
Ages: 5 – 9
Step up Your Sports
Soccer (ages 5-8)
Yoga for Kids
Tumbles
Kids Karate
Swim Lessons
Tennis
Beginner Swim Clinics
Beginner Swim Clinic
Summer Camp
Schools Out Camp
Ages: 7 – 12
Paris Speed School
Tumbles
Kids Karate
Zumba Kids
Yoga for Kids
Quickstart Tennis
Junior Team Tennis
Summer Tennis Camp
School Break Tennis Camp
Tennis Beginner
Tennis Advanced Beginner
Summer Camp
Boy Scout Swimming Merit Badge
Beginner Swim Clinic
Advanced Swim Clinic
Junior Spin (ages 9-12)
Junior Boot Camp (ages 8-12)
Racquetball
Racquetball School’s Out Camp
Schools Out Camp
Soccer Schools Out Clinic
Basketball School’s Out ClinicSummer Camp
Parisi Cat Club Challenge
Parisi Cat Club Challenge
Ages: 12 – 15
Parisi Total Performance
Parisi Private Training
Boy Scout Life Saving Merit Badge
Parisi Cat Club Challenge
Tennis Beginner High School Level (starting at age 14)
Tennis Intermediate
Tennis High Performance
Ages: 15 – 18
Boy Scout Life Saving Merit Badge
Parisi Cat Club Challenge
School Break Tennis Camp
Summer Break Tennis Camp
Junior Team Tennis
Tennis Beginner High School Level (starting at age 14)
Tennis Intermediate
Tennis High Performance
All Ages
Private Swim Lessons

Supervised Strength Training

By Jack Werther, Parisi Speed School Director, Club Fit Jefferson Valley

From the moment one sits up in the crib, they begin strength training. Strength training is simply a form of physical activity by which muscular fitness is improved by working against an external force. Strength training can take many forms, such as lifting free weights, pushups, standing up from a seated position, or sprinting. Because strength training can take so many forms, it is beneficial for all ages, from birth until death . . . with one caveat; it must be done correctly and appropriately.

There is no reason for an eight year old to be on a bench trying to press double is body weight, or in the rack trying to squat for a new PR; it’s simply counter-productive. At some point in time that may in fact be something that is appropriate, however at the onset of every strength training journey there are two constants: begin with body weight exercises and have proper supervision. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), weight training can commence as early as 7 years old. While physiologically that may absolutely be correct, how many 7 year olds do you know that can perform a pushup or squat utilizing absolutely perfect form? My guess would be none. Once an athlete has mastered the movement patterns with body weight, it is absolutely appropriate to add external resistance . . . with proper supervision. Proper supervision is imperative not only to make sure that everything is done safely, but correctly. There is a big difference between lifting weights and exercising your muscles with weights. Proper coaching ensures the latter; maximizing results and reducing the potential for injury.

Learn more about Parisi Speed School at Club Fit.

Programs for infants, kids and teens at Club Fit!

Here is a great resource for all the Moms and Dads who need a quick resource to see what we offer by age group at Club Fit! It is hard to jump from one page to the next so we’ve compiled a list of all our offerings for infants, toddlers, grade-schoolers, tweens and teens!

Ages: 3 Months – 2 years:
Aquatics – Parent Infant Class
Private Swim Lessons
Zumbini ages 1yr -3yr
Ages: 3 to 4
Group & Private Swim Lessons
Pre School Tennis
Tennis- Private Lessons
Ages: 5 to 6

Yoga – free for members
Zumba- Free for members
Racquetball- Junior Development Program
Tennis – Quickstart program
Tennis- Private Lessons
Tennis – Kids’ Play Day
Basketball Youth Development Program (YDP)
Group & Private Swim Lessons
Swim Clinic/Re Team & Swim Team
Ages: 7 to 8
Zumba- Free for members
Yoga – free for members
Tennis – Quickstart program
Tennis – Kids’ Play Day
Tennis – 10 & Under
Tennis- Private Lessons
Racquetball- Junior Development Program
Group & Private Swim Lessons
Swim Clinic/Re Team & Swim Team
Basketball Youth Development Program (YDP) & Next Step Basketball Skill Building
Ages: 9 to 10
Zumba- Free for members
Racquetball- Junior Development Program
Tennis – Quickstart program
Tennis – 10 & Under
Tennis – Intermediate
Tennis – Junior Ladder
Tennis- Private Lessons
Swim Team & Swim Clinic
Next Step Basketball for Girls and Boys
Ages: 11 to 12
Swim Clinic/Re Team & Swim Team
Next Step Basketball for Girls and Boys
Tennis – Intermediate
Tennis – Junior Ladder
Tennis – Advanced
Tennis – Tournament Training
Tennis – Private Lessons
Racquetball- Junior Development Program
Ages: 13 to 14
Tennis – Intermediate
Tennis – Advanced
Tennis – Competitive
Tennis – Tournament Training
Tennis – Private Lessons
Ages: 15 & up
Lifeguard Training Certification
Tennis – Advanced
Tennis – Competitive
Tennis – Tournament Training
Tennis – Private Lessons
Racquetball- Junior Development Program

So What Makes Summer Camp So Awesome?

Why is Summer Camp Important?
Top 6 opportunities provided by Club Fit Summer Camp

Choice – Club Fit Summer Camp offers a wide range of activities on a daily basis. Whether it’s Swim, Tennis, Art, Special Events or Camp games you find it all here at Club Fit Summer Camp. Club Fit Summer allows your child to discover their passions and their talents.
Confidence – At the end of the summer, campers are ready for school because they have mastered new communication/ social skills and have learned to be part of a team.
Character Building – It is at camp where the underachieving child suddenly takes a leadership role in a project; an overachieving child learns to help others. All of these experiences build character and develop leadership skills.
Community – The campers are under the same roof and with the same adults and peers for an entire day. Many camps create a close-knit community among staff, parents and children — something that typically doesn’t happen in the school year.
Employment – Most camps provide teens with their first job. It is this job training experience that allows many teens to be successfully employed outside the camp setting in later years.
FUN! – Ask children about their Club Fit summer camp experiences and you will hear “I live for summer camp,” “I can’t wait for the summer to come,” and “Summer camp is where I found my best friends.”

The Camp Bash at Club Fit is coming up in February! It’s always a crowd pleaser for our kids! Click here to register for summer camp or for more information: SUMMER CAMP AT CLUB FIT