At one time, there were individual Ys in Camden, Rockport and Rockland. The Camden YMCA opened its doors on
April 10, 1916 on Chestnut Street where it would operate for more than 86 years.  The Chestnut Street building was
never big enough to accommodate all of the dreams and ideas of the community, despite multiple expansions.  The
first capital campaign raised $242,000 to construct a swimming pool.  In 1979, the next campaign, with a goal of  
$750,000, improved the pool, built racquetball/squash courts, a larger gym, and other rooms.  

At the end of its tenure, the Camden Area YMCA on Chestnut Street serviced 2,160 members with little space
available for new or expanded offerings.  The 29,500 square foot facility had serious problems including:
overcrowding of the four-lane pool, small gym, unsafe on-street only parking, lack of ADA compliance, no outdoor
play area, limited multipurpose program space and antiquated ventilation and operating systems.  During 1998—
2003, the Board’s single highest priority was to implement a new service vision: to meet the needs of a wider service
area and expand programs for teens, seniors and the disabled population.  A decision was made to embark on a $7
million capital campaign to construct a facility  that would service our members and community for the next 50
years.  After careful review of the initial plans for a 62,000 square foot facility and needs of the community, the
capital campaign was increased to $10.5 million.  

On November 11, 2002, the Penobscot Bay YMCA opened its new 62,000 square foot facility in Rockport.  Since
opening, membership has grown to over 5,000.  Service goals are on track with expanded programming for teens,
seniors and those with specific needs.  In 2010, the Penobscot Bay YMCA opened an outreach facility on the island of
North Haven and also acquired the Teen Center in Camden.

Simply put, the YMCA is a place where children discover themselves…an outreach post for teens…a gathering spot for
families…and a social center for seniors.

Volunteer founded and volunteer led, the YMCA was established in London, England,
in 1844 by George Williams (photo at right), a draper’s shop assistant, to give young
men an alternative to life on the streets. In 1851, Thomas Sullivan, a retired sea
captain and lay missionary, started the first U.S. YMCA in Boston.

From there, YMCAs spread rapidly across America. Some were started to serve
specific groups such as railroad and factory workers, as well as African Americans,
Native Americans and recent immigrants. After World War II, women and girls were
admitted to full membership and participation.
YMCA's strength is in the people they bring together.  Today about half of YMCA members are female and about half
are under 18, with members ranging in age from infants to elders.  All faiths are represented.  Moreover, YMCA
financial assistance policies ensure that no one is turned away for inability to pay.  

YMCAs have been so successful because they are driven by community needs and guided by community volunteers.  
Each YMCA uniquely reflects the community it serves, doing its part to nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy
living and foster a sense of social responsibility.
We are an association of men, women and children of all ages and from all walks of life joined together by a shared
passion: to strengthen the foundation of community.

With a commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social
responsibility, the Y ensures that every individual has access to the essentials needed to learn, grow and thrive.

Though the world may be unpredictable, one thing remain certain - the Y is, and will always be, dedicated to building
healthy, confident, secure and connected children, families and communities.

The mission of the Penobscot Bay YMCA is to provide high quality services that meet the youth development, healthy
living and social needs of individuals and families in the communities we serve.

Our vision is to be a recognized community leader, connecting individuals and families with high-quality health,
recreational and social service opportunities.
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  • 8-Lane 25-Yard Swimming Pool
  • Warm Therapy Pool
  • Therapeutic Sauna
  • State-of-the-Art Fitness Center
  • Full-size Gymnasium
  • Indoor Walk-Jog Track
  • Free Weight Equipment and Stretching Area
  • Rock Climbing Center
  • Family Play Gym
  • Full-Service Child Care Center
  • Multi-Purpose Community Rooms
  • Outdoor Playground
  • Adult, Child and Family Locker Rooms
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116 Union Street
Rockport, Maine 04856