We are proud to announce four more years in Baltimore County!

The Y has officially been approved as a qualified provider of school-age services in Baltimore County Public Schools through 2022! We are thrilled to be able to continue providing before and after school enrichment and Y member benefits to Baltimore County Public School families as well as Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Carroll, and Harford County families.

Y Before & After School Enrichment

Y Before & After School Enrichment gives children a fun, healthy balance to the school day where they have lots of choices and opportunities to discover new talents and interests. Children go home happy, ready to rest and prepared for the next day. Plus, all full-time (5 days a week) enrollees in Y Before and/or Y After School Enrichment will receive a complimentary Y Family Membership included with their enrollment! Click here for membership details.


Our iDiscover series includes fun, age-appropriate enrichment choices to complement a rigorous school day:

  • iDiscover activities center around broad monthly themes which take an interesting twist on traditional topics. For example, iDetective exposes children to: 1. Dental health (Will a tooth dissolve in coca cola?), 2. Geography (Is there a town in Japan named USA?), 3. The Study of Natural Habitats (Can alligators live in the sewers of NYC?)
  • Children choose from fun activities, purposefully designed to allow for new discoveries through science exploration, STEM, strategy games, creative expression, reading, hands-on projects, imaginative play and more.
  • Our program includes 30 minutes of exercise everyday (who better than the Y?!) through physical play. We also provide healthy snacks, on-site "field trips" with special guests like film groups, chefs and more.
  • Thirty minutes of daily homework support is also provided so children can get an early start on homework while lessons are still fresh in their minds. Y associates are there to help if needed.

All full-time (5 days a week) enrolled families in Y Before and/or Y After School Enrichment programs receive a complimentary Y Family Membership included with their enrollment! This complimentary membership is valued at over $850 and is good at all Y Centers! Access to full Y member benefits include:

  • Group exercise classes
  • Water exercise classes
  • Stay & Play activity room for little ones
  • Funshops for kids
  • Rock walls (where available)
  • Family and lap swim
  • Family and open gym
  • Monthly family fun events
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • and so much more!

We are excited to offer this opportunity, which we hope will motivate and encourage families to engage in the many healthy and fun activities available at the Y!

Complimentary Membership Details

  • Valid during the school year; approximately September 1st - June 15th
  • Valid at all 13 Y Centers in Central Maryland
  • Covers you, your spouse and all dependent children age 24 and under living in your house

At this time, the complimentary Y Family Membership is not available for before & after school programs offered at Y Preschool locations.

What You Have To Do

Once you have successfully registered full-time for Y Before and/or Y After School Enrichment for the school year, you will need to bring your approved registration form to any Y Center to redeem your complimentary membership and have your membership picture taken, sign required membership waivers, receive your membership keytag, and take a tour of the center to get oriented to all we have to offer.

If you are currently a paying Y Member and enroll full-time, your membership status will be automatically changed to the complimentary membership.


For more information on Y Before & After School Enrichment registration, activating your complimentary Y Family Membership, or any other questions, please contact your nearest Y Center or the Y Customer Service office at 443-322-8000 or customerservice@ymaryland.org.

Discover What You Love

In every Y Before & After School Enrichment program we offer a variety of fun, creative and often times, unexpected iDiscover themes and activities children can choose to participate in.

iDiscover activities center around broad categories which support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Below is a list of categories and examples of the kinds of activities that are available throughout the school year!


Adventures of the Traveling Suitcase - Travel the world without leaving home! Participants will create binoculars and safari hats, suitcases with supplies and update their passports as they prepare to explore outer space, walk through the Amazon, swim under the sea, stay warm in the Arctic Tundra and bask in the sun of the islands!

Builders Lab - Building can be fun! Using STEM basics and their imaginations, participants will measure, glue and build structures with creative tools like food and recycled materials. Participants will also study natural structures by re-creating animal habitats!

Career Explorers (middle schools only) - When I grow up...It is never too early for children to explore options for future careers. Participants will explore career options including police officers, financial executives, military personnel, fashion designers and the growing world of technology!

Craft Corner - Embrace your creative side! Participants will cut and snip to create scrapbooks, create cultural and fashion masks to reflect their personalities, and use paint and pencil crayons to try their hand at re-creating famous works of art!

iDetective - There's no case too hard for our junior detectives! These competent detectives will test common myths for fact or fiction, use their CSI kits to apprehend angry birds causing mayhem, and create secret messages, codes and aliases to travel the world and track down elusive spies.

Mad Scientist - The Y science lab is open! Don't mind the noise as our junior scientists employ chemistry, biology, physics and food science to create experiments that end with a bang, crackle, pop!

Music Mania - Unleash your inner rock star! Participants will dance under a disco ball, jam and vibe to country on guitars and croon on a microphone to the sounds of Motown, rock and roll, hip/hop, pop and reggae classics!

Games Galore - Learn and play games from around the world, perfect your skills at the classics and try new versions of vintage games! Create an original board game to take home and share!

Lil' Chefs - Are you the next Top Chef? Learn a variety of cooking techniques and show off your skills in a cook-off! Cooking activities will require minimal-to-no heat and each child will create a recipe card ring with their favorites to make at home with their family.

We are proud to announce four more years in Baltimore County!

The Y has officially been approved as a qualified provider of school-age services in Baltimore County Public Schools through 2022! We are thrilled to be able to continue providing before and after school enrichment and Y member benefits to Baltimore County Public School families as well as Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Carroll, and Harford County families.

We have over 50 Y Before & After School Enrichment locations across Central Maryland. Select a region below in order to see which schools we serve in your community. If you don’t see your school listed, please contact Jennifer Hall, Vice President, Before & After School Enrichment Operations, at jenniferhall@ymaryland.org to find out what you can do to bring Y Before & After School Enrichment to your child’s school!

We also have very active school partnership programs in several Baltimore City schools. These out-of-school programs serve children and families in some of the City’s most challenged neighborhoods. Learn more about our programs for vulnerable youth.

PUBLIC RELEASE: The Y in Central Maryland announces participation in the MSDE Child and Adult Care Food Program. 

Maryland Y Youth & Government is a program where high school students learn how to make government work! They elect their own leaders, legislate their own bills, and lobby for their vision of a better tomorrow! We'll teach you everything you need to know as all of your efforts culminate into a 3-day mock assembly at the State Capital in Annapolis.

Check out our MD Youth & Government flip book!


Y Youth & Goverment is a nation-wide program, active in nearly 40 states. Across the country almost 25,000 students attend state Youth & Government conferences each year, with 3,300 adult volunteers and Y associates serving as advisors.

The Maryland Youth & Government program involves 250 high school students each year. Since 1945, our program has focused on training great servant leaders from across our state and providing and opportunity for young adults to gather together to make their voices heard.


The Y Youth & Government mission is to develop young men and women into strong leaders and better citizens by being both knowledgeable and active in determining the future of our democracy.


  • Become more aware of societal issues and solutions
  • Gain confidence in and dedication to the democratic process
  • Increase participatory leadership skills
  • Increase communication skills
  • Gain exposure to potential career options
  • Join youth leaders from around the state to debate issues that are important to you
  • Listen to fellow participants who have different life experiences
  • Research public issues and become aware of local, state, national and international concerns
  • Accept your civic responsibilities and your leadership role
  • Let your voice be heard and get involved in the decision-making process

There are several ways for students, parents, and volunteers to get involved in Maryland Y Youth & Government:


Maryland Y Youth & Government is open to any high school student in the state of Maryland. Every participant must be part of a delegation, which is a group of students from the same area or school that work together. Delegations are formed through Ys, schools, or other youth affiliated programs.

Delegations are arranged regionally and in connection with a sponsoring entity, typically a Y or high school and are led by delegation officers (youth) with the help of an adult advisor. Through the course of the year, participants will meet regularly (most meet weekly) to learn leadership/legislative roles, prepare for statewide conferences and more.

Most high school based delegations only include students who attend a particular school, but Y based delegations are open to any high school aged participant. Delegations usually begin meeting in December to prepare for the first statewide conference in January.

To find a delegation in your area, please email mdyandg@ymaryland.org. Please be sure to include the name of the area or school you are interested in joining.


Maryland Y Youth & Government is a great way to give your teenager the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves.

One of the best ways to get involved is to help your teen find a nearby delegation. A delegation is a group of students from the same area or school that work together to prepere for statewide and legislative conferences. Please contact mdyandg@ymaryland.org to find out if there is a delegation in your area.

If there is not an active delegation near you or if you would like to participate in a program that is not delegation-based, have your teenager get in touch with mdyandg@ymaryland.org. We can help them work with a local Y or school to begin a delegation.


Advisors are adult leaders (teachers, volunteers, Y associates) that develop, support and supervise a delegation of students. Advisors also maintain administrative accountability and ensure the training of the delegates.

Are you a teacher? Are you interested in starting a Youth & Government delegation at your school?

First, contact your school administrator to see if there is already a delegation at your school. If not, contact the Maryland Y Youth & Government State Office at mdyandg@ymaryland.org. If there isn't an active delegation near or at your school, we can provide you with resources and other tools to help you get one started!

During the statewide training conference in January, each delegate (student) will choose a specialized program role, either as a Senator, a member of the House of Delegates, a Page, a member of the Press, a Lobbyist, a Lawyer, or an Elected/Appointed Official. Throughout a series of conferences and in the regular delegation meetings, participants will learn how to fulfill these various roles. Below is a short description of each of the roles.


Develop, debate and decide which bills should be passed in to law.

Members of the Senate and the House of Delegates will be assigned to a committee (Commerce, Governmental Matters, Crime and Judiciary, Education, Environment and Natural Resources, Health and Welfare, or Transportation) and be responsible for sponsoring or co-sponsoring their delegation’s bills in that committee. At each stage of the legislative process, members of the Senate and House of Delegates will debate the merit of the bills they consider and determine if they should continue to advance through the process and/or be amended through a series of speeches and votes.


Influence the political process as the Senate/House of Delegates makes their decisions.

As a lobbyist, delegates will work with a small group to influence legislation on behalf of a client and write/campaign for a question (a piece of legislation placed on the ballot for public referendum). Excelling as a lobbyist will require you to write and deliver compelling arguments for and against pieces of legislation on behalf of your client (even if you don’t personally agree with the views), as well as using interpersonal influence to affect the legislative process.


Produce online updates, news articles, a video newscast and more.

The Press is broken into two divisions: print and broadcast. Under the direction of a student editor (the Press Officer position), each division will be responsible for reporting on various topics related to the conferences and the program at large including, interviewing officers and delegates, editorials and public interest pieces, and producing newsletters, newscasts, digital content, etc. Members of the press will also be responsible for questioning candidates as they campaign for office, contributing to the annual slide show and various special projects.


Prepare and give arguements on the constitutionality of a law.

The court program includes an appellate court and a trail court experience. Attorneys in the appellate court program work in small teams to argue the constitutionality of a law before a panel of justices. Attorneys in the trial court program will work in small teams as both plaintiffs and defendants to present a case in front of a practicing attorney. Excelling in either appellate or trail court will require careful preparation and excellent oral arguments.

Each year, Maryland Y Youth & Government features a variety of conferences. Some are targeted for youth and adult leadership, while others include all of our participants across the state. Mandatory conferences for all delegates are indicated with an asterisk (*).


This is the first statewide training conference of the program year for both delegates and advisors and takes place on a Saturday in January. Over the course of the one day conference, delegates will have the opportunity to make connections with peers inside and outside of their delegation as well as attend sessions on a variety of topics including specific program roles (House of Delegates, Senate, Press, Lobbyist and Court), the bill writing process, running for office, and a Maryland policy briefing.


At the second statewide conference, delegates dive deeper into their roles, getting specialized trainings and an opportunity to work collaboratively with their peers and partners in other delegations. This conference will also include the election and appointment of the year’s statewide officers (Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, etc.), complete with campaigning/interviewing for elected/appointed positions. The day’s schedule also includes the first reading of the bills that will be considered in the legislative session. This is a one day conference on a Saturday in March.


This is the third and most in depth statewide conference. It is a three-day experiential learning conference in April in which delegates participate directly in the democratic process. While in Annapolis, delegates have the privilege to use the actual facilities of the Maryland government, including the State House, the House of Delegates Office Building and the Anne Arundel Circuit Court. In addition to the rigorous debating, writing and presenting, each year proves to be an equally great opportunity to have fun creating experiences that participants will remember for the rest of their lives.


The Conference On National Affairs (CONA) is a national program that attracts the best and the brightest from the Youth & Government programs across 40 states. This week-long conference is held during the first week of July at the beautiful Camp Blue Ridge in North Carolina. Building on the participants experience in writing bills, CONA delegates will write, debate and vote on proposals that address national concerns. The Maryland delegation will be selected through an application process that considers the assets that each delegate may bring to the team as well as past performance and future aspirations.


Maryland Y Youth & Government is a program where high school students learn how to make government work! They elect their own leaders, legislate their own bills, and lobby for their vision of a better tomorrow. Students learn and carry out the responsibilities of various roles in our legislative process through a series of hands-on conferences and leadership opportunities.


It’s fun! It’s really, really fun. And meaningful. Y Youth & Government is a place for you to find your passion and develop your voice; meet people that you never would have met otherwise; push yourself and others to think about the world in new ways; and take steps toward actively realizing a better future for your community. You will make lifelong friends and together you'll take the Capital by storm during a 3-day trip to Annapolis where you will use the actual state facilities as a venue for participating in the legislative process.


Students participate in Youth & Government through local groups called “delegations.” Delegations are operated by local Ys, schools or community organizations. Contact mdyandg@ymaryland.org for a current list of delegations. If there isn’t a delegation in your area, consider starting a new one!


The Maryland Youth & Government is open to all students in grades 9 through 12. Students in 8th grade have an opportunity to participate in a Sneak Peek program at our Annapolis Conference in April. Contact mdyandg@ymaryland.org for more information.


Start by talking with Y leaders, school administrators and teachers in your community or school and let them know of your interest. Then contact mdyandg@ymaryland.org for assistance. We have many tools available to help Ys and school leaders understand the Youth & Government program and the benefits that hosting the program can bring to a local community.


Delegations are the local groups through which students participate. Delegations are arranged regionally and in connection with a sponsoring entity, typically a Y Center or high school. Through the course of the year, participants will meet regularly (most meet weekly) as a delegation. Learn more about delegations at our delegation meetings page.


  • Preparation for statewide conferences
  • Leading and organizing peers and constituents
  • Analyzing, thinking and communicating critically and effectively
  • Respecting varying viewpoints
  • Clarifying positive character traits and values
  • Debating and practicing public speaking
  • Facilitating and participating in community service
  • Developing lasting relationships and have fun


To find information about a specific delegation, contact mdyandg@ymaryland.org.


Y Youth & Government is not just for students who know all about government. Delegates of all backgrounds and levels of experience can achieve success in Youth & Government programs. After your first conference in Youth & Government, you will have a greater understanding of state, local, national and international governments.


Y Youth & Government is not a partisan program and does not encourage political party activity at its assemblies. The mission of Maryland Y Youth & Government is to develop personal growth and encourage life-long, responsible citizenship. Adherence to partisanship gets in the way of these goals. That is not to say that participants do not have or share partisan opinions. Students share their views on issues and politics as they wish, but not as a formal part of the programs.


Although the actual Y Youth & Government conferences are conducted almost entirely by students, it is the preparation and coordination done by the Y professionals, adult program mentors, delegation advisors, and adult volunteers that make the program possible.

Adults fill the role of state board members, state office staff members, delegation directors and advisors, program specialists and resource advisors. The State Office requires that each delegation have at least one certified delegation advisor, as well as maintain a youth-adult advisor ratio of 1:10.


Advisors are adult leaders (Y associates, teachers, or volunteers) that develop, support and supervise a delegation of students. Advisors also maintain administrative accountability and ensure the training of the delegates.


All advisors must be 21 or older.


Every delegate that participates in Y Youth & Government will also take on a specialized program role as a senator, a member of the House of Delegates, a page, a member of the press, a lobbyist, a lawyer or an elected/appointed official. For more information about what is included in each role, visit our PROGRAM ROLES tab.


The program cost for Y Youth & Government is $350 per person. The cost covers evening activities, program supplies and materials, publications, meeting space rental, lodging for the 3-day conference, security, advisor expenses, and Youth & Government associate costs. It does not cover the cost of food during the conferences, transportation to the statewide events or local delegation expenses. Financial Assistance is available from the Y in Central Maryland. Financial Assistance application forms are available by request at mdyandg@ymaryland.org. The Y does not turn away participants based on their ability to pay the full program cost. Within our available resources, every effort will be made to accommodate all who wish to participate. Fundraising opportunities may be available within local delegations. The success of any fundraising effort hinges on starting early.


Extra expenses during conferences include money for meals, souvenirs and shopping, as they are not included in the program cost. All meals, except the evening banquet dinner, are the responsibility of the participant. Many delegates bring snacks and breakfast foods for their hotel rooms.


Each year delegates look forward to the Caucus Olympics and Ice Cream Social, usually held on Saturday evening. There is also the Youth Lt. Governor’s Banquet followed by a dance and social, usually held on Sunday evening.


Business attire is required for all Y Youth & Government participants. You are attempting to model yourself after real-life leaders and officials in the political arena, and it's important to dress the part. Business attire should project a sense of professionalism that is accepted in the political and business world. For young men, this often means dress pants (and belt), button down shirts, suit jackets, ties, dress shoes, etc. For young women; dresses, skirts, dress pants, blouses, dress shoes, etc. Jeans, sneakers, hoodies, hats, t-shirts, etc. should not be worn.


Yes! Y Youth & Government will help develop your critical thinking and communication skills as well as provide the opportunity to take on leadership roles that are highly influential on college applications. Also, it is a great opportunity to develop the experiences that can result in strong personal written statements for college applications, and the relationships that result in strong letters of recommendation, also for college applications.


Maryland Y Youth & Government

303 West Chesapeake Avenue, Baltimore, MD, 21204

Email: mdyandg@ymaryland.org

Website: ymaryland.org/yandg

Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday-Friday


  • Grace Chaisson, State Director

Maryland Y Youth & Government


Maryland Y Youth & Government (Y&G) is a statewide program of the Maryland Coalition of Ys. The program is administered by the Y in Central Maryland.

For questions about Maryland Y Youth & Government or if you would like to bring the program to your school, Y, or community organization, please contact our State Director, Grace Chaisson at mdyandg@ymaryland.org.

Volunteer Leadership. Teen Leadership.

Volunteer leadership is one of the most exciting ways for teens to grow and achieve their greatest potential. They have so many fresh ideas to share and skills to offer, it's critically important that they have a platform where they can develop their potential. Leaders Club is designed to do just that!

What Is Leaders Club

Leaders Club is a group where energetic teens work together for the primary purpose of organizing and providing volunteer service in their Y and community. Through participation, the club also provides teens with valuable knowledge, training and skills that will serve them well for life!

  • Improved self-esteem and leadership skills
  • Changes in behavior/outlook towards service to others
  • Enhanced commitment to education and personal growth
  • Understanding the connection between self-fulfillment and helping others
  • Resume experience and more

Is Leaders Club for Me

If you're a teen age 12-18 (must be age 13 as of May 31st) and you have a willingness to get involved in your community and surround yourself with other spirited, funny, hard-working, dependable, and positive teens... then YES, LEADERS CLUB IS FOR YOU!

You can expect to create lifelong friendships, build self-confidence, thrive in a forum of fun and social activity, develop leadership skills, perform volunteer services that meet community needs, earn school service learning hours, and shape a healthy lifestyle through fun, physical activity.

Leaders Club In Action

Y Leaders Club takes place during the school year, beginning the week after Labor Day and ending on May 31st. While it's ideal to join the program at the beginning, teens are welcome to start anytime during the school year.

If you're thinking about, or are ready to join the Leaders Club, get ready for a fun and rewarding experience filled with exciting activities, new friends, leadership development, and personal growth towards achieving your greatest potential! It's kinda like hanging out with good friends while doing good for yourself and others!

Program activities include:

  • weekly club meetings
  • volunteering
  • trainings and certifications
  • community outreach
  • fundraising
  • weekend retreats and rallies

Join the Y Leaders Club

Check out Y Leaders' Club on Facebook


  • 12-18 (must be age 13 as of May 31st)


  • Y Members - Free
  • Program Members - $25


  • Sign up online here or click the purple 'Register Now' button.
  • Sign up in person at any Y Center


  • The Y in Arnold - Mondays, 6-8pm
  • The Y in Catonsville - Tuesdays, 6-8pm
  • The Dancel Y in Ellicott City - Wednesdays, 5-7pm
  • The Hill Y in Westminster - Thursdays, 6-8pm
  • The Orokawa Y in Towson - Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30pm
  • The Y in Pasadena - Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm

We are introducing the program in these five Centers for the first program year, with the intent to expand to all Y Centers in 2018/2019.