Sneak Preview – Take a Tour of the Lawrence Family Fitness Center in Blue Hill

We’re please to announce that tours of our new facility in Blue Hill, the Lawrence Family Fitness Center, will be available starting October 2nd. Tours will be limited to groups of ten with social distancing and masks required. Sign up for a tour at the Tradewinds Service Desk.

The beautiful new facility features:

  • Six-lane 25 yard indoor pool with the latest pool technology
  • 4,400 square foot fitness center equipped to meet the needs of all fitness levels
  • 1,100 square foot group fitness studio with cushioned hardwood flooring
  • Two family style locker rooms to complement the women’s/girls and men’s/boys locker rooms
  • Elevator access to the second floor fitness center
  • For more information, download our Membership Brochure

The facility is scheduled to open in October. We can’t wait for you to see all the Lawrence Family Fitness Center has to offer!



The Lawrence Family Fitness Center is a gift from Chuck and Belinda Lawrence, owners of Tradewinds Market. The Lawrence’s wanted to provide a state of the art fitness and community center for the Blue Hill peninsula to show their appreciation for the support the community provided since they came to town some 20 years ago.

Chuck and Belinda Lawrence

Renovated Wiggins Center Pool is Open!

Wiggins Center Pool Renovations Complete

The Wiggins Center pool renovations are complete! A new air handling system and new lighting have been installed. We are so happy with the improvements. You may not recognize our pool!

The pool is open for lap swim. Because of CDC guidelines, we need to limit the number of people in the pool and have created a reservation system. To reserve pool time, go to our Schedule a Visit page.

Aquatic programming, including swim lessons and aqua aerobics will resume by October, if not earlier.

Wiggins Pool Renovations
Wiggins Pool new lighting

Ellsworth Sports Update

Soccer has been moved to the moderate risk category.  We will follow Maine CDC, Maine DOE, Maine DHHS, SoccerMaine, MPA and Ellsworth School Department protocols for all events. Waivers will be provided when they become available.

Participants should bring a soccer ball, water bottle and any other needed equipment.  Sharing will not be allowed at this time.  We still plan on staying with small groups at this time.  All players will have their temperatures checked upon arrival.

Recreational Soccer

The current start date is the week of September 14.  We would like kids to get acclimated to the new school format before starting recreational soccer.  The current regulations are that we are allowed to play games within our County and neighboring towns that are in other counties as long as they are in the green category.

Travel Soccer

All teams will have a team manager who will be in charge of enforcing COVID 19 regulations. SoccerMaine Phase IV Protocols are available for download as a PDF.

Parents will not be allowed inside the fenced in area during practice.  Parents are welcome to stay and go for a walk down Boggy Brook Road, hang out in cars or sit in chairs outside of the fence.

The number of spectators will also be limited during games.  Currently, the number of spectators allowed per team is 23-24. All fans must be six feet apart unless they live in the same household.  All fans are required to wear a mask.

The planned practice schedule is:

Thursday, September 10:  4:00-5:00pm U14 Girls
Thursday, September 10 :  5:00-6:00pm U13 Girls
Thursday, September 10 :  4:00-5:00pm U10 Boys
Thursday, September 10 :  5:00-6:00pm U14 Boys
Friday, September 11:  5:30-6:30pm U12 Boys

The numbers for all teams are as follows:

U10 Boys:  13
U12 Boys:  9
U14 Boys:  17
U13 Girls:  17
U14 Girls:  16

Travel and Recreational Basketball

Details are not yet available.  We are hoping to get soccer started before this happens.

This will be updated as more information becomes available.

DEFY to Offer Remote School Age Care in Ellsworth and Bucksport

The Down East Family YMCA is helping to fill the gap this fall between hybrid school and full-time jobs for families in the Bucksport and Ellsworth area.

The Down East Family YMCA is announcing Remote School Age Care. The Remote School Age Care program offers remote learning support and YMCA quality full day child care at The Moore Center in Ellsworth for ages 5-13 years old and at the Areys Community Center in Bucksport for students in 5th through 8th grades.

Guidelines set forth by the CDC and EEMS will be followed. To learn more, visit our Safety Protocols and Procedures page.

Full day programming will have a structured environment with remote learning support and opportunities for arts and crafts, reading, outdoor play and more.

During the hybrid school schedule, our goal is to provide flexible scheduling for parents and families to help parents the days students are not in school.

Program Details by Location

Student Ages

Ages 5 – 13. Separate color groups established by the school will be followed and children kept in separate activities.

  • Our programming will follow all CDC guidelines and will be consistent and coordinated with the classroom set up at the school.
  • Maroon and Gray groups will have separate spaces to we will not mix the two groups within our programming unless absolutely necessary.
  • Full day programming will be a structured environment in which children will have remote learning support and opportunities for sensory and science, arts and crafts, reading, gross motor games, outdoor play and more.
  • Before school enrollment spots are limited.
  • We will operate at a ratio of 1:13 as dictated by state licensing.
  • We are not able to provide clinical levels of support or extended 1:1 care.
  • Breakfast and lunch will be provided to all children who wish to be served by our on-site kitchen, free of charge.
  • The Ellsworth School Department is contributing financial support allowing us to offer our remote learning care for $35/day.
  • Remote care scholarships are available to families that qualify for EEMS free/reduced lunches, resulting in a $10/day discount.
  • Before school cost is $5/day
  • After school cost is $15/day (Monday – Thursday) & $20/Friday
  • You will need to know your child’s EEMS color group to complete enrollment forms.
  • Due to the added challenges of Covid-19, we require on-site registration.  ALL paperwork must be completed and returned to the Moore Community Center office or emailed to me in PDF format. No emailed photos of the packet will be accepted. The registration packet must be filled out entirely in order to be processed.
  • Download the Remote School Age Care Registration Form.
More Information

For more information, contact Bree Collins: [email protected], 207-307-0324 or download the Remote School Age Care Registration Form and bring the completed form to the Moore Community Center.

Grade Levels

Grades 5th – 8th.

  • Our programming will follow all CDC guidelines and will be consistent and coordinated with the classroom set up at the school.
  • Full day programming will be a structured environment in which children will have remote learning support and opportunities for sensory and science, arts and crafts, reading, gross motor games, outdoor play and more.
  • We will operate at a ratio of 1:13 as dictated by state licensing.
  • We are not able to provide clinical levels of support or extended 1:1 care.
  • Lunches will be provided by RSU 25.

There will be one pricing structure for the community.  The pricing structure is as follows:

  • 7:30am – 5:30pm: $40/day. If you’re child has been approved for free/reduced lunch for RSU 25 cost is: $30/day.
  • State Voucher and Subsidy programs are accepted for children 12 and under attending this program. Please contact Amy Lowell at [email protected] with any questions.
  • Download the Bucksport Remote School Age Care Registration Form.
  • Complete the registration form and either email it to Matt at [email protected] or drop it off in the basket located in the main entrance of the Jewett School.
  • You will receive an email from our Billing Specialist, Amy Lowell, to confirm payment details once your registration has been processed.
Location & Drop Off/Pick Up
  • There will be no busing available.
  • Drop off will begin at 7 am
  • Pick up by 5:30 pm
  • Areys Community Center (1160 River Rd, Bucksport, ME 04416)
More Information

For more information, contact Matt McInnis: [email protected], 207-469-3518.

Area Pools Available During Wiggins Center Pool Upgrade

The Down East Family YMCA’s Wiggins Center pool is getting a much-needed facelift. The air handler system will be upgraded and ventilation improved to enhance the swimming experience at The Wiggins Center. The pool will be closed starting Saturday August 15th for several weeks and is slated to reopen around Monday September 14th.

During the pool closure DEF YMCA members are encouraged to check out these other great swimming options.

Download Pool Options PDF
  • The Bucksport town pool is open until September 4th. Although the pool does not have swimming lanes for lap swim, the pool is open for public swim. The pool is open from 11:00am – 6:00pm, Sunday – Saturday.
  • The pool at the Mount Desert Island YMCA is also available for DEF YMCA members. Although national membership reciprocity is currently suspended, reciprocity between YMCA’s within the same county continues. Here are the details for lap swimming at the MDI YMCA.
    • Reservations can be made up to one month in advance by calling the MDI YMCA at 288-3511 during business hours of 6:00am-7:00pm, Monday – Friday and 8:00am-12:00pm on Saturdays.
    • Masks are required and there are temperature checks and screening questions each visit at check-in. An MDI YMCA specific COVID-19 waiver must be signed at the first visit.
    • Time slots are in 45 minute increments and are during the morning hours only.
    • Locker rooms and restrooms are available for use during your visit.
    • One swimmer is permitted in each lane at a time.
    • The pool schedule and other information can be found at the Mount Desert Island YMCA website at:
  • The Bangor YMCA is allowing DEF YMCA members to use their pool.
    • Bangor YMCA hours are Monday – Friday, 5:30am-7:30pm
    • The Bangor YCMA has two pools, the Aloupis Pool is kept at 77-79° and the Means pool between 84-87°.
    • One swimmer is permitted in each lane at a time.
    • Both pools are available to DEFY members by calling the Bangor YMCA the day before the desired swim at 941-2808, reservations are required and first preference will be given to Bangor YMCA members.
    • Locker rooms are open.
    • Face coverings are required and social distancing is expected. Please expect a temperature check and to be asked screening questions upon arrival.
    • Entrance to the pool(s) is from the lobby and exit is straight outside.

Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Program and Community Walking Club Resume

Cardiac Rehab Program

DEFY Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Program will resume on Monday, August 10th at 10:00am. The group will meet 3 times per week; Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00am to 11:00am. We have a nurse on staff for blood pressure readings and for the safety of our participants.

Our free Community Walking Club also resumes Tuesday, August 11th at 11:00am and will continue every Tuesday and Thursday.

All participants must complete a waiver and be temperature checked when they enter the facility. Masks are required for entry but not during class.

For more information or to register, call 667-3086 or email [email protected].

Outdoor Pool Opens in Bucksport

Bucksport Pool Open

The Tim Emery Municipal Pool at 55 Broadway in Bucksport is now open!  The hours are Sunday – Saturday 11am – 6:00pm.

We are thrilled and want to say thank you to: Town Manager Susan Lessard and the entire Town Council for their commitment to getting this pool open this summer. Thank you.

We also want to thank Bob Wardwell from Wardwell construction and Mike’s Pool for the work they have done – it is beautiful.  Finally, our deepest thanks to David Keene for his leadership in getting this project done. David, the kids of the greater Bucksport Community thank you!

The pool will be managed this summer under the guidelines of the Maine CDC.

Key points for you to know as you come to the pool:

  1. The maximum amount of people allowed in the fenced in area of the pool, including the building is 50. This does not include staff.
  2. Doors will be open at all times so no one needs to touch the doors when entering or exiting.
  3. If there is a waiting line, please see the tape on the sidewalk to stay six feet apart.
  4. When entering, everyone will be checked in and asked to provide their name, address and a contact number. A temperature check will be given along with entry questions. A waiver must be signed for entry. Waivers can be found on the YMCA or Town of Bucksport website. We will record your entry time.
  5. If we are at our maximum number a time limit of 1 hour of usage will be enforced.
  6. If there is a wait to enter, we will give you a ticket. When your number is called you may enter. Please stay close to hear us call your number.
  7. Face coverings are required when entering the building and on deck when social distancing is not occurring. Face coverings are not needed when in the pool.
  8. PLEASE social distance even when you are in the pool.
  9. Bathrooms and changing areas are open and will be disinfected on an hourly basis.
  10. No pool toys will be allowed. Goggles and Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) area allowed.

We know these are difficult times but working together we will enjoy this wonderful pool and keep everyone safe.

An Update About Our Before/After School Program

We would like to inform families that the YMCA’s Before/After school program plans are still being formulated for the fall 2020. We are currently waiting to get word about the school districts’ decisions before our organization will be able to finalize our plans.

We understand the need for families to prepare and we will be notifying families of our plans as soon as possible. If you would like to be put on an email list to receive our updated enrollment procedures and plans for this fall, please email Bree Collins at [email protected] at the Moore Center.

For Beechland information, please reach out to Anna Southworth at [email protected].

Thank you for your understanding.

DEFY Extends Summer Camps – Now Available for the Week of August 31

Our summer camps are offering an additional week at each of our summer camps – Monday, August 31st through Thursday, September 3rd. We would love to have your camper join us for an extra week of summer fun!

Spaces for the extended week may be limited. To register for the extra week of Polliwog Camp, please contact Amy Lowell: [email protected].

To check availability and register for Camp Discovery or Young Bucks Summer Camp, use the following links.