YMCA History

The Sioux Falls Family YMCA was founded in 1886 and has been in continuous operation at our current location since 1919.  Since the early years, the YMCA has positively changed countless lives in our community through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

1920 
Camp Tepeetonka was organized at Christiansen’s Point, Lake Madison. (Tepeetonka means “Big Tent”.)
 
1922
The second addition of the building opened and included:  103 residence rooms for men, a men’s social room, recreation room, bowling alleys, locker rooms, gymnasium, handball court, swimming pool, boys’ social room, cafeteria, and club rooms.
 
1930
The first Tri-State Boys’ Basketball Tournament was held.  Camp Tepeetonka was moved from Lake Madison to the 55-acre Manhattan Island on Big Stone Lake.
 
1942
The ground floor was utilized as a USO unit and a new coffee shop was built.  A teen canteen was opened and all YMCA recreational facilities were made available exclusively to high school boys and girls on Saturday evenings.
 
1950
The Sioux Falls Family YMCA became an agency of the Community Chest (later the United Way)
 
1966
Leif Ericson Day Camp was established on property donated by the Norlin Family and Paul Batcheller.
 
1967
The Anderson Memorial Youth Building was dedicated.
 
1969
The Sioux Falls Family YMCA’s 50th Anniversary was observed on April 24th.  The “Learn-to-Swim” pool in the Anderson Memorial Youth Building was completed.
 
1972
Women’s Activity Memberships were made available.
 
1974
Girls were welcomed as campers at Leif Ericson Day Camp and girls in the 5th-6th grades were added to our youth programming.
 
1986
Project 2000 work was dedicated—Max L. Rysdon Pool, Women’s General Locker Room, Weight Room, Nautilus Center and free-weight areas.
 
1990
Camp Tepeetonka was moved to present site at Camp Leif Ericson.
 
1993
First Girls’ Tri-State Basketball Tournament held.
 
1996
Dan and Arlene Kirby established the YMCA Endowment Fund at the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation.
 
1997
The Scherschligt Family Play Space (a gift from Les and Jeff Scherschligt) replaces the Old Main Pool.
 
1999
YMCA starts afterschool programs at all Sioux Falls public middle schools.  First Annual YMCA Golf Benefit for Century Club was held August 13th at Willow Run Golf Course. 
 
2001
National YMCA celebrated its 150th Anniversary on July 29th.
 
2006
Family Wellness Center, a partnership between the YMCA and Sanford Hospital, opens. 
 
2009
The Sioux Falls Family YMCA celebrated its 90th anniversary.
 
2010
A partnership with Sioux Falls Skyforce basketball league was formed to create YForce.  This new youth basketball league combined the Advanced Basketball League and the Recreational League, 4th-8th grades.  The new YMCA logo is launched nationwide.
 
2013
The YMCA partnered with Citi and Lloyd Construction to build 52, affordable housing units for the downtown community.  The housing units would take 3/5 of the current YMCA’s square footage with the remainder going to a newly remodeled downtown YMCA wellness facility.   
 
2014
On May 5, the new YMCA opened with over 35,000 ft. of remodeled space.  The new YMCA featured state-of-the-art racquetball courts, a virtual fitness room and upgraded locker room spaces.  
 
2015
The YMCA housing area was completed mid-summer, with a grand opening on August 17th.