My Y Story

185th ARW Wellness Camps


In 2014, the 185th Iowa Air Refueling Wing contacted the Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA to launch a series of one-week Wellness Camps for active members of the air guard. They’ve been more than a hit already, on and off base.

According to 185th Medical Administration Officer Marty Hogan, “All of us struggle with overall wellbeing but it’s especially important for our group to stay sharp, as they need to maintain medical readiness for deployment.” 

This Camp isn’t all physical fitness and push-ups though.

“The program is half-fitness and half-resiliency… But it’s the immeasurables – work-life balance, stress reduction and reports of generally feeling better – that have been the biggest successes as a result of Wellness Camp,” Hogan said. “Participants take away what resonates, and sometimes it’s the intangibles that can make the biggest difference, not just a better time running a mile.”

The expertise and support from the Y also helped reinvigorate healthy habits, too. 67.3% of participants in 2014’s inaugural sessions reported that they increased physical activity and exercise habits. Y Wellness Director Jacque Perez hopes these trends continue in 2015.

“Giving members of the guard at the 185th a community resource and access to ways to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit is 100% on mission with what we do daily. These men and women give all they can for our nation, but they sometimes don’t make time for themselves. That’s why this Wellness Camp is so beneficial and why the Y is so willing to help and share our expertise,” Perez said.