Safety Announcement: Solar Eclipse to affect YMCA operations

17 August 2017

On Monday August 21, 2017, America will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse. This so-called, Great American Total Solar Eclipse will darken the skies from Oregon to South Carolina along a stretch of land 70 miles wide. Locally, we will be affected approximately 1:17pm thru 4:09pm and the sun will be 82-89% obscured by the moon during this time frame.

This unforgettable experience will bring challenges to our Y professionals who are guarding pools or supervising children in camp. With that said, due to the unsafe nature of looking at the partial eclipse, all outdoor activities will move inside from 1pm thru 4:15pm. 

  • Outdoor Pools: Closed from 1:00 - 4:15 pm
  • Camps:  All campers will go inside for indoor activities.  Check here for potential means to view the eclipse through media.
  • Transportation:  All transportation will be canceled from 1:00 - 4:15 pm.  This means no field trips or travel during this time frame and bus travel for camper/parent pick-up will be postponed until after 4:15 pm

Safe viewing Information for members:  According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Monday, August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will be visible (weather permitting) across all North America. Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (“totality”) when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. To date, four manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.

Tips for safely viewing the solar eclipse include:

  • Always supervise children using solar filters.
  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.
  • Do not look at the un-eclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical devices including taking selfies with a smartphone. Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.

By following these simple rules, you can safely enjoy the view. Click HERE for printable safety information from

Please contact your family center at 757-962-5555 with any questions or concerns.

This article previously incorrectly stated that the eclipse would affect our area at approximately 2:17pm. That has been corrected to 1:17pm.