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Fee Increase FAQ

Why are the fees going up?

The short answer is “because we need to.”

What if I want the long answer?

There are many expenses in running a swim club and team and maintaining the facilities here at Ygnacio Wood. Most of those expenses are hard costs (i.e. Coach salaries, lifeguards, PG&E, water bills, maintenance, etc) and don’t fluctuate with the number of members we have. So when our headcount stays flat or goes down our registration fees don’t cover the bills.

In 2014 our club membership had dropped and our swim team had shrunk to 88 swimmers, which is a nearly unsustainable number for a swim team of our type. This happens for a variety of reasons: the demographic of the neighborhood, the number of kids in the area and the ages of the swimmers. Some seasons we have lots of new families in the neighborhood, others we don’t. And sometimes families have team-aged kids, and other times there are younger kids.

A good example is our 6 & Under age group for swim team. In recent years we were lucky to have 6-8 swimmers total. In the past 2 years we have had 45 swimmers under age 8. That speaks volumes about how our members feel about the team (Go Ygnacio!) as they have been recruiting their friends to join. AND it is encouraging for the future of the team, as a large percentage of those swimmers will stay with the team through high school.

So for the 2015 season, we tried something new. The idea was to reduce fees and (hopefully) see a significant increase in membership. And guess what? It worked! We added 41 new team members (which was a net increase of 27 due to attrition). But also in 2015 we had to resurface the pool and perform other needed repairs. This came with a $105,000 price tag. (Check it out here!) We are currently carrying a $60,000 loan, with $1,000 per month in payments.

Unfortunately, we did not see any net growth in 2016. As a result, the Board of Directors determined that we needed to adjust our fees to cover our costs. The 2017 budget assumes zero net growth, and still runs a small deficit.

What’s the good news?

There is GOOD news! The increase in our fees for 2017 are still LOWER than what they were back in 2014. And we are on a better financial footing.

How about fundraising?  Can that help close the deficit?

We have received mixed feedback about fundraising. Some families love the idea and are “all in” with both volunteering to help and also raising/spending money. But on the reverse side, some folks feel “nickel and dimed” when asked to participate in the various fundraisers we offer. Both views are equally valid and it’s always a dance to figure out the balance of fee structure vs. fundraising.

In addition, fundraising is a moving target…we can’t know each year how much we will raise. It’s tough to manage a budget when you can’t forecast a good chunk of the income.

In 2016, our fees only covered 60% of the cost of operating the club and team, leaving 40% of the budget dependent on fundraising. We had two major fundraisers. There was only 33% participation in the lap-a-thon. And at the auction last year, 90% of the money raised was spent by only 10% of our members.  What that tells us is that we need to lower our dependence on fundraising. So for 2017 we will still rely on fundraising, but at a lower rate – around 25-30% of our budget.

Will we grow in 2017?

We don’t know… and that’s a tough issue. With Valley Vista Swim Team shutting down, we expect to see some new members. But we can’t be sure and we can’t build our budget around an expected increase that may not happen.

We rely on our membership (that’s you!) to bring new members in… we grow almost entirely by word-of-mouth.  So if you love Ygnacio Wood then spread the word and recruit your friends!

How do our fees compare to other local clubs?

We also did an analysis of the cost of teams in the area, based on 2016 fees.  We now fit in the middle… some teams are less (two have a very low teaser, first-year rate or are local, small neighborhood only team) and many clubs cost much more.

Do we have any other sources of funds?

We are an owner-operated swim club.  We own the site, and the pool.  And we get most of our funding from our membership.  We have no Home-Owner’s Association funds.

We do have some fantastic supporters between our sponsors and some neighbors who have watched us grow over the past 51 years!

How many members are there at our club?

In 2016 we had a total of 105 families as members of our club. About half of those had kids on the swim team.

How much does the swim club & team make?

Zero… zilch!  We are a non-profit and we are currently running a modest deficit.  We need to get back to a modest surplus.

Our club costs a lot to run… it is just the nature of a swimming pool.  We need to spend $8,000 on a new heater and to fix a leak in the baby pool before the season starts.  We spent $105,000 resurfacing the pool 2-years ago.  We also recently purchased new pool covers & lane lines for over $4,000 and a new timing system for over $4,500.

The only salaries paid or compensation given is to our coaching staff, lifeguards, and our sea pony coordinator.  We pay small stipends to volunteer teen coaches (in our sea pony program) at the end of the season.

Club and team board members and all volunteers receive NO compensation, nor any discounts on fees.  In 2017, we might pay people to work jobs, using funds we receive from members who pay to opt-out of jobs.

We also need to be focused on building a capital improvement fund. Over the next few years, our pool deck and the fencing will need some work done. In addition, we need to grow the fund to cover maintenance items in the years to come.

What’s this Gatekeeper job?

Actually, the gatekeeper job was around for a long time. We discontinued it a few years back when our membership was really low and we needed folks to volunteer for other jobs.

For many reasons the Board has decided to reinstate the gatekeeper job. All members are required to work four 2-hour shifts. The gatekeeper sits at the desk near the front gate. They are responsible for checking in everyone who comes to swim during club hours. This way we ensure that only members are using the facility.

In addition, having a gatekeeper means there will be someone available to answer the phone, answer questions, sell day-passes and sell items from our snack shack. And most importantly, for those times when we have only one lifeguard on duty, the presence of a gatekeeper offers extra security when there is no one else around. There was an incident at a nearby pool last year where a lifeguard, who was alone at their facility, was assaulted. While all the other reasons are important, the safety of our lifeguards is paramount.

What if I can’t or don’t want to work Gatekeeper jobs?

You can hire someone to work for you! We are assembling a list of neighbors who are willing to cover your shifts. The cost is $10/hour. You are required to contact someone from the list and confirm that they will work your shift(s).  You can also opt out of your club jobs (Gatekeeper and other club jobs) for $175.

Can you help me with fees?  This increase is too much for my family to handle.

We want to make sure all families that want to swim at our facility can do so.  We can help you distribute payments over the season.  Our job worker list is an excellent opportunity to work jobs (both team and club) and be paid for it.

For families that have extreme financial hardship should reach out to  Gareth at or Garrett at

Why we changed fees and jobs in 2017

Since the beginning, we’ve prided ourselves on running a great swim team and club at a fantastic price within the community.  It is important that we don’t overcharge, but it is also important that we maintain a quality facility and team.  We’ve been doing so for 50-years.

Our budget is always tight – we aren’t here to make a profit – and we rely heavily on donations, fundraising and sponsorship to make ends meet.  We’ve found that a small percentage of the membership ends up donating most of these additional funds.

So, in 2017 we are increasing fees to be more in line with other teams in the area, and reducing our overall fundraising goals, though we still require families to meet individual fundraising goals.  Our new fees page is here.

The biggest non-financial change for 2017 is the return of the “gate keeper” job.  This job is common to other clubs, and existed at Ygnacio Wood prior to 5-years ago.  The objective is to provide a level of security at our facility (and our life guards), and be certain that only members are entering the facility.  It will also allow us to have more flexibility for new members, part time members and a more complete snack shack.

These changes will improve our ability to continue to provide an excellent community and swim team experience for the next 50-years.

For details on registering, click here.


Fees for 2016 Remain the Same

The Ygnacio Wood Swim Team is part of the Ygnacio Wood Swim Club.  All team members are members of the club, with varying benefits.


Full Club Membership

A full season of access to the club and all club activities for you and your family.
(6 Club Job Hours required)*

NEW Member Full Club Membership

A full season of access to the club and all club activities for you and your family. (New club members are members who haven’t been members at YWSC in the past 3-years)
(4 Club Job Hours required)*

Associate Club Membership

Access to the club during swim team activities (meets, practices, fun events) only.
(2 Club Job Hours required)*

Retired Club Membership

Full club access to retired, adult-only members in our community.
(No Club Job Hours required)*

Teen Membership

Full access to the club for aged 15-18 (as of June 15) members of our swim team. This is for the swimmer only and not for their family.
(2 Club Job Hours required)*


* Club Jobs are opportunities to improve on the club facilities or activities.  There are several opportunities a year to participate.

Team Fees

Fees to belong to the Ygnacio Wood Swim Team are based on the age and number of children swimming.

As a swim team member, fees to our league championship and all dual meets are included.  However, you are responsible for the meet entry fees for all other large meets (City, Dana Hills, Crossing, Woodlands).

For swimmers under the age of 15, you are required to have a CLUB membership (see above) also.

First Swimmer per Family

Your family will be required to commit to $125 of fundraising during the season. **

Each Additional Swimmer per Family

Your family will be required to commit to $125 of fundraising during the season. **

15-18 Swimmer

For families who only have swimmer(s) whom are aged 15-18 (as of June 15).  This swimmer cannot be used as the “first swimmer” to get the discount on additional children.  15-18-only families are not required to commit to fundraising.  This fee includes splash fees to all meet.


* Team Jobs are required of most families.  This includes timing, snack shack, board member positions and other jobs that directly benefit the team.  Click here for full details on team job requirements.

** All swim team families are required to raise $125 per swim season. Please keep in mind that the pool needs to bring in additional funds outside of annual dues and swim team fees in order to keep the facility up to date.  Full details of how to fundraise are here.

The Swim Season regular season starts NOW!

OK, on Wednesday!

Time Trials

Time Trials is on Wednesday, May 27th evening at the pool. Time Trials is an opportunity to set the seed times for the start of the season. Swimmers are invited to swim all strokes (free, breast, fly, back and IM) but don’t have to. We will seed swimmers on the blocks, which will take a little time (especially with our younger swimmers). We don’t need anyone to sign in or out of this event.

We ask that the parents who are at the pool for their kids help with timing, etc. This isn’t a full meet, and will go more quickly. We also don’t follow all the official timing rules, but we will have stroke and turn officials there to make sure we are only capturing good times.

There are no practices on Wednesday. Arrive no later than 5:30 for warm ups. We will start at 6pm and should be done by around 8pm.

First Dual Meet

Our first dual meet is on Saturday, May 30th at Valley Vista. If you cannot swim at this meet, please sign out by going to the “Parent’s Zone” on at The deadline to signout in Sunday evening for Wednesday meets, and Wednesday evening for Saturday meets. (If you decide after that you can or can’t attend, we maybe able to accommodate… let know. It happens!)

For the new parents, you should arrive at ClubSport Valley Vista, 3737 Valley Vista Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94598 by 8:15 for this meet. It should be over around noon. They will have a snack shack for food, but you are free to bring your own drinks and food. Space is pretty limited at this pool, so we will likely share canopies. Bring chairs to sit, blankets and towels to sit on, and sun block.

New Parents and Returning Parents Orientation

We are having a parent orientation meeting back at our pool starting around 12:30 after the meet on May 30. Bring some food back, go for a swim and we will hold a pretty casual meeting about how swim team works, and how you can get the most out of your season. Many answers can be found in our handbook. We will also be able to answer questions you may have.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me or call me.

Gareth Patterson

Support Ygnacio Wood pool

Have you ever tried to convey something so meaningful that you completely lacked the appropriate words? This is how I feel now; it may be easier to tell my story and share some background.

I am the proud father of a first-year 6-year-old member of the Ygnacio Wood Swim Club and Team. If anyone ever told me that I’d spend my entire summer sweltering for hours each and every weekend in 100 plus degree temperatures to watch my son swim for 10 minutes, I would have laughed.

I can’t remember exactly when it happened; however, something changed and our family couldn’t think of anything else we would rather do more.

It might have been the day our son sprinted off and dashed into the pool entrance; all we could hear from the outside were voices yelling his name. Twenty-year-olds down to children his age were all welcoming him and giving him high-fives. Do you know what that does for someone his age? For someone of any age?

My son went from liking swimming to absolutely loving it. He didn’t just love swimming, though; he loved his coaches and his team because they all became his friends, his swimming family. Events at Ygnacio center around the pool, but they aren’t all focused on swimming laps.

You see, our program isn’t just about swimming fast; it is about friends, family and fostering an environment that engenders fearless self-confidence. Our coaches swam on our team; they were developed by the coaches that came before them.

The spirit that pervades this team is so tangible that it is infectious. Our coaches are simply amazing. They became amazing because of the environment that Yginacio Wood fosters. They are college students that readily give up their summers.

They could be chasing internships or doing a hundred other things, yet they absolutely look forward to their time coaching. They create an environment that allows our kids to be amazing in turn.

I’ve been personally contacted by parents from other teams complimenting our coaches’ spirit, enthusiasm and sportsmanship.

One of our coaches who has been a part of our team for 16 years put it best: “It goes farther than being in a lane and swimming with someone; this place is a community that you hang out at. Whatever kids are here are your friends that you have fun with. I chose to coach because I wanted to give what Ygancio gave me to someone else.”

I would be more than proud if my son ever filled those shoes and became an Ygnacio Coach some day.

Support Ygnacio Wood on our Kickstarter Campaign

We celebrated our 50th anniversary this year; this club has been the spark of evolution for generations of young swimmers.

Something like this deserves to be preserved; however, like any non-profit, we have our challenges. We rely solely on the dues paid by our membership, and no matter how responsible we are, the costs of running a pool are high.

Historically, many neighborhoods in our area were constructed with pools and parks as a central community area. Unfortunately, over time, most of these pools were neglected and filled in because either their neighborhoods were unable to afford them or lack of a central organization to manage them.

Ygnacio Wood is one of the few that remains.

Our entire pool is in desperate need of repair. It got so bad this season that the bottom of our pool started cutting the feet of our swimmers.

We’ve spent the past few years raising money to repair our pool; it isn’t enough. We are exploring all of our options to repair our pool before our next season. We owe it to our coaches, we owe it to our team, we owe it to future generations of swimmers to repair their pool and to preserve and continue this legacy.

Please help us continue to develop confident young adults through the pursuit of excellence in swimming, in life, and having fun with friends. We will yell your name during one of our famous pre-meet cheers!

As one of our historic chants goes: You Wish You Were a Seahorse!

Thank you!

Dustin Boone, father of Wyatt (6) and Will (4)