History of the Sioux Falls YMCA

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.

Our History


Camp Tepeetonka was organized at Christenson’s Point, Lake Madison. (Tepeetonka means “Big Tent”.)


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.


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.


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.


The Sioux Falls Family YMCA became an agency of the Community Chest (later the United Way)


Leif Ericson Day Camp was established on property donated by the Norlin Family and Paul Batcheller.


The Anderson Memorial Youth Building was dedicated.


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.


Women’s Activity Memberships were made available.


Girls were welcomed as campers at Leif Ericson Day Camp and girls in the 5th-6th grades were added to our youth programming.


Project 2000 work was dedicated—Max L. Rysdon Pool, Women’s General Locker Room, Weight Room, Nautilus Center and free-weight areas.


Camp Tepeetonka was moved to present site at Camp Leif Ericson.


First Girls’ Tri-State Basketball Tournament held.


Dan and Arlene Kirby established the YMCA Endowment Fund at the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation.


The Scherschligt Family Play Space (a gift from Les and Jeff Scherschligt) replaces the Old Main Pool.


YMCA starts after school 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.


National YMCA celebrated its 150th Anniversary on July 29th.


Family Wellness Center, a partnership between the YMCA and Sanford Hospital, opens.


The Sioux Falls Family YMCA celebrated its 90th anniversary.


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.


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.


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.


The YMCA housing area was completed mid-summer, with a grand opening on August 17th.

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