Our History

The YMCA is much more than just camp or a place to exercise — we're part of one of the world's largest social service organizations, responding to the diverse needs of people and communities on six continents. Open to all faiths, races, abilities, ages and incomes, the Y currently serves over 45 million kids and families worldwide with programs designed to meet local needs.

In 1951, the Hamilton Area YMCA began serving our community from various program sites such as schools and churches. Our current building, which opened its doors in 1991, occupies the same site as our original temporary facility built in 1984.

Over the last six decades, the Hamilton Area YMCA has evolved along with the community. Today, we offer everything from childcare to cardio and free weights, senior services to teen mentoring and development, and so much more.

In 2002, the Sawmill Day Camp, Recreation Center and Family Pool opened its doors, giving Hamilton Township parents a diverse and fun summer day camp option and high-caliber recreation facilities right here in town.

In 2009, our main facility was rechristened the John K. Rafferty (JKR) Branch and expanded to include a wellness center, group exercise studios, a dance studio, a kids' gym and the XRKade Youth Interactive Center. We established a partnership with Princeton HealthCare System for outpatient rehab and physical therapy, as well as community education and outreach. We also became part of Activate America YMCA, a nationwide movement by the YMCA of the USA in response to the country's growing obesity crisis.

From the very beginning, our goal has remained the same: To provide Hamilton Township and surrounding areas with a family-friendly recreation outlet to maximize every resident's potential in achieving better physical, mental and spiritual fitness, and living a healthier, more rewarding life.

Hamilton Area YMCA Ground Breaking
Hamilton Area YMCA Ground Breaking Group