Helena YMCA
For Youth Development, For Healthy Living, For Social Responsibility
Every day is full of potential
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First Year Program

The First Year Program


The First Year Program is meant to ease students in to the idea of YMCA Youth and Government by providing them with opportunities to not only experience the legislative side of the program, but to observe the Court Program as well. Students in the first year program are assigned to either the Ingalls Senate or the Hathaway House. They write bills prior to coming to Y&G (just like other legislators), and they are assigned to committees. Their bills are discussed in committee and brought to their respective floors, just like in the main bodies in Y&G. The primary difference is that the First Year Program goes at a slower pace and has built in elements of "learning the ropes" of the whole process.

When students in the First Year Program are not actually in committee or in their larger bodies, they are assigned paging duties so they may witness the House and the Senate (and their committees) in action. Paging helps with the flow in Youth and Government AND it gives the first year students a chance to see what they will be doing in the future!

Activities for the First Year Participants:

  • Serving as legislators in the Hathaway House and the Ingalls Senate and their committees
  • Touring the Capitol
  • Observing the Model Supreme Court
  • Paging for the House and the Senate and their committees

Purpose of First Year Program

Party Review:

  • What do Republicans believe?
  • What do Democrats believe?
  • What are Third Parties and what is their role?


Learning about Decorum and Privileges:

  • How do committees run? What paperwork is done in this setting?
  • How does the House/Senate floor run? What is the flow of paperwork/bills between the houses?
    • Students have an opportunity to practice both of these in a low-pressure atmosphere, designed to foster the learning of skills.

Learning about the Capitol and the Model Supreme Court Program

  • Students tour the Capitol building
  • Students observe hearings in the Model Supreme Court (and the actual Montana Supreme Court Building)





Mon-Fri: 5:30 AM-9 PM
Saturday: 8 AM-3 PM
Sunday: 11 AM-3 PM
Summer Hours : Closed Sunday Memorial Day-Labor Day

Holiday Schedule

Drop-In Day Care Hours

Mon-Fri: 8:30 AM-1:00 PM
Ages 3 months to 8 years

Helena Family YMCA

1200 North Last Chance Gulch
Helena MT 59601
Phone: (406) 442-9622
Fax: (406) 442-2577