Windward YMCA

Windward Bound.

The Cabin in the Woods

The Windward Y got its start in 1934 in a log cabin on a small plot of land in rural Kailua. At the time, about 2,000 cars were navigating the 22 harrowing hairpin turns on Old Pali Highway every day. Following World War II, development rapidly spread over the Ko‘olau Range and families followed. By the time the little cabin was inaugurated as the Windward YMCA on January 23, 1956, it had an address (186 Makawao Street), a single staff member, and was serving a population area of 34,000. In short, the new Y Branch was already too small.

Historic Beginning

In 1958, YMCA of Honolulu purchased
the land at 1200 Kailua Road next to the historic Ulupo Heiau. A new building was dedicated on December 15, 1959. Within three years, the Windward Y jumped up to 46 Boys’ Clubs, 654 members, extensive family programs, camping, and community work that extended past Kahuku.

Windward YMCA 1999 Youth and Teen Program staff.
By 1964, membership had reached 2,300 and a 75 by  44-foot swimming pool was added thanks to a donation of 1.5 acres of land and $17,500 towards construction costs from Harold K.L. Castle. The pool was later converted to a “saltwater pool” which now features occasional mermaids.
The Windward YMCA is the only YMCA in the world to have a heiau, Hawaiian fishpond, and lo‘i in its backyard. Members and the community work hand-in-hand to take care of our ‘aina and perpetuate Hawai‘i’s culture.
Windward Y Togetherhood volunteers partner with community outreach organizations and churches to host a monthly Windward Houseless Care Event which provides hot meals, shower facilities, and resources for unsheltered individuals and families.

Tell Us Your Why ➔