Sponsored by the YMCA of Northwest NC

Lifelong memories between fathers and their children are some of life’s most meaningful experiences. The YMCA Adventure Guides and Princesses program helps to foster the father/child relationship. Today, we want to share the impact this program and the Y had for one family. Thank you to Kirsten Schmitt for sharing her family’s story!

Our family has been profoundly impacted by our relationship with the YMCA from our first summer in 2009 when we moved from Texas. I was advised to join the Y if we did nothing else, so we did. Abbie was not yet 5 years old and we signed her up for “pee wee” soccer, followed by basketball. These fun sports activities are well led and have kept her interest, fostering many key friendships that have helped us put down roots in Winston-Salem and truly make this our home.

That first summer of 2009 I encouraged my husband Harvey to enroll with Abbie in the YMCA Adventure Guides program. From 2009-2013 he focused on developing his own special relationship and memories with Abbie, which I know she will cherish for a lifetime. What Harvey also received was a network of friends who became dear to him independent of Adventure Guide tribe meetings.

This 2013-2014 school year (3rd grade) we enrolled Abbie in the Y’s on-site after-school care and were delighted with the well-organized, youth-led program. Having a two-income home, the homework assistance and physical exercise have an important place in Abbie’s overall health and success. The focus on character development and Christian values is critical to our family, especially when modeled by young adults whom Abbie respects and loves.

When my husband died unexpectedly in October 2013, the Y’s youth leaders from Abbie’s after-school program as well as the Adventure Guides’ leaders quickly responded. With the loss of my husband’s income, the Y offered economic aid to allow us to continue participating in the same activities so that this important support system has stayed intact for my precious 9-year-old daughter. The fathers in her Adventure Guides group have worked hard to keep her encircled and have been a healing force in her life. Her sports outlet gives her a release for anxieties and energy and lots of fresh air and sunshine. I thank God for His provision of the Y in our lives and the bouquet of blessings which flow out of this connection. We look forward to being a part of blessing others through involvement with the Y now and in the future.

With fun activities from camp outs to daddy/daughter dances and so much more, Adventure Guides is designed to strengthen the bond between dad and child. With Father’s Day just around the corner, now is a great time to learn more atymcaag.org or start a tribe today by calling the Adventure Guides Office at 336 721 2100 or emailadventureguides@ymcanwnc.org.