Sponsored by the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina; written by Andrew Plyler, Director of Adventure Guides

YMCA Adventure Guides and Princesses is all about “fostering the father/child relationship.” No gift you give your son or daughter will mean as much as the time you spend with them. And you will find that you will treasure those moments as well.

YMCA Adventure Guides (formerly known as Y-Indian Guides and Princesses) is a father/child program opened to dads and their kids beginning in Kindergarten. Started in 1926, Adventure Guides is the oldest parent/child program the YMCA has offered. Dads and their kids form tribes that meet once a month in a member’s home where they sing songs, do crafts, and tell stories. In addition to the monthly meetings, participants go to Camp Hanes in the fall and spring for a weekend of archery, canoeing, Zip Lines, and more!

Each winter, the Guides (boys) come to the William G. White Jr. Family YMCA for a Lock-In and Princesses attend our Daddy/Daughter Valentines Dance, the largest Daddy/Daughter Dance in the Triad. By focusing on the formative, younger elementary ages, Adventure Guides seeks to foster and strengthen the bond between a father and child.

Some other events throughout the year include:
• Fall Outing at Camp Hanes • Spring Outing at Camp Thunderbird • Guides Baseball Campout • Halloween Skate Night • Kite Day and Rocket Launch • Yadkin River Trips

“To this very day, over 30 years later, I still have such fond memories from my time spent as an Indian Princess. From the meetings at my teepee, to the weekend outings at Camp Sea Gull, time that I spent with my dad was one of the most precious gifts that I would ever receive. I believe that the bond we formed between us during those years is the foundation for the friendship that we share today. And now that I am a mother myself, nothing makes me happier than to see my daughter and her dad experiencing the magic of the Adventure Guides Program together. I know that they are making memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.” ~Amy “Little Butterfly” Rabold, Former Y-Indian Princess, Current Adventure Princess mother

“I love Adventure Guides on many levels – the kids love it, we are making memories together, mom gets a break, I hang out with other dads, etc. Each tribe can really shape the experience based on the personalities of the kids and the dads. The forums and the venues are great – meetings and games in family homes, camping in some great places like Camp Hanes and Camp Cheerio … there are few other great ways to get started with the outdoor activities and other small group activities that really build the self-confidence of the child. I have a daughter and a son that both love the program – and I admit that I wouldn’t “naturally” do some of the great stuff we do together if it weren’t for Adventure Guides. The gender differences are interesting and the kids get different things out of it – but both are quick to ask “When is our next Adventure Guides meeting?” and “Dad, when do we go camping again?” They tell me that they enjoy spending time with me and that we don’t get to do it enough. Dig it hard before they get to be surly teenagers. This is the good stuff.” ~Steven “Blue Fish” White, CIO, Optcapital – member of Piedmont Prancing Ponies and Hilltop Newts

If you are interested in joining Adventure Guides, it is simple to start your own tribe. Click here to find out how! We hope your experience will be truly rewarding for your family.