Custom Search

Monday, February 6, 2012

Adventure Guides and Princesses

Each quarter my company puts out a newsletter. I always read it cover to cover. Its great to keep up with whats going on in my company and especially the people in it. I was pleasantly surprised in one of the articles that an employee was active in the YMCA program called Adventure Guides and Princesses (formerly known as Indian Princesses). By the end of the article I was beaming and had mini flashbacks of my childhood. I was once an Indian Princess.

The program itself is really amazing. If you google it, Adventure Guides and Princess centers around forming a bond between father and son or daughter and just having fun. It isn't like the boy scouts or girl scouts where it focuses more on achievement with a lot less parent involvement. With Adventure Guides you have a monthly meeting where it begins with a beat of your tribe drum, a few meeting agenda items like what monthly activity will be next and then a talking stick goes around and a child or parent can talk about whatever they want. No one can talk except the person that has the stick. The talking stick helps build confidence and the ability to speak in front of a group. Usually each month there is a small activity that you can choose to go or not go to such as ice skating, hiking, miniature golf, etc., Each year there is two camp outs one with tents and another at YMCA camp with cabins where food is prepared for you by YMCA staff. These camp outs have all sorts of activities from horse back riding, archery, canoeing, swimming, basketball, etc., It also has derby races and other small events throughout the year that the Dads put together for their kids. There is also a YMCA lock in where you spend the night at the YMCA playing basketball, swimming, etc., It is 100% fun and I don't know any other program like it.

I joined Indian Princess (now Adventure Guides/Princesses) at a very young age. I loved being with my Dad one on one going to each adventure. It was something we had together that my Mom was not apart of. No offense to my Mom at all, as I was a complete Mama's girl, but Moms couldn't meddle with whatever we were doing. Usually I'd leave to a camp out with a french braid and come back with the same hair do (a lot more messy) because we just didn't stop to comb my hair. It wasn't a huge priority really. We just played hard the entire time with tetherball, hiking, canoeing, etc., I just had the time of my life with my Dad. I remember those camp outs so fondly and the only way I could describe it was complete childhood freedom. I got dirty, swam in lakes and cruised through woods. Baths? Peh yeah right! I was too busy having fun!

I know the YMCA program really helped established the great relationship I have with my Dad to this day. He loved it. I loved it. I just could not say enough about how awesome it was. I eventually aged out of the program and how I HATED that. I had to say goodbye after eight long years of loving this awesome experience and it was sad for me to move on.

What I did find out and what I am just over the moon is that there is a local co ed Adventure Guide (boys) and Princess group that my son can join with my husband this Fall. I approached my husband on it and while some of the activities like rock climbing may be a bit much for him to do at such a young age, its okay because not everyone is required to go to every single event. Its if you want to and if you can make it. You aren't looked down on or thrown out of the group. Its very relaxed environment.

I am just so pleased that another generation can enjoy something so unique and precious. A bond between a Dad and child is precious. This program helps solidifies their relationship and I'm all for that. Knowing the impact it has made in my life and still makes in my life is just awesome. I encourage everyone to join this program. It is cheap (I think YMCA membership for this is around $25) and all it requires is a Dads time with his young child(ren). You really can't beat something that promotes bonding like that. Its priceless.

"Friends Forever".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you ever join a circle and if so, how was it? It seems to me the NOVA Adventure Guides is pretty disorganized, so will be interested in hearing about your experience!