Program Overview

The YMCA Adventure Guides program focuses on the parent’s role as a guide in their child’s life.  The program experience begins as a side-by-side journey for a parent-child pair.  Parents lead, direct, and supervise activities that allow children to explore their world.  Additionally, parents teach, instill and demonstrate important values and skills to help prepare children for their path in life.  Eventually, children explore more advance, independent activities with their parents support.

These journeys happen within the context of small groups of parent-child pairs called Circles.  The Circle provides structures, community, and support for participants and activities.  Circles meet regularly whether it’s as an individual circle or as a Nation with all the other circles.  


To foster understanding and companionship between parent and child.


  • Foster companionship and understanding; set a foundation for positive, lifelong relationships between parent and child.

  • Build a sense of self-esteem and personal worth.

  • Expand awareness of spirit, mind, and body.

  • Provide a framework to meet the mutual needs of parents and children for spending enjoyable, constructive, and quality time together.

  • Enhance the quality of family time.

  • Emphasize the vital role that a parent plays in the growth and development of a child.

  • Offer an important and unique opportunity to develop and enjoy volunteer leadership skills.


  • To be clean in body and pure in heart

  • To be friends forever with my dad/mom/son/daughter

  • To love the sacred circle of my family

  • To listen while others speak

  • To love my neighbor as myself

  • To respect the traditions and beliefs of all people

  • To seek and preserve the beauty of Our Creator’s work in forest, field, and stream