What is the Y Adventure Guide Program?
The YMCA Adventure Guide program is geared to foster understanding and companionship between parent and child. For the most part, this is a father/child partnership of growth, fun and bonding. Events and meetings are one-on-one planned quality time with your child that enriches both of your lives and builds the foundation for a positive, lifelong relationship.
The Adventure Guide program offers fathers many opportunities to be the teacher of values, attitudes and skills on a one-on-one basis with your child apart from the rest of the family. All events, activities and projects emphasize parent and child working, playing and learning together. You and your child, together with other parent/child pairs, will join or form a “circle” and attend monthly circle meetings and federation events. In their monthly meetings, “circle” members enjoy making crafts, storytelling, games and snacks and making new friends.
History and Origin
In today's world, a child and a parent rarely have time together: to laugh, to talk, to become friends and to learn about each other. This was realized long ago in the 1920s by Harold Keltner, a St. Louis YMCA director. He started a father-son program with help from an Ojibway Indian hunting guide named Joe Friday. The program was based on Native American qualities of culture and life: Dignity, Patience, Endurance, Spirituality, Feelings for the Earth, and Concern for the Family. From this the first Y-Indian Guide program was created.
A New Direction: life is a journey. The journey anticipates challenges and choices. Along the way are significant guides. The journey begins within the sacred tribe of family. Parents serve as primary guides to help children navigate known obstacles. Parents entrust their children to other significant guides. It is an expedition for the ages. In the YMCA, we believe that if we build strong communities that nurture and strengthen families, then children will start early and finish strong. This has been our legacy, and it now will be embedded in a new direction: YMCA Adventure Guides. Two mottos are given to us from the traditions of the past: Pals Forever and Friends Always.
We go forward uniting them with a new motto: Friends Forever.
Get Started Today
It is easy to join— all you have to do is register. We then assign you to a circle in your area or if you know other circle members, you can request to join a specific circle. If you have a large group and want to form your own circle, we can help you with that as well.
How do I join a circle?
We have several circles in San Antonio and the surrounding area. Simply contact the Adventure Guide coordinator and notify them of your interest of joining a circle in your area.
Can I create a new circle?
You sure can. If you have several fathers who are also interested in the program and would like to create a circle of your own
What do I do if I have more than one child eligible to join?
While some fathers are able to find time to join multiple circles for each child, we understand this is not always possible in all families. Often, sibling pairs will be in one circle. The Y Adventure Guide Program of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio allows for multiple children and mixed genders within one circle.
What are the ages for the Program?
Kindergarten through 5th grade. In the current stage of our program, we do invite older children into our program.
What kind of time commitment am I looking at with the program?
You determine your commitment. There is no requirement on your family’s participation or attendance. Each month during the season, there is one event planned by the coordinator and an event planned by the circle. It is up to you to decide what works with your schedule.
What is the cost for the Y Adventure Guide & Princess Program?
The annual fee for the Y Adventure Guide & Princess Program is $55 per family. This fee covers program costs accrued during the program season. During the season, each family chooses the events to attend. Throughout the season, there will events to which there is a cost that is associated and some events where there is no cost associated.