Adventure Guides

From baby shoes to high school graduation, it feels like forever, but it goes by so fast. Know that little seven or eight-year-old of yours? In just 10 years, he or she will be off to college or a new job, starting a life of his or her own.  

The dads in the Arlington-Mansfield Area YMCA Adventure Guides program have discovered an innovative program that allows them to spend quality time with their kids during those growing up years. Participants meet once a month in small groups, called camps. As part of the larger group or nation, camps join together to participate in activities ranging from Pinewood Derby, Rocket Shoot, Daddy/Daughter Date Night and campouts. Programs are available for fathers and children from three years to 8th grade. 


Adventure Guides began as the Y-Indian Guide program for fathers and sons in 1926. The program’s purpose was to support the father’s lead role in the family as a teacher, counselor, and friend to his son. 

For 89 years, the Indian Guides program was the cornerstone for family programs in YMCAs across the country. Because of the changing world today, the YMCA adapted to the cultural sensitivity of Native Americans. Being a nationally recognized organization with the reputation of being respectful, honest and responsible prompted YMCA staff and volunteers to adapt the parent child program to be more susceptible to the changing world. Thus, the name Adventure Guides replaced the original, but the mission has remained the same.

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