About the YMCA- Guide/Princess Program -In today's world, a child and a father rarely have time together - to talk, to laugh, to really get to know each other and become friends. A sage Ojibway once said that "the white man spends time building cities, but the spends time building men." That sparked the idea for the formation of a parent-child organization centered around American values - the model for the present YMCA Guides program. Y- Guides/Princesses, sponsored by the YMCA, is a program designed to bring fathers and their children together to build strong, lasting relationships. They do this by spending quality time together doing fun activities. Fathers and children 5-14 years of age are eligible to participate. Fathers and sons age 5 to 8 participate in the "Braves" Program. Fathers and daughters age 5 to 8 participate in the "Princess" Program. Each program gives child and father the chance to participate in a variety of activities at a time in the child's life that can help shape their early growth experiences. For girls and boys ages 9 to 14 and their fathers, the Y-Trailblazers program is continues to build on the relationships started in the Princess and Braves programs by emphasizing activitie that nurture wisdom, physical health, spiritual growth and service to others. Although many Y- Braves and Princesses graduate to Trailblazers, prior participation is not required. Members of each program are placed in "Tribes" with each tribe consisting of 8-12 father/child pairs that live in the same area. Tribes meet once or twice a month at each members homes on a rotating basis. Tribes can also participate in outings together such as picnics, field trips, campouts and more. Meeting dates, times and activities are determined by the tribe to fit into everyone's schedule. Tribal meetings provide a forum for spending time together, telling stories, playing games, making crafts and other activities. Trailblazers are not placed into tribes. This is one large co-ed group that participates in one adventurous activity per month. The YMCA sponsors Federation Events which include all of the tribes. These include a Spring and Fall Longhouse (weekend campout), Thanksgiving Day Parade, Winter Sleepouts, Princess Date Nights and more. To enhance the experience for the child and the father, members usually take names, many wear leather vests to display their names and activiy patches, the children perform services and crafts to earn "feathers" and tribes use drums, chief's headdresses and other -oriented items to create an atmosphere of excitement and enjoyment for everyone. The YMCA provides stories and activity suggestions that are inspirational and promote fun, fellowship and self-worth.
“Blackfoot Nation: Indian Guide and Princess Program,” ibiblio catalog, accessed March 5, 2015, http://ibiblio.org/catalog/items/show/4395.