January 01, 2019
The Banas family’s connection to the Adventure Guides, Princesses and Trailblazers program spans two generations, and they plan to keep the tradition going. For more than 50 years, the program has offered fathers and their children meaningful experiences in the great outdoors that teach important life skills and lessons.
Michelle Banas has fond childhood memories of time spent in the program with her father. Because of this, she encouraged Ken to sign up when their son, Jake, was in kindergarten. They registered for Adventure Guides and were assigned to the Chippewa Circle. A few years later, Ken and his daughter, Noelle, participated in the program, too. They enjoyed a variety of group activities inside and outdoors, such as campouts, hiking, and canoeing.
Looking back, Ken recalls the sense of pride everyone felt after challenging themselves to try something new or learn different outdoor survival skills. While his children made new friends, Ken built relationships with the other parents. Adventure Guides is able to make such a positive impact on families by providing many opportunities for them to learn together and connect. The program has a no-technology policy that gives everyone a chance to unplug and be fully present to enjoy nature and each other’s company. In addition to the many unique camping experiences, such as sleeping inside caves and a submarine, participants engage in leadership and teamwork activities that build character, such as volunteering at toy drives.
Ken credits his children’s sense of confidence and ability to think about nature differently to the Adventure Guides program. He highly recommends that all fathers take advantage of the events and experiences offered by the program, which helps foster their children’s growth and understanding of the world.
Although several years have passed, the Banas family cherish their Adventure Guides memories, and Jake, now a teenager, looks forward to continuing the connection with his children one day.