Adventure Guides

YMCA Adventure Guides (and Princess) is a family program designed for a parent and his or her five to nine year old child. In YMCA Adventure Guides, parents lead, influence, and teach while presentingAdventure Guide Logo opportunities for children to explore the world around them. They lead by example as they set their children on a path through life.

In the early years, the program is a side-by-side journey before children are launched into more advanced, independent activities. In the YMCA Adventure Guides program, the journey occurs within the context of a small Circle community.

The Circle is the program’s basic group unit, providing a structure, a sense of community, and support for all group activities. Adventure Guides (parents) and Explorers (children) meet in Circles and participate in Expedition adventures (e.g., overnight camping) throughout the year.

Program Goals

Program Activities

The core of the program is Circle meetings and Expedition adventures.

Program Structure

Participants are grouped as follows:

Program Leadership

The program is run by YMCA staff members and program volunteers. Volunteers are recruited or elected by Circle members and assume a variety of offices and responsibilities for different roles.

Program Rituals

The YMCA Adventure Guides program is based heavily on rituals and traditions that bring a sense of continuity, community, intrigue, and magic to the program. These rituals and traditions include those listed here as well as others, depending on each YMCA’s choices.

Naperville, Aurora, Oswego

For more information, contact Polly Rhodes, Adventure Guides Program Coordinator, at 630.527.6599, or visit



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