Parent-Child Program

Go camping with your children.

About the Y-Guide Program >>>


In today's world, a child and a parent rarely have time together - to talk, to laugh, to really get to know each other and become friends. A sage Ojibway Indian once said that "the white man spends time building cities, but the Indian spends time building men." That sparked the idea for the formation of a parent-child organization centered around American Indian values - Dignity, Patience, Endurance, Spirituality, Feeling for the earth, and Concern for the family - the model for the present YMCA Guides program.


Y-Guides is a program designed to bring parents and children together to build strong, lasting relationships. They do this by spending quality time together doing fun activities. Parents and children 5-12 years of age are eligible to participate.


Guides groups are traditionally "Tribes" consisting of approximately 10 parent/son and daughter pairs. Indian Guides are parent/son pairs and Indian Princesses are parent/daughter pairs up to 3rd grade. In 4th grade, parent/son and daughter pairs become Trailblazers and are able to continue on together through 8th grade. The Roper YMCA program also features "Family Tribes" in which both parents or single mothers may join.

In YMCA Guides, the focus is on the parent’s role as a guide in a child’s life. Parents lead, direct, supervise, influence, and teach while presenting 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 experience begins as a side-by-side journey for a parent and child, until the children are launched into more advanced, independent activities.


Our program is based on the premise that life is a journey.  The journey anticipates challenges and choices. Along the way are significant guides. The journey begins within the sacred circle of family. Parents serve as primary guides to help their children navigate known obstacles. Parents entrust their children to other significant guides. It is an expedition for the ages.




"Pals Forever"



1. To be clean in body and pure in heart
2. To be “Pals Forever” with my parent/child.
3. To love the sacred circle of my family.
4. To be attentive while others speak.
5. To love my neighbor as myself.
6. To seek and preserve the beauty of the Great Spirit’s work in forest, field and stream.


© 2017 Talwa Federation - Roper YMCA Family Center, Winter Garden, Florida