Y Guides FAQs

What is the goal of Y Guides?

Y Guides is designed to build and strengthen the father/child relationship by providing intentional opportunities for a pair to create lifelong memories together.  

WHen does the program run?

The Y Guides program follows a traditional school calendar with crew formation happening during the summer and the program starting in late August. Program activities wrap up in the spring in mid May. 

What are the age groups?

Y Guides begins in 1st grade and continues to the end of the 3rd-grade year. Crews are organized by age/gender. We recommend that crews consist of 6-10 pairs. After a crew finishes its third year together, its members have the opportunity to move on to our Trailblazers program. Trailblazers is designed with older kids in mind, while continuing to build the father/child bond. 

Can you mix age groups?

We suggest that all children in the crew are the same grade level. However, if that is not possible, we strongly suggest no more than a one-grade difference.   

how do i join a crew?

Crew formation typically happens during summertime, before the program year begins each fall. Crews typically consist of dads and their kids who are the same age and gender. Most Crews consist of people who live near each other, possibly having met through school, church, youth sports, or another community activity. Many Crews form on their own, but the Y Guides team can also help you find a Crew. Visit the Join a Crew page to learn more.  

When do we register our CREW?  

Crew Registration takes place in mid to late summer. Check out this page for more information. 

How much are program FEES? 

Program fees are based on how many children you have in the program. Dads are free. Fees cover one program year, which is roughly the same as a traditional school's calendar. The fees for each year of the program include everything you need to have a successful year in Y Guides. Visit our Program Fees page for specific pricing information.

How often do Crews meet?

It is suggested that crews meet twice per month for about an hour. We recommend one formal meeting that can be held at a crew member’s home, local park, or community center. The other meeting can be a fun outing in the community such as hiking, fishing, or utilizing many of our third-party vendors at a discounted rate.    

Why is it called Y Guides?

Our program name has evolved since its beginning in 1926. Originally called Indian Guides & Princesses, the program was formed in homage to the way American Indian fathers raised their children. We have since transitioned to calling ourselves Y Guides, a program for dads, sons and daughters. Although the name has changed, we have maintained the same goal of building father/child relationships over all these years.    

How is this different from Boy/ Girl Scouts?

Y Guides is designed to be a father and child relationship-building program. Scouts focus on kids having fun with other kids, while the parent's main role is with facilitation and safety.

Is there an opportunity for financial assistance to participate in Y Guides?

Yes, there are YMCA Annual Campaign funds allocated to support families for a multitude of financial reasons so that they can participate in Y Guides. Please contact Caitlin Herrion for more info.