When my boys were young, we participated in a great program that at the time was supported by the YMCA. It was called Indian guides which was a father-son program. They also had Indian Princesses which was a father daughter program and Indian Maidens for mother and daughter.
Over the years, the YMCA shifted towards modern high tech fitness clubs and away from programs such as these which had been historically the backbone of their mission. The guides program provided a vehicle to teach our boys many life lessons that may fall by the wayside due to overscheduled sports and school activities. We were able to hike in the woods, camp and boat and teach our boys a great appreciation of nature and the love of God. We also filled their camps!
The memories that I made with my boys are priceless. I cherish every moment I got to spend with them.
Indian guides was actually founded by a Native American named Joe Friday in the early 20th century. He saw warning signs back then in modern society that critical values of love, respect honor, and dignity could be lost if efforts were not made to continue to teach them. In that spirit, we involved Native Americans in our Indian guide program. They never complained about the name of our program or the way in which we conducted our activities. They in fact we’re happy to be given a chance to continue to tell their stories.
Fortunately, the Native Sons program is alive and well in the Akron area. You can read their mission statement online but some critical points are the advancement of education through instruction, research and exploration of Native American cultures; The elimination of prejudice and discrimination through the integration of at ethnically diverse memberships with Native American awareness; the prevention of cruelty to children through the fosterage of the relationship, understanding, and mutual respect between parent and child; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency through the intervention of Christian programs that bolster fun and challenging activities.
Check them out at nationallonghouse .org/about-us/
or in the Akron area. wrnativesons.org/contact-us.html.