A branch of the YMCA of Southeast Ventura County

a branch of the YMCA of Southeast Ventura County

Family Time

Families come in all sizes and shapes and so do YMCA Family Programs. Our programs strengthen family ties by offering a safe, welcoming environment for kids and parents to communicate, cooperate, and have fun. Family programs include health and fitness activities, pool and gym activities, family nights, camping, and other events.

Y Guides & Trailblazers 

What is Y Guides?
The Y Guides program is designed to assist fathers (or other significant male adults in the children’s lives) and their child on a journey of discovery. We see tremendous value in supporting and strengthening the ability of a father and his child to communicate at an early age in ways that are caring, honest, respectful, and responsible. Together you will learn about nature, about history, about yourselves, but most importantly, about each other as you grow and learn together. Don’t miss out on this amazing once in a lifetime opportunity.

Who Can Participate?
Y Guides is for fathers (or other significant male adults in the children’s lives) and/or mothers and their children, ages 5–11. The adult and child must attend program activities together as a pair. In the Y Guides, the adult is the Guide, and the child is the Explorer. Y Guides are divided by gender into fathers-daughters or father-sons. The core of the program is Circle and Expedition meetings and adventures.

Y Guide Activities – Circles and Expeditions
A small group of father-child pairs called a Circle, meet on a regular basis in each other’s homes or other local establishments. The frequency and dates of these meetings vary from Circle to Circle. Typical activities include ceremonies, games, crafts, songs, stories, and skits.

Several Circles come together to participate in larger activities called Expeditions. These include activities such as campouts, parties or parades.

The Y Guides Program is split into 2 age categories:

  • KINDERGARTEN through THIRD GRADE (formerly known as Indian Guides / Princesses)
  • FOURTH through SIXTH GRADE (formely known as Trailblazers) 

Each family is assigned to a Circle of 5-10 parent-child pairs that are similar in age and gender.

Goals & Benefits

The Y Guides program will:

  • Foster companionship and understanding and set a foundation for positive, lifelong relationships between parent and child.
  • Build a sense of self-esteem and personal worth.
  • Expand awareness of spirit, mind, and body.
  • Provide the framework to meet a mutual need of spending enjoyable, constructive, and quality time together.
  • Enhance the quality of family time.
  • Emphasize the vital role that parents play in the growth and development of their children.
  • Offer an important and unique opportunity to develop and enjoy volunteer leadership skills.

Foundation & Values

The Compass provides direction for the Friends Forever program.

  • The Family is True North – the focal point of the program
  • Nature and the camping experience are an integral part of the program teaching respect for nature and oneself
  • The spirit of the program is experienced through belonging to a small Community of “circles”
  • Fun is the magic of the program

The Y's core values provide direction as parents guide children on their journey.  Along the way adults should model, teach and demonstrate these values as well as give children many opportunities to practice and celebrate them. Initially, these four values provide guidance in helping children select activities, make decisions, and choose appropriate courses of action both in the program and in their lives.

Core Values

  • Caring
  • Honesty
  • Respect 
  • Responsibility

Join the YMCA as a family—you'll be glad you did!


Family programs vary by branch. For details, please select from the following Southeast Ventura County YMCA branches:

Conejo Valley YMCA
Simi Valley Family YMCA
Triunfo YMCA