YMCA Adventure Guides is a program for parents and children designed to help foster a lifetime of understanding and companionship through outdoor adventure activities, camping trips and monthly events that strengthen the relationship between parent and child. Parent-child pairs join a Circle with families in their neighborhood or school they attend, and usually meet once a month for games, crafts, stories and other activities. The Circles make up the Southeast Ventura County Federation which offers activities each month such as campouts at El Capitan, Catalina Island, Kern River, and Big Bear, as well as pinewood derby, horseback riding, family events, and so much MORE.

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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.

The YMCA Adventure Guides program is designed to assist a parent and their child on a journey of discovery. We see tremendous value in supporting and strengthening the ability of a parent and 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.

YMCA Adventure Guides is for parents and their children, ages 5–11. The adult and child must attend program activities together as a pair. In the YMCA Adventure Guides, the adult is the Guide, and the child is the Explorer. Adventure Guides are divided by gender into parent-daughters or parent-sons. The core of the program is Circle and Expedition meetings and adventures.

YMCA Adventure 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-Adventure 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.

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!

For other questions, please contact Jason Iliff at 818.707.9622 or email at jiliff@sevymca.org.



Adventure Guides & Trailblazers 2023/2024 - *subject to change*


November 2023 11/3-11/5 AG Fall Camp at Leo Carrillo
November 2023 TBD Community Service Project
December 2023 TBD AG & TB Holiday Lights: TBD
January 2024 1/20 AG Ice Skating
TB Jan Event - TBD

January 2024

February 2024



AG & TB Winter Camp Weekend 1

AG & TB Winter Camp Weekend 2

March 2024 3/17
3/16 & 3/17
AG Pinewood Derby
TB Wilderness Skills with Tracker Rob
April 2024 4/21 Freedom Park BMX - Bike Day
May 2024 5/3 - 5/5 AG Spring Camp at TBD
May 2024 5/17 - 5/19 TB Spring Camp at TBD
June 2024 6/2
AG Graduation
Family Camp