Build A Lifetime of Memories

The Adventure Guides program was developed by the Y to help strengthen family relationships. As the parent of a young child, you have the tremendous opportunity to get to know your child. Spending quality one-on-one time with your child will help build a strong bond of trust and memories that will last a lifetime. Join the Adventure Guides!

Program Information

Fullerton / Yorba Linda-Placentia

California Wild – father/daughter expedition

Huya Big Sky – father/son expedition

Islanders – father/child graduate expedition

Junior Guides – parent/child expedition

Huntington Beach

Great Coastal – father/son expedition

Great Hunting Valley – father/daughter expedition

Islanders – father/child graduate expedition

Laguna Niguel

Blazing Sons – father/son expedition

Mighty Wilderness – father/daughter expedition

Sunshine – father/daughter expedition

Great Pacific – father/son expedition

Islanders – father/child graduate expedition

Junior Guides – parent/child expedition

Mission Viejo

Big Thunder Spirit – father/daughter expedition

Broken Arrow – father/son expedition

Friendly Shining Spirit – father/daughter expedition

Rainbow Sky – father/daughter expedition

Rising Son – father/son expedition

Soaring Spirit – father/daughter expedition

Islanders – father/child graduate expedition

Junior Guides – parent/child expedition

Newport Beach

Pacific Wild Wahines – father/daughter expedition

Junior Guides – parent/child expedition

San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, & Dana Point

Doheny – father/daughter expedition

San Clemente – father/son expedition

Islanders – father/child graduate expedition

Junior Guides – parent/child expedition

Michael Prange | (949) 495-9622 | mprange@ymcaoc.org
Zach Brooks | (949) 859-9622 | zbrooks@ymcaoc.org

Michael Prange | (949) 495-9622 | mprange@ymcaoc.org

Zach Brooks | (949) 859-9622 | zbrooks@ymcaoc.org

Michael Prange | (949) 495-9622 | mprange@ymcaoc.org

The Adventure Guides program:

  • Fosters companionship and understanding and sets a foundation for positive, lifelong relationships between parent and child.
  • Builds a sense of self-esteem and personal worth.
  • Expands awareness of spirit, mind, and body.
  • Provides the framework to meet a mutual need of spending enjoyable, constructive, and quality time together.
  • Enhances the quality of family time.
  • Emphasizes the vital role that parents play in the growth and development of their children.
  • Offers 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 (Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility) provide directions 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.

The Adventure Guide Program has four different layers of structure
that help to organize and facilitate the program.

  • Guide & Explorer – These are the names for parents and children. Each person (dad & child) chooses an Adventure Guide name when joining the program. Coming up with an Adventure Guide name is one of the strongest memories of the program for parents and children. It may even take several months to come up with something appropriate and meaningful. Names should try to stay with the adventure or nature themes. Good examples of names include: Little Snow Bear, Shooting Star, Big Thunder Cloud, Mighty Oak or Little Running Bunny.


  • Circles – Circles are a group of Guides & Explorers. Typically Circles are made up of 5-12 families within a school or neighborhood, but not necessarily. Circle groups come up with a name that connects to nature, adventure or their larger Expedition. Good examples of names include: Wolfpack, Rangers, Mud Marlins, Mighty Mariposa or Daughters of Triton. Circles meet regularly, usually monthly, at homes or community locations to complete meeting items and work on the Adventure Guide Curriculum.


  • Expeditions – Expeditions are groups of Circles organized by gender (i.e. dad/daughter). Typically an Expedition is made up of 4-10 Circles. Expeditions have names also with the adventure or nature theme. Good examples of names include: Mighty Wilderness Expedition, California Wild Expedition, or Great Pacific Expedition. Expeditions host regular events, usually monthly, bringing all Circles together.


  • Federation– Federations are a group of Expeditions within a region. Expedition Navigators meet as a Federation to work on joint causes and collaborations. The following is a list of Federations within the YMCA of Orange County:
    • South Orange County Federation (Laguna Niguel / Mission Viejo / Beach Cities)
    • Fullerton & Yorba Linda Federation
    • Newport-Mesa & Huntington Beach Federation

Junior Guides

The Junior Guides program is geared toward youth 3-5 years of age. Throughout the program families will engage in activities that promote nature, family, fun and community.

The Junior Guides program runs from September-June. Each month will bring the opportunity to attend a daytime event or one night sleepover lead by YMCA staff. Examples of events include pool parties, strawberry picking, dances, and sleeping over at a baseball stadium. Families are able to select which events will work in their schedule.

Each child who registers will receive a backpack and patches at each event that follow the Junior Guides Star Journey.


The Islanders program is geared towards youth age 12 and up or those who have graduated from the Adventure Guides. Formerly known as the Trailmates or Trailblazers, The Islanders offers an opportunity for dads and their children to continue to engage in activities together with less of a time commitment and events tailored to the older ages. Events might include indoor skydiving, comedy night, go-kart racing, hiking, beach camping and more.

Adventure Guides and Junior Guides are expanding throughout Orange County. If you would like to start an Adventure Guides Program in your community, please send an email request to aginfo@ymcaoc.org.

50% Off Fitness Facility Membership
Active Adventure Guides program participants receive 50% off a family membership. That’s only $46/month for the whole family!
Discount must be requested at the branch or child care site after Adventure guides program enrollment. Discounts are not retroactive to previous months of service or membership at the time being requested.

*Offer not valid for Junior Guides and Islanders programs.