Adventure Guides

Parents and children ages 5-12

Fall is here and we are kicking off another year in Adventure Guides, our unique family program designed to strengthen the bonds between parents and children. In the Guides program, pairs of sons or daughters with their father or other significant male in their lives, enter into a “circle”—a small community that forms a body of support and connection. Circles meet regularly and grow close through activities that offer character-building and excitement while helping to support relationships, such as camp outs, pinewood derbies, canoeing adventures, and much more. Adventure Guides emphasizes the profound teaching role of the parent, a focus on community and giving back, the magic of nature, and most of all, having fun. At the heart of the program are the Compass Points, which form the essential components of the program:

  • Family: The family is “True North”—the focal point of Adventure Guides
  • Nature: The natural world and camping experiences are integral parts of the program.
  • Community: The spirit of the program is experienced through belonging to a small community, called a Circle.
  • Fun: The magic of the program is having fun together

Calendar of Adventures

First Circle Leader Meeting 

Thursday, October 18th, 7pm @ Center for Domestic Peace, YMCA Restorative Solutions Office

734 A St., San Rafael • 7pm


Princess Ball

Thursday, November December 6th

The annual Princess Banquet is the highlight of the year for many girls. This elegant gala is not to be missed! Girls and fathers wear formal attire for this banquet that includes a delicious five course meal, live band and dancing, professional photography and a free raffle!


Father & Child Adventure - Sonoma Canopy Tours

Saturday, December 8th

Nestled off the coast of Northern California and deep in the Redwood forest, Sonoma Canopy Tours is high adventure and completely unlike anything you've ever experienced. With two unique courses, each a two-and-a-half hour Guided eco tour that include multiple zip lines, sky bridges, a majestic spiral staircase, a rappel to the forest floor, you will be immersed in the unparalleled beauty of the world famous California Coastal Redwoods.


Guys and Gals Fall Camp Out

Saturday & Sunday, January 19th-20th @ Pt. Bonita YMCA

Join us for our first overnight of the year at the Marin headlands.  We will stay indoors at the beautiful Pt. Bonita YMCA.  Each circle will be assigned their own room with bunks.  We check in at 11am on Saturday and it’s go, go, go from there! We will start the day with lunch at the cafeteria for lunch and then off to explore the hiking trails with trained naturalist staff. After we return for dinner, our evening will be filled with group activities, skits, s’mores and the magic fall fog of the headlands. Please bring sleeping bags and pillows as well as any overnight supplies you’ll need. Fees for the trip include three meals, lodging, and all activities.



Monterrey Bay Aquarium Overnight

February 8th to 9th!

Explore all the exhibits as the only guests in the aquarium. This unforgettable experience will allow you to sleep alongside all of the amazing ocean animals.  Get cozy with your Circle in front of the Deep Ocean area or nestled in the kelp forest.  Special private night time tour, bedtime snack, breakfast and admission the following day is included.




Guys and Gals Pinewood Derby

Saturday, March 30th

Get your circle together for the classic Pinewood Derby! Participating in the Pinewood Derby involves creating a small derby car together in advance and competing in races on 40-foot, sloped tracks on the day of the Derby. For the technically-minded and the competitive-spirited, the chance to craft your racer together is a true opportunity to put your creative skills to the test. Circles race against each other during scheduled rounds and the fastest car of the bunch will compete against the winners of the other groups. Pinewood Racer kits and instructions must be purchased from the Y to ensure that all teams use regulation supplies, and kits will be available starting in January.


Boys Spring Camp Out

Friday thu Sunday, May 17th to 19th

Girls Spring Camp Out

Friday thu Sunday, May 31st to June 2nd

Our final event of the year brings us to YMCA Camp Jones Gulch in the Santa Cruz mountains for a packed weekend. We will arrive Friday evening and check into cabins before we head down to dinner. Then it’s over to the ball field for a massive game of Capture the Flag.  Saturday morning starts with breakfast in the dining hall and from there it’s off to a myriad of activities including hiking, zip lining, archery, rock wall climbing and canoeing. We will also be having our Annual Scavenger Hunt on the softball field.  After dinner we meet at the campfire for skits and the closing ceremony.  Sunday morning sees us out and about finishing up activities before heading back home. The fees for the trip include all activities, cabin lodging, and 5 meals.


MORE FUN EVENTS TO COME! 3 more adventures to be determined by YOU!  What do you and your child want to do to get outdoors and explore?  Let your circle leaders know before the first meeting on October 18.

Registration & Fees

Program Fee

All families pay a one-time annual fee prior to registering for any adventure activities. Program fees go toward the magic and fun that goes into every single adventure!

$125 Facility Members • $155 Community Participants (includes 1 parent and 2 children)


We will host 8-10 adventures this year! Each adventure varies in cost. Registration for all adventures open October 1st!
Save your spots now for each adventure! Register today and all payments are processed two weeks prior to each adventure.

December 6 • Princess Banquet
$140 Facility Members • $175 Community Participants (Includes 1 parent and up to 2 girls)

December 8 • Father & Son Adventure, Sonoma Canopy Tours
$180 Facility Members • $220 Community Participants (Includes 1 parent and 1 child)

January 19-20 • Fall Camp Out (Rescheduled)
$150 Facility Members • $190 Community Participants (Includes 1 parent and 1 girl or boy)

February 8 • Father & Child Adventure, Monterrey Bay Aquarium Overnight
$240 Facility Members • $280 Community Participants (Includes 1 parent and 1 boy)

March 30 • Pinewood Derby
$20 Facility Members • $25 Community Participants (Includes 1 parent and 2 girls or boys)

May 17-19 • Spring Camp Out (Session 1) &  May 31-June 2 • Spring Camp Out (Session 2)
$110 Facility Members • $135 Community Participants (Includes 1 parent and 2 girls or boys)