Adventure Guides

Parents and children ages 5-12

Fall 2019 is here and we are kicking off another year in Adventure Guides, our unique family program designed to strengthen the bonds between fathers 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


2019/20 Calendar of Adventures


First Circle Leader Meeting 

Friday September 13th 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Marin YMCA Clubroom - This meeting is for Circle Leaders and new Guides 


Father & Child Adventures

Saturday October 5th- Sunday October 6th

Kick off Fall Campout - NEW

Nestled off the coast of Northern California and deep in the Redwood forest, Sonoma Canopy Tours and Alliance Redwoods Conference grounds provide tree top adventures and are completely unlike anything you've ever experienced. With excellent locally sourced foods, awesome "lodge" accommodations, and thrilling ropes courses you will be immersed in the unparalleled beauty of the world famous California Coastal Redwoods.


Guys and Gals Fall Camp Out

Saturday to Sunday November 23rd-24th  @ Pt. Bonita YMCA

Join us for our second overnight of the year at the Marin headlands and keep the traditions going.  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.


Princess Ball

Thursday December 19th - MgInnis Golf Course Event Center, San Rafael, CA

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, a special holiday guest and a raffle!  


Penguins in Pajamas at the California Academy of Sciences

February 8-9 - San Francisco, CA

Explore the exhibits after-hours: Discover the deepest depths of the oceans, travel to the tops of rainforests, and blast off into outer space at your own private planetarium show.

After milk and cookies, roll out your sleeping bag in an exhibit area like the flooded forest tunnel, Philippine Coral Reef, or even face-to-face with Claude the albino alligator!

In the morning, rise-and-shine for breakfast time at the Academy Café and continue your adventure with complimentary next-day admission to the museum.

Click Here to Watch a Video!


Guys and Gals Pinewood Derby

March 21

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.


Spring Camp Outs - Camp Jones Gulch

Weekend 1 for Father and Sons - May 15-17 (Max capacity 150)

Weekend 2 for All Adventure Guides participants - May 29-31 (Max capacity 300)

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.



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!

$130 Facility Members • $165 Community Participants (includes 1 parent and 2 children)


We will host 6-8 adventures this year! Each adventure varies in cost. Registration for all adventures open September 1st!

 • Princess Banquet
$140 Facility Members • $175 Community Participants (Includes 1 father and 1 daughter, additional daughters are $60)

October 5th and 6th  • Coastal Redwoods Campout and Ropes Courses
$180 Facility Members • $220 Community Participants (Includes 1 father and 1 child, additional child option available)

November 23 & 24th • Fall Camp Out 
$150 Facility Members • $165 Community Participants (Includes 1 father and 1 child, additional child option available)

TBD • Pinewood Derby
$25 Facility Members • $35 Community Participants (Includes 1 parent and 2 girls or boys, additional child option available)

May 15-17, and 29-31 ~ Weekend 1 & 2 Camp Jones Gulch (two nights)

$280 Facility Members ~$305 Community Participants  (Includes 1 father and 1 child, additional child option available)