Saturday, June 12, 2010

Indian Guides, Adventure Guides…whatever you call it, I love it!

Indian Guides started back in 1926 to support the father’s vital family role as teacher, counselor, and friend to his son. The founder, Harold Keltner, came up with the idea while on a hunting trip in Canada with his friend, Joe Friday, an Ojibwa Indian. Around the blazing campfire one night, Joe Friday told his friend, “The Indian father raises his son. He teaches his son to hunt, track, and fish, walk softly and silently in the forest, know the meaning and purpose of life and all he must know, while the white man allows the mother to raise his son.” These words struck a chord with Harold Keltner and he invited his Indian friend to work with him at the St. Louis YMCA, where he was the Director. Here, The YMCA Indian Guide program was born, eighty-five years ago.

In the early-2000’s, Native Americans expressed concern over program participants’ adopting the Indian culture and teaching children about Native American life in ways they deemed inaccurate or stereotypical. I guess they did not like the use of feathers, tee pees, leather vests and beads, so the YMCA renamed the program Adventure Guides, keeping the YMCA’s commitment to being a caring, honest, respectful, and responsible organization. Personally, I liked the whole Indian thing and miss seeing the huge tee pee parked outside the Pancake Breakfasts. Indian Guides….Adventure Guides…both mean my guys pack it up and leave for three days to live in a tent.

This weekend my boys' “circle” (no longer called tribes), are at Lake Cachuma. Riding bikes around the campground, whittling sticks, hiking, playing with fire, eating s'mores, and avoiding the shower is what they do. Remember the last campout included a trip to the emergency room to sew Lucas’ fingertip back on? I try not to think about the possibilities of stupid mistakes that can occur when one hundred males meet in the dirt. I will expect filthy, exhausted boys to come home Sunday with all body parts attached, unless I hear otherwise.

I love these peaceful weekends with the house to myself (and the Weiner Sisters). The place stays clean; no socks scattered throughout, dirty dishes on the counter, tracked dirt prints, or the sound of video games in the background. Tonight I will have a girlfriend over and we will enjoy a calm, clean house.

Something that I have wanted to do is ride Blanche to my parent’s home a few miles away. This is the morning I cruised there because I had the free time (thank you Adventure Guides!). However, the last 20 feet of my ride I realized that Blanche had popped her one and only tire. Flaccid, deflated, floppy…poor thing. She had picked up some sharp stickers along the way….off she goes to the bike shop for repair!


Cheeseboy said...

Lake Cachuma? That's awesome. That's like a name for a lake straight out of a movie.

I like this idea. In fact, I like it much more than the Boy Scouts, which is HUGE here in Utah.

liz said...

I was in Indian Maidens and my brother in Indian Guides!

My tribe was Cayuga.