My time with my daughter has come to an end in the Adventure Guide program. You may remember it was a little hard to keep our little camping group going, so I finally relented and "traded her up" to my husband, who joined a Guide group of dads and daughters. Men have a stronger foothold in membership in this organization than women, and it could partly be because of the fear of camping or being on your own. This may sound appalling to some people, but I've found it fairly common for a potential female member to balk at the prospect of setting up her own tent and campsite. I even tried, at one point, to "sell" the benefits of having nearby menfolk (who are always helpful anyway) but to no avail. Our little group dwindled away to only me and Rebecca. Mid year, a year ago, we received a call from the YMCA to help keep another mother-daughter tribe going. The thought was we could merge into their group and then it would keep everyone motivated. By this point, I was already becoming more involved with the local Brownie group --- for some reason, this program has more support for women and their daughters --- so I was already one foot out the door, so to speak.
Yet, ever optimistic, we joined and made a group of about five moms. It was great for about two months. Shortly after Winter Camp (a favorite camp for my daughter), one mom emailed to say she wouldn't be returning and my friend who had joined my group admitted her daughter was slightly too young. I had to agree. There are certain points where children need to be others near their own age, or they feel left out. A third mom finally said she had a dating problem with our organization or something like that. I wasn't really clear on the reason. The last mom that was left was and is an amazing person, who volunteers, is a nurse, suddenly a single mom, and is camping with her children and keeping them active in their faith. June of last year was my last month in the program.
I am still connected in many ways to the Adventure Guide (now re-christened Indian Guide) program, because my husband is president of the older children's group, the Trailblazers. He is a dedicated father to his daughter in their father-daughter group and to his son in the Trailblazers. We call it "double tribing" and he's not alone. Alone it does deter a little of the program's original calling, personal one-on-one time with your child, well, you have to admit, it's a better trade than NO parent time with their child.
I treasure all these memories and I truly hope that other parents --- especially women : don't be wimps! --- try out the Indian Guide program for some nature, fun personal time with their child, and that this program and programs like it, continue for a long time. In our increasingly fast paced society, the treasured moment of actually "raising" your child versus "braising" (stewing in the ever heated waters or media, electronic entertainment, and being passed from childcare giver to another) is a rarity.
God bless everyone.
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