Indian Princesses programs builds lasting bonds

The YMCA Indian Princesses program provides opportunities for fathers and daughters to bond over things that fathers and daughters like to do: camping, horseback riding, hiking, hanging out with friends and  eating tons of junk food.

The tribes meet once a month in the basement or living room of one of the father/daughter pairs. They play games, earn feathers, make a craft and, again, gorge themselves on junk food. The real fun, however, lies in the spring outing each year, where all of the tribes in the area spend a weekend at Camp Seagull or Seafarer, sitting around bonfires, swimming, riding the infamous zipline and participating in a plethora of camp activities.

As a proud Indian Princess alum, I know the importance of these programs to fathers and daughters alike. My dad and I became closer as we shared in camp experiences and came home with inside jokes and new skills and stories. Those years strengthened our bond, and we still laugh about memories from our years in the ‘Friendly Pride’ tribe.

The girls in my tribe became some of my best friends as we spent weekends getting lost in the woods on bike rides and snuggling into each others’ bunk beds to gossip and share scary stories. We attended one-another’s birthday parties when we were young and reconnected over and over again throughout the years at school, work, and even once, a funeral.

Three of the girls from our tribe were even in the same Homecoming group this year, providing ample photo-ops to the delight of our mothers.

The friendships formed with the other girls in my tribe, and the solid, lasting bond forged between my dad and me are just as important now as they were in my first year of Indian Princesses, almost twelve years ago. I encourage every father to participate in the program with his daughter because I know the importance the memories created have on a girl’s life.

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