YMCA Y-Tribes  Kilbourne Council

Father / Son Guides 2

Y-Indian Guides

A Brief History

In 1926 Harold S. Keltner, a YMCA director in St. Louis, developed the father and son Y-Indian Guide program to support the father’s vital family role as teacher, counselor, and friend to his son.

The National YMCA has formally retired the Y-Indian Guides program. The YMCA of central Ohio has developed a replacement Y-Tribes program.


What is the YMCA Y-Tribes

In the YMCA Y-Tribes program, parents lead, direct, supervise, influence and teach while presenting opportunities for children to explore the world around them. The program is a side-by-side journey in the early years - K through 3rd grade - within the context of a small community called a Tribe. 

What is the Kilbourne Council

Sponsored by the YMCA of Central Ohio, the Kilbourne Council currently consists of five tribes totaling approximately 80 fathers and sons from the greater Worthington area. Monthly throughout the year we participate in many fun events, with each event commemorated with patches displayed on vests worn by members. 

What kinds of things will we be doing?

First you will join a tribe, or small group of fathers and sons from your neighborhood or school. Many of your activities will be in this small group, and others will be with a larger group of all the tribes in the council. Here's a partial list of the things you can do:

  • A Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer campout (in cabins) each year at a nearby camp facility. Activities include hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, archery, etc.
  • One evening a month, attend a gathering hosted by a father/son in your tribe.
  • Pinewood Derby races
  • Ice skating
  • Horseback riding and hay ride
  • ... and more!

How much does it cost?

Each year there is a small fee charged by the YMCA. Additionally, members are asked to purchase a vest (about $20 each) to display patches given for participation in all activities. Vests are worn at campouts and other activities. Finally, charges are assessed for the activities that you and your son attend - the fees charged simply cover the costs of the activity.

Why should we do this?

  • Very few who join leave prior to graduation - and for good reason!
  • Your son/father will love it.
  • You both will develop a close friendship and share meaningful activities together.
  • It does not represent a major time commitment - activities are spread out over the year, and you attend the ones you can.

Who can I contact to learn more?

Please call, or send e-mail, to any of the following folks for more information or to join:




Mike Graney



Bob Wing



Michelle Gerdeman

614-885-4252 x211


YMCA of Central Ohio

Contact webspinner@kilbournecouncil.org with questions or comments.
Contents Copyright © Kilbourne Council.