Registration for the New Canaan YMCA's 2012-13 Y-Guide and Y-Princess program is ongoing for returning and new participants and will take place through Aug. 20.

The popular program is a father/son and father/daughter experience where participants bond through monthly outings and activities. The program is open to children in kindergarten through fourth grade and their fathers.

The Y-Guide/Y-Princess program runs for the duration of the school year beginning in September and culminating on Memorial Day weekend, with each tribe's participation in New Canaan's Memorial Day parade. Tribes consist of approximately 20 families who attend monthly outings coordinated by the tribe "chief." Monthly outings include community service projects, as well as fun field trips in which fathers and their children participate together.

Past monthly outings have included hiking, volunteering at Waveny Care Center, ice skating and attending local sporting events.

In addition to the monthly outings, the Y also offers two larger outings, each with a separate weekend for fathers/daughters and for fathers/sons. A tented camping outing takes place each fall at Camp Mohawk in Litchfield, and a winter outing takes place at Camp Jewell in Colbrook. Additionally in the spring, a large final outing including all father/daughter and father/son tribes on the same weekend takes place at Frost Valley in the Catskill Mountain region of New York.

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"The goal of the Y-Guide and Y-Princess program is to instill closer family relationships between parents and children," Youth and Family Director Davie Cedela said. "The program promotes togetherness and provides fathers and children with the opportunity to step away from their busy lives and spend time bonding through volunteering, field trips and weekend outings. It's so great to watch the dads with the kids. It makes me wish I had done something like this with my dad when I was younger."

Jack Linnartz, a third-grader at West School and four-year member of Y-Guides, enjoys the program.

"I loved being in Y-Guides because I spent time with my father, my tribe and my friends. I enjoyed camping out, bunk beds, newt catching, tubing, Sasquatch hunting, archery, BB guns, crafts, and marching in the Memorial Day parade. When my dad was chief he even let me wear the headdress at times while on a tribe outing. My last four years have been a lot of fun and I will miss it."

New members interested in joining Y-Guides or Y-Princesses are encouraged to attend a new-member orientation on Sunday, May 20, at 3:30 p.m. at the New Canaan YMCA. Participants will be notified of tribe assignments by Sept. 1. For additional information, contact Davie Cedela at

203-966-4528, ext. 141, or email at

dcedela@newcanaanymca.org.