What is YMCA Adventure Guides?
YMCA Adventure Guides is a membership programme all about strengthening bonds between parents and children through weekend camping expeditions, monthly adventures and spending quality time together.
What it involves
Every month, our members get to enjoy our fantastic expeditions. They’re action packed and fun, creating memories to last a lifetime. You’ll learn skills together, experience new things and have a brilliant time along the way.
Some of our favourite monthly expeditions include… camping, zoos and safari visits, amusement parks, climbing and trampolining, sports and games, adventure centres, water parks.
Spending time together
Our programme is designed to help strengthen bonds between families, and build confidence together as children and parents too. Adventure Guides expeditions are dedicated experiences each month to spend time with each other – hassle free and unforgettable!
Our Reason Y
All of YMCA’s programmes are dedicated to the positive development of young people, families and our local community. We’re 100% not-for-profit, and we love being able to connect families and children through brilliant opportunities like Adventure Guides.
Watch our video!
When and Where
YMCA Adventure Guides circles meet regularly in areas around Nottinghamshire. Meetings are usually held on a weekday evening, and they are a great way to meet other families, play games, tell stories, relax and make new friends with your child, in addition to planning meet-ups and expeditions.
Families are welcome to join from all across Nottinghamshire! Some areas where we have active Circles include:
- Killisick estate
- Chetwynd Barracks/Chilwell area
- The Meadows
- Newark and Sherwood
- West Bridgford
With a YMCA Adventure Guides membership, you can join our monthly expeditions organised by YMCA, which can range from cinema and bowling adventures to theme park day trips and much more! You can also take part in our three yearly camping weekends, which are our signature expeditions and can include camping, museum sleepovers, adventure weekends, indoor skiing, and trips to the seaside.
Please note there will be an additional £25 fee for families to attend YMCA-run camping weekends. This covers the cost of breakfast and dinner for two days, all activities and camping equipment if required. These are the only planned charges, and any future changes will be communicated to you clearly.
Locations and activities will be communicated and confirmed to members once registration is complete. Details and expedition dates will be available on our website in advance.
Why join YMCA Adventure Guides?
You will receive dedicated support from our experienced YMCA team to help you create and run your circles. We will assist you at any stage of the process, with booking activities with organising expeditions, with managing payments and admin. As a member of YMCA Adventure Guides, you and your family will have exclusive access to our camping weekends, the Circle Guides Activity Menu (including discounted rates and booking instructions), extra YMCA recourses, and training (e.g. First Aid). You are guaranteed quality time with your children, and becoming part of a community dedicated to health, wellbeing, and happiness.
Parent on Walebsy Forest Camping Expedition
“I have nothing but praise for the effort YMCA goes to in organising these unique experiences for families across Nottinghamshire. We have been able to enjoy new things and spend quality time together as a family; we have become a stronger unit because of Adventure Guides.”
YMCA Adventure Guides is all about strengthening bonds
Meet the team
YMCA Sports and Family Service Manager
Adventure Guides Lead
- Swimming Instructor(Level 2)
- Trainer for Approach Training
- Paediatric First Aid Qualified
- Safeguarding Children, Young People & Vulnerable Adults Trained
- FA (Level 1) Qualified
- Netball UK Level 1 Qualified
- Disability Awareness Trained
- BTEC (Level 3) in Management
I’m Nottingham born-and-bred and have always been sporty. In my younger days, I was scouted for England Ladies under 16s, and have now worked for YMCA for thirteen years delivering and managing a range of sport and family programmes.
I’m passionate about giving parents opportunities to become even more actively involved in their child’s development. We all know how easy it is to get in to a routine with the stresses and strains of daily life. Sometimes spending meaningful time with the people we love most is harder than it should be.
The Adventure Guides programme really gives parents the chance to try new activities and build stronger bonds with their children. We are creating experiences and memorable moments with that will last a lifetime – and what could be more exciting than that!
Sports and Families Programme Officer
I have been working with the YMCA for eight years now. As you can see by my name, I have Italian ancestry. I cannot speak or understand it; I just like to say that I have Italian in me!
I started my journey with the YMCA when I was 17, as a camp leader and coach, teaching the children a variety of different skills and running fun activities. Over the years I have been involved in a number of the programmes we offer to children and families, from YMCA Onside (working with young people with disabilities) to Camp Williams, our biggest activity camp that runs every school holiday. I have also delivered many hours of PPA, which involves going into schools around Nottinghamshire teaching P.E.
My role allows me to pull together all that I have learned in the past eight years to help to deliver the brilliant, exciting YMCA Adventure Guides programme for all the families that continue to join and become a part of the growing community of circles. I am looking forward to meeting new families and helping to organise fun and exciting trips for them to enjoy; let’s make some memories!
Become a Volunteer
We are always looking for parent helpers to help cook breakfast and dinner for our hungry Adventure Guides on our Weekend Camping Expeditions!
If you want to get involved and help out at our circle activities and expeditions, please chat to the team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0115 978 58 09.
If your question isn’t answered below, please feel welcome to contact our YMCA Adventure Guides team anytime on email@example.com.
How do I sign up to the programme?
Please submit an enquiry form or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I live in a funded area?
The National Lottery Community Fund has funded the following areas – Arnold, Killick, Hucknall, Chetwynd, Aspley, Sutton in Ashfield, Mansfield, Meadows, Clifton.
If I don’t live in a funded area can I still join?
Yes! There is a joining fee but YMCA will support all families wanting to create a local circle of families to join the programme.
Do I have to pay for the programme?
Yes. Although the programme is funded, the idea is that it lasts and runs indefinitely, so all expeditions and camping weekends are charged to ensure a sustainable YMCA Adventure Guides model. Cost depends on whether or not your area is funded. There is also a monthly subscription charge to the programme to help make it sustainable for you and your children.
What’s the age range of children?
We generally aim for 6 – 13 years old but we are family-based programme so expeditions are open to all. However, some of the activities won’t be accessible for a younger age group.
Can I bring a friend?
The programme is designed to be a family programme. If friends have families and live within one of the funded areas they they can join the programme but, if not, they are unfortunately unable to join.
The programme mentions ‘dads only’ and ‘single parent family (mum)’?
The original American programme has run for years with dads and children only. Whilst we support this by delivering the occasional ‘dad and child only’ activities, we are an inclusive programme meaning single parent families can still join and build a stronger relationship with their children.
Do other YMCAs run the Adventure Guides programme?
Our YMCA is the only YMCA in England to offer this special programme. We have dedicated staff who offer support and help manage all aspects of the programme.
YMCA day camps
Did you know…
YMCA also delivers a fun and engaging children’s day camps programme during school holidays called Camp Williams? Whether your child loves skateboarding or science – our week-long camp offer a variety of Skill Clinics ranging from game design and archery to climbing walls and kayaking. There’s something for everyone!