Y-Indian Guide Programs

Sponsor: YMCA

Also Known As:

  • Indian Guides

  • Indian Maidens

  • Indian Princess

  • Indian Brave

  • Y-Papoose

  • Y-Guides

Like all well-built youth programs, the YMCA Indian Guide programs didn't appear out of thin air but were the result of many years of trial programs and studying what works best with kids. Officially the YMCA Indian Guide program got its start in 1926, as is widely attested to on many YMCA websites. However, I think an argument could be made that the program was even older - with their "Friendly Indian" program that started around 1923, but that's just a personal thought. 1926 is early enough, and in 2006 they celebrated 80 years!

The overall program, that continues today, appears to have always tried to be respectful of Native Americans.

Their dad/son program, called "Indian Guides" started in 1926, but didn't get national support until 1935 (after being tested and studied of course.) The name then morphed into Y Indian Guides, then simply Y Guides. They same happened with the mom/daughter "Indian Maidens", dad/daughter "Indian Princess", and the late joining mom/son "Indian Brave", and the newest "Y-Papoose" programs.

Indian Guides

Y-Indian Guides
yellow center
The "Y" was added to Indian in 1941

red center

with hearts

YMCA Y-Guides
"Indian" was dropped in 2001



Indian Princess



Indian Maidens


Indian Braves


Indian Papoose

Famous Alumni of the Y-Indian Guide programs:

If you don't know who Jack Webb and Art Linkletter are, ask your grandparents or Google them.

In Memory of the Co-Founders of the Y-Indian Guide programs:


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