YMCA Dads

The YMCA which started the first Father’s Day on June 19, 1910, introduces two inspiring dads from the organization’s Adventure Guides Program.

C.J. Pearl, like many dads, wanted to find a way to bond with his kids and foster their self-confidence. And, of course, he wanted them to create fun memories that would last a lifetime. After hearing about the YMCA Adventure Guides program, which is designed to strengthen family relationships, from a friend of his son, C.J. signed up to participate with his two children, Jack and Ava. Now in their fourth year in the program, C.J. is ecstatic about the progress both he and his children have made. One of the program’s strengths is its ability to encourage more reserved children to step outside of their comfort zones and try new things. And he has seen his two children blossom since joining Adventure Guides.

“Both of my kids entered the program a bit shy and have become more social with a number of very close friends and the confidence to do things they might not have done otherwise…(They) have developed their public speaking skills being onstage at campfire events, which has translated to school and other activities,” said Pearl, who lives in Ladera Ranch. His favorite adventure with kids thus far? Catalina Island, where C.J. and his children had the opportunity to kayak, fish, hike and more with their friends in Adventure Guides. C.J. has also benefited from the program – meeting new friends and even stepping up as a leader himself. C.J. will be taking the helm next year as the Expedition Navigator for the Broken Arrow Expedition, which includes 130 families and 300 members. Under his leadership, the group has grown its membership by 10% and raised over $50,000 in two years to support other families joining the program. “I am much closer with both my kids because of Adventure Guides. We get to spend quality alone time together doing things we may never do otherwise. That is by far the best result.”

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