The smell of burgers, hot dogs and steaks on an open campfire.

The sound of arrows hitting targets.

The pop of balloons and the crack of BB guns.

Children with face paint, sometimes from head to toe.

All are subtle sights and sounds of a dad with his son or daughter on a weekend YMCA Indian Guides or Indian Princesses camp-out. I and many Lake Highlands dads have fond memories with our sons and daughters in the Y-Indian Programs.

In this fast-paced society, it seems we have few precious moments with our children. It becomes harder and harder to find time in our crowded schedules (and sometimes our children’s schedules) to develop close relationships with our children and watch them grow up.

Through the Indian Guides program, I appreciate the time I had with my older son and look forward to similar times with my younger son. I would venture to guess those of you who had the same chance have similar memories.

The level of participation in these programs (about 700 pairs) at the White Rock/Lake Highlands YMCA is indicative of the rewards we each have reaped, and of the groundwork laid by so many who came before us.

For many, becoming involved in the Indian programs is based on word of mouth from others who had fun times. Now the White Rock/Lake Highlands YMCA is organizing a reunion for families who participated in the Indian Programs – it will include dads, sons, daughters and even moms who were Indian Princesses. It will be a time to share memories with old friends. The gathering is planned Aug. 12 at the new property owned by the White Rock/Lake Highlands YMCA on Greenville Avenue at Whitehurst.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Daryl Lawson at the YMCA, 328-4621.

This gathering is another piece of evidence of how much is happening at our local YMCA. The staff and volunteers have really turned it around. We have all seen the sign announcing the new property on Greenville, and while construction is a few years away, we are all excited about the new building and athletic fields to be built there. This new location will help the YMCA service the Lake Highlands community even better than before.

The programs at the YMCA have expanded, and participation is growing. You can see it through, among other things, community involvement with upcoming swimming programs at the neighborhood apartments, and a new summer youth basketball league.

Of course, all of your favorite summer programs will still be around.