Man Makes Y Program a Family Tradition

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Smith Daily Herald Staff Writer

When Jim Prescott was a kid, his dad signed them both up for the Naperville Area Young Men's Christian Association's Indian Guides program.

That was in the early 1960s, when Prescott, the YMCA and the Indian Guides program all were a lot younger and smaller.

Fast forward to 1994 when a friend talked to Prescott - still living in Naperville and now a father of three - about once again getting involved in the Y's Indian Guides and Indian Princesses programs.

Prescott agreed and found he loved it. And in the ensuing years he's become so involved that the Y will honor him today as its Volunteer of the Year.

Prescott says Indian Guides and Indian Princesses is "a one-on-one program that gives each father a chance to spend time with their child that they'd probably do otherwise - but this sort of guarantees it."

Individual "tribes" scattered throughout the city consist of nine kids each and their fathers. They meet once a month in a different member's house and then participate in larger programs such as campouts at Starved Rock State Park.

With more than 1,100 members, the program for youngsters in kindergarten through third grade is the fifth largest in the state.

Youngsters in fourth grade and older can stay active in the Y's Trailblazers program.

Prescott's daughter, 9-year-old Mary, already is in Trailblazers. Son Will, who's almost 8, is in his last year of Indian Guides and Tom, who's almost 5, will join next year.

Prescott says the program is growing at a rate of more than 10 percent a year and should continue to do so in the foreseeable future. …