Native American flute music filled the air during the annual Lake Prairie Federation Adventure Guides and Princesses Induction Ceremony for new members at Big Bear Lake in Vernon Hills last month. But the Native American theme was just one part of the special day.
The purpose of the Oct. 11 ceremony was for parents and children to commit to each other, put aside impatience and selfishness and grow together as friends forever through participation in the YMCA Adventure Guides and Princesses program.
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New and existing members at the ceremony were reminded of the 7 Aims of the program that support the YMCA's core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
The Lake Prairie Federation has approximately 70 tribes that exist across 13 expeditions covering most of Lake County. In all, the program boasts about 1,800 members and includes the Y Adventure Guides and Princesses, who are ages 5 to 9.
Ray Ogaz, an 81-year-old Native American of Apache and Papago descent from Fox Lake, played his flute during the ceremony. Ogaz heard about the induction ceremony three years ago and just showed up. For the last two years, he has been invited to return.
Ogaz learned how to play the flute by himself. Native Americans say the flute expresses one's feelings at the time the instrument is being played and tells that person's story.
To find out more about Adventure Guides in Lake County, visit lakeprairie.org.