The youth of today have many choices and opportunities for inter and extracurricular activities. Baseball, soccer, and dance to name a few are all excellent programs which allow a child to develop in a fulfilling way. Despite their virtues for individual growth, such programs do little to strengthen the parent-child relationship. Moms and dads are denied parent-child interaction when their children are required to be dropped off at an activity that is supervised by another adult, or where the parents are forced to watch only as bystanders.
Fortunately, the NATIONAL LONGHOUSE® programs are entirely different! These programs enable “one on one” interaction because they require the parent to enroll with the child. The parent shares in the participation of meetings, activities, and outings. Having this type of direct interaction strengthens parent-child bonds, and does so independently of the remaining family structure. Making sure a child has his or her own special time with mom or dad is important in developing the skills needed to build one-on-one relationships later on in adult life.
Why Choose a NATIONAL LONGHOUSE® Program?
- Enables “One on One” Interaction
- Strengthens Parent-Child Bonds
- Instills Team Concepts
- Builds Self-Confidence
- Develops Leadership Skills
- Reenforces Spirituality
- Stimulates Cultural Awareness
- Provides Fun Activities and Memories That Last a Lifetime
Two groups of programs
There are two main groups of NATIONAL LONGHOUSE® programs:
- The NATIVE SONS AND DAUGHTERS PROGRAMS® family activites are designed for the pre-adolescent child.
- The NS&D PATHFINDERS℠ programs are designed for the adolescent/teenager.
The NATIVE SONS AND DAUGHTERS PROGRAMS® Family Activites
The NATIVE SONS AND DAUGHTERS PROGRAMS® family activites enroll the parent and child as a pair and provides recreation to strengthen their parent-child relationship. In addition to offering personal activities for this pair, our programs also provide a balance of recreation designed for group settings. By assembling neighborhood parent-child pairs into small groups called “tribes,” activities such as games, contests, or ceremonies can be integrated at the tribal or multi-tribal level. These group activities instill team concepts which help the children to develop the necessary social skills to work interactively and cooperatively in a group setting.
Other tribal activities such as report giving, storytelling, or speaking to the tribe in general, allow children to develop individually by building public-speaking skills. These provide opportunities for the children to receive praise and appreciation which builds self-confidence.
Each tribe has a designated adult who volunteers as the “Chief.” The Chief aids in coordinating tribal activities and provides the children with a leadership role model. The children develop leadership skills by imitating such role models while partaking in group projects such as building a tribal snowman, making a tribal flag, designing a tribal Halloween pumpkin, etc.
The NATIVE SONS AND DAUGHTERS PROGRAMS® family activites revolve around a central theme which is based upon the historical culture of the North American Indian. This “First Nation” theme adds mystique and helps to keep our programs visually interesting to the short attention spans of young children. Besides serving as a common level of interest between parent and child, the theme is useful as a casual educational tool for the introduction to our continent’s indigenous people. Hopefully this will serve as a springboard for further investigation which will bring about cultural awareness, understanding, and appreciation. The deep reverence that the First Nation people have for their “Great Spirit” and all that He created (Mother Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, etc.) is incorporated into our programs. This helps to reenforce one’s own spiritual beliefs in a nondenominational way while fostering respect for the environment.
The NS&D PATHFINDERS℠ Programs
The NS&D PATHFINDERS℠ Mprograms enroll the parent and child as a pair and provides recreation to strengthen both the parent-child bond as well as team friendships and concepts. These programs differ from the above programs because of age-appropriate activities that are more physically and mentally challenging which place less emphasis on a program theme. Parents and young adults experience canoeing trips, cave sleep-ins, rock climbing, rocketry and more. Depending upon local preference or size of enrollment, local programs may be co-ed or gender specific.
The assets of the NATIONAL LONGHOUSE® programs
Probably the greatest asset of the NATIONAL LONGHOUSE® family programs is that they are fun! Parent and child have their own special time to enjoy themselves away from work, school, and other distractions. They play games together, build crafts together, visit new places and make new friends together. Most importantly, they create memories that lasts a lifetime together!