The Katori Nation is strong. It is comprised of an incredible group of families who are committed to the idea that the world is a better place if dads do activities with their kids. But to understand where we are today, you have to know some very recent history.
Historically, the Adventure Guides and Princesses program was affiliated with the YMCA. However, several years ago, our local group was fully independent and thriving. This lasted for a couple of years before the YMCA organization in Katy asked to become involved again, with plans to assist with program management. The YMCA brought some real advantages to the group, but through the years, the Houston Area YMCA’s focus has shifted and this program has seen some great challenges as a result.
In April, 2018, the Greater Houston YMCA announced they were cancelling the Adventure Guides and Princesses at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. At first, this was a shock and disappointment to many, but we quickly realized this is an opportunity to return to our roots as an independent, local, nonprofit with the sole focus on our core principle: Katori Nation fosters companionship and understanding between fathers and their children in a wholesome atmosphere that emphasizes fun and adventure. In other words, we take our kids camping (and other cool stuff).
Regardless of the YMCA’s decision, we are continuing to operate as the Katori Nation. We are in the process of filing the paperwork to form a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit for our group. We have already reached out to camps to begin booking campouts for the 2018-2019 school year. We have replaced our website, updated email lists, implemented a new membership and event management system and have new officers. We still have some more paperwork to do, but we will be doing campouts in the fall as soon as school starts. Like every year, we are forming new tribes, while keeping many of the old ones going. Recent Guides and Princess graduates will be moving into Trails. In other words, we’re going camping.