Montclair YMCA participates in 63rd Annual Fourth of July parade.
“We had two floats,” shared Kim Burrows, Program Director in the Y’s School Age Child Care Department. “One float was made by the Howling Wolves and the Wolf Pack, and the other made by the Hopi.”
Each float consisted of a pick-up truck and a trailer.
“The Howling Wolves and Wolf Pack float had a wolf’s head on the hood of the pick-up truck and various wolf and patriotic decorations on the sides. The Hopi float had Hopi signs and patriotic decorations along the sides,” elaborated Burrows.
For those who aren’t familiar, the Hopi, the Howling Wolves and the Wolf Pack are part of the one of the older programs at the Y, called Adventure Guides. The Adventure Guides Program revolves around building a small community of parent-child pairs who support one another and grow together through fun, meaningful and safe outdoor activities that help parents and children become “Friends Forever.”
Adventure Guides is a special part of the Y because of how it not only welcomes parents and caregivers of children to experience an exciting world of outdoor adventure, but also provides them with fun activities that are specifically designed to help parents strengthen the bond they have with their child.
Burrows, who both works with Adventure Guides and oversees the Y afterschool programs in Cedar Grove and Verona, believes that this program, and all the programs the Y offers, are extremely beneficial to the community.
“We help children feel connected and supported in trying new things, and we teach them how to be their best selves. That makes for confident kids today, and contributing and engaged adults tomorrow,” shared Burrows.
In Adventure Guides, groups of Explorers and Guides come together as Circles to meet regularly. Circles meet as Expeditions to participate in larger activities such as campouts and parades- like Fourth of July parade.
“The Adventure Guides Circle decorated their own floats. Several of the Circles have marches over the years and this year we thought it would be great to have the groups march together, while still keeping their individual Circle’s identity,” explained Burrows. “I e-mailed the Adventure Guides members to see who was interested in participating, and members from the Howling Wolves, the Wolf Pack and the Hopi indicated they would be making floats.”
The Adventure Guides put a lot of effort into the decoration of the floats. Before they paraded through Montclair, each of the Circles had decorating parties the day before to get their floats set up. Finishing touches were of course added on the day of the parade.
Between the four Circles, there was close to 100 Y participants in the parade, with members of the Howling Wolves, the Wolf Pack, the Hopi and the Wasabi either riding the floats or walking. All of the participants wore matching shirts and carried water guns which they used to playfully spray the crowd.
“We participate in the parade because it is a wonderful community gathering event and as part of the heart of this community it just makes sense for the Y to participate,” said Burrows. “It’s an opportunity for members of the community to come together, to showcase all the types of service organizations, and for everyone to share the wealth of energy within Montclair.”
The Fourth of July Parade hosted by The Montclair YMCA was definitely another success.