Skip to main content
Shopping Cart
Upper Arlington Princesses
Established in 1960

Become Part of the Tradition
Founded by the YMCA in 1926

HomeOur History

Olentangy Longhouse
Indian Princesses - Grades K-4

The purpose of the Olentangy Longhouse is to foster understanding and companionship between father and daughter.

One of the greatest gifts that a father can give a daughter is quality time spent together.  The Indian Princess program is for dads with daughters, grades kindergarten through fourth grade.  The purpose is to develop the foundation for a life-long relationship.  The Olentangy Longhouse provides opportunities for fathers and daughters to spend time together.

Olentangy Longhouse 
Trail Mates - Grades 5-8

The purpose of the program is to allow our fathers and daughters to continue to spend quality time together.

Trail Mates may participate in as many of the Longhouse activities that they choose. To differentiate the Trail Mates from the younger, Indian Princesses, Trail Mates will also offer opportunities for at least one high-adventure activity, one community service activity, and be assigned additional camp out responsibilities to allow them to develop their leadership skills.

If you are interested in this program, please contact the Big Chief ( for more details

Olentangy Longhouse Slogan - “Friends Always” 

The slogan, "Friends Always", means that father and daughter have a close, enduring relationship in which there is communication, understanding, and companionship. The Indian Princess program encourages such a relationship by providing a means for father and daughter to share enjoyable experiences and have fun together.

Aims of the Olentangy Longhouse

To be clean in body and pure in heart.

To be friends always with my father/daughter.

To love the sacred circle of my family.

To listen while others speak.

To love my neighbor as myself.

To seek and preserve the beauty of the Great Spirit's work in forest, field and stream.

The Olentangy Longhouse Pledge

“We, father and daughter, through friendly service to each other, to our family, to this tribe, to our community, seek a world pleasing to the eye of the Great Spirit.”


 The History of Indian Guides & Princesses

The father and son YMCA Indian Guides program was developed in a deliberate way to support the father’s vital family role as teacher, counselor, and friend to his son.  In 1926 Harold S. Keltner, St. Louis YMCA Director, initiated the program and organized the first tribe in Richmond Heights, Missouri, with the help of Joe Friday, an Ojibway Indian, and William H. Hefelfinger, Chief of the first YMCA Indian Guides tribe.  The program of parent-child experiences that Harold Keltner initiated over 75 years ago now involves a half million children and adults.

Many have tried to duplicate our success, but the original Indian Princesses is associated with the YMCA.


Harold Kelter was initially inspired by his experiences with Joe Friday, Harold’s guide on fishing and hunting trips into Canada.  While on a hunting trip, Joe Friday said to his white colleague, as they sat around a blazing campfire, “The Indian father raises his son.  He teaches his son to hunt, to track, to fish, to walk softly and silently in the forest, to know the meaning and purpose of life and all he must know, while the white man allows the mother to raise his son.”  These comments struck home, and Harold Keltner arranged for Joe Friday to work with him at the St. Louis YMCA.

The Ojibway Indian spoke before groups of YMCA boys and dads in St. Louis and Mr. Keltner discovered that fathers and sons shared an interest in the traditions and ways of American Indian.  At the same time, being a great lover of the outdoors, Keltner conceived the idea of a father and son program based upon the strong qualities of American Indian culture and life-dignity, patience, endurance, spirituality, felling for the earth, and concern for the family.  Thus, the YMCA Indian Guides program was born.


The YMCA Indian Princess Expansion

The Indian Guides program grew rapidly with the post-World War II baby boomer generation and it became clear that there was a need for a similar organization for girls.  The success of the father-son program nurtured the development of parent-daughter groups.  The mother-daughter program, now called Indian Maidens, was established in 1951 and three years later father-daughter Indian Princesses groups began.  Since the early 1960’s, the swift expansion of these programs has continued along with a corresponding group of programs for older children.


The Indian Princess Program 

The Upper Arlington Olentangy Longhouse Indian Princess program is the first and original program in Upper Arlington.  It is largest group in Upper Arlington.  The group consists of girls from Barrington, Tremont, St. Agatha, CSG, Academy, Hilliard, Windermere, Wickliffe, and Greensview schools.  The collective organization is called the Olentangy Longhouse.  The Longhouse is made up of individual tribes which generally have between fourteen and twenty four fathers and daughters.  Currently, we have six tribes in the Olentangy Longhouse.   All of the tribes are named in honor of Indian tribes that originated in and around Ohio. 


The Longhouse is under the leadership of volunteer parents who hold office for one or more years.  Three campouts are planned each year along with many other great events such as sporting events, pinewood derby  racing, ice skating, family picnics, and holiday celebrations.  


The individual tribes are the building blocks of the Longhouse.  Each tribe is a self-contained unit, which can plan tribal events based on the interests of the members.  As a unit, each tribe should try to meet about once a month at the homes of the tribal members or at a predetermined event location.  The ideas for tribal events are only limited by the imaginations of tribe members.  To share the burden of planning, dads usually rotate responsibilities for hosting a monthly event.


This program is what YOU make of it and will return experiences that will last a lifetime in the hearts and minds of your daughters and YOU!!!


"We, father and daughter, through friendly service to each other, to our family, to this tribe, to our community, seek a world pleasing to the eye of the Great Spirit."