Merrimack dads and daughters await Hawaiian luau at middle school

A father-daughter dance will be hosted by the Southern NH Indian Pathfinders with a tropical Hawaiian luau theme from 6:30-8:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16, at Merrimack Middle School, 31 Madeline Bennett Lane. Hawaiian dress is encouraged.

Indian Pathfinders is an organization based in Londonderry that is open to all fathers and daughters age 4 and older. The organization, according to www.indianpathfinders.
com, fosters values including love, honesty and trust. Camp-outs, snow tubing, indoor skydiving and white water rafting are some of the activities offered to members.

Merrimack’s Bill “Howling Wolf” Cummings, a member of the organization’s Micmac tribe since 2006, is one of the event organizers. He said he looks forward to seeing all the dads and daughters from Merrimack and surrounding towns at the Hawaiian luau.

“Everyone comes to have a good time, and our goal is to provide a positive experience for every dad and daughter,” Cummings said. “This is our chance to reach out to our community, and hopefully, generate future members.”

Cummings added that his daughter, Lena, 13, and he have had fun with Pathfinders over the past seven years.

“We’ve had so many fun adventures, events we would never have done on our own, such as camp-outs and sleep-overs at the Museum of Science and aboard the USS Massachusetts,” Cummings said. “Some Pathfinder events are open to the entire family. They have included a tour of Boston aboard the duck boats, snow tubing, bowling, hay rides and sleigh rides. It’s simply about spending time together and having a good time.”

The Indian Pathfinder organization originally operated under the umbrella of the Greater Manchester YWCA. A similar program for fathers and sons, the Father and Son Y-Indian Guide program, was a forerunner, supporting fathers’ roles as mentors, friends and advisors to their sons. The program was expanded to encompass the Indian Princess group for dads and their daughters. Now, the Indian Pathfinders is an entity separate from the YWCA. It stands on its own as a New Hampshire nonprofit, known as the Southern NH Parent/Child program, operating as Indian Pathfinders.

Native American themes abound in Indian Pathfinder activities. Dads and daughters become members of age-appropriate “tribes” and are a part of the Pathfinder “nation.” Membership is open to girls as young as 4, and new tribes are forming. There are about 80 members from regional towns, including Merrimack, Londonderry, Derry, Windham, Pelham and Nashua.

An annual comedy night dinner and silent auction fundraising event in March supports a majority of Pathfinder programs, projects and events.

The upcoming Hawaiian luau is scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16. It will feature musical entertainment by Scott Lohnes, of Disc-Go Entertainment. Pre-registration admission is available online for $17 by credit card. Admission at the door is $25 cash. Admission includes snacks, beverages and a photo print of each dad-and-daughter combo who participates.

For more information or to pre-register, visit www.
indianpathfinders.com. Questions can be emailed to nhpathfindersmembership@gmail.com.