December 3, 2020

Watch A Young Man's Rite of Passage Weekend

Lisa Ling, the CNN filmmaker of This is Life with Lisa Ling, just profiled the kind of Rites of Passage work with young guys I've been involved in for the last 20+ years. If you're curious about what that kind of experience can look like for the men and the boys involved, her Lost Boys episode (below) is a good example. 


What you'll see in the video is what 60 good men can create for 40+ young males on the Young Men's Ultimate Weekend, or YMUW. The video really gets into the passage experience for the boys at about 20 minutes into the story, but the front end is worth watching. The YMUW is certainly not the only approach to supporting boys stepping across a line on their journey toward manhood, but it's a solid model of a Rite of Passage experience for a young male.

I did feel a little reluctance seeing some of the workings of the weekend uncovered. That's only because not knowing what's going to happen creates a transformational chemistry for the boys. That said, I love the fact that this model of how men can show up for boys and its impact is out there in the world. 

In my view, we need lots more of these YMUW experiences, or something very much like it, to deal with the epidemic of under-male-nourished boys in the world. In my experience, all the males involved in these experiences are always changed very much for the better as a result.

. . .the epidemic of under-male-nourished boys. . .

Interesting note: Lisa is the only woman in 25 years to have been allowed to witness the Young Men's Ultimate Weekend.


If this clip doesn't show up use this link.

If exposure to this way of working with young men inspires you, give me a shout
and let's talk about it. Passage experiences can be created for large groups, a few boys, or perhaps just for one young man in your family or community. 

I know the boys are waiting!



CONTACT EARL: Send Earl a message. I'm very interested in your thoughts on any man-making post or topic. I'm also available to help you bring man-making initiatives to your community or organization.

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November 17, 2020

A Young Man's Rites of Passage Experience
on CNN!

My friend and brother in mission, Dr. Mark Schillinger, has connected with CNN reporter Lisa Ling to profile a contemporary young men's Rites of Passage weekend experience. Mark is the Executive Director and one of the founders of a deeply transformational event called the Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend or YMUW.
Lisa Ling is a CNN documentary reporter known for her sensitive treatment of challenging topics in her series, This Is Life with Lisa Ling. In 2019 she became the first woman EVER allowed at a YMUW in its 20 years of existence. Her presence is ground-breaking because the YMUW is such a deep dive into man's world. That compromise was made because of the importance of showing the world how necessary Rites of Passage work is for the young men, and its impact on the adult males who staff the weekend. While there are a growing number of groups beginning to offer Rites of Passage experiences, the YMUW is among the best.

Mark and Lisa on the 2019 YMUW 

If you'd like to grow your understanding how these passage events work, watch for the This Is Life with Lisa Ling show at the end of November. Here's the details:

Show Title: “Lost Boys” 
Date: Sunday, November 29, 2020 
Time: 10 p.m. (PST/EST) 
Where: Your local CNN station 

If you have questions about the YMUW, you can send an email to Dr. Mark Schillinger at Info@ymuw.org. You can also feel free to give me a shout if you're interested in this kind of work.

Finally, if you use the "SEARCH THIS BLOG" window on the right side of this page, it will reveal lots of other examples of passage events and experiences from around the world. 



CONTACT EARL: Send Earl a message. I'm very interested in your thoughts on any man-making post or topic. I'm also available to help you bring man-making initiatives to your community or organization.

FACEBOOK SHARE: If you enjoy this blog, please click the Facebook "Share" button below to support the Man-Making Facebook page! (The button is only on the MM Blog, and not in subscription posts delivered by email.)


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© Copyright 2005-2020 Earl Hipp. All Rights Reserved.
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October 23, 2020

What One Good Man Can Do

During these and sometimes dark days, when we are all being challenged in so many ways, I've been looking for those bright rays of light that give me hope and inspiration. My friend Ashanti Branch and his very good work with and for young men is one of those stories.
A simple Google search on Ashanti will deliver lots of great information on the man, his PBS interviews, TED talks, and the Ever Forward organization he's built. But I really like THIS ARTICLE on him from his college, Cal Poly, where he actually studied to be a Civil Engineer. It's a tale of how, if you're paying attention, Spirit can guide you to just the right place and work. It's also a beautiful story about how large a positive difference in the world one good man, just being himself, can create. 

If you could use a day-brightener, check out the article. 

Thanks Ashanti, for being you, and for showing up so strongly for so many of "our" young men.

Learn more about Ashanti's work at everforwardclub.org



CONTACT EARL: Send Earl a message. I'm very interested in your thoughts on any man-making post or topic. I'm also available to help you bring man-making initiatives to your community or organization.

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September 23, 2020

Good Dads

The last post was about The Other Men, in a young man's life who had a powerful impact on their adult development. It was about the transformational power other good men can have in shaping a young male, even when there is a loving and engaged father. This post shares a slightly different story about how an elder blessing can positively change any man's life. For most men, there is an important job description or opportunity in this story.

Jesse V. sent this along for your consideration:
As a young, 27-year-old father myself, I was shopping in Trader Joe’s with my 3-year-old son. We’d just arrived, and the cart was empty. When I went to grab something from the shelf, I heard a large crash and saw my son under the cart. He had climbed onto the side of the cart, flipping it over. I immediately pulled the cart off and swept him into a hug. As my eyes were closed and as Jake’s head was on my left shoulder, I felt a large hand on my right shoulder. There in front of me is a man with white hair and beard and in a kind, deep voice, he says, “You’re a good father.” And like an apparition, he was gone.

"You’re a good father."

This meant so much to me because at the time I did not feel like a man and I had not dealt with my own father issues. That man was like a father in that moment, supporting his son. I was blessed by a stranger, but an older man in the community. It felt so good.



So, when you’re out there in public and see men being good fathers, or just doing something well... tell them. Don’t underestimate the power you have to positively affect the men in your community.

Your Man-Making Homework:
Today, or maybe tomorrow, catch a young man in your world doing something right and then honor him by naming it! Just that simple. Then notice how two male lives are transformed for the better!

An just in case you were interested in child safety, here's some online help for those who are challenged with keeping very young kids safe in grocery carts!



CONTACT EARL: Send Earl a message. I'm very interested in your thoughts on any man-making post or topic. I'm also available to help you bring man-making initiatives to your community or organization.

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September 11, 2020

The Other Men

In training men to be mentors, we often ask, "Who were the men, other than your father, who had impact on your life as a young man? While a loving and engaged father is the most powerful man-making force on the planet, even that good dad can't give his son everything his son needs as he moves towards manhood. Then there are all those young men who don't have that engaged, available father, or any father at all in their lives. In those cases, the "other men" become critically important, sometimes lifesaving.

When the stories about other men are told, we often hear rich stories of good men who stepped up, sometimes for literal moments, hours, or as lifetime allies. Men who were neighbors, coaches, relatives, from their faith community, show up and without too much effort, make important differences in a life. Sometimes there are tears in the telling of the stories.

We invite the men to remember these guys in their lives because they too as intentional mentors are stepping into that "other man" role. Because men new to mentoring are always a little unsure, we like to remind them that the other men who showed up for them didn't have any mentor training. We remind them that who they are, right now is sufficient. That they in fact are already in the man-making business because whether they are intentional or not, they are being watched by the adolescent males in their world . . . they are, for better and worse, the book on manhood for the young men around them. It has been that way for thousands of years, and still today, boys and men are hardwired for this way of being together.

What follows is a story from a dear Tucson friend of mine, Lee. In his story about the other men, he describes exactly how these forms of natural mentoring work:



There were men in my father’s circle who taught me much just by being who they were:

Sid B., with posture as straight as his words, looked as if he had taken some punches but had won most of his fights. He always took the time to acknowledge me, a kid, as someone real.

Joe L., who stood by my dad when my mother died. He had lost his daughter in a horrible manner, so knew the pain of loss. He was comfortable showing concern in loyal silence. Even the lines in his face knew the value of presence.

But most of all there was Pat M. Learning his practical, slow approach to problem solving served me well in life. He even drove slowly. Okay, the speed limit, but that made me restless back then. Yet, he was quick to tell a story, to buy or accept a beer, preferably Old Style.

I remember Pat's big Irish alcohol-reddened nose, his sparkling leprechaun eyes, and his quiet deliberate movements. His long and heavy head, at least two sizes too large for his body — was always tilted one way or the other, always ready to smile, or walk away.


He was a tile setter for my father’s company, Acorn Tile. He was a craftsman from an earlier age, an era that was disappearing even as I was first being exposed to it. Post World War II expansion and development demanded fast repetitive work, not craft. At some point, Pat began to drive the company truck, delivering and picking up supplies, and keeping an eye on the jobs in progress. I often rode with him. He took the back roads, not the interstates, his right hand on the stick shift, left foot riding the clutch, smoking Parliaments. It wasn’t my place to say anything. 

On one trip, he unexpectedly stopped the truck
and said, “You drive.”

He wore flannel shirts, carried a dull iron green lunchbox and thermos, was comfortable on bar stools or on an overturned bucket talking about hunting, fishing, ballgames, and cooking with onions. He had seven daughters. I might have been like a son to him. On one trip, he unexpectedly stopped the truck and said, “You drive.” I was sixteen with a license but had never driven a manual transmission nor a truck. There was no place for no. I eventually managed to get it in gear and moving while Pat drank his coffee unconcerned. He would only give me a look if my jerky shifting caused him to spill. He didn’t just let me drive just because I was the boss’s son, he just decided to give me a taste of responsibility. He also showed me how to think about work before doing it and taught me that conversation was the real centerpiece of each day. He didn’t trust a man who complained too much or drank too little.

Pat never forgot the things I did, right or wrong. An elevator breaking down on a job site because I had overloaded it. The broken window on the truck that I resisted revealing the truth about for years. Me bringing the wrong materials for a job. He always seemed to know what I was struggling with and what my accomplishments were. He even told stories about me, bringing me into a world of men I would not have known otherwise.

Over many years, I watched Pat gradually get older, less able, and saw the effects of too much drinking on him. Eventually I left the business and headed to Tucson. Before Pat died, I wrote him a letter of appreciation thanking him for all the gifts he'd given me. I'm told he carried that letter with him and one day he read to my father. I remember the day my dad called to tell me about Pat's passing. He told me about how much my letter had meant to Pat and we both got a little teary talking about the important role he had played in both our lives.



So, who were the "other men" in your life? 

If you could speak to one of those men today,
what would you say? 


How can you honor the impact these "other men" 
had on the man you are today?




CONTACT EARL: Send Earl a message. I'm very interested in your thoughts on any man-making post or topic. I'm also available to help you bring man-making initiatives to your community or organization.

FACEBOOK SHARE: If you enjoy this blog, please click the Facebook "Share" button below to support the Man-Making Facebook page! (The button is only on the MM Blog, and not in subscription posts delivered by email.)


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© Copyright 2005-2020 Earl Hipp. All Rights Reserved.
Sharing with attribution allowed. All other use require permission.