August 12, 2007

A Trip to Boy Heaven

A recent article in the August 12, 2007 issue of Time magazine titled The Myth About Boys; David Von Drehle tries to help us all find some hope about the "boy crisis." The author takes the perspective that so much of what we’ve heard about the challenges facing today’s boys isn’t all THAT bad.

Von Drehle agrees that the boys are struggling, but argues that the glass is really half full vs. half empty. Try this on, “Is it bad that more boys are in special education, or should we be pleased that they are getting extra help from specially trained teachers? And haven't boys always tended to be more restless than girls under the discipline of high school and more likely to wind up in jail?” I don’t know about you, but that approach didn’t help me to feel much more hopeful.

He goes on like that for four pages, trying to find hope in the small details. He says condom use is up for boys, and that in 1984, 1 out of 3 young black men ages 18 and 19 were neither in school nor working and now it’s 1 in 5. You’ll have to read it for yourself. I commend him for trying to be optimistic, but naming small gains in a huge struggle doesn’t qualify as myth busting for me.

He did accomplish two things with his article worthy of note. First he brought more people into the boy dialogue, always a good thing. But most importantly, he identified a spectacular camp for boys under the title, A Trip To Boy Heaven. Indeed, the Falling Creek Camp for Boys in North Carolina is actually bursting with perfect boy activities, in a perfect wilderness environment, and it’s all driven by boy-literate staff. Not only will the video on their website make any man wish he was a boy again, but Von Drehle has (unwittingly)pointed out that the Falling Creek Camp is exactly what an educational system should look like if it really wanted to educate and motivate boys. Now THAT idea really gives me hope.

Check it out and tell me what you think?

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