July 9, 2010

Another Rite of Passage Adventure Weekend

A Rite of Passage Adventure Weekend for adolescent males is always fun, full of energy, a little chaotic, heart stirring, exhausting, and worth every minute. I always go to bed late, sleep poorly, eat like a teen, and surprise myself with energy reserves. The joy of the playful times always calls to me. Those are the activities I call the Men to Boys weekend elements. Racing around with the young dudes, giving my "inner teen" a taste of the fun he missed growing up. There are competitive games, always objects flying through the air, lots of good-natured teasing, sometimes some mud, and plenty of laughter. All so good for my older man's soul.

While the play with a male pack in a natural environment is great, it's the more serious times that keep me coming back. Those moments when young males, supported by men, take off the masks they are already learning to wear over the anger, grief, and shame in their lives. Seeing how teen boys have their joy and pain so close to the top is always a little unexpected, even after so many of these weekends. There are tears, lots of tears which, if not for this weekend, would accumulate and be carried well into adulthood . . . maybe forever. It's in these moments, often with my own eyeballs wet, as an elder in the tribe I am called to honor a young man's courage to speak his truth or to hold a sobbing boy or man in my arms. Those times too are good for an older man's soul.

I have had the very same experiences on Rite of Passage Weekends in many different locations. The content of the passage experience may vary, but the result is always men and boys growing into better males because of their time together.

If you have had a similar experience, please share them with us in the comment section of this post. If you feel a called to participate in a Boys to Men Weekend or want to create that experience for your organization, send me an email and I'll get you pointed in the right direction. You'll be creating durable memories for sure.

The group putting on the weekend I staffed in Minnesota is the Boys to Men Mentoring Network of Minnesota. They are an affiliate of Boys to Men International. On the BTMI website you can find a listing of all their affiliates. There may even be one near you!

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