November 19, 2010

The Raven Weekend for Boys

Imagine a multi-generational male tribe . . . Elders, men, adolescent males, and young boys, all focused on a positive journey toward a solid manhood. That tribe is evolving in Tucson, AZ (and in lots of other places).

I just completed staffing another Raven Weekend. These are what I call a “welcome to the world of men” weekend experiences for 9-12 year-old boys. This was the first ever Raven Weekend in Tucson, AZ. While small in numbers, it was wildly successful for the men and boys involved. If you add the Raven Weekend to the efforts of Mankind Project active in this area initiating adult men, and our Rite of Passage Adventure Weekend for adolescent males, a true, multi-generational men’s hut is being created in this community.

On this weekend, the staff of a dozen plus solid staff introduced an amazing pack of 9 young boys to "the world of men." Men and boys played capture the flag, drummed, juggled with a chicken, got muddy, learned the art of camouflage, stalking prey, wilderness shelter building, talked about bullying, and sat around the fires for storytelling. They met men with large hearts, learned about men’s lives at different ages in the span of a life, and feasted on Pizza. Simply stated, boy heaven.

In addition to the above, there were activities designed to introduce discussions about the cycle of life (living and dying), to encourage age appropriate emotional expression, and lots of time to celebrate the gifts and unique wisdom of each boy. Watching boys go through all these experiences has a powerful impact on the men also. For me, words that describe a Raven Weekend experience include play, fun, learning, adventure, sweetness, remembering, blessings, and caring.

The weekend was skillfully led by Pete Young from Ashland, OR. Pete has been doing these weekends around the country and evolved a powerful template that is perfectly suited to the young male experience and energy output.

At the end of the weekend when the new Ravens were awarded a talisman honoring their experience, one young guy summed it up pretty well. He said, “it was the funnest weekend ever!”

At this link:, you can see some of the photos of the Tucson Raven Weekend. If you weren't there, you won't see everything that happened and some of the pictures may not make sense. You’d have to talk to a staff man or Raven to get the whole story. If you’re really curious, or possibly want to host a Raven Weekend in your community, you can contact Pete Young.

If you can handle the energy output, you too may have the "funnest weekend" in a very long time.

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  1. It is a funny coincidence.
    I am sitting in a coffee shop waiting for my ride and decided to look online to see if there were blogs focusing on boy-man transition/ritual (for I was interested in starting one) and I find this nice blog.
    Coincidence in that I just flew into Tucson, AZ, 2 hours ago and this is where your post is focused.

    I am just now looking exploring this blog.

  2. DR. Plim, I honor your interest in this work. Contact me at and I'd be happy to talk with you about what's possible.


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