February 25, 2014

My Passage - A Man-Making Conference Call and the Annual Man-Making Blog Survey Results

Speaking of Rites of Passage, in celebration of my 70th birthday, and having solidly crossed the line into Elderhood, I've been doing a lot of traveling lately. That's why I've not posted in a while. I'll be back on the job full time starting in March. You can read about my most recent trip to Oaxaca, Mexico here.

MAN-MAKING CONFERENCE CALL: As you'll read in the results of The Annual Man-Making Blog Survey below, many of you said you'd be interested in participating in a conference call focused on Man-Making topics. My current plan is to hold the first of these conversations at 7 PM (MST), March 11th. That would be 9 PM on the east coast of the US and 6 PM on the west coast. For everyone else it's GMT +7. The first conversation will be around the theme of how to get men to show up for young males, both in general and in our organizations.

If you'd like to be included in this call, send me a note with your name, the part of the world where you're located, and any other background information you'd like to share. In return, I'll send you a brief outline and the instructions and log-in information for the conference call.

I have no idea what the response will be, but if there are two of us, I'll be happy. If the response is strong, and to keep the exchanges manageable, the first 10 to sign up by email will be the active participants in the conversation. Later registrants will have to be listeners with an opportunity for questions at the end. It's my intention to record the event and possibly post it for those who couldn't attend. If you are reading this, you are someone I'd like to have in on the conversation, so don't screen yourself out. Any Man-Making Blog reader is welcome.

Your responses to The Annual Man-Making Blog Survey were great. Here is a brief summary of what you told me:

What is ONE thing I can do to make the Man-Making blog more meaningful for you? There were only a few specific kinds of requests in the responses. One person said, "I think it would be helpful to hear about smaller, local town/city groups. Sometimes reading about those wonderful big groups is intimidating." Another person asked to hear about, ". . . Man-Making failures and the personal success stories." A man asked specifically about church-based programs when he stated, "I'm trying to get the men in my church interested in this type of event without much success... I'd love to hear some success stories and how they did it."

There were many affirming responses (thank you) along the lines of, "Don't change! Keep bringing us ideas, stories, and hope for building meaningful connections between boys and men." My favorite reply in this category said, "Yours is an exquisitely soft and delicate message that kicks men in the hearts and nuts, inviting them to do the job that manhood requires of them!"

What type of content in blog posts is most interesting or helpful to you? This was a multiple choice question asking for your top 2 or 3 topics. Many responders still clicked them all. In order of preference, information about, "Getting men interested in mentoring and man-making" was a clear winner with, "Rites of Passage activities or programs for boys" a close second. Next came, "Developing school-based support groups for boys," with getting a better understanding of, "Young male developmental stages" in fourth place. The other topics, Community based violence prevention for young males; Man-Making related research; Single parents raising boys; and Man-Making Films and Book Reviews, all had quite a few votes each. I plan to reflect these responses, as much as possible, in my posts going forward.

Are you aware of a Man-Making resource I should profile in the blog? Responses to this question brought suggestions for programs in South Africa, Australia, Canada and the US, many of which are already lined up for future blog posts. Others promised to be "foreign correspondents," watching for Man-Making related programs or newsworthy events in their part of the world.

"Yours is an exquisitely soft and delicate message
that kicks men in the hearts and nuts,
inviting them to do the job
that manhood requires of them!"

Idea Sharing? I love the idea that it's "all of us" and not just me on the lookout for inspiration and solid examples of Man-Making. You, the motivated readers, represent a giant body of experience in this area, and we can all learn from each other. That's why I put out the multiple-choice question about different ways we might have a chat about the work.

Many of you said you'd like to be part of either an "Open Conference Call" or a "Topic Focused Conference Call" for idea sharing. Earl's "Special Report" Publications got a lot of votes, so I'll be thinking about what those reports might be all about. There were a few of you interested in a "Private Facebook Group" but not enough at this point to be going down that path.

Thanks again for your support, for caring enough to respond, and helping me keep this blog relevant for you and the other readers. The work of making good men out of our young guys will take all of us and many more, each doing the thing they can do. Thanks for stepping up.

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

SUBSCRIBE: If you're not yet a subscriber to the Man-Making Blog, and you'd like to receive these posts by email 3-4 times a month, use this link for a free subscription.

LIKE: If you enjoy this blog, please click the "Like" button below to support the Man-Making Facebook page!

TWEET: Send this post along to your friends or follow me on Twitter!