May 29, 2016

Welcoming Young Men To Man's World

I believe men are hardwired for initiating young males into manhood, and if a hundred or so males of different ages were shipped off to a remote island, all the right things would eventually happen.

I believe men are hardwired
for initiating young males
into manhood.

Shortly after all the guys arrived on the island, a male hierarchy would quickly be established. All manner of tasks and challenges would be offered and met. Important survival skills would be taught, games and competitions would happen, and there would be a good deal of joking around, farting, and general playfulness.

Along the way, some serious conversations would take place, and important bonds would naturally occur. At some point, the young men would eventually be invited into the men's circles, and it would be a life-changing experience for everyone. I know that scenario is true because I've experienced it many times. Well, maybe not a hundred guys and not on an island, but almost!

Sadly, most men have forgotten their role and responsibility for this ancient and sacred man-making work with young males. The good news is there are places you can go to remember and relearn.

One place is the YMAW, or Young Men's Adventure Weekend. Imagine almost a hundred males, young, old, and older, gathering deep in a wilderness forest outside of Vancouver, British Columbia. It's camping around a large clearing, next to an impossibly beautiful lake, with big mountain backdrop, and in a very old forest. It feels primitive and a little wild just as you'd expect man's world should be. While the events that make up this experience are pretty well scripted, there is a lot of room for male chemistry to work it's magic on everyone.

Here's some beautiful photos from the 2015 YMAW that really tell the story visually.

For a more energized taste of the experience here's a video clip from a past YMAW. The theme for the weekend that year was Voyagers, and the young men were invited to see themselves as explorers and adventurers on their quest for manhood. In addition to the fun, watch for the caring conversations, the challenges to teams of young men, the forest background, and the incredible food! I especially love how the young adventurers arrive in Man's World!

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

This year the YMAW is being held July 8th - 10th and a spot for you, and maybe that of a young man you know, are waiting. The men who come from distant places are called outlanders but they are treated every bit like a very welcome guest. When you go, the YMAW men will connect with you in advance and assign you a weekend buddy to make sure you have a solid man at your back from arrival to departure. Your ground transportation and gear needs will be handled, so all you have to do is jump in and savor the experience. I've been there, experienced their caring treatment, and loved every minute. It's been going on for over 25 years so I can say these men really know what they are doing.

If you want to combine a trip to a truly beautiful place while hanging out with men in the business of changing young male lives, you really should take a trip to man's world at the YMAW. For more information on attending, or just to talk with the YMAW guys about this kind of man-making work, visit the YMAW website. You can also contact one of the YMAW founders, Brad Leslie at I know the YMAW men will be happy to hear from you.

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:15 PM

    Nice piece Earl. I was one of the YMAW founders and am so happy it is still happening!


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