October 22, 2018

Boys Speak about their Rite of Passage

One of my brother's in mission is Dick Baker, a member of JourneymenUK. It's a group or men providing Rites of Passage Adventure (RoPA) experiences for young men in the United Kingdom. The organization describes their work this way:

Our Rite of Passage Adventure is a transformational weekend for boys aged 14 to 17, offering them the chance to take a bold step towards becoming the kind of man they want to be. The RoPA is a three day event designed to give the boys of our community the challenge and support they need as they begin their journey to adulthood. We model healthy boundaries, creative co-operation, the capacity to transform and embody strong emotions positively and compassionately, and we challenge the boys to face themselves and their future with courage, humor and integrity.

"...we challenge the boys
to face themselves and their future
with courage, humor and integrity."

Here is what Dick said about JourneymenUK's most recent annual RoPA:

We've just returned from our 7th UK RoPA. Thirty-five staff came together to create the conditions for fifteen new JMen (Journeymen) to find something they need within themselves and get seriously blessed along the way. It was, as always, an awesome and awe inspiring weekend.

We had the homecoming last night which was moving and heartfelt – to witness a boy talk about his experience in front of his community, being truly seen and blessed, maybe for the first time, even by a parent, is quite something.

After many years of trying, this year we had a women’s blessing for staff at the RoPA. After a days container building and before the boys arrived, 10 or 12 women showed up and held the men in circle and blessed them – it was a quite extraordinary and moving moment.

Once again I’m left knowing this work does change the world and maybe it is sometimes even a matter of life and death.


The video Dick sent just below is powerful testimony, in the boy's own words, about the impact of this kind of experience during this time in their lives.


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

My guess, if you're a man watching this video, you'll have something like one of the following reactions:
  • "I'm glad some men are doing something those boys!"
  • "I wish I would have had something like that growing up!"
  • "I know a kid who could really use an experience like that about now."
The experience of having a group of men help a boy make a positive crossing into manhood is powerful, and sadly still a rarity in most cultures. Today, young males, who are being propelled toward manhood by their body chemistry, are left with self-initiation, finding their own, often twisted path toward becoming a man. Sadly, the results are often tragic for boys, families and our communities.

"I know a kid..."

If you're curious about this form of men's work, or if you have any comments, send me a message. You never know what an inspired man or group of men might create that could change a young man's life.



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