This Man-Making Blog is a practical and inspirational resource
for men who are interested in supporting our young males.

April 12, 2021

Young Guys and Emerging Adulthood

I've just returned from a Rite of Passage Weekend in which twenty men "initiated" thirteen young males into man's world. With the young men being between twelve and twenty years old, we certainly were not welcoming them to "manhood." If they're lucky, that passage will come much later, and sadly, some of them will never experience that line-crossing. But that is a different discussion.

2021 Boys to Men Tucson - Rites of Passage Weekend

The young males on this passage weekend became what we call Journeymen. Meaning we honor the fact that they are leaving boyhood behind and that they are beginning to take their emerging manhood seriously. We, the men of their community, witness, honor, and support that line-crossing. We no longer refer to them as boys, but Journeymen.

Apparently, the adventure these newly minted Journeymen are being launched into is getting to be an even longer road. There is now research to describe a new phase of development called "Emerging Adulthood." This is a life-stage that lies in between adolescence and young adulthood. I think this is important information for those of us working with young men because it explains a lot of what we all have intuitively noticed. It's that the process of becoming a "full-fledged young adult" takes much longer today than it did 50 years ago. In fact, as you'll hear in the video below, thirty really IS the new twenty!

thirty really IS the new twenty!

Jeffrey Arnett, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Clark University in Massachusetts. Dr. Arnett believes Emerging Adulthood is a period of development between the ages of 18 to 25 years, which is distinct from adolescence and later stages of adulthood. In his article in Psychology Today titled, The Big Challenge: Jumping From Adolescence Into Adulthood," he articulates five features that support Emerging Adulthood as a distinctly different developmental stage. They are: 1. Identity Exploration, 2. Instability, 3. Self-focus, 4. Feeling In-between, and 5. The Age of Possibilities.

In this video Dr. Arnett describes this unique time in a young persons' life. See if it's a fit for your experience of young men today:

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

Does this video on how our young males are moving toward adulthood feel right to you? 

Let me know by posting a comment on this post below. 

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© Copyright 2005-2021 Earl Hipp. All Rights Reserved.
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December 3, 2020

Watch A Young Man's Rite of Passage Weekend

Lisa Ling, the CNN filmmaker of This is Life with Lisa Ling, just profiled the kind of Rites of Passage work with young guys I've been involved in for the last 20+ years. If you're curious about what that kind of experience can look like for the men and the boys involved, her Lost Boys episode (below) is a good example. 

What you'll see in the video is what 60 good men can create for 40+ young males on the Young Men's Ultimate Weekend, or YMUW. The video really gets into the passage experience for the boys at about 20 minutes into the story, but the front end is worth watching. The YMUW is certainly not the only approach to supporting boys stepping across a line on their journey toward manhood, but it's a solid model of a Rite of Passage experience for a young male.

I did feel a little reluctance seeing some of the workings of the weekend uncovered. That's only because not knowing what's going to happen creates a transformational chemistry for the boys. That said, I love the fact that this model of how men can show up for boys and its impact is out there in the world. 

In my view, we need lots more of these YMUW experiences, or something very much like it, to deal with the epidemic of under-male-nourished boys in the world. In my experience, all the males involved in these experiences are always changed very much for the better as a result.

. . .the epidemic of under-male-nourished boys. . .

Interesting note: Lisa is the only woman in 25 years to have been allowed to witness the Young Men's Ultimate Weekend.

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

If exposure to this way of working with young men inspires you, give me a shout
and let's talk about it. Passage experiences can be created for large groups, a few boys, or perhaps just for one young man in your family or community. 

I know the boys are waiting!

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© Copyright 2005-2021 Earl Hipp. All Rights Reserved.
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November 17, 2020

A Young Man's Rites of Passage Experience
on CNN!

My friend and brother in mission, Dr. Mark Schillinger, has connected with CNN reporter Lisa Ling to profile a contemporary young men's Rites of Passage weekend experience. Mark is the Executive Director and one of the founders of a deeply transformational event called the Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend or YMUW.
Lisa Ling is a CNN documentary reporter known for her sensitive treatment of challenging topics in her series, This Is Life with Lisa Ling. In 2019 she became the first woman EVER allowed at a YMUW in its 20 years of existence. Her presence is ground-breaking because the YMUW is such a deep dive into man's world. That compromise was made because of the importance of showing the world how necessary Rites of Passage work is for the young men, and its impact on the adult males who staff the weekend. While there are a growing number of groups beginning to offer Rites of Passage experiences, the YMUW is among the best.

Mark and Lisa on the 2019 YMUW 

If you'd like to grow your understanding how these passage events work, watch for the This Is Life with Lisa Ling show at the end of November. Here's the details:

Show Title: “Lost Boys” 
Date: Sunday, November 29, 2020 
Time: 10 p.m. (PST/EST) 
Where: Your local CNN station 

If you have questions about the YMUW, you can send an email to Dr. Mark Schillinger at You can also feel free to give me a shout if you're interested in this kind of work.

Finally, if you use the "SEARCH THIS BLOG" window on the right side of this page, it will reveal lots of other examples of passage events and experiences from around the world. 

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

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© Copyright 2005-2020 Earl Hipp. All Rights Reserved.
Sharing with attribution allowed. All other use require permission.

October 23, 2020

What One Good Man Can Do

During these and sometimes dark days, when we are all being challenged in so many ways, I've been looking for those bright rays of light that give me hope and inspiration. My friend Ashanti Branch and his very good work with and for young men is one of those stories.
A simple Google search on Ashanti will deliver lots of great information on the man, his PBS interviews, TED talks, and the Ever Forward organization he's built. But I really like THIS ARTICLE on him from his college, Cal Poly, where he actually studied to be a Civil Engineer. It's a tale of how, if you're paying attention, Spirit can guide you to just the right place and work. It's also a beautiful story about how large a positive difference in the world one good man, just being himself, can create. 

If you could use a day-brightener, check out the article. 

Thanks Ashanti, for being you, and for showing up so strongly for so many of "our" young men.

Learn more about Ashanti's work at

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© Copyright 2005-2021 Earl Hipp. All Rights Reserved.
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September 23, 2020

Good Dads

The last post was about The Other Men, in a young man's life who had a powerful impact on their adult development. It was about the transformational power other good men can have in shaping a young male, even when there is a loving and engaged father. This post shares a slightly different story about how an elder blessing can positively change any man's life. For most men, there is an important job description or opportunity in this story.

Jesse V. sent this along for your consideration:
As a young, 27-year-old father myself, I was shopping in Trader Joe’s with my 3-year-old son. We’d just arrived, and the cart was empty. When I went to grab something from the shelf, I heard a large crash and saw my son under the cart. He had climbed onto the side of the cart, flipping it over. I immediately pulled the cart off and swept him into a hug. As my eyes were closed and as Jake’s head was on my left shoulder, I felt a large hand on my right shoulder. There in front of me is a man with white hair and beard and in a kind, deep voice, he says, “You’re a good father.” And like an apparition, he was gone.

"You’re a good father."

This meant so much to me because at the time I did not feel like a man and I had not dealt with my own father issues. That man was like a father in that moment, supporting his son. I was blessed by a stranger, but an older man in the community. It felt so good.

So, when you’re out there in public and see men being good fathers, or just doing something well... tell them. Don’t underestimate the power you have to positively affect the men in your community.

Your Man-Making Homework:
Today, or maybe tomorrow, catch a young man in your world doing something right and then honor him by naming it! Just that simple. Then notice how two male lives are transformed for the better!

An just in case you were interested in child safety, here's some online help for those who are challenged with keeping very young kids safe in grocery carts!

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© Copyright 2005-2021 Earl Hipp. All Rights Reserved.
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