Re-introducing rites of passage for teenage boys,
‘The Journey To Manhood’
Stroud and Bristol (launching London this year) based charity JourneymanUK are taking a unique approach to mentoring teenage boys. An important part of this is re-introducing a rites of passage experience. “Rites of passage have played an important role in many cultures for thousands of years. Today, these rites have mostly been lost and boys often lack clear markers on their journey to manhood” says Ianto Doyle of Journeyman’s management Council. “During this phase support is needed to help boys safely explore who they are and who they might become as an independent adult in the community, JourneymanUK is rebuilding this in a contemporary way”. JourneymanUK is the UK delivery of the acclaimed internationally available BoysTo Men programme from the USA..
Dick Baker who is a mentor in the Stroud group goes on to say “on the Rites of Passage Adventure Weekend (RoPAW) boys are challenged and supported through a series of carefully facilitated activities where we guide them to discover their own individual strengths, talents and gifts. Having to respond in new way creates a powerful experience that helps boys cope with the ordeals of adolescence. Our challenge goes to the heart and story of each boy, he will be led towards an understanding of who he is and to start creating a vision for who he wants to be in the future. We use mythology, story, exercises, team work, emotional awareness, and celebration to help them find their own integrity, courage, respect, passion and leadership. What they tell us is that it’s an exhilarating and often life changing experience that many boys say they will never forget.”
The weekend is staffed by a large group of 30 volunteer men and young mentees, who have experienced our programmme, from a diverse range of ages and backgrounds.
The J2M weekend is followed up by local regular group mentoring circles where we create a safe space for boys to tell the truth about themselves. “We have a rule that we don’t fix, rescue, advise or project our story onto the boys, instead we listen, acknowledge, admire, model and bless them for who they are. This way of operating enables a deep trust and connection which encourages the boys to be authentic about who they are and how they feel.”
This weekend is for boys of all backgrounds aged 14 to 18. Enrolment is open and there are places available. Any men wishing to become mentors contact Journeymanuk. Journeyman has mentoring circles in Stroud, Bristol and London starting this year. contact Journeyman email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://journeymanuk.org.