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Quotes from Parents
- “No one else has been able to stick with my son and keep him from pushing them away.”
- “I believe my son’s experience in Boys to Men was instrumental in the turnaround of his life.”
- “Ron now knows that he is on a journey to become a man.”
- “The initial weekend was powerful for him, giving him tools to express his feelings, especially about our difficult family situation.”
What will my son get out of this?
Every boy gets something, and it’s often different. The weekend is a smorgasbord of activities, each one with a different goal in mind. Certainly he will experience his own strength and we’ll help to identify some of his specific gifts.
He’ll see his own goodness at new levels. There are great ongoing activities where he’ll get a chance to make new friends who are engaged in the process of growing up. If he chooses to have a mentor, he’ll be matched with a safe, mature man who commits to walk with him.
What happens on the weekend?
There are games, activities, discussion circles, challenge events, and celebrations of victory. We won’t tell the boys the specifics of the agenda since it would dilute the effectiveness of the processes. Integrated into the team & skill building, we have opportunities for personal sharing amongst the boys.
Often the boys open up their deep issues to find acceptance, witnessing, and support. At the end they are celebrated for their successes and asked to commit to their own path to manhood in a powerful way.
Is this program different from Big Brothers / Sisters?
There are several mentoring programs in the Greater Washington Area. Some programs focus on group mentoring and some focus on making one-to-one match-ups. Big Brothers / Sisters is the largest mentoring organization in the United States, and they focus on one-to-one mentor matches with children of both genders. Boys to Men does both group mentoring and one-to-one mentoring with boys only. Additionally, Boys to Men has three main program components, Rites of Passage, ongoing activities, and the Journeyman groups.
What happens after the weekend?
Any young man who has completed his Passage Adventure Weekend is called a Journeyman. We have ongoing activities that include fun events, social service, and skill building. After completing the weekend your son can come back as a staff member of future weekends where he’ll be challenged to step into leadership.
What is a mentor?
A mentor is a personal ally and supporter. A mentor is not a teacher or surrogate parent. Some young men think of them as uncles or big brothers. Boys to Men screens our volunteers carefully. We’re looking for good men who are already successful in their own lives. Boys to Men shares what we know with our mentors; that young men are already excellent, and that mentors get as much as mentees from their friendships.
Can he go even if he has a dad at home?
Absolutely. It really does take a village to raise a child well. Studies show that the more healthy & supportive adults that a boy has, the better his chances for success in life are. Boys to Men mentors know that their job is not parenting or teaching. Boys to Men Mentors are allies and friends in life.
Is this a religious outfit?
No. Boys to Men has no religious affiliation or religious teachings. Boys to Men does use church facilities, but Boys to Men supports each boy’s individual spiritual tradition and journey. Boys to Men supports values like truth, integrity, and responsibility.
How much does this cost?
The cost to attend the weekend is $ 450.00. We will work with you if necessary so the cost is manageable. After the weekend the only cost items are for special outings such as Laser tag or mini golf. The cost of these special outings will not keep boys from attending.
What if I can't afford to send him to an activity?
No boy will be left behind. We will find or make a way for any boy who wants to participate to be able to do so.
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In our weekends and Journeyman groups, Boys To Men produces a setting where a boy can have fun, be challenged, and then perhaps experience his own hidden anger, sadness, sense of loss, and so forth. Thereafter, he finds new ways to deal with his feelings. Newly aware of his habitual responses, he now has new tools to deal with them.
We operate on the principle that the pains of growing up serve as our best learning opportunities – our problems offer us gifts. Uncovering our pains leads us to courageously confront and deal with them. A boy no longer needs to accept the role of victim nor need he project his feelings onto others by acting as a bully.
Our experience tells us that our program works best for ages 13 to 17. For our Rites of Passage and Journeyman programs though, a boy should have reached a point where he has asked himself “What does it mean to be a man?” Our aim is to let him see who the men who participate in the program are and give him a chance to figure it out on his own.
Our program is for boys; period. Our program is and should be considered a normal part of all boys growing up. Those who become Journeymen are proud and thankful of the work they have done and many get their friends to sign up. Parents proudly sign up sons. We impart a sense of honor and want those boys who join us to feel the honor of being selected.
Our policy is to maintain a healthy balance of boys. We always recruit boys from diverse backgrounds. By mixing boys from a wide variety of backgrounds, they can learn from each other. They face what others have to deal with and achieve tolerance and empathy, and they learn cooperation and team work. There is no better way to gain the insight that all humans face a wide variety of difficulties and all can learn to deal with them with healthy responses.
We look forward to help you guide your son into manhood.
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