Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

Real Life

Posted by Thomas on December 28, 2008

You know how the idea is conceived but it is very different from real life? That’s how I feel about getting all the elements of the Rites of Passage across the finish line. To get a better handle on things, I broke the event into projects. One project is the Rites of Passage Ceremony. The second project is the Rites of Passage Quest.

The Ceremony project relies heavily on my ability (or lack of ability) to mobilize a volunteer army. I’ve already asked close friends and acquaintances to check their networks (human) to find a place to have the ceremony. I asked for a banquet-like space. But, in reality, anything that can comfortably hold the amount of people we anticipate (50-100) is fine. Someone asked this morning how the search was going, so I had a chance to clarify the space request (if someone has access to a clubhouse, that should do; it doesn’t need to be a traditional banquet hall).

Then there is the food, entertainment, audiovisual help, speakers (the human kind), videographer, set-up/clean-up crews, decorations…you get the idea. I will rely on volunteers since I want to keep the cost as low as possible (I need funds to more readily flow to the Quest). So, I will scale-up or scale-down depending on what people can help with (a true grassroots effort). This project is underway, and I asked for concrete feedback on the space by mid-January. If nothing appropriate materializes, Plan B kicks in.

The Quest project is less volunteer dependent; no real work to be done. This project is fueled by funds. To help manage this project I framed it as a non-profit’s efforts. I’ve worked for a couple in the past and saw some of these executed up close. Our fundraising plan follows:

  • This site (has a component that makes it easy for people to chip-in)
  • Ask family to chip-in
  • Candy sale
  • Pie sale
  • Sell my used books (this helps in another tangible way since my wife has been after me forever to get rid of some of my books)
  • Piggy Bank Box (give small piggy banks to close friends, ask them to drop in their loose change, collect the piggy bank and replace it with an empty one)

These are just a few but Googling “fundraising ideas” nets tons more. The idea is to find a fundraiser that works for you and your family. Some of the things I’ve learned so far about fundraising follow:

  • Specify your monetary goal
  • Have a start date and an end date
  • Have various fundraising running simultaneously
  • Make it easy for people to assist
  • Put your child to work (Glynne captains the candy sale; this develops appreciation for the overall effort)
  • Make it a family affair (no family member is off limits, everyone can help in some way; grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, older siblings)
  • Communicate your fundraising to everyone you know

As the “project manager” the trick for me now is to execute each “task” in both projects. And, follow up on “tasks” that I delegate to someone else (I actually plugged the information into the Microsoft Project 2007 software). This works for me, using MS Project forces me to think about the big and small pieces of both projects ahead of time; you may find this ridiculous. I leave you with this; in terms of executing your Rites of Passage Program, find what works best for you. You may not cheer over all I’ve shared but hopefully 1 or 2 ideas are helpful to you, from there build out your “Real Life” plan.


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