Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

Archive for the ‘Rites of Passage Program’ Category

Describes the various elements and components that make up the overall Rites of Passage Program (e.g. the lessons; time-frame etc).

The Rites of Passage Program and Leadership Training

Posted by Thomas on February 18, 2012

This post has 479 words and will take you less than an estimated 6 minutes to read.

I want you to think about those in your world you admire most with superb leadership skills.


I want you to think about your leadership skills.

I have made the same considerations frequently of late in my life. I believe mastering leadership skills should be a self-development goal for every adult and something parents should actively teach their sons.


The times of working solo are vanishing faster than the hair on my head, and I’m bald, so, you get the picture. The way things get done has more to do with the collaborative efforts of groups than the single heroic efforts of one. Those groups need leaders, therefore, all of us should grow our leadership skills.

Naturally, I am not a leader. I’ve said this before in other posts, I’m the guy that is more than comfortable behind the scenes. Integral member of the team but more than happy to allow you to stand in the limelight out in front. That is my nature. Left to my own devises I would stay as I am. But the world demands more.

Seeing the lack of leadership skills as a deficit of mine I understood, on some primal level as a father, I needed to still expose my son to leadership training. His rites of passage program contained elements where developing better leadership skills were inherent.

For example, when he went on his Questa 21-day sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands—he had to get along with people from different cultures and life stations in order to operate the vessel efficiently. In order to sail they had to work as a unit.

Furthermore, throughout his life he heard me say “Be a leader”,  “You are the leader”, “Others are looking to you to lead”, or “Be a leader not a follower”. When he reached high school he was a member of the student government for his grade level and was exposed to the same crucible of having to work with different people with various backgrounds to complete projects—including the adults at the school.

He is a better leader than I am, in my biased opinion. But he got that way deliberately. His rites of passage program created the exposure to different experiences that grew his leadership skills. And eventually he chose to step into leadership roles (sometimes a bit reluctantly like his dad). Those skills will serve him a lifetime. The same holds true for your son.

Design your custom rites of passage program with identifiable elements that teach leadership. Let your son know growing in leadership skills is a lifetime journey of betterment. Now in my 40s I am a better leader today than I was twenty years ago but still have so much yet to learn.

I am also discovering, in order to get what you need, you will have to lead sometimes.



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A Positive Rites of Passage Program for Boys is about Love

Posted by Thomas on February 14, 2012

This post has 689 words and will take you less than 10 minutes to read.

A rites of passage program for boys is about love: love for the boy, love for women, love for the community, and love for the world. If you consider it, the rites of passage concept is based on relationships, and all relationships of substance are predicated on love. Thus, when love runs its course, everything it touches is made infinitely better. The training elements that make up a rites of passage program are no different.

Boys are taught through the rites of passage program how to embrace responsible male adulthood. The organic program you design for your son teaches him to embrace—instead of fear—the role of a responsible man in society. The way he is able to accomplish this is partly founded in love. The four (4) rites of passage program components I write about in the free eBook A Rites of Passage Framework namely: The Lessons, The Quest, The Ceremony, and The Ascension Dinner, all have elements that teach the young man how to develop love for; himself, women, his community, and the world.

Developing love for himself is accomplished in part by Lesson Nine: “What’s Happening to Me?” as outlined in the book. The young man learns age appropriate psychosocial and psychosexual topics about sex, love, commitment, and physical body changes. He learns to lovingly accept the changes in his body and that they are not wrong or bad. His virility and testosterone driven thoughts and behaviors are designed into the human body. The lesson helps him understand this, accept it, and learn self-control. When the young man can love and accept himself, he can love and accept the women in his life.

The third lesson “What is Womanhood”, explores the developing and nurturing love and respect for women which is pivotal in the boys’ rites of passage program and ceremony. The sinew that stitches together the quilted fabric of our society in large part rests on the dynamics between men and women. This lesson focuses the young man to deal with the question of womanhood. It challenges his thoughts by asking him to interview older respected women in his life. By doing so, he’s awarded a first-hand account of where his internal thoughts and the general worldview about women are skewed. Armed with this fresh reality connectedness deepens for the opposite sex. When boys are groomed to love and respect women, it naturally leads to the next area love offers in the rites of passage program for boys—love for the community.

It is difficult to destroy or hurt something we love.

And that is the principle lived, when we successfully bind our boys to their community—when they love it they will care for and not destroy it. Lesson Thirteen: “Giving Back through Community Service” is one way to connect the young man with his immediate environment through volunteerism. Once this bond is created because of love, the young man is prone to care for and not do harm to his community.

When love for self, love for women, and love for the community have their way in the boy’s life as he transitions from adolescence to manhood, our world as a whole benefits. A positive rites of passage program—or put another way—rites of passage training for boys, fills the world with love because a responsible adult male enters productively into society at large. The world is loved because the boy (now man) is a loving, responsible, compassionate and upstanding contributing member of his community.

Loving himself with his quirks, flaws and idiosyncrasies prepares him to love the women in his life. His respect for them in general nets love and respect in particular with his wife if he marries. A healthy home lends itself easily to a healthy community. And healthy communities fill the world at large with the loving output of a purposeful and intentional rites of passage program for young boys.

On this Valentine’s Day, expand your concept of love. Embrace your son or young man in your life with the love found in a rites of passage program. Change our world with love by doing so.


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