New Teenage Boy Parents.
by Henry Poole
Last year I ran across some research that discussed the history of “rites of passage” into manhood for boys. Recalling my experience of growing up in the 70s and 80s, I felt an “aha” while reading about the history of male maturing. For thousands of years, growing up for boys had involved rituals to help them gain self confidence by having to confront challenges that allowed them to recognize their need to increase their level of responsibility and feel proud of their growth. Where they obtained true grit. As a twentieth century American male, I had missed this opportunity.
I decided that I wanted something different from my rocky, awkward growth for my two boys, so I began researching survival camps. I was looking for something that would give them a dose of reality. Something that could build a sense of pride in their ability to survive and thrive. Something that could help them realize that they were becoming men and needed to begin acting as men.
My research led me to Lifesong Wilderness Adventures and Mark Wienert. Last summer, my first teenage boy, Aidan, attended a program with Mark. He left behind all of his screens (computer, xbox, and phone), his friends, and his old habits. During that week he overcame some deep addictions to our modern life and learned that he could be a man. I’ve become friends with Mark Wienert and have seen what he has done for numerous young people. I would recommend his summer program to anyone with a teenage boy who is struggling to become more responsible.
Henry’s son Aidan, took our week long teen summer adventure for ages 14-15, in 2012. Please visit the teen camp page of our website to learn more about what we have to offer your son or daughter.
Henry Poole is a father, husband, and a strategy consultant for Civic Actions.