Stepping Into Manhood Camp October 2020

Leaders – Check,

Returning Young Men – Check

Women leaders – Check

Mothers and mentors – Check

Young Men – Check

Fathers and Mentors – Check

Off we headed on our October Stepping into Manhood camp………

Nine incredible young men arrived to explore what it means to be a healthy  and authentic young man supported by the community.

As always with these camps we have a plan and the challenges that arise are never the same. The experience of the leaders and contributions from the fathers and mentors  adapted to hold a space for the young men to experience all the elements of a rite of passage:

Separation / Challenge / Story / Honouring / Return to community

For this camp we experienced challenges in the form of operating on a new site, a back to basics bush kitchen graciously and competently managed by Ecochef Mick,  ticks,  rain and sun. The beautiful Bindoon property offered by Billie and Tim ( thanks to both for the amazing support) gave many opportunities to explore the diverse bush setting. The leadership team made changes and allowances for the weather as the camp went by to create incredible opportunities for sharing of experiences and gathering as community.

The camp provided a space for strengthening connections and creating new ones with a great mix of men. A space to sit and share what’s important to them and the men they want to be. Witnessing fathers / mentors who were open to deepening the relationship with the young men was a beautiful sight.

We were blessed to have an  incredible returning young man, Charlie, as part of the leadership team this year bringing his fun, creative and compassionate energy. He and Rohan, now a fully fledged leader, once again showed us the value of having the link to the boys, bridging the age gap and being incredible role models for the boys/ young men  on camp. We are open to Returning Young Men joining us each camp and would love to have some father and son combos coming on board.

After our leadership training over winter was cancelled due to Covid we were lucky to have some new leaders on the team bringing new energy and ideas to our constantly evolving camp structure. Supported by our experienced leaders it was great to watch them share their experience and wisdom with the group. Many thanks to Robert and Doug. If you are interested in becoming a leader for our camps then we have a leadership training camp coming up in May 2021 and 3 camps for 2021  calling out for good men and women.

The women of our community provide such amazing support and hold the energy for us to be separate and do the work we do. Thanks Christina for stepping up so wonderfully and competently. As a group of men arriving back to the community at the completion of this camp we arrived back to a beautiful, welcome and warm spring day. This is the time for the leaders to step back and hold the space for the families to reconnect and share a few moments of what unfolded for them.

The stories from camp will continue to unfold and be shared with families and loved ones as the young men integrate this into their lives. Ongoing support and space for them to continue the path of stepping into manhood requires the whole community. As we bring more awareness to this we are able to change our communication and the way we show up for our young people again modelling healthy masculinity to our community.

We are grateful to the Bindoon community for their assistance and special thanks to Nahrel and Gordon Dallywater for helping us make this happen.

Upcoming camps for families with boys / young men between the ages of 13-16,  places are now open for 2021 camps so contact us to discuss attending and please feel free to pass this on to anyone you feel would benefit from this work. Please go to https://www.ritestogether.org.au/ or to book your place please contact:

Reijer Groenveld 0408 605 842



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