September 25, 2020

Into the Wild - A Solo Journey

“Run towards the roar,’ the old people used to tell the young ones. When faced with great danger and when people panic and seek a false sense of safety, run towards the roaring and go where you fear to go. For only in facing your fears can you find some safety and a way through. When the world rattles and the end seems near, go towards the roar.”

Michael Meade, Why the World Doesn't End: Tales of Renewal in Times of Loss

Upcoming SOLO Rites of Passage (Oct 9-11)

Fall ROPAW is ON, but different...

This year we are changing the structure to allow for a powerful rites of passage event that also complies with Covid-19 precautions of rigorous physical distancing. To this end, we’ll be holding space for our boys to participate in a wilderness solo-type experience

Wilderness solos are a traditional way to mark the passage into manhood and offer a chance for our boys to “go inside” and tune in to the world around them without the distractions so common in our time.  Folks who have done solos often report more clarity, purpose, and confidence in themselves after their experience. 

Our ROPAW Solos are an excellent opportunity for boys that have attended a ROPAW previously, but the event is also appropriate for boys who are newer to the work and ready for an intense, meaningful, and challenging experience. We will not have a separate track for Journeymen to staff this year. 

On October 9-11 we will be returning to Camp Arrowhead! We hosted our first Rites of Passage event here back in 2009 and are excited to be here again, Arrowhead is about 40 minutes south of Asheville.

We'll meet the boys at 1:30 on Friday, and finish up around 3:00 on Sunday.  Our tuition cost is $350, which helps us cover food and materials.  However, we never want cost to be a prohibitive factor for families, so please reach out if you are interested in registering but need scholarship help in order to make it a reality. 

And please—help us spread the word!  If you know boys who might benefit from such an experience, please put them in contact with us!  We are capping attendance at 15 boys this year, so sending folks our way sooner rather than later can help ensure they get a spot.  We are being a bit more selective in screening candidates this year, since this experience is likely to be challenging, and we want to make sure it is an appropriate one for our boys.

For an exhaustive list of our Covid-19 precautions for ROPAW Solos, please reach out directly to Jordan at the above email.

If you find yourself in a position to give, we still need your support! 

A donation of $350 pays for the tuition of one young man to have an unforgettable coming of age experience. 

Many of our boys have been cooped up at home at a time in their lives when they naturally want to be out differentiating themselves and making new connections.  Through this lens, our work is more important than ever, and this opportunity to partake in a solo may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many.  This kind of thing doesn’t happen naturally in our culture anymore, and we can only do it help from the community.

Our first Rites of Passage Adventure Weekend (ROPAW) at Camp Arrowhead in 2009

We've Been Busy This Year!

In 2020, we've continued to grow our online group mentoring circles. The migration to virtual meetings has broken down geographical barriers, allowing us to support young men across the state and potentially the country. 

We are continuing to come alongside our J-men through socially distant walk-and-talk sessions. Small groups of mentors and J-men connect while hiking (6 ft apart). 

Brant Evans (Asheville) and Jordan Bowman (Triangle) launched the Journeymen Podcast!
Take a listen here and reach out if you're interested in being on the podcast to talk about group mentoring or youth Rites of Passage experiences. 

Looking Forward
Our program continues to grow! Now more than ever, young men are seeking connection and belonging. If you know a young man who could benefit from a community of support, please reach out to us. We are also recruiting mentors who are willing to donate their time and energy to help build to men of tomorrow!

We want to hear from you! This has been a trying time for our entire community. We want to know how everyone is doing, contact us here.

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