“We love the sense of empowerment that this trip gave to him. We can see a new sense of confidence and increase in self esteem both in his physical body and his emotional/spiritual self.”
A Rites of Passage for Middle School Boys (Entering Grades 7 – 9)
Four days in length, this is an introductory, rite of passage experience specifically designed for male-identified middle schoolers. Middle school is marked by many changes individually and socially, including new freedoms of expression and increased choice in academic, extracurricular and social activities. This transition introduces new challenges for students and their families, as well as new opportunities for guided personal and community growth.
Boys will be encouraged and supported to test their physical, emotional, social and psychological boundaries, growing in their self-confidence, refining their leadership capacity, and deepening in character. Youth who participate are encouraged to stay engaged in the journey to healthy young adulthood through ongoing meetups, service projects, and returning young men supporting the next wave of youth who come through the camp.
Following the rites, Illuman men, trained and screened by Journeymen, who help at the rites on site, will follow up with the boys in a council format via zoom.
This transformational week will help boys:
Build meaningful relationships with peers and adults
Learn and refine key life skills
Become aware of their social-emotional boundaries
Establish a solid, positive self-identity
Increase self-esteem through positive life-changing experiences
Improve physical strength and personal resolve
Deepen their connection with nature
Who is Journeymen and what is their relationship to Illuman?
Journeymen shares a great deal with Illuman, except it focuses primarily on youth, offering rites of passage, council, wilderness wanderings, and other similar practices to help youth develop into healthy human beings. Nicky Wilkes, one of the founds went through the MROP in 2017. We are deeply grateful for their wisdom, passion, and partnership, especially in our own work with the next generation. To make Illuman Rising a reality, we are partnering with Journeymen, due to their extensive and recognized work with youth. All those present will be trained/screened by Journeymen.
What is a rites of passage?
A rite of passage is a ceremony and marks the transition from one phase of life to another. Although it is often used to describe the tumultuous transition from adolescence to adulthood, it does refer to any of life’s transitions (Births and Beginnings, Initiations, Partnerings, and Endings or Death). There are many passages in our lives we can choose to mark and celebrate
We don’t have any camping gear!
Not a problem! We do our best to accommodate each family’s needs and, with enough notice,can try to find any items that you might need for the experience. We have also teamed up with the WTA (Washington Trails Association) and on occasion have access to their lending ‘Gear Library’.
Our son doesn’t want to go!
It is important to us that your son/boy says “Yes” to the experience. We’ve found that it can often be detrimental to the boy and the group when brought to an experience against their will.
That said, it is not uncommon for a boy/teen to initially resist an experience proposed by their parent or guardian. In this case, our team is always willing to hop on a call to chat with you and/or your son about the experience, and answer any questions/concerns they might have before making a decision.
We’ve found that once a boy has a better understanding of what he’s committing to and who he’ll be engaging with – he is much more empowered to make an informed decision that is in his overall best interest.
How are mentors selected?
All mentors participate in an intensive 8-hour training hosted by Journeymen and submit to a full background check process.