From Lisa: Hi Bonnie, I would like to take part in helping you with your holiday wish. I am the mother of four sons ages 8, 11, 11, and 13. We are thinking about what could be meaningful rites of passage for them. I am involved in Woman Within International and my husband The Mankind Project so we have some ideas, but would welcome input from anyone out there who has some ideas they would be willing to share around ritual in any culture. FYI, this spring they will take part in Boys to Men, if anyone is familiar with that. I would appreciate any input. Thanks, Lisa
From John: Hi Lisa,
I participated in and worked for several years at Northwaters and Langskib Wilderness Program in Temagami, ON. On the surface, the program is a outdoor leadership program, however it's core is built around ideas of rites of passage, group psychology and mythology. It was actually my introduction to depth psychology. When trips were on trail, there were several adult programs. My first year as a staff member, I worked in the kitchen at base camp during these programs, where I served pancakes and did dishes for Robert Johnson, Louis Mahdi, and Barry Williams. In addition, there's group dynamics adult programs held by Rod Napier, so I had a chance for casual conversation with so wonderful, authentic and forward thinking individuals at a relatively young age. All of these influences meet in the program through Dave Knudsen, a somewhat legendary figure in his own right, who started the program in '71. He's currently building an viking ship in Washington state as we speak to begin a west coast rites of passage program that would explore the coasts of the pacific northwest. In addition, Michael Jarvis, the director of Langskib (the young mens program/island) is a graduate of Pacifica Graduate Institute.
NWL has two programs for boys, Excalibur and Langskib. Excalibur is for the younger guys 10-12, while Langskib goes from 12-18. In addition, there is a satellite non-profit organization, the Deepwater Experiential Education Project (DEEP) which helps provide scholarships for participation.
I hope this helps you with your search, I give it the strongest recommendation possible!
Have a nice holiday!