THE STAND ACADEMY
This is an overview of what the The Boys Identity Program could look like in your school
FRIDAY FRENZY (Program launch)
The initial launch of the boys mentoring program is a Friday after school. Students will need to wear comfortable clothes as there will be running around for a lot of the time. The program kicks-off with afternoon tea, where students will be issued with their "The Stand" t-shirt. They will also be assigned to one of four squads, Alpha, Bravo, Echo or Tango, where they will complete challenges in throughout the program. The main focus of "Frenzy" is on building relationships, with the facilitators, each other as peers, and also gaining more understanding of how we relate to ourselves. A range of planned fun activities, introductions, ground rules, goals of the group will be explored as part of the time together. After dinner there is a quick parent meeting to launch the program and go over details of activities in the coming weeks.
Four weekly breakfast meals shared together with a special teaching time and impartation of blessing for the week. Some traditions will be explored and discovered at this time. The boys will be given weekly challenges as we prepare them for manhood. All meals will be shared around the large table, with no phones or technology allowed. We value this time of sharing and supporting each other and we do not compromise on this. The boys will be responsible for cleaning up after themselves as they move towards being honourable young men.
TOOL TIME (after school + lunchtime)
Hands-on practical skills utilising the workshop facility. This will facilitate life learning opportunities whilst discovering a variety of skills assisting now and the future. The boys will work in their "Squads", Alpha, Bravo, Echo and Tango. Practical skills are unfortunately becoming less common in today's society, but it is skills we value highly, as they help develop confidence, determination and resilience in the boys as they overcome challenges and solve problems.
On this Saturday morning, the Father/son group will gather with the purpose to be challenged and to develop stronger trust and relationships. The group will meet at the prescribed location, this is where the outline for the morning will be given. The half day will be full of challenging activities that are aimed to stretch both Father and son, but in turn, building a stronger bond between them. The day will be finished by lunch, just in time for Father and son to go share a meal together and debrief the morning.
RITE OF PASSAGE
In the afternoon there will be some final activities and challenges, leading up to the Rite of Passage ceremony. After BBQ dinner, we will move into the Rite of Passage ceremony, where the Father will be able to give their "Father's Blessing" and call their son forward into manhood. This will be done around the fire, with some bamboo flares set up to symbolise crossing a threshold. The ceremony will positively reinforce all that has been explored during the term focusing on each person's unique identity and destiny. Once this is completed, we will move into a time of celebration as we share in the "Dessert" feast provided by the fathers. The more male support your son can have at this event, we believe the more special it will be. So if possible, try and arrange for any appropriate male role model to come to this night to support Father and son.
The night will conclude back around the fire where the young men will be able to throw their "Boy Psychology" into the fire as a symbol that they are changed forever and they are choosing to leave that way of thinking behind and begin the journey of manhood. Many cultures have a time where the "Elders" share stories about being a man or imparting wisdom. This is where we give an opportunity for anyone to share around the fire. Sharing stories, wisdom, adventures or cautions are all valuable and the young men eagerly listen to this advice. This time is often just as beneficial to the older men as it is the younger men, and sadly this type of ceremony and tradition is not a norm in our Western culture.
The final breakfast meal shared together with a look back over the boys mentoring program and discuss the key elements learnt, sharing highlights and stories. A final graduation gift and blessing is given.
Once a student has been through the boys mentoring program, they will be given opportunities to continue to be involved by volunteering their time in future groups at Friday Frenzy, Tool Times, Rite of Passage night and also Community Day. They get to put their new skills into practice in minor leadership roles as they mentor the next wave of young men. Opportunities are limited, so rosters are produced to help formalise and keep accountability of commitments from the young men.
Watch this space. There are plans to develop The Stand Academy:
- Boys Identity Program - securing their identity
- Boys Discovery Program - exploring their interests
- Boys Destiny Program - alternate to schoolies