Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend
This Program is For Your Son
There Are Some Things You Can't Do For Your Son
I'm the founder of the nonprofit, Young Men's Ultimate Weekend, a modern, nonreligious, rite of passage initiation that allows young men to voice their concerns about growing up and give them the leadership skills necessary for a successful adulthood.
I started the Young Men's Ultimate Weekend when I realized I was not doing a good job communicating with my son Gabe. I knew I needed to figure out how to renew our loving relationship but I didn’t know where to begin. In 1999, I decided to start my research by taking Gabe to a rite of passage program in British Columbia (http://ymaw.com/). I befriended the founder, Brad Leslie, who inspired me to begin my own program in California in 2000. Thankfully, he continues to be my mentor to this day!
In 2006, I went to Kenya and had the opportunity to learn more about initiation from Samburu tribe members. What I learned from my studies and travels was that by the time sons are teenagers, parents have already given their sons most of their wisdom. At this time of life, a young man must be mentored by the right adult males to help him discover his values and to share his mental and material resources with his community.
What is The Purpose of Initiation?
The purpose of a formal initiation is to provide young men the opportunity to freely express themselves without fear of being made wrong and to do so in a container of confidentiality. For thousands of years, this time-honored activity of initiation has taught young men that they are unique creatures with special talents which will help them and their community to be safer and more prosperous.
Societal reverence for this rite of passage was a powerful source of identity, self-respect and direction for young men. Without the training and esteem of the community, young men can become apathetic and confused. It’s the responsibility of the community to give young men the opportunity to be at peace with themselves, the world and the Universe.
The Ultimate Weekend is For Your Son
I did not start YMUW just to help Gabe but to give all young men and their parents the same opportunity. In accordance with the inclusive RIGHT Way® philosophy, our program is open to all young men ages, 13-20, regardless of their socio-economic, racial, cultural status or sexual orientation.
It’s non-religious and non-sectarian and it provides young men an opportunity to discover spirituality in a way that’s right for them. More than 50% of the youth attending the YMUW originate from divorced homes.
Why Young Men Benefit from The Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend
In the best of circumstances, every adolescent male, regardless of his socio-economic background, faces a vast array of stressful changes: new relationships, greater expectations from family and community, a rapidly changing body, the need to communicate clearly and an uncertain future simmering in a stew of testosterone. He faces the formidable foes of alcohol, drugs, bullying, gang violence, anxiety and depression.
All of these challenges often occur in the absence of a full-time father or a strong father figure. Even when the young man has a healthy relationship with his father, this critical stage for a young man’s successful future requires guidance from other men.
At the YMUW, young men can discover their masculine wisdom, away from the social pressures of school and family. They are given challenges that help them learn how to handle the wins and losses of life which teaches them the virtues of responsibility and resiliency. By the end of the weekend, they've been given opportunities to gain the confidence necessary to trust their instincts, overcome their fears that they won't make it through adulthood and give them the hope that they can realize their true potential.
Most importantly, all of the young and adult men do what they do best: have lots of fun!
The Purpose of The Young Men's Ultimate Weekend:
To provide young men with a weekend filled with incredible fun and challenges, while building a foundation for a confident and successful adulthood, through learning the importance of teamwork, developing a sense of accomplishment and acquiring leadership skills.
The YMUW agenda provides challenges for young men to discover who they are and how to develop their strengths and learn from their weaknesses through open discussion, physical activities, a sweat lodge and ceremonies. The efficacy of the YMUW is maximized by the fact that it is experiential.
Click here to find out more about the actual YMUW agenda.
How a Formal Initiation Helps Parents
Initiations help families because the parents cannot initiate their own sons. It takes a civilized society of men and women to do this. Young men need to know that the shared values of a cIan or community are upheld by everyone, not just their parents.
At the YMUW, the mentors emphasize virtues that will activate the biological instinct in young men to properly mature: the virtues of respectability, responsibility, accountability, honesty, discipline and achievement. This is most simply and effectively accomplished by having young men watch mature, adult men model the values that the parents have been teaching.
It Takes a Village – of Mentors!
I’m honored to say I’ve had the honor of meeting privately with Dr. Andrew Mecca, founder of the California Mentoring Foundation. Amongst the many things I learned, I was pleased to discover our YMUW mentors are trained in principles and practices that are perfectly aligned with the CMF standards.
Although most young men are generally resistant to talk therapy, our mentors are trained in The RIGHT Way® for Family Unity method, which helps young men discover their innate intelligence and authentically voice what’s true for them.
At the YMUW, our mentors are adept at celebrating the accomplishments of the young men without shielding them from the hardships they experience. By feeling safe to ask our mentors for help, the young men realize they can accomplish more, than by acting on their own.
The Ideal Way to Transform Your Relationship with Your Son
Parents are strongly encouraged to attend the workshop “Parenting Your Challenging Teenage Son” at the same time their son attends The Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend. This way, everyone will have a much greater likelihood of restoring caring and cooperative relationships.
When everyone is using the same RIGHT Way® principles and practices, your son will trust that you can help him leave his boyhood behind, confidently discover who he is and learn to be happier and more independent.
YMUW Wants to Hear from You!
Here’s how to contact us to get more information about this life changing experience for your son:
Phone: (800) 719-9302
Office: 1050 Northgate Dr. #1, San Rafael, Ca. 94903
Our staff will be happy to hear from you!
PS Please read an article I wrote, published in Common Ground Magazine, called, “The Need for Male Initiation”. It’ll give you more insight about what happens at The Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend. You can find the article immediately below.
Click Here to Learn More About this Outrageous Experience!
The Need for Male Initiation.pdf
Teen Boys Ultimate Rites Passage.pdf
Young Men Are Suffering.pdf
Young Men Are Good & Ready:
Understanding Their Power,
Vulnerability & Dreams.pdf
What Makes A Man.pdf