Pagosa Springs seventh-grader Harrison Forman recently completed his initiation weekend sponsored by the New Mexico Chapter of the International Boys to Men Mentoring Network at the Boy’s Ranch in Lamy, N.M.
Harrison joined 11 other boys for the 48-hour transformative initiation onto their journey to a healthy manhood. Through carefully facilitated processes, each boy had the opportunity to discover something of the scope of his own humanity. On the weekend, positive qualities such as integrity, courage, respect, passion, speaking one’s truth and leadership are modeled by the staff.
Harrison now joins John Hunts as local “Journeymen” in the Boys to Men Mentoring Network (BTM). Boys who have completed the ROPA are no longer considered boys, but rather Journeymen on their journey to a healthy manhood. BTM specializes in creating safe circles for the Journeymen to speak their truth. During the circles, the boys can talk about the events, emotions and experiences of their lives. It is a place for Journeymen to practice being fully alive and communicative among men. Every BTM event concludes with a peer discussion group for the boys that offers them the opportunity to identify, clarify and authentically express their feelings.
Mentors, or “Sherpa,” practice L.A.A.M.B.: they love, admire, accept, mentor and bless the Journeymen. Mentors do not F.R.A.P.: fix, rescue, advise or project their own beliefs onto the Journeymen.
Harrison and John are being mentored on their journey by John Gwin. Men interested in mentoring teenage boys, ages 12-17, into healthy manhood can contact Gwin at 731-9666 or www.btmnm.org.
BTM is a secular organization that encourages each member to nurture his own spirituality. The next New Mexico Boys to Men Rites of Passage Adventure initiation is scheduled for fall 2011.