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Boys to Men Journeymen and Mentors ‘Circle Up’

Recently, Journeymen and Mentors of the Boys to Men program traveled from the Santa Fe area to Pagosa Springs to escape the smoke of the New Mexico fires and to backpack in the beautiful San Juan Mountains.

Nine Journeymen, boys ages 13-17 who have completed their initiation weekend — the Rites of Passage Adventure, and seven Mentors camped below Blackhead Peak for three days enjoying picturesque Colorado. For some of the Journeymen, it was their first backpacking experience. Not having access to their electronic devices proved challenging for some.

The group participated in day hikes including an “assault” on Blackhead Peak. Pagosa Springs eighth-grader John Hunts along with two Mentors from Santa Fe were the only members of the group to complete the trek to the top of Blackhead Peak, elevation 12,500 feet.

In addition, the Journeymen created a new version of “hide and seek” now named “Zombies,” using natural objects and vegetation to hide them.

If not eating, hiking, playing games or telling stories, the group “Circled Up” for in-depth conversations expressing their emotions and struggles during their teen years. To close the weekend, the group’s last “circle” offered blessings and honoring comments to each other and nature.

The Boys to Men Mentoring Network, BTM, is an international, secular, nonprofit organization committed to supporting teenage boys on their journey to manhood. Their motto is: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” — F. Douglass.

For more information about BTM, contact John Gwin, 731-9666 or www.btmnm.org.

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