One of my favorite weekends of the year is Guys Weekend with my son and another friend and his son. We typically go camping and fishing and just hang out without the womenfolk. It’s wonderful. I discussed previous years here and here. Loudboy’s friend (about 6 years old) apparently checked out a book on hunting bears in anticipation of this year’s trip. I know Mr. Underwood and others I’m friends with are involved in their boys life through scouting and similar bonding activities. This is really necessary for so many reasons, not just for the father-son bonding, but creating a better vantage point on life and how we fit into it in the grand scheme. And getting away from the electronic devices that despite our best efforts seem inherent in everyday life is a breath of fresh air.
My boss (and mentor) and his 18 year old son just got back from a week long canoe trip in Canada. I think Rights of Passage for soon-to-be men starting their lives are important, and despite my mentor’s ascertations that his son is behind in real life experience and motivation (which may be true), at least he has grown up in an environment filled with masculine influence. Hunting, fishing, skiing, guns, spending time camping, at the rustic cabin, canoeing. I would guess most boys today, even those with involved fathers, don’t have that sort of background to start their life.
That’s where I’d like to eventually get with my son (and daughter). We’re talking about a week long family camping trip as a vacation next year, which is always great. I’ll admit it’s not for everyone, but for our family this experience bonds us and has so many organic teaching moments it’s hard to pass up. Unfortunately, with Holly rehabbing from surgery, we have to forgo a family camping trip this year. So Guys weekend will have to suffice. I’ll let you know if we catch any bears.