The young men who attend our Weekend come from diverse socioeconomic, racial and cultural backgrounds. We do not inquire about their sexual orientation. We are non-sectarian; we do not espouse any institutional religion. More than 50% of the youth attending the YMUW originate from divorced homes, however, our program is intended for all young men, ages 13-20.
“As a high school teacher in a Title I school, I see the necessity for YMUW nearly every day. As a parent of two boys, who lives in a fairly affluent neighborhood, whose schools are filled with high-achieving students, I also see the necessity for this program nearly every day. As a one-time mentor, whose son attended YMUW when he was 13, I know this program delivers value.
Thank you to YMUW for creating the many opportunities for our youth to experience the oft missed rite of passage into manhood in whatever way, big or small. Thank you for spreading the word, so more youth, and their parents, have the chance to learn about YMUW and to decide if it is RIGHT for them.”
What Happens at the Weekend
Friday Registration 4:00-6:30 PM
When the parents drop off their sons and their gear – parents receive a confirmation letter telling them exactly what the young men need to bring – they’ll be reminded to return to the site on Sunday at 2 PM to attend the one hour Orientation Class. The parents learn more about the YMUW program and how to improve their relationship with their sons.
Parents will be strongly encouraged by our staff to attend the workshop, Parenting Your Challenging Teenage Son. This weekend presentation teaches parents how to more effectively communicate and motivate their sons to move their lives in the right direction. When parents attend this workshop at the same time their sons attend the YMUW, their family has a much greater chance of transforming their household into a place of respectful and resourceful relationships, founded on cooperation rather than competition.
The young men form teams and select their team leaders. Everyone participates in the fire lighting ceremony, sharing the experience of awe and reverence for this great mystery of life. We end the evening by practicing the vurtues of Gallantry and Humor with late night competitions and fun.
All day, the young men practice the discipline of working at peak performance levels for the development of self-confidence. They are given opportunities to develop organizational and listening skills by leading their team or leading events. They participate in sports competitions, open forum discussion groups, ropes course training, community service, drum circles, and ceremonies that are designed to enhance teamwork and personal growth.
The young men are given the opportunity to release their anger, sadness and other unresolved emotions from childhood in a secure environment. Through this intense physical process, their wounds of childhood scar over, and serve as lessons for future life mastery. This ceremony releases them from their past burdens, allowing them to live with more freedom and be safer to themselves and others.
The young men and the mentors use the sweat lodge to pray in their own way for the strength to become more respectful of themselves so that they can better serve our families and communities. At mid-morning the young men organize their belongings and clean up the site as a community service.
By noon, the mentors challenge the young men in sports contests, with shared celebration of fun and competition reaching a crescendo! Afterwards the young men enter their final ceremonies preparing them for the sensitive transition back into their everyday lives.
Parents arrive at the site at 1 PM sharp for the one hour Orientation Class. Immediately following is a heartfelt ceremony reuniting young men and their parents with a heightened awareness of the importance of family and a greater appreciation and respect for each other. The Weekend concludes between 2:30 – 3 PM.
To register your son for an upcoming Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend click here.