Fall 2020: ROPAW Solos (Covid-Conscious Rites Of Passage)
The Journeymen Rites Of Passage Adventure Weekend (ROPAW) is designed to challenge participants physically and emotionally. They will be encouraged to look at and share feelings that they may have never acknowledged before. During the weekend, the initiate will become known as a Journeyman, or J-Man for short.
This fall 2020 we are changing the structure to allow for a powerful rites of passage event that also complies with Covid-19 precautions of rigorous physical distancing. To this end, we’ll be holding space for our boys to participate in a wilderness solo-type experience.
Wilderness solos are a traditional way to mark the passage into manhood, and offer a chance for our boys to “go inside” and tune into the world around them without the distractions so common in our time. Folks who have done solos often report more clarity, purpose, and confidence in themselves after their experience.
Our ROPAW Solos are an excellent opportunity for boys that have attended a ROPAW previously, but the event is also appropriate for boys who are newer to the work and ready for an intense, meaningful, and challenging experience. We will not have a separate track for Journeymen to staff this year.
This event will take place from October 9-11 at Camp Arrowhead, about 40 minutes south of Asheville. We’ll meet the boys at 1:30 on Friday, and finish up around 3:00 on Sunday. Our tuition cost is 350.00, which helps us cover food and materials. A non-refundable deposit of $100 is due two weeks before ROPAW begins, with the remaining balance payable by the Monday before ROPAW begins. We do not want cost to be a prohibitive factor for families, so please reach out if you are interested in registering but need scholarship help in order to make it a reality.
And please—help us spread the word! If you know boys who might benefit from such an experience, please put them in contact with us! We are capping attendance at 15 boys this year, so sending folks our way sooner rather than later can help ensure they get a spot. We are being a bit more selective in screening candidates this year, since this experience is likely to be challenging, and we want to make sure it is an appropriate one for our boys. Folks can email Brant Evans at email@example.com or call 706-949-3202.
For an exhaustive list of our Covid-19 precautions for ROPAW Solos and the updated applications (staff and initiate), please reach out directly to Brant at the above email.
For questions regarding the upcoming spring ROPAW please contact
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Background On ROPAW
Rites of passage have played an important role in many cultures for thousands of years. A primary function of any rite of passage is to allow children to choose a new adult identity in their community. Adults help to facilitate this process, and help them gain the skills and understanding that they will need to fulfill their potential as members of the community.
The isolation in a primitive setting removes participants from the routines and patterns of their lives so that they can “re-create” themselves. They are given the opportunity to let go of old patterns that might no longer serve them.
Historically, our weekend incorporates physical, mental, and emotional tests. These tests help the initiate discover inner resources that he was previously unaware of, helping him gain new self-respect and confidence. In our weekend events, the tests are challenging, but do not involve winning and losing, which we believe could create the potential for shame. Each initiate has the opportunity to test himself in ways that build self-esteem and facilitates growth.
The specific processes used at a rite of passage are kept confidential, so that younger members of the community do not receive the adult information before they are ready. A rite of passage is considered sacred and personal and should not be treated casually. Also, Journeymen’s ROPAW relies on a degree of theater, surprise, and spontaneous response that would be lost if participants knew in advance what was going to happen. (We will share all information with the parents or guardians of the initiate, asking that this information be kept in confidence).
Following a traditional rite of passage, a young man’s family and community celebrate his change of status with a welcome home ceremony, which usually involves some form of sharing food together. Following Journeymen’s ROPAW, the young men who participated are honored for their accomplishments with a homecoming feast. The Fall 2019 Homecoming ceremony will be held from 3 PM – 6 PM on Sunday October 13, 2019. We encourage friends and family to participate in the Homecoming ceremony.
Initiated young men, who are accomplished J-Men (Journeymen) are encouraged to return and staff ROPAW as a way to participate and benefit further from this community building event. Any man (18 years of age or older), who passes a screening process, including a criminal background check, may be considered to staff the weekend.
If you have questions regarding the upcoming spring ROPAW please contact