Supporting teen boys on their journey to adulthood
A new community project supporting teenage boys through adventure and rites of passage has launched in South Bristol.
By Lindsey Cole
According to their vision, the Kingfisher Project 'seeks to create a community of parents and ‘men of trust’ who will work together to prepare and support boys aged 13-16 through an initiatory rite of passage towards modern manhood'.
Using mentoring with trusted, supportive men, combined with an adventure weekend in Snowdonia, the project builds community, deepens trust and enhances family relationships.
Sean Taylor of Windmill Hill, set up the Kingfisher Project along with three friends, because he wanted his teenage son to have something that he didn’t when he was growing up.
He says: “Some teenagers can feel unseen, misunderstood and rejected. Their families live in fear of not knowing what to do for their lost teenage boys. We wanted to do something to help them and believe it takes a village to raise a child and responsibilities of that child belong to the whole village.”
In many traditional cultures, a boy reaching adolescence is taken out of his familiar community to participate in an initiation.
“This allows for an important separation from the parents at a crucial point in the teenager’s development.
“Modern societies tend not to follow this pattern and suffer the consequences.
“Our intention is to once again offer teenage boys proven paths to male maturity,” Sean says.
The Kingfisher Project says: “As boys move into their teens, our society no longer provides them with the rites of passage that will see them safely through.
“A lack of rites of passage leads many young men to self-initiation and a range of troubled behaviours - from anxiety to addictions, self-harm and gangs.”
The Kingfisher Project is taking applications until December 10.
If you’d like to find out more about their work please visit www.kingfisherproject.org.uk.