"It's not fair to expect young men to know how to act in society without positive role models to instill morals and values at an early age," said Area Director Cameron Bertrand. "Passport to Manhood is a way for us to do just that so they can be the positive, young men they deserve to be."
Passport to Manhood is a program in the Health & Life Skills Core area that was developed by Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The goal of the program is to teach and promote responsibility, reinforce positive behavior, and develop character in adolescent males.
The passage from boyhood to manhood is challenging, requiring adolescent males to understand and manage many issues and transitions, oftentimes without a clear role model. Passport to Manhood addresses critical issues that young men face during this time, such as ethics, decision-making, wellness, ideas about fatherhood, employment, conflict, diversity, and self-esteem.
A large study of 7th- to 12th-grade students found that some of the key motivations for opioid use included sensation-seeking, rule-breaking, and aggressive behaviors, all of which are considered characteristically masculine and are examples of the externalizing behaviors boys may engage in to compensate for social-emotional problems." - Big Boys Don't Cry, Child Trends Blog
Every Club will be running Passport to Manhood this year. The program is open to young males ages 8-18, though they are split into age-appropriate groups. This past summer, the Pinedale Manor Club ran a successful Passport to Manhood group. The program focused on teens, and young men met regularly to discuss the program topics. Staff facilitated two field trips that focused on etiquette, customer service, and personal interactions. The group visited Old Navy, where they learned the history, workplace etiquette, how to interact with customers, but also store processes, including dressing the mannequins, manning the cash register, and stocking inventory. The manager incorporated a discussion of integrity and the importance of one's world.
The second field trip was to Buffalo Wild Wings, where they practiced customer service and first impressions by serving food. This fall, the program at Pinedale Manor will be run by volunteers of the fraternity Omega Psi Phi.
"My favorite part of Passport to Manhood is the topic conversations," said DeSean W., Passport to Manhood participant and 2016 Youth of the Year. "Simply because the topics are things that we think about as growing young men, but are probably too scared or embarrassed to ask We get comfortable with the staff and our brothers, which brings us closer together, and then we can grow together."
According to The Center For Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System survey, 28.4% of males were involved in a physical fight in the 12 months prior to the survey compared to 16.5% of females.
Thank you for being a part of our Boys & Girls Clubs family. No matter how big or small a role you play, know that you have made a difference.
To our dedicated staff, I am thankful for the countless hours you spend developing caring and positive relationships with Club members. You provide stability to so many children who may not find security in other areas of their lives. Your are mentors, advocates, sports team coaches, tutors, art instructors, field trip chaperones, party throwers, and a million other things to our Club members. Thank you for filling a role in their lives that is so desperately needed. YOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE.
To our caring volunteers, I am thankful for your service day in and day out. We could not fulfill our mission without your efforts. Know that you are the bright spot in a child's day and that a Club member is eagerly waiting for you to arrive. From our Clubs to our administrative office, thrift store, and boardroom, we rely on you every day and we are forever grateful for your time. YOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE.
To our generous donors, I am thankful for your continued support. Many of our members' families are never charged a penny for our services. Your financial support means that thousands of youth have a home away from home full of caring and trusted mentors and friends. You provide life-changing programs that turn young children into caring, responsible, and productive citizens that go on to lead successful lives. YOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE.
To our Club members both past and present, I am thankful for your tenacity, joy, and infectious spirit. Every day you teach us valuable lessons. Many of you have struggled with adversity in your young lives but have shown great courage in overcoming your obstacles. You act as role models among your peers in the community and lead the way through service, leadership, and scholarship. Your hope and positivity for your own futures is inspiring and I believe you will achieve your goals, because you have the support of so many people that I have already thanked in this letter. YOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE.
I wish you all a safe and happy holiday and hope you are fortunate enough to spend it with those you love.
With many thanks,
President & CEO
Boys & Girls Clubs