Tracks and Tides Newsletter

November 2015 Edition

The Tracks and Tides spring season saw some exciting events . We had the privilege of a visit by Frederick Marx and Arne Rubinstein. You can read more about their visit in the article below. A strong GMMT (Good Men Make Tracks), a well attended, fantastic Tides Rites, a filled up Tides Training and a packed, great Rising Sons event made for a good season. We are also working on an exciting new mixed (senior) young leaders event. The first one will be trialled the end of this month (see our events calendar). We also saw the first print of "The Mystery of Rites of Passage", the book being published by Jim and Jay Horton. More about this also in the atricles below.


Article in the GB WEEKLY of Friday, 9 October 2015

Teenagers. Aren't they the most wonderful, creative, infuriating and complex beings on the planet; full of energy, optimism and potential, they go full steam ahead towards adulthood.

Sometimes, however, during the transition from boy to man or from girl to woman, things go a bit off track. Keeping it all on the rails is a challenge that every parent faces, but there is help out there; increasingly it's recognised that a conscious rite of passage can safely guide teens on their journey from adolescent to responsible adult.

The alternative is not good. As an old african proverb warns: "If we don't initiate the young, they will burn down the village to feel the heat."

Through its Tracks and Tides programmes, the Rites of Passage Foundation (ROPF) has been initiating our teenagers and safeguarding the village for years. The local organisation is part of a growing, worldwide movement doing similar good work.

On Monday 12 October, two of the leading lights in this global network, Frederick Marx and Dr Arne Rubinstein, will be in the Bay to present a unique one-off event for those parenting their teenagers "Across the fire".

ROPF founder Jim Horton believes the Bay is privileged to be hosting these top names. "These men are international leaders in their fields and are combining strengths to create this very special evening."

Academy-nominated filmmaker Frederick Marx promises to be a fascinating speaker. He is currently making a 90-minute feature-length documentary about the importance of healthy rites of passage and mentorship for teens transitioning to adulthood. The project reflects his commitment to the cause. "My belief is that every teen, deep in their bones, knows they deserve healthy, not destructive, rites of passage and mature adult mentorship."

The evenings other star contributor, Dr Rubinstein, is an expert on adolescent development, with 30 years' experience as a doctor, counsellor, mentor and workshop facilitator. His programmes and seminars are designed to make the transition from child to young adult both safe and healthy, with a particular focus on coming-of-age rites of passage. His book The Making of Men is a practical handbook for parents and teachers.

While in the Bay, the two presenters will assist Jim with the launch of his own book. "It's a compilation of true experiences that capture the mysteries and magic of rites of passage", explains Jim. "I started writing my story and sent it out to a dozen other people around the world, saying 'write about your rites'." What came back, he says, was profound. "There are some very deep personal stories." When his Book of many Voices is published, Jim hopes it will inspire and empower readers. "It will be a manual about how to do rites of passage."

Drawing upon his extensive knowledge and experience, Jim reasons that the nature of the rite determines the quality of the passage. "Everyone has multiple rites of passage, but it's important that it's conscious, acknowledged and recognised."

Jo Richards

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The Mystery of Rites of Passage

Kia Ora, this is to share a little about the book project that my dad Jim Horton and I have been compiling and writing about Rites of Passage. The working title is 'The Mystery of Rites of Passage' and it now includes significant contributions from over fourteen others, although the project began with the intention to simply re-publish the lat e Don Bowaks book 'Marking lifes Stages' which is included in the text.

In this picture we are holding the first full printing of the book in draft form along with, from left, Dr Arne Rubinstein and Frederick Marx a fil m maker from USA creating a film about Rites of Passage, next is Jim and myself.

Arne and Frederick travelled to Golden Bay and met with the Rites of Passage Foundation and a group of the senior facilitators early in October, as pa rt of this weekend we spoke about the future of ROP and some of what was happening in different parts of Australia and the US.

Arne and Frederick put on a public presentation as an awareness raiser and as a way of connecting with the local Golden Bay High School. I filmed that event and it is a good offering for parents or families who may be interested in our work or simply as a resource for parents of teenagers. You can watch this here . Please, share.

Arne was recently on Australian national television in a spotlight on Rites of Passage for boys. Here is the link to watch that.

Frederick shared his movies with us and he also spoke about the curricula that he was part of collating and producing. This is for everyone from Parents to schools and educators. Here is the link to the sign up sheet for that information pack. I highly recommend connecting with this work, there are many wonderful suggestions in the information that you will be sent. These are Fredericks videos that he showed: Our Newest Short Film on Youth and Rites of Passage! and Mentoring the Future Teaser - 80 seconds

Frederick is part of creating the network 'Youth Passageways' in the USA. I highly recommend checking out their web site. The Book project is in its final stages and I look forward to sharing it with you once it is printed.

Jay Horton

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TIDES - Spring 2015

Experience of Tides Rite of Passage event

We have just returned after 5 days and I am sooooo glad that we did it in the end.  You would have been very proud of Grace (who is now most definitely a young woman in the making)  She, as you probably know, can be pretty cynical about these sorts of things and maintained that through most of the process saying that she didn’t want to be there or be doing it and that she was merely tolerating it to get through - however, she passed some incredible physical challenges (which we can’t talk about because they are kept secret for obvious reasons in terms of new girls partaking) - some of which I don’t know that I could have done!  We as mother’s also had some challenges but nothing like the young girls did.  


I saw a real increase in confidence for her in terms of speaking out in a group - I hadn’t quite realised just how shy and lacking in confidence she was in this respect because she is certainly not lacking it when she is just around me and within the safety of home!  But she took some real risks and went outside her comfort zone to confront those limitations.  It was huge in the end for her - partcularly considering just days before she had literally thought I was going to die - her hugest fear!

At the last part of the ritual where the dads, families and friends come to receive the girl who has passed the threshold into young womanhood, she said to the crowd gathered that she would definitely come back and do another one as a young leader!  I nearly fell over in surprise as I had thought she had only just tolerated getting through it all, but I see that what else she really got out of it, which she doesn’t currently have much of in her life, is deep and fun friendships with some great girls, which she wants to maintain - what these girls went through together will really bond them.  The whole process keeps recycling so that girls can come back as leaders, mentors, guides and then as part of the crew.  I have watched over the years as other young women have been through Tides programmes and I really respect the strong, real and capable young women who emerge.  There’s a lot about teamwork, taking responsibility, acknowledging differences and stepping into leadership.

I do wish that I had had time within it all to invite you as friends and family to the closing ceremony - ev en though I know it would have been an impossibility for many of you - but I hadn’t quite realised in all the drama th at that was even a possibility.  Tim her dad was there of course - and he had made her a beautiful hanging pendant from wood and a special shell - it is really stylish and beautiful and I hope that he will one day soon venture into putting his clever artworks and poems 'out there’ rather than hiding his light (yes, I’m speaking to you Tim :))  The words he wrote to her were also very special and I was deeply touched by the thought that had gone into them.

We are both very happy to be home and glad that we took the leap to do Tides - I’m so grateful we have one of only two Rites of Passage programmes in NZ right here in Golden Bay and I will highly recommend it to anyone with a 13-16 year old daughter (there is also the Tracks programme for young men and it was lovely to see some of the older Tracks men step in at the beginning ceremony as a caring male figure for the girls who didn’t have dads for whatever reason)  The girls and their mums come from all over NZ.

Thank you to all of you who have been present in our lives and played a part towards this leg of our journey - I feel blessed and truly love and appreciate you all!

Martine & Grace

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TRACKS - Spring 2015


RISEN AGAIN! - Rising Sons weekend

This weekend saw the 3rd run of our relatively new programme for 8 to 10 year old boys and their Dads.

We had nine families join us for the weekend, five of which knew each other well already, as they attend the same men’s group and had decided to come along together. Hence our weekend got off to a warm and familiar, flying start and it was fun and frolics from start to finish.

The Treefield was lush and green and we bathed in the soft spring sun. With Pete in the galley looking after our bellies, the rest of us dived into a menu of games, creativity, challenge and sharing. What a fantastic bunch of boys! This age is such a brief and special stage for fathers and sons, so it’s a privilege to take a couple of days to celebrate that with them, as they cast their eye into the future too. I left our Treefield, smiling, exhausted, heartened and hopeful. 

Huge thanks to our generous and dedicated team, for donating their time and energy and bringing so much to the weekend. Well done and congratulations to Eli, Enda, Gabriel, Mania, Marty, Mat, Rain, Savan and Tiago, thanks heaps for coming lads!


Good Men Making Tracks (GMMT)

Another great GMMT event took place in September, which included some former Tracks young leaders. Now in their twenties, these lads are moving more into assisting facilitation roles. With the youngest participant being 19 only, there was a nice range of ages present. Great to see new men stepping forward, who are interested in getting involved in rites of passage work as well.




TnT WEEKEND - Calling Tides and Tracks Young Leaders!

At the end of November  - 27th, 28th and 29th Tides and Tracks are inviting their young leaders to be at the Treefield together for the first time. As well as having a good time together, we are looking to start exploring ideas about shared events and finding exciting ways for young women and young men to work together.

The weekend is set to use an ‘open space’, informal structure so that people can choose to come to as little or as much as they’re able. Whether you’re staying from Friday to Sunday or just popping out for an evening, we’d love to see you and have your support to get this new initiative underway.


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