Headmaster of Top Private Boys School, Ross Featherston, talks to Year 10 students

The Making of Men: Taking it to a new level

Boys undertake Rites of Passage program

I am partway through Dr Leonard Sax’s republished book, Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men (click here), and one line particularly struck a chord with me: “Manhood is mimesis; to be a man, a boy must see a man.” I would rework that slightly: To be a good man, a boy must see a good man.

As you would be aware, BGS and Dr Arne Rubinstein of The Making of Men (click here) have been in a partnership committed to bringing out the best in our boys, particularly as they transition from boys to young men. Indeed, BGS is absolutely committed to preparing our boys to be ready for the world as good men.

This week, our partnership jumped to a new and exciting level. Sixteen Year 10 boys and their fathers (along with BGS staff Dr Ray Swann and Mr Peter Shepard) headed off to complete the world-renowned Making of Men retreat at Yarrakoora (a purpose-built 140-acre bush property on the north coast of New South Wales). Led by Dr Arne and his team, the four-day retreat involves a Rites of Passage process for the boys. With their dads, they explore positive masculinity, adulthood and the key components of what it is to be a man in the 21st century.

BGS’s Crowther Research Team is conducting an analysis of the Rites of Passage program for our boys and their fathers. These results will form a key plank in our decision making for 2018, during which we envisage inviting all current Year 9 (Year 10 in 2018) boys and their fathers (or a significant male mentor) to participate in the Rites of Passage program.

Potentially, this will be an extraordinary event of some 300 people from the BGS community, all united by the desire to help the boys in our care transition confidently to manhood. I believe that this could be a major touchstone in the School’s approach to positive masculinity and the ‘BGS Way’.

Finally, best wishes to our 1st XV rugby side as they take on St Kevin’s in the Rugby Grand Final this week (2pm Saturday at Haileybury, Keysborough). It’s the first time in a long time that our 1st XV have been in the Grand Final and we wish the boys well. Go Tonners!