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"Not every successful man is a good father. But every good father is a successful man." R. Duvall

To A Child Love Is Spelled T-I-M-E
Bronze Bow Publishing

"To become a father is not difficult, but to be a father is." Unknown

"Adventure isn't hanging on a rope on the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day-to-day obstacles of life - facing new challenges, seizing new opportunities, testing our resources against the unknown, and in the process, discovering our own unique potential." John Amatt.

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Welcome to the Blog of Fathering Adventures

G’day, my name is Darren Lewis, I am the founder, facilitator, and fatherhood coach at ‘Fathering Adventures’.

What would you have loved to experience with your Dad? What would you have wanted to receive from, or hear from him? Offer those things to your son now.

Upcoming Adventure Dates.

Wednesday
Jan092013

Reflections from one of our Grateful Dads on the Eve of a New Year

I don’t think I’ve ever made a New Year’s Resolution in my life… not that there’s anything wrong with doing so of course. But a practice I have applied for many years now, on New Year’s Eve, is to look back over the previous year… reflect upon all that’s taken place, and make any adjustments that need to be made for the New Year ahead. That practice has served me well.

On the morning of this New Year’s Eve, I received a wonderful email from a Dad who first joined us for a 5 Night Father-Son Adventure with his eldest son, in Tropical North Queensland back in June / July 2010. He had heard about us in a free mention in a “Holidays with Kids” newsletter. Almost 18 months later (more than 12 months ago now), he brought his youngest son along to a Father-Son Adventure Weekend at Mapleton, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland of South-East Queensland. I hadn’t heard from him since… until that very moment. Clearly this Dad has also adopted a similar approach to embarking upon his New Year.

I was so thrilled to hear from him again…
to read about his life, his relationships, his family, and the role ‘Fathering Adventures’ played in all of that… that I just had to share his email with you here…

Hey Darren

I have been meaning to write to you for a long time now.

I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am to have met you.  How grateful I am to have listened to you talk about your values and beliefs. And focusing on what is important.  Life, Your children, Your family your wife, your friends, Humanity, the good and the bad who may have lost their way.

I went along to Fathering Adventures because of my eldest son. He was 17.  He was a “typical” teenager who was a bit rebellious in his own way, when it came to family.  But he was a good lad to say the least.  He was disconnected from the family unit.  At the time I was wondering if I had given him enough when he finally decides to leave the family nest. To be able to go into life independently with confidence and passion.  I started exploring rites of passage …and what that meant I thought about him leaving the family home.  Have I personally equipped him with all he needs when he steps out there in that to quote a song title “wild world”?  I am sure what I thought was, Fathering Adventures would fix him…

That FA experience…was not what I expected.  It was much much more.  Did it help my son? The greatest impact was to Me.  It was like I was hit by a lightning bolt . It was the spark that started a small fire.  One that has been growing ever since that enlightening week.  It changed my perception of humanity.  I ended up realizing that I was just going through life without any intention or purpose. Going through life without a rudder.  Taking life and people for granted…Life is much much more than that.  How I interact with my wife. How not to take her for granted.  I am sooo grateful for her to be in my life…Not just for her love but for her acceptance and understanding.  I am so grateful for my children for who they are right now and am very excited for them and the journey through life that they are on. I am very grateful for the family I have and for the friends I have.  I am very grateful for All of the people I have met along the way The good and even the not so good.

FA started me on a journey of self discovery.  It gave me confidence. It gave me confidence because it gave me Clarity.  Integrity, Noble Awareness Compassion Love Sharing Giving, Giving to others GRATEFULNESS  Gratefulness for everything that life has to offer. FA started me on a journey of self discovery.  And I have been growing immensely ever since.

Every moment you spend with your sons and daughters and grandchildren is extremely important .  I have learnt that those personal moments you share with each person should always demand 100% percent of your undivided attention . Not conversations “in Passing’ like “saying hi as you pass each other through the corridor of life…as though you are  casual acquaintances.  These moments should be MAGICAL moments.  Create INTENTIONAL MAGICAL moments with your children and family. Sometimes all it can take is just one minute…those few words that you whisper…or the gesture…that will be everlasting….that will be remembered with fond memories for a lifetime.

Thank You Darren. Thanks FA

Forever grateful

Paul


That email, and a number of other extremely fruitful moments shared spread throughout 2012, helped me greatly in providing great clarity in regards to the direction of ‘Fathering Adventures’ in 2013. The trajectory of our mission in 2013, is as it should be.

How about you? What have you planned to do differently… especially in regards to parenting… in 2013? We’d love to hear from you here!

Friday
Dec212012

So Much More Than Outdoor Adventures

When I first founded 'Fathering Adventures'... nearly 5 years ago now... my heart was to reach as many fathers as possible... because I knew full well the weightiness & significance of a father's role in the lives of his children... for good, or for bad. What I wasn't sure of at the the time... was how to go about appealing to the majority of fathers. And so, I chose to appeal to the adventurous heart that I believe lays in the innermost parts of every man... by providing a powerful experience that incorporated outdoor adventure.

Whilst we're still finding that our outdoor adventures are appealing to many Dads... what we're discovering more & more these days, is that Dads across the Nation, are looking for something more than simply engaging in the outdoors with their kids. They're wanting to experience something of substance. They're wanting to receive teaching, coaching, mentoring, and they're wanting a place and a process to incorporate all that they've learnt. In other words... what we're coming across more and more of... are men who recognize that the real fathering adventure, is to actively pursue an authentic relationship with their son or daughter... and that pleases me greatly.

2012 has been another BIG year for my family, and for ‘Fathering Adventures’. Early 2012 saw my small design drafting business (my paid work) finally draw to a close, which meant that I was able to focus all of my “work” energies & efforts directly into ‘Fathering Adventures’, in a full-time capacity. This year saw us finally reach into New South Wales in a very intentional way… both through our adventures, and through speaking publically at a successful open-forum Parents’ Night at a school in the Southern suburbs of Sydney. Approximately 66 people turned up, and approximately 60 of them were men… so it was an excellent way of raising awareness of the significance of a father’s role, and the need of fathers being present & engaged in their sons’ journeys & initiation into manhood.

In 2013, I hope to establish many more speaking engagements... in schools, churches, & community groups… throughout the Country. 2013 will also see us facilitate our first 5 Night Father-Son Adventure outside of Tropical North Queensland… at ‘Mountain Trails’, in the Brindabella Ranges of NSW, North of Canberra. And in March 2013, we return to Melbourne, to facilitate a Father-Son Adventure Weekend, and a Dad & Daughter Adventure Weekend, on consecutive weekends.

I thought I'd post our Christmas 2012 family photograph here. And yes, it's official… I’m now the 3rd tallest person in our family of 6. How did that happen? And I wonder how much longer I'll hold that position for.

May you & your family have a very Merry Christmas, and an abundantly blessed New Year,

Darren, Melissa, Brandon, Isaac, Joseph, & Theo

Wednesday
Oct172012

“Powerful”, “Significant”, & “Memorable”

I’ve written about the power of ceremony, and the employment of ceremony in the process of initiation, in the past… from the different perspectives of an author, a historian, and my own personal experience too of course. But I thought it might also be helpful to hear some honest feedback from a couple of fathers… just like you… who’ve experienced our Initiation Ceremonies for themselves, on the final evening of one of our 4 or 5 Night Father-Son Adventures. Before their experience, these Dads were concerned and skeptical… but read on to discover what that moment in time, ended up meaning to them…

To be honest, I was a bit skeptical about the initiation thing - but I was surprised at what a
powerful & memorable moment it was.“  (David – Age 42 – Brisbane, QLD)

Before I came I was always a little concerned about ‘the sword’ ceremony. I’m not particularly taken by swords, knights, medieval history etc. But… I thought it was a very powerful experience… very emotional in fact. It was one of the highlights for me. It’s beyond swords and bigger than what I imagined. Thank you. You have provided / made room for a truly powerful & significant moment on me and my son’s journey into fatherhood / manhood.”  (Wayne – Age 48 – Townsville, QLD)

We facilitate our 5 Night Father-Son Adventures in the Tully / Mission Beach region of Tropical North Queensland, in the June / July, and the September / October school holiday periods. We also facilitate 4 Night Father-Son Adventuresin the Brindabella Ranges of NSW, North of Canberra, in the December school holiday period. You can explore more about these at http://www.fatheringadventures.com.au/5_night_father_son_adventures.php and http://www.fatheringadventures.com.au/4_night_father_son_adventures.php respectively.

And of course if you haven’t read my previous article on ceremony yet… then I encourage you to do so now… http://fatheringadventures.squarespace.com/blog/2011/11/10/ceremony-in-the-process-of-initiation.html .

And finally… a call-out to all of you Dads in Victoria. We will be facilitating a Father-Son Adventure Weekend, and a Dad & Daughter Adventure Weekend, out of Mill Valley Ranch in Tynong North, Victoria, in March. I encourage you to visit our ‘Upcoming Adventures’ webpage... http://fatheringadventures.squarespace.com/upcoming-adventures/ … select the Adventure that best suits you, and register now to avoid disappointment, because places are filling very quickly.

Tuesday
Sep042012

New Study Confirms the Time Teens Share with Their Dads has Critical Benefits

The Social Science Research Institute at Pennsylvania State University recently concluded a seven year long study, which confirms the finding from numerous other studies conducted around the world in the last couple of decades, that the time teens share with their fathers, “has important implications for adolescents’ psychological and social adjustment.”

It was found that the more time spent alone with their fathers, the higher their self-esteem; the more time with their Dads in a group setting, the better their social skills.

The study, published in the journal ‘Child Development’ also found that Dads get in just over an hour of one-on-one time with each child, each week, and kids spend less and less time with their parents in group settings as they go through their preteen and teenage years. The study also noted numerous other studies that found benefits for kids who spend time with their Dads, such as fewer delinquent behaviours, and less likelihood to give in to peer pressure.

Some great news for Dads of teenage, or even older sons ‘Fathering Adventures’ now facilitates our 5 Night Father-Son Adventures at ‘Mountain Trails Adventure School’, in the Wee Jasper region of NSW, North of Canberra. The professionally-guided & outfitted outdoor adventure activities include caving, abseiling (rappelling), fly-fishing, dirt-bike trail riding, horse-back trail riding, and hiking to the summit of a mountain. No experience in any of the activities is necessary. Register now for our upcoming January 14-19, 2013 – 5 Night Father-Son Adventure herehttp://www.fatheringadventures.com.au/5_night_father_son_adventures.php .

Also some great news for Dads of teenage, or even older daughters ‘Fathering Adventures’ will soon be facilitating 4 Night Dad & Daughter Adventures on Magnetic Island, in North Queensland. The professionally-guided & outfitted outdoor adventure activities will include snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, jet-skiing, horse riding, and hiking into the historic WWII forts. Register your interest now for a 4 Night Dad & Daughter Adventure herehttp://www.fatheringadventures.com.au/4_night_dad_daughter_adventures.php .

Wednesday
Aug012012

Where are the "Older Male Elephants" in our Society Today?

There is nothing new under the sun."  (King Solomon)

Turn on the news most days,
and you will witness countless reports of increasing youth violence & crime, drug & alcohol abuse, and other forms of adolescent delinquency. We as a society have a name for such youths… we refer to them as “at-risk” or “high-risk”. Comprehensive independent research for decades, continues to reveal that it is the absence of Dad, and significant male others, that ultimately determines whether a youth member will be classified as “at-risk” or “high-risk”.

The decade between 1991 & 2001 in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park in South Africa, saw fifty-eight White Rhinos and five Black Rhinos killed by young male elephants. So what was the successful solution to ending the Rhino deaths caused by these young male elephants? It was the introduction of older male elephants! You can watch the following short 3 minute long video containing excerpts from the 60 Minutes story here…



It is essential that our Governments at every level (Local, State, & Federal) act, and act now in regards to actually solving our most urgent social problems, by encouraging fathers… biological and otherwise… to be involved, engaged, and present, in the lives of our boys, girls, young men, & young women. And it is essential that we the people be heard in regards to this matter.

So what is it that you have done, and are you doing to help? We’d love to hear from you. Please comment here. Your ideas & actions could just help inspire others to also act, and make a real, and lasting difference.

And finally… we’ll be in South-East Queensland later this month… in August 17-19… facilitating one of our Father-Son Adventure Weekends at Mapleton, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. We have fathers & sons coming from all over… including fathers & sons from Sydney & Wollongong in N.S.W., and even a father-son pair from Wodonga, VIC. There are still some vacancies remaining for that one, so register your interest now at http://www.fatheringadventures.com.au/father_son_adventures.php .