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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.

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 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 now facilitate our 5 Night Father-Son Adventures in two locations… in the Wee Jasper region of NSW, North of Canberra, in January, and in the Tully / Mission Beach region of Tropical North Queensland, in June / July, and when demand allows… September / October too. You can explore more about these at http://www.fatheringadventures.com.au/5_night_father_son_adventures.php .

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 .

Wednesday
May232012

"To just Be With You, DAD"

I love receiving emails from Dads & Mums who write to share their stories, the memories they created, in photo form or otherwise, or simply to encourage us in our mission.

I received one such email from a Dad (Brian Borg) yesterday morning. He had visited our website, and watched a video there, which in turn reminded him of a poem he had penned about a fishing experience he created with his son 12 years ago, called 'The Fish Wish'. I'm posting it here (with Brian's permission of course)... for all to read the truth that Brian discovered at the end of a fishing experience he had thought had not been a good one. I shared this poem on facebook here , and received comments from parents who had been moved to tears.


'The Fish Wish'

For an ordinary man with a holiday plan,
thought he'd head to the beach for a week.
with his son by his side, the mans joy and his pride,
A fish dinner to catch they will seek.

To be a good dad, is the plan the man had,
and to teach his young son how to fish.
Rod, line and then hook, he taught by the book,
he then said, not a prayer but a wish.

I wish for the weather to hold us together,
and no waves will come crashing inside.
I wish there no snags, old boots or no rags,
be washed to our hooks by the tide.

I wish the line strong for the fish to jump on,
knots, tangles and nests there are none.
I wish for my boy, this rod be a toy,
then all day he will think this is fun.

I wish us to catch, not one but a batch,
to kiss and put back where they came.
I wish this to be, our day at the sea,
where no fish that are caught are the same.

I wish that my boy will always enjoy,
the memories that are had here today.
and I wish most of all, my son has a ball,
when the big one does not get away.

The man then stopped wishing.
"its time to start fishing" he said to his son with a grin.
"I think it is time for these fish to be mine,
and now let the fishing begin".

Time after time they'd drop in their line,
the fish didn't seem to be there.
they'd bring up the hook, just for a look,
the cooler they brought was still bare.

"I'm sorry my son, we didn't catch one,
I don't know what I must say.
maybe the bad bait, or the tide was too late,
but now we must call it a day".

The man could not hide, the joy or the pride,
or the tear that was happy not sad.

"Today it was fun", said the mans only son.
"Cause my wish was to just be with you, DAD".

(C Brian Borg 2000)


That’s what I’m talking about! Brian learnt a lesson a number of years ago now, that far too many men never realize… that Dad’s presence is what most kids want… in fact crave… from their Dads.

So give your kids the gift of your presence now Dad! Join us for one of our upcoming Father-Son or Dad & Daughter Adventures soon. Our next couple of adventures are already sold out, but we do still have a few vacancies for our June 30 – July 5 – 5 Night Father-Son Adventure, our August 17-19 Father-Son Adventure Weekend, and our September 14-16 Dad & Daughter Adventure Weekend. Register your interest for one of our upcoming adventures at www.fatheringadventures.com.au , or email me at info@fatheringadventures.com.au , or phone me on 0431 839 035.

And if you were wondering what video it was that stirred Brian’s heart, and moved him to email his poem to me, you can watch it herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VCNydoQ97VA .
Be warned though… be sure to have tissues on hand.