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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.


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.


What Every Daughter Needs From Her Dad

Most good men struggle between their desire to be a good father, and the reality of being one. Our children aren’t born into the world holding on tightly to a manual to hand us to read and master, in order to provide us with everything that child is going to require of us. For the majority of us, it’s a case of on-the-job training… learning as we go. Fathering sons is hard enough, but at least we Dads were once boys ourselves. Fathering daughters on the other hand… most of us find that so much more difficult… the feminine heart being a mystery to many of us.

I’m a man who likes to keep things as simple as possible, because when something is simple, there’s a greater likelihood of actually following through and applying it into my life. So in the spirit of keeping things simple, please allow me to share three things that every daughter needs to receive from her Dad. If you’re not a Dad of a daughter, please continue to read on anyway. Why? Because it’s highly likely that you’re married to a daughter (remember your wife is a daughter), and that your son will one day marry a daughter. You’ll want to be armed with these simple, yet life-giving truths, so that you can be a man of understanding.

I refer to these three things as the three (3) A’s:

1. Attention,
2. Affection, &
3. Affirmation

And a word of warning men… if your daughter doesn’t receive the three (3) A’s from you, as she is meant to, then she will seek them out from another masculine source… from outside of the home… from someone whose motives are less noble and honourable… who’s more interested in receiving life for himself, rather than offering life to another.

One further word of warning men… don’t stop! In the same way that your favourite sporting team can forge a strong lead by half time… if they were to rest only on all of the good work they did during that first half, then that lead would evaporate very quickly, and become an actual deficit. So don’t stop offering the three (3) A’s to your daughter once puberty kicks in, and don’t even stop when your daughter marries her husband. Your role as father does not end until you draw your very last breath.

There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.“. Fathering Adventures is more than a book, it’s more than a conference, it’s more than a demonstration, or video resource… as good as all of those things are. Fathers from all over Australia, and further abroad, are bringing their sons and daughters to our various adventures offered throughout North Queensland, South-East Queensland, and Victoria. They discover exactly what their sons and daughters need to receive from them, they get to experience a practical application of what they learn, and they get to experience first-hand, just how much they enjoy their child, and how much their child enjoys and needs them.

On the subject of Dads & Daughters, we have “tentatively” booked a couple of additional Dad & Daughter Adventure Weekends for the weekends of July 20-22 on Magnetic Island in North Queensland, and September 14-16 at Mt Tamborine in South-East Queensland. If you’re interested in joining us for either one of those weekends, please contact us immediately, otherwise we may be forced to surrender those dates, and wait until 2013.

Please help us to build a stronger future for our Nation, one family at a time. Forward this email on to all of your friends and colleagues. And be sure to look through all of our upcoming adventures… … to register for one of our numerous Father-Son or Dad & Daughter Adventures on offer throughout 2012 & beyond.


Happy New Year, or Happy for a Lifetime?

After 12 years of counseling men, women, and couples... I've listened to hundreds of people's stories. The one statement I have heard from all of them is this... "I just want to be happy". We all want that, right? But very few seem to have actually found it and lived it.

Many years ago now, my mentor shared the truth of this ancient Chinese proverb with me...

If you want to be happy for an hour -- take a nap.
If you want to be happy for a day -- go fishing.
If you want to be happy for a year -- inherit a fortune.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime -- help someone else succeed.

It's one of the things that lead me to start 'Fathering Adventures'.
Why? Because not only do I get to help Dads succeed in their role as father... due to the significance and weightiness of that role... I also get to help their children (the next generation) succeed... as tomorrow's men & women, husbands & wives, and fathers & mothers. And knowing that I have done, and continue to do that, has been truly fulfilling for my family and I. By helping others succeed, I am the happiest I've ever been.

So how about you? Do you also dare to be happy for a lifetime? Then help someone else succeed.

Did you realise that you can help 'Fathering Adventures' succeed?
In fact, I've come to understand that It's quite improbable for me to succeed on my own. The vision of 'Fathering Adventures' is to make a Father-Son, or Dad & Daughter Adventure available to every family throughout Australia. Ambitious, yes! Impossible, no! So how can you help that vision become a reality?

1. Tell others about the heart & mission of 'Fathering Adventures'. Email your friends and colleagues the web-link to our promotional video on YouTube... . "Like" our Facebook page... , and share our posts on your Facebook wall, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social networking accounts. Email your friends the web-link to this blog site... , and or the web-link to our recently upgraded official website... . Tell others the good, old fashioned way... in person... at work, at a BBQ etc, or over the phone. Better still, tell others in a combination of the above-mentioned ways.

and, or

2. Provide some financial support for less fortunate families, through sponsorships, donations, purchasing gift certificates etc. You can do so by a variety of means, as provided on our website's "Pay It Forward" webpage... .

In the words of the late, great anthropologist, Margaret Mead... "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Yours for being happy for a lifetime... together!


Fathering Adventures in 2011 – The Year that was!

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.  Hal Borland (late American Author and Journalist)

Wow… 2011 is drawing to a close, and what a year it has been for ‘Fathering Adventures’. I trust that 2011 has also been a fruitful and rewarding year for you and your family.

Perhaps the most noteworthy news of 2011 is simply the expansion of our influence in just a 12 month period. This year we facilitated nine (9) adventures in 11 months, compared to just three (3) adventures last year… a jump from affecting just twenty-nine (29) relationships and families to One hundred and ten (110) relationships and families.

Excitingly, 2011 also saw us for the first time expand into other geographic regions of Australia. Almost half of our adventures this year were facilitated outside of North Queensland e.g. South-East Queensland (Mt Tamborine and Mapleton) and Victoria. A big thank you to our partners for making that possible… Andrew Grant and QCCC (Queensland Conference & Camping Centres) in South-East Queensland, and Bill Malcolm & Village Church, and Mill Valley Ranch in Victoria. It wouldn’t have happened without you good men.

We also expanded the types of adventures we offer this year, to include Dads and their daughters. Our Father-Daughter Adventures Weekends (for daughters aged between 7 & 13 years inclusive) have proven to be a big hit in both North and South-East Queensland. We’ve even had a number of Dads and daughters express interest for us to develop a 5 Night Father-Daughter Adventure, in the spirit of our 5 night Father-Son Adventures, so perhaps in 2013, we may just see those become a reality.?

Internationally, we also saw a jump in fathers and sons joining us for our 5 Night Father-Son Adventures, and for the first time ever, we received much interest and engaged in numerous discussions with potential partners overseas… New Zealand, South Africa, U.S.A. (including Alaska), and Canada. So 2012 and 2013 may see our level of influence extend even further, as we begin to look at facilitating our various adventures internationally.

Other noteworthy items of 2011 worth special mentions include the release of our first ever promotional video… , a jump in the number of non-biological fathers and significant male others bringing boys and girls along on our adventures e.g. step-dads and mentors, and 2011 was also the first year since launching, that we have not suffered a nett financial loss.

Personally speaking, 2011 saw a wonderful increase in support and encouragement from men whom I am honoured and privileged to call friends… with Clive Bird and Prasantha Jayawardhana leading the way. I was also surprised to be awarded and rewarded with being named the 2011 Queensland Father of the Year. That and the onset of Fathers Day, saw me undertake numerous speaking engagements and interviews in all forms of the media… television, radio, newspapers, and magazines.

To be honest, I am spent… but in a very good way… like someone who has just completed a race… collapsing in a heap over the finish line. But as the opening quote testifies, this is not an end, but a going on. I have completed but a leg of the journey that lays ahead. There is still much to be done. But for now… at the end of this leg… I celebrate, and I receive some much needed and well deserved rest and restoration… for me, and for my family.

So for now… my family and I humbly thank you for your all of your support and encouragement throughout 2011. May you and your family also find rest and restoration over this Christmas season, and rest assured, we’ll be back in the New Year, to embark upon all that 2012 will bring.


Courageous - Honor Begins At Home

I don't get to the movies nearly as often as I would like, but this week, I've gone twice... and to the same movie no less. On Thursday 10th November 2011, the movie "Courageous" opened in cinemas throughout Australia. From all I had seen and read, I had high expectations, and I was not disappointed. On Thursday evening, I took my two eldest sons... my eldest son Brandon (17 years) to my Left, and my second eldest son Isaac (15 years) to my right. The following morning I took my wife Melissa. We all loved watching "Courageous" and discussing it as a family afterwards.

So what did we love about "Courageous"? Well first and foremost the story. There's not too many movies you can take your family to these days, that have a storyline quite as compelling, and containing such noble and honourable themes, as "Courageous" does. And speaking about compelling... the first time I watched it, I expected that the movie must have only gone for approximately 90 or 100 minutes, because it flew by so quickly... but when I looked down at my watch, I realised that it had gone for over 2 hours, and not once did I get restless during the movie.

And of course I loved the themes! This is what makes me most come alive... raising the awareness of the destructive nature of "fatherlessness"... or absent fathering... even when Dad is still in the home... upon our children, upon our families, upon our society. And those responsible for "Courageous" did it so well... creatively through the use of a great story and a diverse range of great characters. It spoke into the issues typically not addressed in our society today... of how a boy becomes a man, and what a real man is. It spoke about rejecting passivity, accepting responsibility, and leading couragously... those attributes that define a real man. It addressed men and families who were married, single Dads, absent Dads, fathering sons, and fathering daughters, the importance of ceremony, unemployment & disappointment, loss & grief, healing & life, and the testing of integrity.

And there were times where I wondered which genre the movie best fitted. There was action, there was drama, there was laughter, there were tears, there was more laughter, more tears, more laughter yet again, and still more action, not to mention a stirring, powerful, inspirational call-to-action at the end.

So I encourage you men of courage... go and see this movie whilst it is still in cinemas across Australia. At present, the only guarantee is until next Wednesday 16th November. Rise up and tell others to go and see the movie. Rise up and courageously initiate living life alongside other men who have the heart and resolve to be the man, husband, and father you desire to be. That kind of life is not a life that any man can achieve on his own. Live Courageously!


Ceremony in the Process of Initiation

In many cultures throughout history, a teenage boy is taken through some type of ritual to mark his official passage into manhood. I believe one of the greatest tragedies of Western culture today is the absence of this type of ceremony.”  Dr Robert Lewis (Author) from his best-selling book, “Raising a Modern Day Knight”

Every knight remembers his dubbing as the first day of his existence.”  Georges Duby (French, influential Medieval Historian, specializing in the social and economic history of the Middle Ages)

Ceremony marks the transition from one season to another. It says powerfully, forcefully, and regally, “From this point forward, life is going to be different!”

The most incredible man I’ve ever met would have to be Dr Robert Lewis. He is a man who has lived well. He has lived a life of great strength and courage, honour and integrity. He’s been like a father to me... a mentor... and I’m honoured to call him a friend. In Robert’s best-selling book, “Raising a Modern Day Knight”... he lists four common characteristics that every good ceremony possesses. I felt it important to share them here...

  1. Memorable ceremonies are costly. The more time, thought, planning, effort, and money you give to a celebration, the more memorable it will be. Memorability  grows in proportion to cost. The more you give, the greater the impact.
  2. Memorable ceremonies ascribe value. By setting aside time, making an effort, spending money, and employing meaningful ceremony, we declare the high value of an individual. Effective ceremony says, you are important! And this moment is important!
  3. Memorable ceremonies employ symbols.
  4. Memorable ceremonies empower a life with vision.

One of my personal favourite moments from each of our 5 Night Father-Son Adventures, and our 4 Night Father-Son Adventures, would have to be the Initiation Ceremony on the final evening. The look upon the face of every son who kneels before his father, as he listens intently to what it is his father is calling him out of (boyhood), and up and into (the higher ground of authentic manhood), is simply priceless. Their eyes are always as wide as saucers. It is a moment in that young man’s life’s journey that he will never forget, for as long as he lives. The culmination of a week of adventure & fun, and training & instruction, alongside his Dad or significant male other, within a community of men... sealed by a ceremony. Now that’s a real process of initiation in action.

You can find a list of dates for all of our upcoming 4 and 5 Night Father-Son Adventures, and all of our Father-Son and Father-Daughter Adventure Weekends too for that matter... here... . And you can read more testimonials from fathers & sons, and see more photos, from one of our past 5 Night Father-Son Adventures here... . And finally, you can watch our short video in the form of a movie trailer here... .

For those of us who are married... we’ve experienced first-hand the power and weightiness of ceremony and celebration. But how many of you have experienced such a ceremony and celebration when it came to your journey to become a man? We’d love to hear from you.


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