Pathways to Manhood

Boys need a Powerful Transition to Manhood

Your teenage boy is engaged in the most exciting and challenging time of his life. He is forging his own identity at the same time entering into a new territory of risk that can involve peer pressure, loneliness, drugs, cars, alcohol, pregnancy and violence. Without contact with good men, he runs the risk of building a male identity based on superficial images borrowed from media heroes and his peers.

Pathways to Manhood is a boy’s rites of passage programme, run by men, that creates a dynamic powerful experience for the young men to grow safely and true to themselves. Begun in 2002, it’s an exciting inner and outer adventure of lasting impact for the over 5 days in a remote coastal setting. All boys are accompanied by a significant male from the lives (e.g. father, uncle, stepfather, grandfather, family, friend – or a mentor that Essentially Men can arrange).

How Does Pathways to Manhood Work?

The Pathways to Manhood campsite is near a forest, beach and lake. There will be a balance of risk and safety, challenge and adventure, through activities carefully designed to build confidence and extend comfort zones.

Expect an exciting process of confident self discovery.

There are unique moments in the 5 days that open up a lifetime of special connection between father & son.

A Programme for Youth that Fathers Gain From As Well

In his teenage years your young man needs your involvement and trust more than ever. You may feel he wants to push against you and ignore what you have to offer, when really he has a need to forge his own way in the world and test himself, and needs you to understand him and support him in this. At Pathways for Manhood we provide a unique environment for you to find new ways to do this.

So expect to have an engaging process of self-discovery for yourself as well as your young man, and to become a lot closer and mutually respectful with your young man…and expect to have fun.

The requirement for you is simple: show up and be real, because what you have to offer is how you are. All you need to be able to do is share yourself from the heart. We will help you with the rest.

“The Pathways programme has provided me a better understanding of myself as a father and how I impact my family and young people in general. More and more of our conversations are ‘adult to adult’, a change I largely attribute to our time on the programme.” Pathways Father

For Mothers

Watching dolphins from the beach at Pathways to Manhood

We honour your commitment and love in raising a fine young man. We created Pathways to Manhood to stand with you, in support of those efforts, as a community of men, offering a space and experience for your son to step towards manhood.

Your support for this programme is important. We recognise it is a big step and we are respectful of the place you play and will continue to play in his life. Because of this, when your son attends, you are invited to participate in a returning home ceremony on the last day to help you support the changes going on for your young man.

Pathways Youth Testimonial

This is a video testimonial has been kindly donated by Tom.

Tom participated in the 2014 program. We interviewed Tom at a pathways reunion and asked a few questions about his experience. Tom is the only pathways youth that we have interviewed so far.

We are impressed with Tom’s honesty and how he has adapted himself as a result of the mentoring that he received from the men at Pathways.

Tom was selected randomly for this interview (He was the first to return from the beach). Tom’s experience is personal and specific to him. Each young man who participates in Pathways has his own experience. However many of the  inspiring incites that Tom speaks of have been echoed in the voice of the other Pathways to Manhood participants over the past 14 years.

We invite you to look deeper than the words and see the honesty of Tom’s experience.

Pathways Father Testimonial

In this testimonial video Charlie speaks of his experience of participating in Pathways with his son. Charlie has previously participated in the Essentially Men program and speaks of the importance of rites of passage work.
Most men who participate in the Pathways program as a father or mentor to a young man have participated in Essentially Men or a similar kind of ‘menswork’ program. We do recommend that you do an EM program, but it’s not essential.


Click to read what other people say about this programme…

  1. Whitianga Counsellor & Psychologist, Steffen Lindner
  2. Auckland Psychologist & Therapist, Verity Thom
  3. Fathers and youth
  4. A Mother’s view

Register Now for The Next Course

The course runs once per year during the April School Holidays. Places are limited, so you are advised to register early:

Register Now . . . or . . . Download Brochure . . . or . . . Contact Us