Down deep, boys (and men) yearn for the great outdoors.
That ofttimes latent desire, smothered beneath the burden of passive classrooms, business, digital devices, poorly designed towns, and the peculiar laziness that comes with a soft materialism, seeks the satisfaction that at times only adventures in nature can give. When we breathe the fresh air, walk along forest paths, hike rugged mountain trails, or cast our lines into flowing rivers and lakes, what dreams may come.
The need everyone has for time to appreciate the natural world is greater now than it has even been. The screens have sedated too many of your young. The soft living of indoor life can be ruinous for a young lad. He needs challenges, adventures, and tasks that call upon him to rise up from the couch and living room, and run out into the outdoors to explore, identify, catch, and collect.
Growing in our appreciation of creation is vital for our ability to see outside the confines of our own schedules, concerns, and anxieties. When we are in nature we see a world alive, of which we are but a small part. True, we, as humans, are greater and nobler than the natural world–“in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals.” But we must not forget the life around us. We must find solace in the silence of nature, away from the noise of over-scheduled days.
A good and holy man once said “Silence is the doorkeeper of the interior life.”
The Riverside Rangers have a great affection for nature. One Ranger activity that was a great success last year was our Fly Fishing adventure. An expert from Orvis taught everyone involved how to tie the fly onto the line and then how to fly cast. Then the lads headed out to the waters with their dads to try out their new found skills. It was a beautiful day, and though only one duo of fly casters caught a fish, it was a memorable experience. Our hope is that the Rangers will develop interests in nature adventures that will last the rest of their lives. These moments of silence, when they connect with nature, are an important part of the Art of Boyhood.
A Riverside film instructor produced the Ranger film attached to this post. We plan to make more films that illustrate the Riverside Way–Nature, Arts, Building/Making, Liberal Arts, and the other interests universally appealing to boys. We hope you enjoy the film! If you would like to see more films that reveal the Riverside way and the Art of Boyhood, please feel free to visit our donation page.
It is time for a new sort of education for boys–one that is in tune with who they are.
“It Takes An Adventure”