The film, “Journeyman,” a one-hour documentary, follows two adolescent boys over two years as they enter ”Boys to Men Network” mentoring program. The teenagers experience rites of passage, discovering their inner strengths, and engaging with a community of supportive men. Journeyman examines the emotional and social crisis of American teenage boys with ever increasing problems of gang violence and academic failure.
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Mentors from “Boys to Men Network” are adult males that go through 43 hours of training. The men mirror back to the boys their strength and courage, according to Charlie Borden, co-producer of the film and director of the Minnesota chapter of the boys network. “Through listening, acceptance, and admiration the boys can grow and change,” says Borden. “Of any male age group teenage boys are the most underserved with programs.”
Resources for mentoring groups or film www.mirrorfilms.org or Charlie Borden 651-399-0214. Trailer for Journeyman at It’s now up on Youtube: at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dINl_U_vqg
Plenty of boys need mentors but adult males hesitate because of their fear of teenagers and the time commitment, according to Craig McClain, co-founder of the Boys to Men Network. “Teenagers can remind the men of their fears, loneliness, and depression that they experienced while growing up,” says McClain. “Mentors do not have to be perfect, just a desire to help. Being vulnerable and showing feelings are all necessary for development.”
The “new male” is one that trusts himself and others, according to the film. They have a supportive network of elders, fathers, uncles, or other males. The males (both men and boys) have a right to be vulnerable, accept affection from peers, care for their bodies, get guidance for choice-making, and engage in ceremonies to celebrate or initiate.
According to the film, males traditionally were taught to be tough and independent. They were also taught not to rely on others for help, to suffer privately, to only feel anger, that all affection is sexual, that sexual conquest is what makes a real man, to not be dominated by others, to be athletic, and to win at all costs.
Charlie Borden, the co-producer of the Journeyman, started the second chapter of Boys to Men Network here in Minnesota five years ago. Now there are 16 chapters across America.
Borden himself was a troubled youth but what he found helpful was the interest shown by teacher, Hal Dusbobic, from Brady High School in West St. Paul. Although Dusbobic was not his teacher his interest sustained Borden throughout his teen years. He went on to graduate magna cum laude from Macalester College. While there he studied under labor history teacher, Peter Rachleff. Borden was so impressed with his teacher that he went on to begin the Green Party of Minnesota. He thought the Green Party would become our next party but discovered that his sustainability economics would have to become a part of our existing political parties.
“I re-invent myself every five years,” says Borden. He founded River Hayven Cooperative, a co-owned 250 acre oak savannah, prairie, and river bottom biome on the Hay River in Wisconsin that is being stewarded. He found the group processing for consensus too laborious.
In the past five years he has been director of Boys to Men Network. He decided to produce a film about mentoring, rites of passage, and male culture in America. In May the Journeyman played at the Ken Cinema in San Diego. This June it will play in northern California. And September’s showings will be in Brainerd for Minnesota’s Family Support and Recovery 35th annual conference. PBS, Channel 17 will show the documentary but the date is unknown at this time.
“For the new male culture, it is not cars, sports, money or sex that is fulfilling. It is the community leading the next generation,” says Borden