Boys Walkabout Camping Trip
A Walkabout is a rite of passage for an aboriginal boy in Australia. Around 12 or 13, the boy goes on a journey with his grandfather, uncle, or even by himself, and retraces the "song lines" of his tribe. When the boy returns home, he is welcomed back into the tribe as a man.
Our walkabout is a carefully design rite of passage spanning a boy's life from 12-18. Drawing important life-lessons from other cultures, our boys and their dads or adult mentors help the boys address all the issues that go with growing from boy to man. The event challenges the boy spiritually, mentally, and physically. The deep nature of the subject matters being addressed is offset by lots of fun and outdoor activities. For the boys at Abundant Life Church, the Walkabout is a greatly anticipated annual event and is part of our 5th Quarter Youth Ministries.
The Sigil Ceremony. Each boy is assigned a "sigil" (minus the magic) by his dad or sponsor. The sigil remains the same through the boy's adolescent years and is an animal that best represents the boy's "bent". The boy's sigil is present on a pennant that is notched or marked year by year as the boy achieves certain milestones.
The Bokken Ceremony. The first time a boy attends a Walkabout, he is presented with a bokken, a wooden "practice" sword used by the samurai in Japan for training. He brings his bokken with him to each Walkabout and the mid-year Walkabout Renewals that happen in January or February. The bokken is to remind him that he is becoming a man and is no longer a child.
The Katana Ceremony. When a boy reaches 16 he may be awarded a katana at a special ceremony on the last night of the Walkabout. The boy's father or mentor decides if he is ready for this special graduation. At the katana ceremony, the boy uses his katana to cut his bokken in half, representing his passage from boy to man.