The idea to initiate an effort to support the happy, healthy growth and development of boys was conceived a little over a year ago. All along Grow Boys! has been framed as the creation of a broad support network that includes efforts like hosting our conference. With emphasis on the word network, it has always been about identifying the particular developmental needs of boys, and then accessing local resources to provide services to boys within our community. Our network has grown significantly since then, and we continue to connect with new supporters every week. What we know through our experiences working with boys as teachers, health care providers, counselors, coaches, mentors etc. is that boys need our support in a world that's throwing a lot at them lately.
We have framed our effort in the context of the Hope Wheel. We believe hope is an action word... we can wish for anything we want, but to truly make good things happen, we have to take some form of action. We need to teach our boys this important perspective. The four directions around the Hope Wheel symbolize the journey we all go through as we learn and grow. This journey becomes our story; our cultural tail... the element that defines us as individuals and parts of groups.
Our conference is our starting point. Our local group of excellent collaborators has been working on Grow Boys! for over a year, and the conference set for May 9, 2012 will be our launch. This is the day we will officially introduce our bigger mission to the community. As the boys are actively participating in the conference activities, we'll be networking with the teachers, supervisors, parents, volunteers and guests projecting our larger mission to provide 360 degrees of support for all boys within our community, from birth to fatherhood. By nurturing the development of good boys we believe we are also helping develop the good young men and good men our community needs in the future.
Through local research to support our mission and vision, and the evolution of sustainable support networks for boys of all ages, we aim to create a model that can be easily replicated in any community. We know that context is key, and that Grow Boys! won't look exactly the same in every case, but we will support any local effort to collaborate and learn from our experiences in the event that folks want to create a Grow Boys! initiative somewhere else. If you are interested in initiating a local effort in your community to support the healthy, happy growth and development of your boys, please get in touch. We're glad to help!