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The Making of Men

Australian author Dr. Arne Rubinstein’s book, The Making of Men is about “raising boys to be happy, healthy and successful,” and Rubinstein says he does so through rite of passage camps. Rubinstein is coming to Eugene in an event sponsored by Cascadia Quest, a local nonprofit that facilitates wilderness rites of passage for young men much like Rubinstein’s in Australia. “They’re nature-based camps,” Cascadia Quest Director Rob Miller says. “It’s a traditional way to mark that change from child to young adult and it includes mentoring, time with older people, and a challenge for them to step into their adulthood.” Rites of passage have been a part of cultural traditions across time, but according to Miller, American culture lacks them. “There are some vestiges, like, for example, in the Jewish bar mitzvah or Catholic confirmation, but a lot of the meaning has been lost,” Miller says. There has been a recent reclamation of rites of passage, though, Miller says, and a resurgence of organizations popping up throughout the country, such as the nationwide ManKind Project and Rite of Passage Journeys in Seattle. As far as Rubinstein’s event goes, Miller says it’s going to be angled toward parents, teachers, coaches and other mentors who work with teens. The event also welcomes mentors who might want to work with Cascadia Quest. “I think that young people really need people who believe in them and people who can encourage them,” Miller says. He says this is a huge part of Cascadia Quest’s message, and Rubinstein’s too. “We see them and we believe in them.”

Dr. Arne Rubinstein speaks at Unitarian Universalist Church on Tuesday, April 18 from 6:30-8:30 pm. FREE. — Meerah Powell