FAQS

What is the Pathways Foundation?

The Pathways Foundation is a registered harm prevention charity with tax deductable gift status was incorporated in 2002 with a mission to educate community about ROP and provide quality assured safe rites of passage programmes for young people and their attending parent or mentor.

Since 1996, a group of men and women working with young people recognised they were underachieving, lacking in direction, self harming and initiating themselves into young adulthood through risk taking behaviour to ‘prove’ they were grown up. Understanding the need for young people to take part in conscious safe rites of passage and mark the shift from boy/girl psychology to healthy man/woman psychology was an essential ingredient Pathways developed their award winning contemporary rites of passage programmes.

This group of pioneering experts developed the much respected ‘Pathways to Manhood’(1996) and ‘Pathways into Womanhood’ (2005) programmes and are delivered nationally as well as Leadership Development Training, Young Leaders Development, Young Stars and Raising Teenagers School talks for parents.

Pathways Foundation is a values based organisation with three key values of Respect, Responsibility and Awareness. The Pathways Foundation has a well earned reputation for delivering safe quality assured rites of passage programmes, training and development of our future leaders and supporting parents with practical tools to assist parents.

Who are the camps for?

Our programmes are for everyone. For families who share great relationships with their children, for families who may be struggling with their children, for young people struggling to fit in and achieve their full potential, for young people who are achieving their goals, for children longing to spend quality time with their mum or dad, for mothers and fathers wanting to connect and spend time with their kids, for kids spending too much time with technology, or spending too much time on social media, for young people who feel anxious about who they are.

Leave the day to day behind and invest some precious time with your child in a bush setting to have some fun, be challenged and mark this important transition. To gain a deeper understanding about what it means to be a healthy young man or woman and have authentic relationships with their parents and peers.

Pathways to Manhood programmes are a 5 or 6 day bush camp for boys aged 13 to 15 and their father or significant male mentor.
The participation and support of the mother in the process is preferred or another woman/ mentor who is significant in the boys life.

Pathways into Womanhood programmes are a 5 day residential retreat in a bush setting for girls aged 12 to 15 and their mother or significant female mentor. The participation and support of the father in the process is preferred or another man /mentor who is significant in the girls life.

Youngstars Programmes are a weekend camp for boys aged 6 to 10 and their father or significant male mentor.

How much do the camps cost?

Pathways to Manhood: Programmes cost $1,900 per family which covers 5 days of professional facilitation, including the mothers’ processes, site fees and all meals. The First Night, Camp, Return Day and Reunion are also covered in this cost. Each camp consists of only 16 or so boys and their fathers (mentors) which is a small number of participants with a large group of experienced leaders are required to fully support the boys, the fathers, the mothers and to ensure that the camps run safely. There is a cost associated with having high support levels for small groups of people and we know that this is what is required to deliver an amazing outcome for boys making their first steps to manhood.

Pathways into Womanhood: Programmes cost $1,950 per family which also covers 5 days of professional facilitation. Venue accommodation costs can vary and this may increase the cost. The First Night, Return Day, and Reunion are also covered in this cost. The camps consists of 12 – 14 or so girls and their mothers (mentors) which is a small number of participants with a large group of experienced leaders that are required to fully support the girls, the mothers, and the fathers and to ensure that the camps run safely. There is a cost associated with having high support levels for smaller groups of people and we know that this is what is required to deliver the amazing outcomes for the girls making their journey into womanhood.

The YoungStars: programmes cost $300 total for the father and son for the weekend which covers food and Pathways experienced leaders.

Make an inquiry on our website for more information about
– Financial assistance – scholarship programme for those in need to attend.
– Leadership Development Training,
– Young Leaders Development, and
– Raising Teenagers School talks.

Where & when are the camps held?

The camps are held in a variety bush locations all over Australia. We do not generally hold camps during school Christmas holidays, as this is often a time for the whole family to be together. The schools we have partnerships with value the Pathways experience as a significant part of a boy’s or girl’s development.

What happens on a camp?

The programmes are a fun, safe, and always interesting in a bush setting. The programmes are designed to acknowledge and honour the transition from boy to young man or girl to young woman. The girls and boys have the opportunity to hear the stories of older men and women and ask questions in a safe and sharing environment.

They are exposed to a series of safe yet demanding challenges to test them physically, mentally, emotionally and on a personal development level. Loads of fun and games as well as processes such as sharing of personal experiences, story telling, adventure and relationship building activities are also part of the programme.

It is a guided journey towards a deeper understanding of what it means to grow into healthy man or woman in today’s world, through building a strong community where acceptance of diversity and inclusion are the norm and not being judged allows for deeper sharing and much laughter as our girls and boys make this significant transition.

Are mothers involved in the Pathways to Manhood and fathers in the Pathways into Womanhood programs?

Definitely. Mothers and/or step mothers are an integral part of the boy’s life and will continue to be. Pathways honours and values the role of women in young men’s lives. Our female facilitators run a programme for the mothers that is an essential part of the overall programme.

And fathers and/or step fathers are an integral part of the girl’s life and will continue to be. Pathways honours and values the role of men in young women’s lives. Our male facilitators run a programme for the fathers that is an essential part of the overall programme.

More details about this when you begin the registration process.

Can I go to a camp outside of my area?

Some families prefer to attend out of area and have the journey to get there as part of the shared adventure. There may be some logistical considerations in attending out of area. Please contact the office if you are interested in attending a camp outside of your area to discuss and be supported.

Is the program the same at all locations?

Yes, the core programme is the same no matter where you attend, and the quality is assured. What is different is the physical environment which delivers its own unique experience.

What are the facilities like on camps?

We have a variety of great bush locations that we use that are all set up to run our programmes in the best environment possible.
The fathers and sons share a tent on the Pathways to Manhood programmes and the Pathways into Womanhood camps are residential accommodation in a variety of bush settings.

What happens if it rains?

Dry areas are utilised with the care of all participants as a priority as well as the programme delivery needs. All participants should bring effective wet weather gear with them (as directed on each camp’s “what to bring” list).

Do I have to sleep on site? I live only a few minutes away…

Yes. One of the core elements of Pathways to Manhood and pathways into Womanhood camps is that it is a group residential experience. To build a community everyone needs to be present all the time.

My son’s father or daughter’s mother can’t or won’t come – who can come on the camp with him/her?

The best person to take your boy or girl on a camp is his or her father/mother, but we are aware that this is not always an available option. A close family member is ideal, or a family friend actively involved in your boy’s or girl’s life. If this is not available, we will try to arrange a meeting with a suitable mentor who may accompany your boy or girl on a camp.

Will it matter if my child doesn’t know anyone on the camp?

No. The programmes quickly build a strong sense of community and friendships built on trust and shared experience break down all barriers that may come from ‘not knowing’. Inclusion is the way the community builds.

What commitment is involved in attending a Pathways program?

There are several parts that make up the Pathways programme.
The programme commences on the First Night, which mothers and fathers/ or mentors attend without their boy or girl. The evenings process lays the platform for your boy’s/ girls experience, and gives you the preparation required to get the most out of this programme. It also provides an important opportunity to meet the other families that you will be going on the camp with.

The Leaving Day – PTM is for mothers, fathers/accompanying males and the boy going on the camp – this is the day your boy takes his first step on the journey to manhood. It is a day where the women have an opportunity to spend special time with their boy and farewell their boys and men. The mothers’ process on the Leaving Day supports farewelling the boy. We ask that other children do not attend the Leaving Day.

Leaving day for PIW – does not require the father/ mentor to attend they are guided through a leaving process before their girls leave for camp. More information about this when registration begins.

The Return Day is part of the final day of the camp when young men or young women and accompanying man or woman return. This is a day of celebration, extended family and people important to your boy or girl are encouraged to attend, to welcome and honour their returning young men.

We encourage you to invite them as the witnessing of this special event supports the young people in the future. Grandparents are very welcomed.

Reunion Day is also held at a time after the camp 2-3 weeks, for young men, accompanying males or young women and accompanying females to reunite with friends made during the camp and tell their stories and reconnect once more.

Other family members can attend the PTM Reunion Day this will be discussed during the registration process.

Can I arrive late on the Leaving Day, or leave early on the Return Day?

This is not recommended. All experiences build upon each other. Missing part of the programme will reduce the value of the camp for you, and impact on the other participants.

Is this a religious program?

No. This programme is not based on any religion, and does not promote any one belief over another. Our programmes blend a number of experiences drawn from many cultures and practices, and we invite you to honour your own beliefs. The Pathways Foundation is a values based organisation founded on a framework of respect, responsibility and awareness.

Why is the process so secretive?

The power of the Pathways programme is in the unfolding of the processes. These are safe, responsible and professional methods designed to support your girl or boy to become a healthy young woman or young man. To gain the maximum benefit we ask you to “Trust the process.” If you feel you need more specific information, call the office and ask for assistance.

I can’t afford this camp but desperately want my boy / girl to come. What options are available to me?

Because we don’t want anyone to miss out on our programme for financial reasons, we have scholarship places available in cases of financial hardship. Please contact the office for more information.

I have two sons / daughters – can they both come on the same camp?

We strongly recommend that they attend two different camps. This allows for one on one attention, and is also a means of honouring the difference between the two children, allowing them to have their own individual experience with their father and/or mother or other significant person. We recommend you bring the older child first. Please call the office to discuss further and will work out the best option that suits the families needs.

We have a blended family – what would you recommend?

Our bottom line is always what’s best for the child. All significant parents, step parents and/or carers should be aware of, and if possible involved in the programme. It is not uncommon for mothers and step mothers to participate in the programme to support their boy at this important time. If you have a sensitive family situation, please feel free to contact us to discuss this further.

What are some of the outcomes of attending a Pathways camp?

The Pathways programmes have desired outcomes that include strong, long term relationships between father and son and mother and daughter; respectful relationships between mother and son; increased self esteem; improved communication and leadership skills; decreased harmful behaviour such as drug and alcohol abuse; better results at school; closer relationships with their families, their peers and communities; higher emotional intelligence; self acceptance; acknowledged for their unique gifts and talents; take more responsibility and accountability for actions and positive participation in being part of a family.

Will my child be safe?

YES. As a professional organisation the wellbeing of your child is paramount. We have strict Occupational Health and Safety guidelines and Risk Management, qualified First Aid Officers and evacuation procedures in place on all camps. As part of our Child Protection Policy all our facilitators are screened prior to coming on a camp.

Who comes to these camps?

We encourage all families to acknowledge that their child is becoming a young adult by bringing them on a Pathways programme. Whether your child is a high achiever, or is experiencing some difficulties, they will equally benefit from attending. Our camp is certainly not aimed at teenagers who are having trouble, but we do not discourage them from attending. Pathways camps are for all young people.

How can I find out more?

Fill in the inquiry information form on the website letting us know what questions you have and we will get back to you.

Or Contact the Pathways Foundation Office on 1300 850 766.