Boys at Heritage School Participate in “Man Camp”
Many activities at Heritage School require that a student earn the privilege of participating. Not so for the “Man Camp,” held in August, paid for by donors.
Man Camp was held for the first time at Rock Canyon Park in Provo and was a one-day camp of four stations that groups of boys rotated through. The boys built model rockets and launched them, had a football mini-camp with former BYU football players, mountain biked and participated in a creative activity that resulted in each boy doing a photography collage.
“I’ve been here seven years and this is the first time I’ve taken every boy off campus, regardless of their behavior or the phase they were in,” said Tyler Young, a therapist at Heritage. “Some had one-on-one supervision but all were excited to participate.”
Tyler was asked to help coordinate and oversee Man Camp. Other staff members suggested station ideas and the boys were polled on their top four favorite ideas. They also voted on a T-shirt design with each boy receiving a shirt for the day.
The most popular activity was rocket building.
“For most it was a first-time experience to build a rocket,” Tyler said. “The staff had preassembled them but the boys got to add the fins and paint them. It was fun to see them launch their rockets.”
Previous BYU football quarterback Riley Nelson and other former players led the boys in football drills and exercises.
Rock Canyon Park sits at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in Provo and hiking and bike trails are abundant. The boys got to mountain bike along the Bonneville Trail that hugs the lower terrain of the mountain.
Tyler said the most talk since the camp has been about the speaker that day.
After a catered luau lunch the boys and staff listened to George Rivera, program supervisor at Heritage, speak to the boys. He spoke and guided a discussion about self-esteem and what actually determines masculinity.
“There are a lot of ways to define masculinity,” Tyler said. “This camp helped build self-esteem and confidence. The boys learned you can be masculine in any role – sports, photography, mountain biking, whatever.”
The point of the camp was to help the boys nurture interests and strengths to improve self-esteem and develop their personal self-concept of masculinity, Tyler said. Planning will begin soon on Man Camp 2015.