“Boys will be boys”

I’m currently Next Gen Men’s Program Coordinator, organizing and facilitating after-school boys programs about healthy masculinities and gender equity; and Head Counsellor at Camp Arowhon, where I lead a program on positive masculinity.

Behind both of these roles are years of experience with boys. I’ve built my skills in school classrooms, youth mentoring programs and Algonquin canoe trips. I’ve let boys cry on my shoulder. I’ve intervened in suicide attempts. You get the idea.

Throughout my professional experience I’ve studied gender and masculinity, and in various parts of my life I’ve seen the consequences of quote-unquote toxic masculinity. I believe that young men like me play a unique role in expanding boys’ definitions of manhood. If we allow boys to be more connected and authentic, we can take a critical step towards improving the mental health of boys and men, as well as ending violence against women.

Welcome to my life’s mission.

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Breaking the Boy Code Podcast

The premise of Breaking the Boy Code is that boys have inner lives—personal, emotional experiences that are often hidden from view—and that if adults are going to play an effective role in boys’ lives, they need to better understand those experiences and how they are expressed. I’m currently producing the first season of the podcast: five episodes, each centred on a different boy’s experience and interwoven with the perspectives of experts and leaders in progressive masculinity.

The podcast originated as a Tumblr blog in which I recorded quotes and multimedia related to masculinity and boyhood. That project is ongoing and is as useful for me as an archive as it is for other people to follow.

Speaking and Workshops

In various places I’ve been asked to share my knowledge and skills with fellow educators, summer camp staff as well as with boys themselves. My availability depends on other freelancing- and adventure-based work I’m pursuing, but offering leadership in training peers and young people is something that is definitely important to me.

I’ve run inservice trainings discussing masculinity within outdoor education, focusing mainly on the impact of traditional masculinity on boys’ experiences with education, emotional literacy, sports and homophobia. As part of my role as head counsellor I’ve facilitated staff training sessions on masculinity culture at summer camp, as well as activities for boys ages 10-16, discussing the ‘mask’ of masculinity and the importance of emotional connection.

These are just a couple examples. I’m flexible. Contact me if you’re interested in discussing further.

Writing

My writing about masculinity has been featured on Medium, The Good Men Project and Ravishly. Subjects have included boyhood masculinity, homophobia, transgender youth, feminism and gender justice. I write on a Medium publication as part of the Breaking the Boy Code project.

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