The Rite Journey
2014 sees the beginning of an exciting and challenging new program at Glenaeon; a program that marks the beginning of our Year 9 students' journeys into 'Womanhood' or 'Manhood'.
2014 sees the beginning of an exciting and challenging new program at Glenaeon; a program that marks the beginning of our Year 9 students' journeys into 'Womanhood' or 'Manhood'. 'The Rite Journey', developed by Andrew Lines at Willunga Steiner School in South Australia, has had remarkable success in its formative years, and is increasingly finding a place in a diverse range of schools across Australia and overseas. Glenaeon is joining a number of NSW schools in offering the program, including St Andrews Cathedra School, Knox Grammar, Ravenswood and Kinross Wollaroi.
Traditional societies held great widsoms in bringing up good young men and women. In days gone by, there was no period of extended childhoor or 'adolescence' where teenagers acted out and could not be relied upon' instead there was a distinct delineation between childhood and adulthood; a time and a place where childish ideas and behaviours were cast aside, and new adult responsibilities and values were formed in their stead. To mark this transition, each society developed rites of passage; these were vastly different in content, but held many common themes:
The Calling - an acknowledgement of childhood which the young person is invited to leave behind whilst giving thanks and acknowledgement to all those who have helped them in their lives thus far.
The Departure - the blessing of the parents as the young people depart on their journey into adulthood.
The Following - a journey taken by the young initiate, guided by a wise mentor of the same gender.
The Challenges - through a series of physical, emotional and spiritual challenges, the young people can learn that life's challenges can be met.
The Abyss - traditionally a complete separation from society in which the young person is completely self-reliant.
The Return - coming back into society - now as a man or woman.
The Homecoming - gratitude for the process and commitments moving forward.
Our Rite Journey with the Year 9 group will follow this same format. Separated into gender groups our young people will embark on a yearlong journey of self-discovery, challenge, empathy and gratitude.Weekly sessions will be held during school time, and in addition to this, we will have regular incursions and occasional overnight stays at school. As I write, we are into week six of our program, and our young men and women have already had a school sleep-over, followed by 'The Calling' and 'The Departure' ceremonies. The Rite Journey is being run by our PDHPE teacher Jonas Stoebe, our Middle School Coordinator Dani Finch, and our Digital Design teacher Evan Sanders (GlenX 2004).