Step 1: Email #1 Save the Date
The first step in planning a Rite of Passage is to pick a date and get it on the calendars of the men that you are going to invite. The men don’t have to fully commit to attending the ROP at this point, and you don’t have to explain the entire weekend to them yet. You just want to make sure that they will be available that weekend, so it doesn’t conflict with any other commitments. Ideally, the date that you pick for your son’s ROP weekend should be within one week of his 13th birthday.
The text below is a sample email for you to copy and send to your group. Please feel free to edit as you see fit.
To: All men invited to the ROP weekend
When: 6 months before ROP weekend
Subject: [Boy’s name]’s rite of passage weekend - Save the Date
As you may know, our son, [boy’s name], will be turning 13 this year. It’s hard to believe, but in just a few short months, he is going to become a teenager and enter the initial stages of manhood.
It is my intent to recognize and honor [boy’s name]’s transition out of childhood and into manhood with a contemporary, homemade, Christian rite of passage event. I recently read the book Man of the Family by David and Steven Arms, and would like to implement a similar rite of passage weekend for [boy’s name].
To explain briefly, this rite of passage event (or ROP for short) is going to be a weekend trip away to a cabin, and contains certain rituals - like a discussion about what it means to be a man and sharing our favorite scripture passages. I will send out another email in a few months outlining the rituals in more detail and what you need to do to prepare for them.
You may be wondering why I am going to such great lengths to commemorate [boys name]’s 13th birthday. To put it simply, I want him to have a deep assurance that he is a man, instead of having to go through his teenage years wondering when manhood is going to ‘kick in’. I want to share our values, life lessons, and quality time with him, and I cannot think of a better group of men to help me in this endeavor than you gentlemen.
You all play an important role in [boys name]’s life and are strong male role models for him. He is lucky to have you in his life, and I know that your presence on this weekend would mean a lot to him. Please consider this email to be your formal invitation to attend the weekend. I am not asking for commitments just yet; I will let you make that decision after I give you more information about what the weekend is going to look like, specifically. For now, I would simply like to ask you to save the date so that you are available to join us on the weekend, if you so choose. [Boy’s name]’s birthday is on [date], so I would like to hold the rite of passage weekend on [date]. Please mark your calendars.
My initial thoughts are that the weekend will take place in the [location] area. The tentative agenda will be to depart early on Saturday morning, stay in a cabin on Saturday night, and return home on Sunday around [time].
Finally, please note that this rite of passage weekend is intended to be a surprise for [boy’s name], so please do not mention the weekend around him. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email or call me.