As most things, modern society and city living has both it’s good and bad sides. Sometimes its conducive to an individual’s growth, other times, well, it is not, or at least not in all aspects.

“We’re designed to be hunters and we’re in a society of shopping. There’s nothing to kill anymore, there’s nothing to fight, nothing to overcome, nothing to explore. In that societal emasculation this everyman [the narrator] is created.” — David Fincher (Movie – Fight Club)

In order to sustain large and diverse communities, order obviously has to be kept. Yet, this can foster a controlled behaviour citizen mentality where everyone is squeezed into little “good citizen” boxes. Although completely understandable and justifiable in the bigger “scheme”, these communities are seriously inept when attempting to deal with the heart of a man.

The system takes priority over the individual. This, along with many a socio-economical factor coupled with personal issues, births frustration in so many a youth that it shakes their foundations and leaves them hanging – alone and desperate. We don’t hear them after a while. We don’t see them after a while. Perhaps because even we gave up a long time ago.

We subsequently see a generation of guys who have to accept the responsibilities of adult life, but had no coaching and weren’t imparted the skills to assist them in facing everyday adult life. Thus character traits like commitment, integrity, “biting the bullet”, “having the backbone” and “making it work, regardless” are lacking more and more, causing guys (who can honestly self-assess), to realise that they look in the mirror and think “Oh boy, I can’t say that I feel like a real man, but I’m just going to fake it out there another day, hoping no one would notice, and I hope to one day feel it as well as be it”.

When communities do not have these positive role models, we see the effects manifest in various ways, including serious rebellion, intimidation, destructive gangsterism, crime, murder, rape, withdrawal, suicide attempts, behaviour-altering substance use and abuse, etc.

Many institutions currently exist, dealing with the results (fruits) of the above, yet few really address the underlying (root) causes and where it stems from. The effectiveness of the counselling room and support groups cannot be negated, yet these are often not effective in identifying with and getting through to individuals striving to be vibey and one of the ‘In Crowd’.

We have learnt, through experience, that nature, the outdoors and campfires create a much more relaxed and natural environment where vibey guys open up easier and share what’s on their hearts, without it becoming weird, intrusive, fabricated or making them seem less “cool”.

AdventureMates continuously improves itself to be an avenue where the very nature of a man can be found, honed, given free reign to, and allowed to express itself. Outside, outdoors, at gym, on sportsfields and subsequently in everyday life. Therefore, the need and want has risen to create a community that searches out these ideals, does them already and knows how to impart them.

We strive towards strengthening the bond between guys and our aim is a “buddy” dynamic where guys can leave their daily responsibilities, worries and reservations behind and get into each other’s personal space in order to move all the masks & ‘pretends’ aside and be real with one another … talking about the things that matter and that men in our traditional upbringing are not ‘supposed’ to talk about and strengthening the camaraderie amongst us as “brothers”.

We have been looking at various cultures and groups around the world that put in conscious effort to build up real men and have been learning from these. We soon realised that all of these groups have good and bad in their approaches and all have their successes, failures and challenges. Some of the efforts we’ve been looking at are those of:

* The Greek and Roman culture, subsequently flowing into the fraternal culture
* Jewish traditions and celebrations
* Global and typical army, naval and air force methodology
* Boy scouts and similar initiative teachings
* Practices used in secondary and tertiary institutions around the world
* Native American traditions and rituals
* Native African initiation rites and traditions, specifically those of the Xhosa & Zulu nations
* Sport team initiatives to create “one-ness”
* Dorm and communal living “one for all and all for one” concepts

Again we emphasise that, none of these are without their respective negative associations and many of them have, from time-to-time, diverted from the initial vision.

Unlike most other programmes, this is an ongoing project and therefore we incorporate it in an informal way into various events so it doesn’t feel like a typical lecture or workshop (while we play outside and enjoy adventures), but still drives us towards the end result of being the best men we can be and not standing back for any other.