After years of running BoysToMen Mentoring in Santa Barbara and bringing it to other areas in the US like Northern California and New Mexico Stefan Hermann helped establish BoysToMen/GenDerations Centers in Hamburg, Ulm and Zurich as well as Ticino (Italian speaking Switzerland). These centers are independent NGOs and run their own programs.
The Owl Weekend in Ticino/Switzerland
26 participants gathered March 2015 in the Ticino mountains above Lugano and Ascona to recreate the art of being the village. Mothers and fathers as well as their children expressed amazement about the depth of relationships which they were able to build for themselves and witness in others. At the threshold of these children entering into their teenage years this weekend offered a unique opportunity of bonding and sharing along with meaningful play.
“So many thoughts, emotions and even visions have crossed these days after returning from the Owl-Weekend, but the theme that is more present for Noah than it is for me is the circle. Its strength, the energy contained in it; that was very impressive and remained in us. I quote here some impressions that we would both share with you: Noah said it was nice to talk in the circle because he felt heard, there were no stops and no judgements.
I would add that the boys had a great opportunity to see adults from a new point of view and perhaps that is unprecedented in their own "truth", their feelings, their emotions openly expressed without Filters.
Claudio Gaia, PhD and son Noah (13), Locarno, Switzerland
“I share my thoughts that immediately came on the evening of our return from the Owl Weekend and that perhaps some of you have already read in my fb page. Thank you again to all and it warms my heart to think we just met.
When nature teaches through his every gesture
when darkness and silence are real
cry and laugh when they are part of life
when the game and fatigue dance together
when you know who to go to and what you are looking
when everyone knows their value and that of others
when the village meets with each beat of the bell, every smoke signal
then it is
Cinzia Santo and daughter Elisa (12)
THANKS FROM THE HEART FOR THIS EXPERIENCE!
"ESPECIALLY STEFAN, WHO HAD THE COURAGE AND INSIGHT TO DESIGN AND OFFER THIS ADVENTURE!! I was very excited for all three days, with tears, ... the simplicity, which did arise between us, exposing open heart, in the most intimate and taboo subjects that perhaps not even in the family are being touched, and the great active participation of children and their contributions!
THANK YOU SO MUCH"
-GRACE DE BERNARDI