Rites of Passage – Navigation

Chapel at Camp Redcloud

Navigation milestone

Rite of passage - Summer Navigation

Camp Redcloud- Blessing Summer

Ships Compass

Do you practice any rites of passage for your kids?  A rite of passage is a ritual event that marks a persons progress from one status to another.  We often celebrate rites of passages with ceremonies such as baptisms, confirmations, bar Mitzvah or marriage.  We have incorporated or are planning to celebrate 4 rites of passages with our children.  These include Navigation (age 9), Trust(age 14), Independence(age 18) and Living Stones (at Marriage).  As each of our three children turned 9 we spent time at bedtime reviewing and memorizing our family vision, mission and core values.  These provide direction and boundaries that we seek to use within our family to make daily decisions on how we relate to God, our bodies, others, material things, and each other.  This summer we celebrated our daughter, Summer, at Camp Redcloud in Lake City Colorado.  Summer did not know of any plans.  I told Summer that I had arranged to meet her at 7:00 in the morning at the stables.  I had one of the wranglers prepare to have two horses saddled.  When I arrived, Summer was already there wondering what this was all about.  As we mounted our horses I shared that we were going to celebrate her efforts to memorize and understand our families core values.  We were going on a 20 minute ride to a small chapel that was on the top of a hill where the rest of the family would meet us.  I had planned to read a couple scriptures, but did not have all the details worked out.  As I prayed a blessing on Summer I asked if any of the others wanted to share.  I could not have been more pleased and proud to hear my sons(11) and (13) give a tearful and heartfelt spontaneous blessing on their sister.  We gave Summer a ships compass with an engraved message and verses to remember the event.  Rites of passage are common in every culture in the world, but seem to have been lost in the United States.  It is important to recognize and celebrate the progress of your children.  The cost of these compasses are around $50 and the event does not have to happen on a mountain top in Colorado.  In fact, I simply left Ben’s compass with the engraved note on his pillow one evening where we reviewed our core values each night.  Be intentional with your kids, plan for their progress, recognize their accomplishments, and give them your blessing that only you can do.

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