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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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12 things you can do to help boys grow up good

In the 17 years I directed camps of Lutheran outdoor ministries, I hired dozens of high school boys and college young men and also girls and young women. The males, I discovered, brought more "life issues," or baggage, with them. Lack of confidence, loneliness, fear and anger — all hurt their ability to be positive and visionary leaders, sensitive to others, nonviolent and ethically committed to service.

The males, I worried, were missing something.

What? Answers abound. A Newsweek article I read this year tells me that 70 percent of men now in prison grew up with an emotionally distant father or without a father. In Real Boys, William Pollack describes a "boy code" that includes such familiar elements as faking self-confidence and believing that big boys don't cry.


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August issue

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Advice for evangelism

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