Details About the Program
A great way to begin getting a feel for our Coming of Age program is to watch the videos on our home page and read the testimonials. The videos provide an overview of the program from kids, parents, and leaders who share about the program and its impact on their lives. They are also an easy way to share about the program with your partner or children.
- 2 Adult Stepping Stones Group Leaders (same gender)
- 8 Youth
- Parent Community
- Each Coming of Age group’s meetings are organized in a Quarter System (3 month period), with 6 youth meetings per quarter or 2 meetings per month on average.
- Groups meet year‐round, with less meetings in the summer.
- Groups involve extended mentoring from 6th or 7th grade into fall of 9th grade. 6th grade groups are expected to start in the early Spring of 6th grade, and 7th grade groups in the early Fall of 7th grade. Be sure to attend an Info Night and apply the semester before the start date.
- In each quarter there are 6 meetings with the leaders and youth and 1 meeting with the parents and leaders, totaling 18 hours of group time. Leaders are committed to another 12 hours of preparation, peer and mentor meetings, and post‐meeting written summaries.
- 5 of the 6 youth meetings are 2 hours. The meeting day and time is scheduled with the families when the group forms. An example might be holding meetings on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 5 to 7pm.
- The 6th meeting is a 6-hour Daylong, usually occurring in nature for a hike to a creek, a ropes course experience, or other local adventures.
- The 2-hour quarterly Parent Meeting provides updates for parents about the group evolution and the program as well as an opportunity to share in the adventure of raising a young teen daughter or son. A group elder will be present along with the leaders at this meeting.
- Each group ends with a Marking Ceremony at the start of 9th grade that celebrates the development, maturation and belonging of each of the sons and daughters.
Notes on the Summer Quarter:
- The summer schedule changes from other quarters, with the 2‐4 day wilderness trip backpacking or camping as the main event.
- The wilderness trip replaces the daylong
- The 2 hour meetings occur 3 times rather than 5.
- Fill out an application for your son or daughter. An application indicates interest in the program and serves to hold a space should a group receive more than eight applications.
- Attend an Info Night, or contact us to coordinate one in your area. A good time is one semester to a year before your child would begin. 6th grade expected start is early Spring (Feb.-Mar.) and 7th grade is early Fall (Sept.-Oct.)
- Spread the word to other parents you know with children in 5th, 6th, or 7th grades.
- When we have eight applications we will assign Leaders to the group and have a Parent Leader meeting to get to know one another.
- Your family’s decision on commitment to the group follows the Parent Leader meeting.