Strength of Being a Boy' gives boys skills and confidence ahead of highschool

By Vanessa Ybarra
April 26, 2017 - 5:30pm

KAMLOOPS — For 14 years, the Tournament Capital Centre has been holding an event called 'The Power of Being a Girl.'

Today, it was the boys' turn.

The first annual 'Strength of Being a Boy' conference was held in Kamloops.

The event features a variety of workshops geared towards boys aged nine through twelve.

The goal of the event is to boost the confidence of boys, introduce them to new friends and try out new activities.

It's not everyday you get to skip class to make a sword.

The custom craft session was part of this year's 'Strength in Being a Boy' event put on by the YMCA.

"We've had 11 'Power of Being a Girl' events but we had funding for that from YWCA Canada. Since then we were trying to find funding for this event. We raised money through our Strong Kids campaign last year and this year we were able to find some fantastic coordinators."

Approximately 60 boys from throughout the district came together for this year's event, with planning beginning back in September.

"We had a focus group so we brought six or seven boys together and we asked 'what's happening for you? They let us know that the biggest issue is this fight mentality that comes when you go from elementary to middle school and then to highschool. All three of our workshops are geared towards giving them tool," said Jacquie Brand, Co-Ordinator of Strength in Being a Boy.

Along with sword making, the boys learned self defence moves from the Kamloops Judo Club. 

"I really liked getting to knock the teacher down, that was really cool," said one Grade Seven.

"It's not every day you get to fight one another so that was pretty cool," said another Grade Seven. 

The young clan also took part in a group drawing session where they jotted down and discussed qualities that make up a boy and girl, opening up a discussion on stereotypes at the same time.

"The boy culture stereotype that boys have to be tough, they can't cry, you have to be the man of the house, all of those things, they're not true," added Brand.

While the pre-teen years are generally a time of change and confusion, organizers say today's kids have it even harder.

"There's so much more coming at them," said Brand. "With social media, Instagram, Twitter. It's concerning with the amount of information coming at home. It's making sure they're receiving the right information."

The hope that events like today's make the upcoming teen years a little less troublesome. 

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