written by Jim Forgan, Ph.D., Christ in the Rockies board member and alumnus
Life is built on relationships, and the father-son relationship is a special one. Regardless of where a father and son are in their journey, it’s a process that is always in development. With intentionality, you can improve a strained father son relationship or increase an already solid father-son relationship.
I improved the relationship with my teenage son by going on a father-son retreat. This experience with my son transformed our relationship for the better. I chose the Christ in the Rockies father-son Passage to Manhood Camp, based out of Fort Collins, Colorado. Our long weekend was set in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, where we slept in private tents with comfy cots, enjoyed excellent food, experienced amazing downhill mountain biking and rock climbing, and took in valuable, helpful content aimed at fathers and sons. It was a small group of six dads and six sons, and the Christ in the Rockies volunteers led all activities. Our physical fitness level was not important, as activities could be modified so everyone had success and fun.
One of my pinnacle moments was when I got to publicly bless my son and speak words of life and encouragement over him. Sons (and daughters) need their father’s blessing. They long for it. This camp gave my son and me the opportunity to discuss life’s challenges and helped us develop a common language to use as he develops into a man of integrity. It was the perfect getaway and opportunity to create a foundation for his future. Reflecting on this experience, it was some of the best money I ever spent on my son.
I highly recommend that you take time to spend quality time with your son, stepson, or son-in-law through an exciting father-son experience. A week or weekend program is a great opportunity for everyone to disconnect from technology and reconnect in person.
Note: A book that I read many years before going on the Christ in the Rockies experience that really helped become a better dad was by Ed McGlasson: The Difference a Father Makes: Calling out the Magnificent Destiny in your Children. I encourage you to read it and invest in your relationship with your son or daughter.