After School Clubs
Developing a Moral Compass
After school clubs, or chapters, form the foundation of the network. Generally, but not always, schools who offer our H.O.P.E. for Boys Leadership curriculum, first offered an off-timetable club. Membership is based on administrative, teacher, counsellor and peer referral, and students pay no fees to attend or participate in any BCN program.
Weekly meetings, led by accredited educators and/or administrators and/or youth workers, are held after school for BCN members only. Membership is restricted to boys, simply because boys are more relaxed and open to honest discussion concerning male issues, when only boys and men are present. This may not apply to general male populations, but it applies to BCN membership.
All meetings begin with food – an ancient tradition of friendship that also settles the boys down and prepares them to listen and participate. Chapter leaders lead discussions about timely and traditional issues affecting boys and young men today, and invite guest speakers (mentors) to talk with the boys.
Mentorship talks vary, but always include elements of personal growth and development, and overcoming adversity. Together, mentors and members explore what it means to be a good man in today’s society – ie: how do good men treat family, friends, themselves, girls and women, and how all of that has changed and continues to change at the speed of technology, and societal truths and policies.
Most often mentors are men, but increasingly they are women. And always, always, what is said in the room, stays in the room. Establishing trust, confidentiality, vulnerability, and connectedness are foundational to BCN success.
Mentors comprise a vast cross-section of adults representing all levels of public and private enterprise, including business, education, sports, entertainment, medicine, armed forces, first responders, government, mental health, non-profit, and the arts. All mentors have overcome adversity (most, not publicly disclosed), and all are empathetic to and validate the unique challenges facing boys and young men today, and they give of their experience and time, to help BCN members navigate the increasingly complex and confusing path boys walk from childhood to adulthood.
Through a focussed, repetitive but attractively diverse program of instruction and fabulous field trips, throughout the school year, boys learn confidence, empathy, and leadership, and develop the moral compass they need to help them make good decisions for themselves, for others, and for society, throughout their lives.
BCN membership represents boys from all socio-economic groups, ethnic backgrounds, and religions. Diversity is celebrated in equal measure with individuality. Some members are referred to the Club by school administration and other stakeholders, many join voluntarily, and others are referred by family and friends. Peer referrals are on the rise, as membership grows in popularity.
The BCN code of conduct is built on respect for self and others, and regular attendance is expected. The rewards of membership are many, not the least of which is opportunities for post-secondary scholarships. Participating graduates are invited to apply for a wide range of scholarships, internships and post-secondary educational programs. Awards are based on BCN program participation, high school graduation, community service, and authentic need.
BAA Board Authority Authorized Curriculum
Our H.O.P.E. for Boys Leadership 11 is an authorized four-credit course available to secondary schools throughout the province. The H.O.P.E. curriculum is in its third successful year at WJ Mouat Secondary in Abbotsford, has been adopted the West Vancouver and North Vancouver School Districts, and several other districts are reviewing for approval.
To learn more about weekly chapter meetings or our BAA curriculum, please contact Walter Mustapich directly. To inquire about an existing BCN chapter near you, or to initiate a new one, please be in touch by email.
"One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."
– Maya Angelou