Welcome to Boy’s Almanac– a boy’s year spent with Daniel Carter Beard’s The American Boy’s Handy Book.
Boy’s Almanac is lovingly crafted by us, Stephanie Sicore and Alis Whitman. We are two mothers constantly striving to maintain a wild, self-sufficient childhood for our boys and wanting to revive the old school methods of practical scouting, bypassing the modern organization and its discriminating baggage. We’re attempting this in the most common of modern contexts: following our gut, against the tide of electronic media, often while the fathers are at work and grandfathers are miles away, and in whatever spare time we can find.
As we attempt each project in the book, we seek to answer the question: How can we help our sons grow up industrious, autonomous, self-reliant and resourceful? Is it too late to help them reclaim a wild, natural childhood, and how can we inspire other parents to want the same? Looking to the past for answers, and scouring modern thought on parenting, we hope to find the essential toolkit for empowering yet liberating today’s pressured and overscheduled young man.
We will tackle tough projects for our politically-correct conscience: skinning, trapping and playing with fire, to name a few. But it is not without reverence; in fact, all the while holding the natural cycle dear to our hearts, we aim to seize back some heritage and take value of the simple lessons learned for satisfaction and survival.
Why boys? Why not girls? Because we don’t have girls, ourselves, and have no idea whether they’d like this kind of stuff anyway. Seriously. As far as we’re concerned, girls are wonderful and welcome here!
You can find a copy of The American Boy’s Handy Book for yourselves, and follow along. There’s a Flickr group, BoysAlmanac, where we encourage you to share your own experiences with the book’s projects, as well. You’re also encouraged to subscribe to Boy’s Almanac either in the form of email updates or RSS.
About the writers
Stephanie Sicore is an artist, photographer, blogger, wife and full-time mother of two young boys. For the past three years she has kept an online journal at Stephs. She lives on the fringe of Silicon Valley and enjoys minus tides, a full house and escaping on surfboard and bicycle.
Alis Whitman is an information designer, gardener, blogger and scout master’s daughter. You can visit Alis at Bellespring. She currently resides in the Santa Cruz Mountains and enjoys observation parenting, compost, paint and days spent out of doors.
Guest contributors include John Hall, affectionately known as “Scoutmaster John,” who became Eagle Scout in 1995. In the time since, he has worked as a residential landscape architect in Austin and had a son of his own. He shares his wisdom as our “pack leader” and hones this skill in preparation for his son’s scouting days, which should begin in about six years.