Want to give to The Cabbage Patch? CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Donate Now
(502) 634-0811 1413 S. Sixth St
Louisville, KY 40208
The Cabbage Patch Settlement House is a local, non-profit Christian organization.
Donate Now

Empowering Young Men for Life: From Balloons to Beards—Inside The Cabbage Patch’s Men of Honor Camp

As a group of young men gathered on plush sofas, they were handed balloons and instructed to inflate them. With careful breaths, they filled the balloons to nearly the size of their heads before carefully tying them off. Then with markers in hand, they went about creating self-portraits on their balloon canvases. But this was no ordinary art project during The Cabbage Patch’s Men of Honor camp. It was time for these young men, aged 13-18, to learn the art of shaving, a pivotal milestone and rite of passage in their journey to manhood.


After sketching their likenesses, they smeared shaving cream on their balloon faces, preparing for the delicate task ahead. Each was then handed a disposable shaver to practice the age-old tradition safely under guidance.

The Men of Honor camp wasn’t just about learning how to shave, however, it was a comprehensive program designed to empower and equip young men with essential life skills as they navigate the path to adulthood.

“This is about fostering and building self-confidence, self-esteem, and promoting holistic wellness among these young men,” said Kolby Atkinson, Recreation Assistant Manager & Outreach Coordinator at The Patch.

Throughout the week-long camp, Patch campers dove into a variety of practical lessons, from changing a tire and checking vehicle oil to understanding how to use hand tools and learning to tie a tie. But it wasn’t all about hands-on skills; serious discussions on mental health, domestic violence, and respecting women were also central to the curriculum.

“The Patch and this camp serve as a safe space where these young men can openly discuss any topic. For some lacking a strong male role model at home, this becomes an invaluable opportunity to learn from both staff and peers,” Atkinson emphasized.

As the camp concluded, the staff beamed with pride, knowing they’d equipped these young men with tools for success. They’ve not only demonstrated what it means to be respectful citizens, but also fostered enduring male bonds and friendships that will extend far beyond the camp’s conclusion.

Investing in The Cabbage Patch supports the growth and development of young men like these, as well as many other youth. If you’re passionate about fostering positive experiences for young people and building lasting connections, discover how you can support summer camps like these by visiting: https://www.cabbagepatch.org/how-you-can-help/give/