Father and sons weekend sheer man-heaven

FLORENCE KERR
Last updated 05:00 05/08/2014
Jeremy Rolston
CHRIS HILLCOCK/ Fairfax NZ

FATHER AND SON: Jeremy Rolston and his son Ty Rolston enjoying quality time at the annual Father and Son camp at Narrows Park.

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Jeremy Rolston is thankful to the Father and Son weekend at Narrows Park in Hamilton for allowing him to spend quality time with his boys.

At the weekend Rolston, along with 32 other dads and 50 boys, were in man-heaven which consisted of fun games and constructing gokarts and rocket launchers.

"Seeing their faces when they launched the rocket we made was priceless," Rolston said.

"Every father and son should come out to the camp - no cellphones, no work, no dishes, just quality time with our sons without the distractions."

The Narrows Park Father and Son weekend is in its second year, and has become a popular retreat for fathers and their boys to build things, play games, but most importantly connect.

This year there were 83 participants at the retreat.

Narrows Park director Al Belcher said the idea behind the weekend came from his experience connecting with his sons.

"Being a dad myself I found that if I didn't consciously go away and do something with my boys that we wouldn't get quality time.

"The crux of the idea behind it is so a father or father figure can spend quality time, eat like kings and build on their relationships."

Belcher said the "breakdown in the family" was the biggest problem children faced today and the camp provided an avenue for the boys to connect with a father figure.

"We are seeing more families without fathers there at all, and the fathers that are there do have good intentions but they don't have the time with their son."

Belcher said at the moment single-parent households hover at 50 per cent.

"So that's one in every two kids that does not have a father or a father figure in their life and the ones that do are just about a minority.

"I think quality time is pretty rare."

The weekend of bonding also involved fathers and their offspring doing sessions to make them better fathers to their children or building on the good work the dads are doing.

Sessions for the young boys included making good decisions and being a good person.

"This is for every man and their son, regardless of denomination, or what community they come from."

During the camp father and son teams built gokarts, trolleys and rocket launchers as well as eating "man food" that consisted of beef ribs, burgers, chicken wings as well as cheese platters for the corporate dads.

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- Waikato Times

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