Compass for Boys — FAQ

Is Compass for Boys a new program?

In 2017, HGNA, a nonprofit organization in Downers Grove that is now named Navigate Adolescence, created a program for 4th and 5th grade boys, called HEROES. The HEROES curriculum has been updated and renamed Compass for Boys: Finding Your Way.

What is Navigate Adolescence?

Navigate Adolescence, Inc., (formerly Helping Girls Navigate Adolescence, Inc.), is a nonprofit organization (located in Downers Grove) devoted to providing kids and their parents the tools needed to navigate adolescence with confidence, resilience, and kindness. HGNA changed its name to reflect that they are now offering programs for boys and for girls.

Will boys and girls be in groups and activities together at Compass?

Compass for Boys and Compass for Girls are both being offered on the same day, February 5, 2022. However, they are SEPARATE PROGRAMS with different curricula designed specifically for boys and for girls. Males will facilitate the Compass for Boys program. High school volunteers assisting with any groups for boys will be high school boys. Females will facilitate the Compass for Girls program. High school volunteers assisting with any groups for girls will be high school girls.

When is the registration deadline for Compass?

Registration for Compass will close at 11:59pm on Friday, January 21, 2022.

Please note, however, that early registration is encouraged as it allows us greater lead time in hiring facilitators and recruiting volunteers, and gives us greater leverage in negotiating discounts for supplies — adding to the overall success of the event, while keeping costs to a minimum. 

What does the Compass registration fee include?

Your Compass registration fee includes: four breakout sessions with discussions, games, and activities led by professional facilitators discussing topics surrounding social and emotional subjects such as friendships, self-discovery, and self-care. Additionally, each boy will receive a drawstring bag and materials for workshop activities.

*Please note: Fee reductions are available based on need.

 What is the refund policy?

A full refund will be provided for cancellations made by Friday, January 21, 2022.  

Can I register my son for Compass the day of the event?

Once registration closes, a significant amount of work goes into balancing class sizes with facilitators, printing schedules that are unique to each boy, as well as purchasing and organizing materials by facilitated session. Due to the complexity and energy that goes into these tasks, unfortunately, we cannot accommodate on-site registration.

Can my son arrive late to and/or leave early from Compass for Boys?

For your son to fully benefit from the many aspects of the workshop and to avoid disruptions to your son’s group, we strongly recommend that your son attend the entire event.

Can my son be in the same group as his friend(s)?

Yes! This is a new option within the registration page for this virtual workshop.

What should my son bring to the event?

Workshop materials will be available for pickup prior to the workshop. Registrants will receive an email with details.

What are the qualifications of the facilitators that will be working with my son?

We carefully handpick each facilitator based on their professional qualifications and their affinity to our mission of raising emotionally healthier adolescent boys.

We prioritize our recruitment of licensed and/or certified professionals, including social workers, counselors, psychologists, and therapists from local school districts — with the objective of familiarizing our boys with these important and safe go-to people that they can readily speak to during the school year. We also invite men with experience leading and teaching groups of young boys to apply to facilitate for Compass for Boys.

How many boys will be in my son’s class?

In order to give the boys the best experience possible, we limit each facilitated session to a maximum of 12 boys, except for the “East” section with stress-relief techniques, which may combine groups. We have found that the smaller groups allow the facilitators to address issues in great detail, and gives each boy time to participate in discussions, games, and activities.

I have a high school-age son who would like to volunteer … how can he get involved?

Supporting our vision of raising emotionally healthier boys, with each event we strive to provide leadership opportunities for boys, such as managing icebreakers, assisting with small group discussions and activities, and role modeling. Specifically, we look for energetic high school boys who model positive, respectful behavior. If your son is interested in volunteering, please have him email with the following information:

  • Full name
  • Name of high school
  • Cell phone number and email address

Who runs Compass?

This year, Compass for Boys is brought to you by TriCity Family Services, Navigate Adolescence, and the Geneva Coalition for Youth with the support of Geneva CUSD 304. The Compass program was created by Navigate Adolescence, a not-for-profit organization in Downers Grove. This event is made possible through the tireless efforts of local parents, high school and middle school students, and community members who volunteer their time for the greater good of our sons and our communities.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

For questions or concerns, please contact Michelle Clark, TriCity Family Services Director of Emotional Wellness Programs, at, or at 630-232-1070, ext. 336.

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Monetary donations of any amount help TriCity Family Services provide a range of counseling and other mental health services to more than 4,000 clients and their families each year.

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