What We Do

The Montana Men's Foundation organizes an annual gathering, open to all men with an interest in personal growth through creative expression, connection with nature and building a community with other men. The Montana Men's Foundation has been sponsoring these gatherings for over 20 years, bringing in respected and accomplished teachers from across the nation. We meet annually for the transformative development of ongoing personal practices. We provide a space to renew, re-energize and express what it means to be a man within the ever accelerating pace and stress of modern life.

Our purpose at these gatherings is to reconnect with ourselves, our role in society, nature, and each other. We ask all participants to directly face their own fears and insecurities in a courageous way that leads to personal integrity that can be utilized constructively in the larger world.

The MMF contributes to the community at large through sponsoring and organizing activities to further the education, as well as the spiritual and emotional growth of men, both young and older. We contribute to the business and institutional world by helping men develop their own leadership capabilities and leverage their strengths. We support the healing and growth of men toward a more positive and mature masculinity, and we encourage a new generation of leaders in business, government and society.

We focus on mentoring and reaching young men who join our circle, which helps guide their transition from boyhood to manhood. Young men who attend are blessed with a new sense of recognition and validation as constructive contributors of society and active participants in the healing of modem social dysfunction.

 

Who Benefits from our Work?

Attendees of a recent gatheringThe immediate beneficiaries of the work of the Montana Men's Foundation are all those men who wish to grow spiritually and emotionally and become more able to serve as their families and their communities. Men who participate in this growth are more able to express themselves authentically, communicate without violence, and take positions of selfless leadership. The eventual beneficiaries of this work include those family members, community members, business colleagues and all persons in society with whom they interact.

We are particularly dedicated to bringing young men into our circles and helping them find paths to reach their authentic masculine potential. Many young men in our society have lost connection with elder men because of their fathers' absence, whether that be through parental divorce, illness, death, alcoholism, or jobs that force their absence. Furthermore, there is no surrogate in society to replace that connection. We offer these young men a way to connect with elder men in a mutually respectful setting of trust where they can learn true power, beauty, and compassion of masculinity. Far from being a time for resignation in this confusing era, now is a time for re-imagining culture and life affirming practices.

Our organization has served over 200 men in our 22 years of organized gatherings. Typically our gatherings serve 20 to 30 men. However, at least twice in the past ten years we have not held a retreat because insufficient men could come. One of the reasons for the lack of registrations was the cost of these events. If we charge the full cost of the event, we have found about half the men can not afford it. We are constantly endeavoring to find ways to keep the events affordable, especially to younger men on limited budgets. Through the generosity of some men, we have been able to offer scholarships to some of those who need assistance, but this is an unpredictable funding source and often the need exceeds the available funds. In those instances where we have secured donors through corporate sponsorships or other means, we have been able to reach more men and have more successful retreats. With these more stable funding sources we can serve more men and ensure that our gatherings remain an annual event to which men can return for renewal and growth. 

Future Plans

With all our efforts focused on the annual retreat, other activities that are vitally important to our mission are not materializing. We would like to engage in more outreach to men in other communities in the future. One integral part of our movement is the founding of men's groups that meet regularly in their communities. Several communities in Montana have men's groups that carry on our work between annual retreats. We know there are other men who would like to have such groups in their communities but do not know how to get started. We would like to have a more consistent outreach effort to facilitate the founding of these groups. We would also like to be able to bring nationally known leaders in the men's movement to Montana to deliver lectures on men's issues and participate in leading our gatherings, including lectures outside of our annual Gathering that reach the larger community.