2024 Montana Men’s Gathering at Blacktail Ranch

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Celebrating our Lives as Men In the Face of Conflict

Fall Gathering: October 3rd – 6th 2024

Register now!

This Year’s Focus: 


Each year the Montana Men’s Foundation (MMF) hosts the annual men’s retreat. We invite you to join us this year in community, fellowship around the theme of our fate and purpose as we engage in the tensions and conflict of our lives. What are the gifts and blessings that have graced your life? What are the challenges, traumas, or frustrations you struggle with? Are these all part of what we might call our ‘fate’? What is the thread of your fate/purpose that runs through your life? How does that purpose want to express itself more?

About Our Gatherings

We gather to explore these themes and explore the full range of our beings in retreat with other men. We gather intentionally, welcoming our joy and creativity, our frustration and confusion, our challenge and conflict, and our purpose, humor and playfulness. The landscape of the Blacktail ranch, the cave, and the group mind of the men help us enter a liminal space – where we can see beyond our limitations. We have time for reflection, exuberance, connection with others and the land, and internal time connecting with ourselves. In the container of the retreat, we can remember more of our whole selves in a clearer light, celebrate the mystery in our lives and also find inspiration and insight.

What is the ‘container’ of a men’s retreat? Gathering with purpose, we create a safe, intentional space to be authentic, to look and go deep into ourselves and the meaning and purpose of our masculinity. It is our intention as a community to hold together a safe space to express, explore and understand our gifts, talents, as well as shadow aspects of ourselves. Collectively we create this container by expressing these intentions and showing up with each other fully to hold that space. Setting the intention and the container sets the stage for a transformational time and remembering of our whole selves. We just as intentionally close the container at the end of the weekend, with the purpose of helping each of us carry back into our lives self-awareness and understanding and clearer purpose.

Facilitation

Facilitation of this year’s theme of exploring our fate and purpose will be guided by Matt Lasalle, Matthew Nord and Patrick Marsolek.  Additional themed activities will be presented by other men in the Montana Men’s community. More info. about the facilitators here.

Costs for the Gathering

All of the costs to participate in this retreat go to pay the fees for the MMF to use the Blacktail ranch. Men choosing to facilitate or offer activities are not being paid. The MMF has chosen to hold this retreat at the Blacktail Ranch because we value the sacred space of the landscape where the ranch is located, because of our use of the prehistoric cave on the property as part of our transformational container, and because of the historical connection the MMF has to the Blacktail. The Hogan which we use as the primary gathering space at the ranch was built with contribution from MMF members, and has held many wonderful annual gatherings.

Any extra fees that come into MMF through the sliding scale will go to scholarships to encourage younger men or men needing financial assistance and also to cover any operating expenses for MMF to ensure the next year’s retreat.

Would you be willing to pay extra on the sliding scale to help further this purpose? Would you be willing to sponsor the costs of younger men to attend?

Donate to MMF here.

For more information contact MMF President Patrick Marsolek E-mail or 406-443-3439 or Vice-President Matthew Nord E-mail or 406-396-3352.

Location and Arrival

Dates: October 3rd – 6th 2024

Location: The Blacktail Ranch is located at 4440 S. Fork Trail, Wolf Creek, MT.  Directions will be provided with registration confirmation email. 

The Setting: Blacktail Ranch

Blacktail Ranch, north of Helena, has been home to many of our previous gatherings. It is a working ranch that provides a natural and historic setting in an ancient and powerful landscape on the southern end of the Rocky Mountain Front. Our organization literally has our energy in this land where we built a Hogan as a place to gather for our work and infused our energy into it and the landscape. We will spiritually connect with our ancient brethren within a cave used for 10,000 years and by gathering daily at a medicine wheel that predates western history. Many past attendees attest to the incredible beauty and sacred energy that embodies this special natural space.

The Montana Men’s Foundation is a non-profit corporation founded to sponsor and support men’s activities that promote

page1image885216their educational, spiritual and emotional growth for the benefit of community and society. We have been sponsoring male gatherings for almost 30 years to 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. We encourage younger men to join our circle as they begin their journey into manhood in our society. Far from being a time for escape or resignation, this is a time for re-imagining masculine culture and life affirming practices.

Other Thoughts:

We offer these events as a gift to ourselves and each other, a time and place to find restoration, insight, and renewed energy. All you need to do is bring yourself and whatever it is you’re carrying. We welcome the ordinary, enthusiastic, dramatic, bored, bedraggled, and rambunctious.

We are cared for with nourishing meals and comfortable bunkhouse accommodations provided by the Blacktail Ranch staff. Sleeping arrangements will be in the main bunkhouse or small cabins (for an additional fee). As this is autumn in Montana and some of our activities will take place outdoors, be prepared for any type of weather including possible snow.

Our time together will be shaped around what we each bring to the gathering, the challenges we are facing and the ideas and creative impulses that are inspiring us. Long-standing members of the Montana Men’s Foundation community will guide our time together and will offer a structure to our days and number of group activities including: rhythm, movement, ceremony, soulful discussions, self-awareness exercises, time on the land, and more. And if you need to step back from and chill for a time, take a solo hike, or just not do anything for a while, we’ll respect that too.

Our goal is to relax into our authentic selves and be present without any pretense. This gathering will be a place to lighten the load, retreat into nature to get some perspective, and spend time with some truly amazing men.

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