~ Instill Creativity, Play, Laughter and Fun
~ Introduce your Son to the Strength Found in a Circle of Men
~ Show your Son that you are Aware and Awake to His Needs
~ Give the Love, Approval & Blessing that a Boy Needs from His Father
In our work, men have shown us how deeply important their fathers are to them. Often, when a man explores his wounds and unfulfilled longings, his own father is at the base of them. Many times, a man’s limitations, his self-destructive patterns, his unrealized dreams, are rooted in his relationship with his father. Men frequently—often subconsciously—idolize their absent dads. They put their dreams on hold, decade after decade, waiting for the love and approval that only a father can give.
Because the father/son relationship is so important, we have organized a retreat specifically in support of men and their sons in the middle school years to help form strong bonds at an early age.
Fathers and their young sons will spend time having fun, learning about nature and sharing in playful, engaging activities. Boys will experience the power of simple rituals. They will witness mature men in a council circle, speaking truth, listening with heart, and providing support for each other.
Fathers will be encouraged to share stories of their own boyhoods, to express some of the joys and fears, and to help their sons to recognize the manhood that awaits them. Boys will be gently invited to talk about their lives, their hopes and dreams; the stories that draw them.
This gathering has become a tradition that gently and joyfully guides boys into their adolescence and manhood. We believe the passage into manhood to be one of the most important transitions a boy will make, and this retreat serves as a foundation for that transition.
Fathers and sons will have time away from each other, with the other fathers and sons, to do personal work. In some cases, the stories and processes need to be separate, with more orchestrated encounters when fathers and sons come back together.
There will be a spirit of celebration. Each man, and his sons, stepsons or nephews, will gain a new understanding of this most primary relationship; one that each father and son has struggled with, embraced at times and shunned at other times, but eventually come to honor. In the power of council, ritual, wild nature and soulful community, the beauty of fathers and sons will bless us all.
Staff: Led by James Churches and Jake Lohwater. You can view biographies of our staff here.
Dates: April 24 – 26, 2020 – Boxwell Scout Camp ~ near Nashville, TN
Location and Times: The gathering begins Friday 4pm and ends Sunday by 4pm. Details and directions will be sent upon receipt of registration and payment.
Cost $747 / per pair
Dates: August 6 – 9, 2020 – Private Wilderness ~ outside Estes Park, CO
Location and Times: The gathering begins Thursday 3pm and ends Sunday by 2pm. Details and directions will be sent upon receipt of registration and payment.
Cost $897 / per pair
A minimum non-refundable deposit of $250 is required to hold your reservation and assure you of a spot in this gathering. Meals are included. Space is limited to 12 father/son pairs per retreat.
If you wish to set up a payment plan or inquire about a scholarship, please arrange with the MLA office prior to the event. Email Jason, firstname.lastname@example.org, for the MLA Scholarship Application
What To Bring – Upon receipt of your payment or deposit you’ll receive an email confirmation that will include a welcome packet with gear list, directions and other information.