Registration is now open.

DADCON 2018: A Conference on Fatherhood

New Mexico Men’s Wellness invites you to the 34th NMMW Fall Conference, DADCON 2018, a retreat for fathers, uncles, grandfathers, and mentors at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu New Mexico.  The retreat runs from Thursday Evening, October 25th through Sunday, October 28th at noon.   

Becoming a better father is good for our children, our partners, our selves, and our world. At DADCON 2018 a large group of fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and mentors will gather in the majesty of Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM for four days of support and exploration.

DADCON 2018 is the 34th annual fall conference of NMMW, a life-changing retreat where men of all walks support one another on the path to becoming stronger, healthier, and happier.

At DADCON we’ll celebrate fatherhood, come to terms with today’s changing father roles, and discuss the complexities of loving and working in the modern world.

Some of us are fathers, all of us are sons.  DADCON 2018 is not just for dads. We’ll also take an honest look at our own fathers and the line of fathers that brought us to this place in time.

Registration

The registration fee for the Conference is $325.00 per person regardless of the accommodations chosen.  We want as many men to participate and don’t want money to be a barrier.  To this end we are making scholarship support available at two levels to those who need it: Men with a moderate financial need can register for $225.00 (a $100.00 scholarship).  Men with a significant financial need can register for $75.00 (a $250.00 scholarship).

Registration is now open.  Both online registration  (complete an online registration form and pay with a credit card or PayPal) and mail-in registration (print and complete a registration form and mail it with your check) are available.  Click on the proper button (above left or below right) to get to the registration page of your choosing.  Ghost Ranch includes campsites for a limited number of RV sites with hookups and spaces for tent campers that can also be reserved; registration forms include options for these accommodations.  There is a limit of 85 men at the Conference, so all are encouraged to register as early as possible.  When the registration limit is reached, we will open a wait-list for any cancellations that may open up later.  Registrations must be received by no later than September 24.  Those whose registrations are received after September 24 cannot be guaranteed a place at the conference. 

Registration fees include all Conference activities, three-nights accommodations, and all meals from Friday breakfast through Sunday breakfast.  Special food requirements including vegetarian and gluten-free options are available; please indicate your requirements on your registration form.

NMMW works very hard to keep Conference cost as low as possible so the largest number of men can attend and participate.  We are a 501(c)(3) Educational Nonprofit Corporation.  It is by your support that we can continue to hold valuable trans-formative events for men that are also affordable.  To this end, the registration form includes a section where you can add a scholarship or general fund donation to help us continue to do this.  Anything you can contribute will be appreciated and put to good use.

Online registrations will be confirmed via Email generated when you register.  Mail-in registrations will be confirmed by Email from the registrar.  All who have registered will receive additional information a couple of weeks in advance of the conference with driving directions, basic logistics, what you should plan to bring with you, and material specific to Conference activities.

A note on special dietary needs at Ghost Ranch: Ghost Ranch requests that we inform them of any special dietary needs; please complete this section if it applies to you. They will make vegetarian entrees available at all meals, and will attempt to provide gluten free items but cannot guarantee it.  They do not have the ability to meet  more complicated dietary requirements.

If you have any questions about registration, please contact the registrar, Steve Nojek via Email (registernmmwfall2018@gmail.com) or telephone (505 803-4788).  Our webmaster, Jim Connolly (jrc347@gmail.com; 505 550-2433) can assist with any issues that arise related to online registrations.

Got Questions?

Below is the list of Men who should be contacted if you have questions about the conference either in advance of your registration of afterwards.

Michael Sheppard (michael@bigskylearning.com; 505-699-6425) is the Conference leader.  Michael is based in Santa Fe.  Any questions about the Conference including ideas for breakouts or activities you would like to lead and most anything else related to the Conferences should be directed towards Michael.

David River (dbriver@gmail.com; 505-690-3033) is the Conference co-leader.  David is based in Santa Fe.  Questions about the Conference may also be directed to David.

Stephen Nojek (registernmmwfall2018@gmail.com; 505-803-4788) is the registrar for the Conference.  Any questions about your registration, special needs in the area of accommodations and related items to be directed at Steve.

Jim Connolly (jrc347@gmail.com; 505-550-2433) is the NMMW webmaster.  Contact Jim if you have questions or problems related to online registration or the NMMW web pages.

 


We look forward to seeing you at Ghost Ranch in October!


If you need to download Adobe’s Free Acrobat Reader (very useful for lots of things including completing Acrobat forms) please click on the logo below which will take you to Adobe’s site and assist with getting it installed:

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Photo credits include:   Roger Harmon, Joseph Woods and Uwe Schroeter

 

 

The dates and locations for major events in the future are listed below! Details, including themes, leader contacts, details and links to event web pages, and other information posted and linked here as they become available. All NMMW events are open to and inclusive of all men regardless of age, ethnicity, race and sexual orientation.  Check back as we add details as they become available.  This page will be revised as information comes in and now will not be restricted to a particular calendar year.

Winter Gathering 2018

    • Thursday, February 22rd through Monday, February 26th
      (attend as many days as you choose)
    • Cook’s Cabin, Blanco Basin, Colorado
    • Theme: “Resilience”
    • Registration will open on January 2nd, 2018
    • Contacts: Lawrence Cook (rlcook@msn.com)  or Uwe Schroeter (uweschroeter@comcast.net)

Bring a Buddy Events – Monthly; Check Website or your Email

  • “Bring a Buddy” events are short activities held approximately monthly in Santa Fe or Albuquerque that are designed to introduce new Men to the kind of work that we do to develop strong, healthy male relationships and introduce issues of interest to men in our modern changing world.  These events are always free. Details about location, time and topic will be posted on our main web page as they are available.

Spring Retreat 2018

  • Registration is now open — click on the link above
  • Friday, April 13th through Sunday, April 15th
  • Hummingbird Music Camp, just north of Jemez Springs, New Mexico
  • Theme: “Sex & Intimacy: Fifty Shades of Light and Shadow”
    Repression, shame, first sex, the hunt, ecstasy, intimacy, aging sexuality. You won’t want to miss this one, as we delve into the healthy and unhealthy aspects of these vital areas of our lives. We will move from secrecy to authenticity together, from the wounded Lover to conscious, empowered masculinity. All in one weekend! Well, maybe just some progress on the path….
  • Contact: Marc Pugsley (mpugsley@mac.com) or Victor LaCerva (heartsongsvittorio@gmail.com)
  • Registration will open in February.  Registration limited to 30 men.

Fathers and Sons Gathering

  • The Fathers and Sons Gathering (originally scheduled as a camp out over Memorial Day weekend) has been canceled for 2018 because of logistical issues and timing conflicting schedules.  The current plan is to reschedule the gathering for 2020 after the 2019 Father – Daughter Gathering.  Details for both events will be added as they are developed.
  • If you have an interest in participating in this gathering when it is scheduled, please contact leaders Mike Pedroncelli (mikepadroncelli@yahoo.com) and/or Charlie Lamson (seafever304@gmail.com) so they may add you as interested in participating.

Couple’s Weekend 2018

  • Registration is now open — click on the link above
  • Date: Friday, May 18th through Sunday, May 20th
  • Location: In Albuquerque at the home of David and Ambra Caldwell
  • Theme: To be announced
  • Contacts: Mark Pugsley (mpugsley@mac.com) or Bruce Berlin (bruceberlin45@gmail.com)

Summer Gathering 2018

  • Date: Friday, July 20th through Sunday, July 22th
    (Thursday, July 19th optional extra camping night)
  • Location: Jack’s Creek Campground, Pecos Valley, New Mexico
  • Theme: To be announced
  • Contact: Marc Choyt (reflective@cybermesa.com)

Women and Men’s Wellness Day 2018

  • Date: in September 8, 2018 from 9am to 6pm
  • Location: Santa Fe (details to be announced)
  • Theme: An exploration gender relationships to be led by Shell Goldstein and Narawa Stein
  • Contact: Shell Goldman (shellgoldman@gmail.com)

Fall Conference 2018

  • Date: Thursday October 25th through Sunday, October 28th
  • Location: Ghost Ranch Conference Center, Abiquiu, New Mexico
  • Theme: DADCON 2018 – A Conference for Fathers, Sons, Teachers, Mentors
  • Contact: Michael Sheppard (michael@bigskylearning.com) or David River (dbriver@gmail.com)

Anyone having changes, additions, or corrections to this page, please contact webmaster Jim Connolly via Email to webmaster@nmmw.org.

THE 30TH NEW MEXICO MEN’S WELLNESS

FALL CONFERENCE

WITH THE THEME OF

“FRIENDSHIP: MEN IN COMMUNITY”

 OCTOBER 23-26, 2014

Banner

The 30th New Mexico Men’s Wellness Conference was held October 23-26, 2014 at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico.  Over the four days the theme of “Friendship – Men in Community” was explored in depth from many perspectives.  Almost a quarter of the men participating were new to a Men’s Wellness event with over 100 in attendance.  Quite a few men invited friends from many-year relationships, some who had known each other for over 60 years!  In addition, many men left the Conference with newly found friends, ready to take what they learned into the world and build new friendships there.

This year for the first time, this page, which was the “registration” and information page for the Conference has been turned into a page about the Conference to be shared with the participants and anyone who happens upon it on this web site.  For participants, it is a spot to reflect on the weekend and perhaps share their reflections on it in the comments section at the end.  For others we hope that you will learn something about the annual New Mexico Men’s Wellness Conference is about and what we do as an organization to help men grow in healthy community with other men, and to take that community into the world of their everyday lives.

Sunset-at-GR

Sunset at Ghost Ranch

 

Leadership and Planning for the Fall Conference

The NMMW Conference is unique in that it does not draw upon outside “experts” to provide information that we “need” to know, but relies on a planning process involving a large number of men from the community who contribute their ideas, energy, creativity and talents to craft a home-grown program around the theme of the conference.  Thirty years ago Victor LaCerva started New Mexico Men’s Wellness and initiated John-Gerversthe first Conference with a focus on men and their health. Our mission continues  “to nurture wellness in body, mind and spirit through the sharing of experiences across generations and cultures in safe, collaborative settings”.  Our strength is the participatory nature of Men’s Wellness.  This year’s leader John Gervers with co-leader and successor Charlie Lamson started the planning process in late July and continued with meetings every two weeks in Santa Fe and Albuquerque until just before the conference.  The heart of the Conference is this Planning Committee, open to all intended participants, who volunteer their time to develop the theme, create the sessions, and lead various elements of the Conference.  This year more than 30 men participated in the planning process developing the three days of themed “blocks” around the overall topic of Friendship with the block leaders drawn from the participants who planned the conference.

Eclipse at Ghost RanchAn Auspicious Opening

The conference opened on Thursday, October 31.  During the registration time, there was a partial eclipse of the Sun that felt like a significant transition leading into the weekend.  Joseph Woods captured the photo at left with a solar filter on his small telescope that shows a couple of sunspots that are about as large as the planet Jupiter (Click on the image to see it full size).  A great start to the 30th Fall Conference!

 The Buddha was asked, “Is good friendship, good companionship, good comradeship a part of the holy life?”

The Buddha answered, “No, good friendship, good companionship, good comradeship are not ‘a part of the holy life’, they are the entire holy life”.

 

The Conference Organization and “Blocks”**:

Thursday Evening: Welcome, Opening Ceremony, Introduction to the theme of “Friendship”, Breakout of small groups and first meeting, “Assessing our Friendships,” followed by Closing Circle.

Early Friday Morning: Optional exercises including Meditation, Qi Gong and Yoga.

ConversationFriday Morning: Announcements, Warm-Up Exercise.  Block topic on “Isolation and Other Barriers to Friendship” to explore how we inhibit the initiation and development of friendships.

Friday Afternoon: Block topic on “Conflict Resolution.”  Skit: Friends in conflict Cassius and Brutus from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”; Exercise to explore unresolved conflicts in our relationships with other men.
Late afternoon optional activities including Art Project, Poetry Circle, Jam Sessions (Electric indoors, Ukelele outdoors), Hiking.

Friday Evening: Choice of Activities including: Passing of the Sword Ceremony, Outdoor Fire Circle and Drumming Circle, Sweat Lodge (Hot), and Movies with the theme of Friendship.

Early Saturday Morning: Grief Circle to honor and remember those lost to us

Saturday Morning: Announcements.  Early Block on “Nurturing Old Friendships”; Later block on “Creating New Friendships”

Saturday Afternoon: Block on the topic of “Creating Friendships with Women.”
Late afternoon optional activities including Art Project, Sweat Lodge (Mild), Yoga, Hiking, etc.  NMMW Annual Meeting just before dinner.

Saturday Evening: Elders and Sages Ceremonies, followed by “Saturday Night Live” — performances, music, skits, drumming and silliness.

Early Sunday Morning: Optional exercises including Meditation, Qi Gong and Yoga.

Passing-LeadershipSunday Morning: Announcements, Passing of NMMW Small Group Drum and Compassionate Hands, followed by Large Talking Circle with reactions about the weekend from all who wish to share.  Final small group meeting with take-aways and commitments.  Walk to Canyon for Closing Ceremony and Passing of the Leadership.

** “Blocks” vary in structure, but generally introduce the topic in the large circle of men then break into dyads or small groups to explore the topic in more depth, sometimes returning to the large group at the conclusion of the block.  Blocks vary in length but are typically 90 minutes to 2 hours in length.

A song about friendship, Through Your Eyes was written by David Kuenzli specifically for this conference and was distributed to all conference attendees.  It is linked here for playing or downloading.  It may be freely played and shared but please give David credit if you do share it.

30 Years of NMMW Conference Leaders

While not all of the former Conference leaders could attend, there was a large contingent of former leaders of the NMMW conferences represented at this 30th Conference.  In the photo below from left to right are John Gervers, Mike Pedroncelli, Kurt Faust, Shel Goldman, Michael Wilkinson, Lawrence Cook, Charles Fisher, Phil Davis, Michael Kaufman, Barry Cooney, David Johnson, David Kuenzli, and Victor LaCerva.  Also attending (but not in the photo) were Mark Bennett and Barry McIntosh.  (Click on the photo to see it full size)

Past-Leaders

Scholarships

The costs of the Conference are as low as we can get from Ghost Ranch, and by far the bulk of the fees go toward meals, lodging and use of the facilities.  We want men of all financial circumstances to be able to participate in the Conference if they wish to do so.  For this reason we encourage men who want to participate but need some assistance to connect with the conference leaders for assistance.  We also encourage men who can contribute to the scholarship fund to do so, to support those men who need it.  NMMW is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational corporation, and all donations to the scholarship fund or to other activities of the organization are deductible as charitable contributions.  There is a page on this web site that will accept online donations with our gratitude: http://www.nmmw.org/about/donate/

For your feedback or to get more information:

Call-to-closingThis page is open for comments.  Please see the comments section at the end of the page.  Some men who participated in the conference have already submitted comments to webmaster Jim Connolly (jrc347@gmail.com) who has incorporated them into the comments.  Comments may be submitted by anyone who has registered for access on this website and blog.  Click on this link and you will be taken in a new “tab” or window to a page that will help you to register for the site so that you may post comments or other materials that you would like to contribute to the NMMW community via this website and blog.  We encourage registration so that this site can benefit from your input, but if you would like to just have your comment about this page posted you can send it via Email to Jim Connolly via his Email address and he will get it posted for you.  You must include your actual name and contact information with your Email, but it does NOT need to be included in your comment; just clarify that when you send your Email.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for this year’s leader (John) or for the leader of next year’s (31st) Conference (Charlie) please contact them:

For more Online Information about NMMW:

 

Saving-a-seat

Adobe Acrobat Reader is handy to view (or download) many of the Acrobat PDF documents found on this site.  To download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader, please click on the graphic below:

Click to Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

(Most of the photos on this page are from Uwe Schroeter with one from Joseph Woods.)

qigong-snap1For many years Doug Booth has been offering a great morning practice of Qigong to participants in most NMMW gatherings (Spring, Summer and Fall).  Many, many men who have done the practice with Doug have requested some information about the movements to make it easier for them to practice on their own.  After searching his archives, Doug has located the original materials from his teacher that describe the 18 movements and include some advice about the best approach to a Qigong practice.   Now, through the magic of electronic document creation and this website, anyone interested in having their own Acrobat PDF copy can get it via a relatively simple mouse click.  Just click your mouse here and download your copy.  Please note that some web browsers do not like to display Acrobat PDF documents and you might have better results by right-clicking your mouse on the link and then saving the “link” to your own computer.

If you have any questions about the practice or would like to profusely thank Doug for making it available, please connect with him via Email to dougbooth4@gmail.com.

At the 2011 Summer Gathering, I, your webmaster Jim Connolly, using a recently acquired mini-HD video recorder, recorded an almost complete Qigong practice session (about 30 minutes) with Doug from warm-up through conclusion.  While the video is ofqigong-snap2 good quality, it includes has a lot of cross-talk and side chatter.  We had planned to clean it up, add titles and perhaps throw in some voice-overs, but there were some translation issues with the video formats, and it is likely to remain in its “raw” (but still useful) form.  I will be talking with Doug at the Spring Retreat about how we might best make this available for Men’s Wellness folks to use.  If you are someone who would have an interest in acquiring a home-made copy of the video for your personal use, please contact me (jrc347@gmail.com) and indicate your interest.  There will likely be a nominal cost associated with copying and getting it to you.

The pictures on this post are “snapshots” from the video from the 2011 Summer Gathering.

The free Acrobat PDF viewer is required to view and print the Qigong document linked here.  Click on the graphic below to download the viewer: Click to Download Adobe Acrobat Reader