We are sorry to report that because of unexpectedly low registration numbers we have been forced to postpone the Father/Daughter  Gathering for 2014.  We expect to hold the gathering in 2015 with a similar time frame using the same theme and will post detailed information as soon as we have it.  Many thanks to those who have attended and we hope to see you (and some new folks too) next year.

The Giving Tree

Exploring the “Give” and “Take of our Relationships

The Annual Father/Daughter Gathering

Ghost Ranch, New Mexico

May 23-26, 2014

Registration is now open for the Annual Father/Daughter Gathering at Ghost Ranch.  Please see the links further down this page to download a registration form and other information that you can print and/or pass on to friends who you think could benefit from this wonderful weekend.

Note: You may click on photos to see higher resolution versions, then use your “back” button to return to this page.

 About the Father-Daughter Gathering:

The Annual Father/Daughter Gathering (sponsored by New Mexico Men’s Wellness) is designed to provide a protected and supportive retreat environment for Fathers and Daughters to explore their distinctive relationship away from the distractions of day-to-day family dynamics.

Giving TreeShel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree” is the story of love between boy and a tree over the course of both of their lives.  Disguised as a simple children’s book, this story touches on some serious issues about giving, unconditional love, and reciprocation in a loving relationship.  With this story as a frame, we plan to explore the evolution of our Father – Daughter relationships over time, both one-on-one and within the supportive environment of other daughters and dads.

The Father/Daughter Gathering has been an annual event for more than five years, and has become one of the core activities of NM Men’s Wellness. The mission of the Gathering is to enable Fathers and Daughters to gather, honor, celebrate and grow in their special relationship.

The Gathering is scheduled over the Memorial Day weekend, running from late Friday afternoon May 23 through Monday morning, May 26; the three night framework allows time for structured events while keeping the weekend relaxed and relaxing.  The fee for the Gathering includes three nights lodging in simple yet comfortable accommodations, all meals from Friday evening through Monday morning, all activities related to the conference and access to all of the hiking trails, library, museums and other Ghost Ranch facilities.  Partial scholarship assistance is available for those who need it.  We hope you will consider being a part of this special program.

©Amiel Gervers Photography


The registration form is linked here.  Please complete a registration form for each person attending.  If you download and save the form to your own computer, you can fill it out, save it and print it using Adobe Acrobat Reader. (If needed, see the link at the end of this page that will let you go to Adobe’s site to download and install the reader.)  Forms may be printed and filled out (or filled out on your computer and then printed).    Please complete a separate form for each person attending.

The registration deadline is April 15.  The registration fee is $270 per person, and includes all activities, lodging, meals, and a T-shirt.  All ©Amiel Gervers Photographyregistrations with checks must be postmarked by Tuesday, April 15, 2014.  Ghost Ranch requires that we have a full count of attendees thirty days ahead of our event, so we need registrations in on time.  Mail registration form and check, made payable to “NM Men’s Wellness”, to:

NM Father-Daughter Gathering
c/o James Connolly
2932 Brooksmoor Dr. SW
Albuquerque, NM 87121

Daughters must be at least 18 years of age at the time of the gathering.  Space for the gathering is limited, so register now. Some partial scholarship funding is available for those who need it to attend; please see the information about scholarships at the bottom of this page. Information about how to apply is included.

©Amiel Gervers PhotographyFor more information:

Jim Connolly: (505) 550-2433 or
Charles Fisher:

For a daughter’s perspective, Contact:
Amanda Connolly: or
Abi Fisher:

Recommend the Gathering to Others:

Please help spread the word to friends and associates who you think might be interested in participating with their father or daughter.  Please do this immediately, as schedules usually require some coordinating.  We have two downloadable “resources” that can help you to do this:

  • A one-page printable “Flyer” is available that is suitable for posting anywhere in any visible public space (your office, school, community bulletin board at the COOP, Whole Foods, your church lobby, etc.).  It contains the link to this web page and some contact information.  Click Father Daughter Flyer 2014 to download it.
  • A three-page printable announcement with registration form that can be distributed to friends and associates who you think might be interested in participating with their father or daughter.  It includes most of what is on this web page plus the registration form; click Father Daughter Announcement 2014 to download it.
  • The address of this web page is:  Send this “link” address to anyone who you think could be interested.

Some comments from participants in previous Father & Daughter Gatherings:

©Amiel Gervers Photography“It was fun, it was challenging, and it led to a break-through in our relationship that has brought us closer together.”

“Spending three days with my adult daughter was just a wonderful experience of getting to know her and appreciate her in an entirely new way.”

“It opened windows into a different way of seeing and being with each other and has changed the dynamic of our relationship completely!”
©Amiel Gervers Photography

“The father daughter gathering was a special opportunity to grow closer to my father, sharing our feelings and our hopes for moving forward, conscious of the relationship that we want to build with each other.”©Amiel Gervers Photography

“The support of other fathers and daughters helped my daughter and I to connect in a way that was (and still is) truly special.  I can’t recommend this weekend strongly enough.”

Scholarship Information:

While the fees for the Gathering are very reasonable (and cover costs with very little to spare), we understand that the cost can still be a significant financial burden.  We want as many fathers and daughters who want to participate to be able to do so.  For this reason we encourage those who want to participate but need some financial assistance to contact Jim Connolly (phone and Email above). We also encourage those who can contribute to the scholarship fund to do so to support those who need it.  NMMW is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational corporation, and all donations to the scholarship fund or other activities of the organization are deductible as charitable contributions to the fullest extent of the law.

©Amiel Gervers PhotographyIf you are applying for Scholarship assistance to attend the Gathering, please download NMMW-Scholarship-Req-Form and complete it on your computer (with Adobe Acrobat Reader — use the link below to install it — so that it can be saved and attached to an Email).  To expedite the application process, please send the completed form directly to Jim Connolly via Email to (preferred) or by regular mail to: Jim Connolly, 2932 Brooksmoor Dr. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87121.  Please submit scholarship requests by no later than April 1, 2014.

Photo credits: Tree Photo (top of page) by Roger Harmon.  All other Photos on this page by Amiel Gervers (©Amiel Gervers Photography). Line drawings from Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree”.

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

Click to Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

Men’s Health – Mind, Body, Spirit

The 13th Annual New Mexico Men’s Wellness Spring Retreat.

Photo: Joseph Woods.

Registration is now open for this year’s Spring Retreat, April 11 – 13 at Hummingbird Music Camp just north of Jemez Springs, NM.  Bill Dean is leading the retreat with the Chittak (David Caldwell) serving as co-leader.

Register2OVERVIEW: The focus of this retreat is to address health issues of concern to us guys and to come away with some knowledge and hands-on experience to help us not only to deal with existing problems, but to provide tools for optimizing our wellness at the physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.  This serves effectively to prevent, or at least minimize, dis-ease.  The watchword is empowerment in order to be an active co-creator of your overall well-being.

In his professional life, Bill is an M.D. in General and Family Practice and specializing in preventive and behavioral medicine, emphasizing wellness and alternative therapies.  The retreat will be educational, experiential, and interactive with time for relaxation/play/chillin’ out as well as getting to know or reacquainted with each other and enjoying the camaraderie of brotherhood.

Photo: Joseph Woods

Photo: Joseph Woods

REGISTRATION: The registration form is linked here and includes all information on fees and registration options. Registration is on a first come, first served basis. The number of attendees is historically 20-30 although there is housing to accommodate 40.  Early sign-up is encouraged (and greatly appreciated) to facilitate planning and logistics.  To that end, there will be prizes awarded (given out at the retreat) to the first ten registrations!  We will send some details about location, directions and facilities after your registrations are received.


Photo: Uwe Schroeter

Photo: Uwe Schroeter

SETTING AND LOGISTICS: Hummingbird Music Camp is located in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. We will have the north campus to ourselves:  a large meeting/gathering room, covered outdoor space, and dorm style double rooms.  The main campus, including the dining room where we share our meals with the other guests, is a ten minute walk from our headquarters.  The lively Jemez River runs through the camp, and the nearby forested mountains and dramatic red rock cliffs provide ready opportunities for hiking, bird watching and exploration. Relaxing hot springs are a short drive from the camp.

Meals (included with several registration options) provided by Hummingbird are simple but substantial and begin Saturday morning through noon on Sunday.  For those men choosing to bring their own food for meals, full kitchen facilities (including refrigerator, stove, microwave and coffee makers) are available on site.  There will be a potluck supper Friday evening between 5:00 and 6:30pm before the opening session at 7:00pm.

Photo: Joseph Woods

Photo: Joseph Woods

QUESTIONS?  As always, we welcome all men, including first timers, to the retreat. If you know of someone who might have an interest or could benefit, please direct them to this web page at  or have them contact Bill or Chittak (contact information below). Included here are a printable flyer (that we encourage NMMW members to share with friends and colleagues or post for others to see and read) as well as a downloadable registration form that can be filled out on your computer, printed and sent in with your registration.

If any new men or existing NMMW members have questions about any aspects of the retreat, please contact Bill or Chittak. We would be happy to answer questions and discuss the retreat with them.

A few years ago (in 2011) a blog recording the events of the weekend (with lots of photos) was put together and published on this web site.  We invite any men (particularly new guys) who would like to get an idea of what goes on at a retreat to check it out at:

Photo: Joseph Woods

Photo: Joseph Woods

Looking forward to a fun, friendly, and informative weekend!

Bill Dean
Email: – Phone: 505-983-1120 or 505-757-6765

David “Chittak” Caldwell
Email – Phone: 505-690-3054

LOGISTICAL DETAILS: For those attending the retreat (and those who would like to know a bit more about the Hummingbird facilities and procedures) please click here for a short Acrobat PDF with some logistical details about the weekend (like what to bring, accommodations, etc.).  Retreat leaders will confirm registrations via Email and may send additional material via Email a week or so in advance of the retreat.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is REQUIRED for those who want to fill out and print their registration forms on their computers, and may be downloaded and installed for free by clicking on the graphic below:

Click to Download Adobe Acrobat Reader