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Men's Stories


Insights from Past Participants

"I first attended the North Coast Men’s Gathering out of curiosity. I keep coming back for the deep connections to men who inspire

me to live a more open and authentic life."

- Brandon R.

"The men, the place, the myth;
it's all true to me. I love the real brotherhood we practice, the Mattole Valley is magnificent, as is the magic that unfolds during the gathering."

-Timotek (Serial Attendee)

(Coming Soon!)




"A few years ago, amidst the turmoil of my divorce, I struggled with indiscretion, lack of courage, and communication failures. With my community destroyed and confidence shattered, I realized the need for more accountability, honesty, and true connection with others. To my surprise, I found these at the North Coast Men's Gathering. From this space I've cultivated profound, fulfilling relationships where I can be seen and available to witness, unlike any I've experienced in my 40 years, including those within my immediate family.

I felt like I had connected more with some men in a weekend than I had with most of the men in the entirety of my life. The NCMG community continues to serve me daily in my quests for growth and understanding, especially in shadowed areas like sexuality and spirituality. In less than a year since my first Gathering, I've been deeply inspired and have willingly carved out precious time from my busy life to help put on next year's event."

- Ian J.

"Remembering my first NCMG in 2008, my initial reluctance to integrate with 40 strangers was immediately quelled by the grounded and present leadership of the men guiding the weekend. Smooth beginnings lead to great connections with a diverse age range of awesome men from Humboldt County and beyond, enriched by workshops, meals, ritual, meaningful conversations and play. Each NCMG leaves me inspired by its theme and activities, embraced by the community of men.


Fifteen years on, many of those same brothers remain integral to my core friend group. Over the years, I've also introduced my sons to the nurturing environment of NCMG, beautiful Mattole riverside, forested location and tailored activities for kids. One year, my initially hesitant 80-year-old father arrived resistant, but found himself pleasantly surprised by the experience. Dad’s final comment at he end of the gathering, with a smile, was “Well, that was different!” NCMGs do offer a uniquely “different” and enriching experience for men and will forever hold a special place in my heart."

- Steiny

"Attending the NCMG was one of the best decisions I made in 2023. It has led to multiple friendships that I continue to cultivate, to a men's group, and to a greater sense of community with men doing inner work. I feel empowered and renewed as I continue to learn through the diversity and interconnection this Gathering has to offer. I am deeply grateful for these opportunities!"

- Neil Jefferson

"The NCMG isn't just an event, it's a transformative journey that has deeply impacted my life. From my inaugural hesitant inklings to then forming profound connections with incredible, cognizant men, each gathering has been a testament to the power of community and self-discovery. Though I've only attended two so far, I've witnessed not only my own growth, but the growth and lasting bonds forged with brothers who have become an intrinsic part of my life. Whether it's the inspiring workshops that ignite the spirit, the heartfelt conversations, or the breathtaking natural setting, every moment at NCMG resonates with authenticity and connectivity that is truly palpable. This event is an unparalleled experience that continues to shape me and hold a special spot in my heart."

- Carson L.

"Greetings men who have attended or are thinking about doing so. My experiences with the NCMG go back 15 years. I showed up wounded from a broken marriage seeking wisdom and counsel. All these years later I come with wisdom, excitement, and desire to hear the experiences and heart-felt sharing the Gathering provides opportunity for, and to provide counsel to those who desire it. I’ve made many dear friends through these gatherings and recommend it to anyone"

- Mark Neff

"The North Coast Men’s Gathering is one of those things that has literally changed my life. I attended in 2017 out of a recommendation from my female therapist and a desire to connect more meaningfully with other caring men so I wouldn’t feel alone. I was scared of the unknown and discomfort of doing “weird“ things, but I was pleasantly accepted by others. I was met with kindness, curiosity, encouragement, and compassion from men and boys ages 2-80 which helped me be kinder and more loving to myself. It was when I noticed myself smiling more than I was used to while dancing, looking into another man’s eyes, swimming in the Mattole River, sharing vulnerably around the fire, etc. that I realized my happiness was authentic and I wanted more of it. Being an athlete most of my life this redefined what male camaraderie looks like for me without drugs, alcohol, competition, or complaining.
My courage to attend has led to me joining a Men's group that became a group of brothers and I’ve been participating and facilitating at the North Coast Men’s Gathering every year since. After now participating in and facilitating Men's work across the country and world, I return because of how special and unique the North Coast Men’s Gathering is as a grass roots retreat that is financially accessible and tactfully facilitated. I hope you join us.

- Kyle Jason Leitzke

"This Gathering has meant much more to me than I can put into words.  These men were with me when I came to the campfire with the ashes of my godfather Jerry, the man who gave me the 'father milk' of unquestioning love and compassion, and a place to live when my birth father couldn't.  They were with me as I gave his remains to the fire, and held me in their arms as I howled and wept in grief.  For 30 years I've been coming coming to this place by the river, sometimes sad, sometimes joyful, always welcome.  Can't really ask for more than that."

- Bob Olofson

"For years I had heard of the NCMG from a couple close friends that had attended in the past. The thought of the Gathering always intrigued me with curiosity for attending, but I was never able due to a yearly event I worked Memorial Day weekend. One year, the event was canceled which allowed space for me to attend The NCMG. I’m not going to lie, I had extreme hesitation about attending. That hesitation showed up in the form of fear, doubt and unworthiness. "Why would I want to go and hang out with men I don’t know, and why would they want to hang out with me?" There was a side of me that didn’t understand what indescribable value a man can gain by witnessing and sharing their authentic self. The Gathering’s natural setting, removed from societal distractions, allows for men to create a safe container where one can express one's truth. It is a concentrated and accelerated way to meet authentic men looking to enrich their potential and build bonding relationships and new friendships. It has made me realize how connected all of us men are. Our collective journey, though different, is very similar. I gained beneficial knowledge, inspiration and self empowerment by being a witness and also taking part. I now prioritize The NCMG over any other Memorial Day weekend event. I even enjoyed it so much that I volunteered to be a planner for the Gathering! I hope to meet you there as your authentic self!"

- Justin Hardy

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