The "Wisdom of the Pack" Arrives on the Mountain in October

The Wisdom of the Pack

by Stephen J. Johnson

MCLA Executive Director

Over the years when I speak with someone new to our programs and endeavor to describe what takes place on retreat and then invite him to attend,  I’ve often heard the same refrain, “Thanks, but I’m not a group person.  I’m actually kind of a lone wolf.” 

My response, “You know wolves travel in packs, are very loyal, and mate for life.”  I follow with, “What do you think it would be like to be amongst other lone wolves?  Because, those are the ones who are frequently drawn to our programs, but they don’t tend to realize the importance of having a pack or a tribe until they experience it for themselves.” 

Fortunately, that’s often enough to entice the newcomer to attend, and the rest is history.  You probably know many of these guys, and chances are you may be one of them who joined our community years ago and kept coming back to our retreats.

I’ve got truly exciting news for you!  In addition to our already remarkable retreat program we have just signed on an extraordinary 3-hour community gathering experiential learning module featuring Philip Folsom and Steve Wastell from Fulcrum Leadership Institute (yep, Philip is the same CEO who shepherds our outstanding ropes course programs). The excitement:  A pack (Tribe) of real live wolves (upwards of a half dozen of them) will accompany them.  Read about this part of the retreat below.

Did you know that humans are the most similar behaviorally to wolves?  Yes, we are descendants of the apes but we have a lot to learn from wolves and this retreat will afford the opportunity for you to have that learning, and believe me, it will be memorable.  Please spread the word to others and let them know that this Autumn celebration of 30 years of men’s work, offered through the Men’s Center Los Angeles, will be unforgettable and life changing. 

If you were considering bringing some youngsters with you, if the other elements of the program aren't enough to grab them, this surely will. Stay tuned for a list in the October newsletter for a full list of the many facets of this retreat, a bright diamond in the making.  If you haven’t registered yet, now’s the time. Join the pack!


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Dr. Stephen Johnson is founder and executive director of the Men's Center Los Angeles and leader/wayshower of the The Sacred Path men's retreats for the past 30 years. Click here to register for the 30th Annual Sacred Path Men's Retreat October 20-23, 2016.


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The Wisdom of the Pack arrives on the mountain at MCLA's 30th Annual Sacred Path Men’s Retreat.

Philip Folsom

This new Wolfpack program is Philip Folsom’s newest training module for teams and organizations, a hybrid of his engaging and impactful leadership theory and experiential practical exercises.

MCLA has had great success experiencing Philip’s transformative ropes course trainings during previous retreats on the mountain and this new Wisdom of the Pack module will provide another powerful link in our solid chain of men's retreat excellence on the mountain.  

A Pack (Tribe) of real live wolves will be part of this amazing experience. This is a tangible, tactile, meaningful experience that will change the way you look at life and how best to interact with other people on your path in this world.


The module is built around the acknowledged premise that human beings operate best in tribal systems and that key components of successful tribal structure are based on wolf pack behavior. In short, if we want to recreate a contemporary high performing, fulfilling and healthy tribe we must hack the behavior of the pack.

Wolfpack behavior is scaffolded on a series of interlocking levels that closely model our most successful and tight knit organizations: high performing sports teams, healthy family systems and high end military units.

Each level in the pyramid above functions only on the levels below and until the lower, foundational levels have been established we cannot move on to more advanced behavior.

The first level of Wolfpack Wisdom is Common Vision which is the foundational defining characteristic of both human tribes and wolf packs. It is represented by resource-sharing and working on common projects or causes. This is the breakdown point of many families, teams and organizations. Without the unshakable idea of “Us” as stronger than “I” there can be no successful movement to the next higher level of performance which is Trust.

Trust is the primary component of safety that makes risk-taking possible and unlocks all the levels above including healthy conflict (and resolution), accountability and ultimately team (pack) success.

Philip and Steve Wastell and their team from Fulcrum Leadership have delivered the Wisdom of the Pack to both corporate and therapeutic clients with rave reviews and the highest ratings of any team development program.

Come join us on the mountain for this amazing experience. It may very well change your life in a positive and transformative way. Come join the MCLA pack. All men are welcome. We meet on the mountain October 20th.



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Join the Men's Pack. Register now for the 30th Annual Sacred Path Men's Retreat on the Mountain, October 20-23. Click here to reserve your space.