Twice a year, Good Dads brings together community leaders, counselors and therapists, business professionals, faith leaders and lots of others who want to make a difference in the lives of dads and kids. We do this in the form of our bi-annual Training Camp, a week-long curriculum training event to teach folks everything they need to know to lead a Good Dads class and/or support dads in their communities
We’ve gathered frequently asked questions from previous training camp seasons so you can be informed about the upcoming event. Keep reading to find what you need to know:
Question: When is it?
Answer: The training camp is Monday, May 22 through Friday, May 26, 2023. The schedule for the training camp is not yet released, but you should expect lessons to last all day. We typically begin around 8:30 a.m. and pack up for the day around 4:30 p.m.
Q: Where is it?
A: Training Camp is hosted in the heart of Downtown Springfield, Missouri, in classroom space at The Downtown Church, located at 413 E. Walnut Street, on the northeast corner of Walnut and Jefferson.
Q: Do folks attend in-person or virtually?
A: This is an in-person event. We find that the best discussions happen when folks are all in the same room. This is the most effective way for us to teach our courses, and it’s the best way for participants to learn. We are working to expand our training camp options in the future!
Q: What will I learn at the training camp?
A: You have choices. You can learn how to facilitate a group for at-risk dads, get trained to become a captain for elementary schoolers and their dads or learn how to encourage fathers in general through one of our programs. You can either facilitate for dads enrolled in our New Pathways program here in the Ozarks, or you can bring what you learned back to your community and implement the class at your church, in a men’s group, as an HR benefit, etc.
Our qualified Good Dads Presenters go through the curricula chapter-by-chapter to equip you with everything you need to know to facilitate the courses. There’s plenty of time to ask questions, role-play scenarios and otherwise familiarize yourself with the material.
You can sign up to attend training for one or more of the following classes:
Within My Reach by PREP Inc: This 8-part healthy relationships course shows its participants how to strengthen existing relationships or start new relationships on the right foot by teaching valuable skills such as communication, conflict management, emotional intelligence, safety, expectations, commitment, etc. This course is for individuals who may or may not be in a committed romantic relationship. Within My Reach is not to be confused with Within Our Reach, PREP Inc’s healthy relationships course designed for couples.
Good Dads 2.0: Our newest curriculum! Written by the Good Dads team with evidence-based lessons, this responsible fatherhood course uses an extended construction metaphor to illustrate how a father ought to build a safe, stable home for himself and his family. This 15-part course covers a wide breadth of father-centered topics, including communication and co-parenting, respect and responsibility, confidence and reputations, and values and support systems. If you want to start a Good Dads initiative in your area, Good Dads 2.0 is the perfect place to start.
Fundamentals of Fatherhood: This 8-part course will train you in “the essential Good Dads playbook.” This course is designed for all dads and works best in small groups—and it is even being used as an employee benefit in the workplace. FOF uses familiar language and relatable examples common to any sports lover. The curriculum shows dads that raising a family is not unlike coaching a sports team. Through video material, group discussion and engaging activities, the men in your group will discover the best ways to coach their team to a winning season.
Good Dads Strong Schools: This course will show you how to help fathers be more engaged in their children’s education. The 8-part course works especially well in a before-school breakfast setting where dads and kids can spend quality time together, meet others and make lasting memories. The Strong Schools course uses a “low-tech, high touch” approach to promote father-child conversation.
Helping Fathers in the Heartland will help you design and develop a fatherhood initiative of your own in your community. It is a video and discussion-based program that guides its participants through the necessary questions to start a father-focus initiative, such as: What resources, if any, already exist in my area to address the needs of fathers? And How might my organization or community more effectively reach dads? The five-part program is designed for small groups of community stakeholders who are interested in encouraging father engagement.
Q: Does the training camp involve any actual camping?
A: No. The name “Training Camp” is not unlike the summer camps you might have attended in childhood in that you’ll get to meet new people, learn new skills and have a lot of fun! However, our training camp is indoors, and there’s no actual camping, hiking or watersports (though, wouldn’t that be a blast?). Because we bring together father-focused folks from various communities to the Good Dads headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, it’s not uncommon that folks who traveled hours by car or plane to attend stay overnight in the Ozarks to cut down on commute time.
Q: Do I need to bring my own lunch?
A: Light breakfasts, lunches, beverages and refreshments are provided on-site all days of the week. We also host our training camp in the heart of Downtown, within walking distance of dozens of restaurants and cafes. If you have special dietary restrictions, please plan to bring your own food, snacks, beverages, etc.
Q: Can I earn CE’s at the training event?
A: Yes! A total of 35 Continuing Education credits are available for mental health professionals through the American Psychological Association. You’ll need to attend each lesson in full to earn these credits. If you have additional questions about CE’s, contact Good Dads Director of Operations Rhonda Andersen at Rhonda@gooddads.com or 417-501-8867 Ext. 2.
Q: How much does it cost to attend?
A: It depends. You can expect to pay more if you attend all five days of the training camp. It also depends if you intend to buy course materials for yourself alone, or if you’ll need sets for your participants, too. You can see each price on our Flipcause registration page. We also have discounted rates available for groups of five or more. If you and the Good Dads team have arranged for you to facilitate for men enrolled in our New Pathways program, you may be eligible for a discount, too.
Q: I’ve arranged with Good Dads to facilitate in their New Pathways program once I complete the training. Does that mean I’ll get paid?
A: It depends. If you intend to facilitate to New Pathways participants within our contract area, you may be able work with Good Dads and receive hourly pay for your services. If you plan on taking what you learned back to your community to start your own group outside of Good Dads, then you won’t be paid.
Q: What if I don’t want to attend all five days?
A: You can choose your days or come all week; the choice is yours. Each course is discrete, and you will not be required to attend training sessions for classes that you didn't sign up for. To receive a certificate of completion, you must attend all the sessions for a given course, e.g. you can't just attend on Monday for a class we teach on Monday and Tuesday.
Q: I want to attend the training event, but I can’t take off work to be there. What should I do?
A: The bad news: If you can’t attend the training camp in person, you can’t reap the benefits of the energetic and fun learning environment. The good news: We have already secured the dates for our NEXT training camp in November. If you can’t make it this time, we’ll be sorry to miss you—but mark your calendar for November 27–December 1, 2023. That’s the week after Thanksgiving. We hope to see you then!
Q: Will I make friends?
A: Certainly! We pride ourselves on the versatility of our training camp events. Not only are they the best place to catch the Good Dads vision, they’re also premier networking opportunities. You will sit with small groups but have the chance to get up and collaborate with others as well as we go through the material. Breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks are also perfect times to mingle.
Q: What do I need to bring?
A: A positive attitude! Business casual dress code is recommended but not required. Please refrain from wearing clothing with vulgar language, offensive logos or images.
Good Dads provides writing materials and print-outs, but some of our trainees also take notes in their own notebooks. You may also want to bring cash if you’ve had your eyes on Good Dads merchandise, like our T-shirts, Mason jars, tumblers or hats.
Q: After I finish training, what happens next?
A: You’ll receive a certificate of completion, and then you’ll be ready to facilitate! You can bring what you learned back to your community to start your own men’s group, or you can collaborate with Good Dads to facilitate a class here in the Ozarks with men enrolled in our program.
Q: What if I have more questions?
A: We would be happy to answer your questions. You can either email Good Dads Director of Operations Rhonda Andersen at Rhonda@gooddads.com OR call 417-507-8867 Ext. 2.
Find out even more about the event on the training camp landing page on our website.