Frequently asked questions

What Makes The YMUW Program Unique?

The main thing to know about YMUW is that it’s a lot of FUN and there’s always great food. Your son will participate in sports competitions, ceremonies, open forum discussion groups, yoga, obstacle courses, drum circles, martial arts, community service projects and make hip hop beats. The entire agenda is designed to enhance your son’s teamwork abilities, leadership skills and personal growth.

We’re unique in that we exceed the California Mentoring Foundation’s guidelines by having a 1:1 ratio of well-trained mentors to young men so that your son is well supported to become better prepared for the challnges of adulthood. Away from the influence of his parents and society, your son will be supported by our devoted, well-trained mentors to discover who he really is, and how he needs to show up in life in order to be happy, responsible and resilient.

What Type Of Young Man Does the YMUW Focus On?

This program is for all young males, age 13 - 20, whether they "have it together" or are “figuring it out”. Programs like ours are often mis-perceived for being valuable to troubled - youth only. At YMUW we believe that all youth, male or female, are "at risk" of failing to learn how to adapt to the challenges of young adulthood – especially in this era of digital dominance and consumer commercialism.

The truth of the matter is that almost all adolescent young men are deeply concerned about their future well-being. Our experience with thousands of young men - just like your son - tells us that they have similar fears about how they're going to be independently happy and successful.

Our graduates, regardless of their social, economic, academic or athletic backgrounds, leave their Weekend accountable for their lives and ready for the challenges of the adult world.

Who Can I Speak to So I Can Learn More About YMUW?

If you want to speak with someone directly by phone, call our toll free number,

(800) 719-9302, or email us at:

Why Is There A Workshop For Parents At The Same Time Our Sons Attend The YMUW?

It’s not reasonable for parents to think that by just sending their sons to a weekend initiation, they're going to become more responsible and resilient young men overnight. Parents need to know how to support the natural individuation process of their sons, otherwise they'll actually be perpetuating more conflict in the house. When parents attend this workshop, the entire family will enjoy an immediate improvement in their relationships.

This workshop, led by YMUW founder, Dr. Mark Schillinger, is endorsed by YMUW and is called, “Raising Your Son to Be Happy, Responsible & Resilient - Without Nagging, Yelling, or Punishing”. It shows parents how to skillfully use their authority and influence to “challenge’, or activate, their son’s natural masculine wisdom so that he overcomes the distractions of digital devices and becomes motivated to be more responsible for his own well-being.

The parents learn the same family unity technology that we teach their sons at the YMUW. This allows the parents to speak to their sons in a language that actually motivates them to do the right things.

This weekend intensive shows parents practical techniques that work in the toughest situations with their sons, including drugs, sex, schoolwork, lying, stealing, addiction to video games, irresponsibility and entitlement. Parents leave the workshop knowing how to increase the trust, cooperation and love with theirs sons.

Most importantly, parents will be in a community of other parents who will bring their practical insight to the issues you may be struggling with.

Do I Have to Attend the Parent Workshop If My Son Is Attending YMUW?

It’s unrealistic to expect your home to become more caring and cooperative just by having your son attend his YMUW adventure camp rite of passage initiation. When parents attend this workshop, the entire family will benefit from having the same skills that foster mutual respect and trust.

That said, it’s not mandatory for parents to attend the parent workshop. Conversely, parents can attend the parent workshop if their son is not attending the YMUW.

What If My Son is Not Interested in Attending the YMUW?

In this technological era of digital dominance, many young adults have become stressed by the “need” for instant gratification. This can result in teens who become over-empowered, mis-directed or dis-respectful. Most young men are not excited about attending a wilderness adventure camp where they have to leave their computer, iPod, cell phone or TV at home.

If your son may be resistant to attending the YMUW, click here to read more about how to support your son to attend.

If my son likes the YMUW, can he attend again?

Absolutely yes! We’ve had a few graduates attend three and four times! More importantly, after a young man graduates from two weekends, he's eligible to serve on production with the adult males. This is the key opportunity for the young man to learn how to focus his abilities to become more independent. We've had many young men serve on production and then go on to increase their responsibilities at the weekend by assuming key leadership positions.

Do you recommend that my son attend the YMUW alone or with friends?

The main thing is to get him there whether his friends go or not. If he does go with friends this will be an experience they will not likely forget and will share for the rest of their lives. We've had young men attend YMUW and then return to attend again, bringing their friends with them.

Which supplies will my son need in order to attend the Weekend?

Once you register your son to attend the Ultimate Weekend, you’ll be sent a complete list of supplies your son will need in order to be properly prepared.

Basically, your son will need to pack basic camping supplies including a sleeping bag and a backpack for toiletries and clothing. If he has any special medication he'll need to bring that. He will not need to bring food or a tent.

After My Son Attends The YMUW What Services Are Available For Him?

Most people who participate in an intensive weekend retreat are unable to remember or implement everything that they learned. The same is true for young men who’ve attended the Ultimate Weekend.

In order to keep your son focused on the life lessons he learned at the YMUW, we strongly recommend your son continue working with us by attending one, or both, of these programs:

RIGHT Skills Program for Young Men - The purpose of this five week program is to mentor your son to help him develop his personal, social, financial and academic skills. Each session includes brief lectures, open forum discussion, role–playing exercises, fun, physical movement, and healthy snacks. For more information contact Dr. Mark Schillinger, DC, YMUW co-founder, at (415) 785 – 8818 or

Click here for flyer

Young Men’s Mentoring Team – The purpose of this program is to mentor your son to set goals and learn how to be accountable. Each session also includes boxing workouts, where your son learns how to push through his barriers and develop discipline.

For more information contact Richard Platt, LMFT, past YMUW President, at (415) 760 – 8541 or

Click here for flyer

If I Live Out of Town, Can I Send My Son Without Travelling Myself?

Parents have sent their son to the YMUW without making the trip themselves. In the past, parents who did not make the trip either arranged to have their family or friends handle the transportation plans, or made arrangements with the YMUW Event Manager to get their son to the event. Call (800) 719-9302 for details.

Contact Us

Dr. Mark Schillinger, D.C., is both the Executive Director of the Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend, Inc (YMUW), and the sole owner of Challenging Teenage Sons, Inc (CTS). This notice is in compliance with California Non-profit Law (section 5000) and the California Business and Professions Code (Sections 5230 through 5239, and Section 10133) and applies to any activities coordinated between YMUW and CTS.

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