New fathers and fathers-to-be have another resource in Maine to help them prepare for the adventure of parenthood. Maine Boys to Men recently announced a partnership with Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick and will start offering a program dubbed “Boot Camp for New Dads.” The “for males only” program is designed to teach the fathers about different parenting styles.

Maine Boys to Men is a Portland-based organization working to support the “happy, healthy, nonviolent development of boys and those who help raise them.” Staff work with parents, teachers, coaches, boys and girls to teach empathy, tolerance, respect, leadership and critical thinking.

According to a news release about the program, Maine Boys to Men has held the same type of boot camp style classes at Mercy Hospital and Maine Medical Center for the past six years helping 1,300 new fathers in the Portland-area.

Organizers hope the workshop teaches fathers about parenting styles they may not have been exposed to as children and encourages them to remain equal participants in their children’s upbringing. They also want fathers to think about what types of attitudes and behaviors they want to impart on their children.

One father, quoted in a news release about the program, said he walked away from the classes with a “new outlook” on what lay ahead.

“I knew that even though my history wouldn’t provide me with much to draw on, I could still be an amazing father to my son and an equal partner in raising him with my wife, as long as I was willing to put in the hard work,” the father-to-be said.

Similar programs have been offered in the Bangor area by Penquis Maine Families since 2004. The Bangor workshops average six to 12 attendees per session and are offered at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

For more information or to discuss bringing a Boot Camp for New Dads program to a hospital near you, call Katherine Doughty at Maine Boys to Men at 774-9994 or email

Natalie Feulner

Natalie Feulner is a journalist and “semi-crunchy” cloth diapering momma to a rambunctious toddler named after a county in California. She drinks too much tea and loves to climb rocks but not at the...