Our Mission Statement

To implement a Christian-based wilderness program through which teenaged boys advance on their journey in becoming capable, Christ-centered men. Through the experiences of wilderness canoeing, deer hunting and winter adventures along with biblical discussions about masculinity, teens will obtain outdoor skills, confidence, and an understanding of what a Christian man is.

canoe in a lake near sunset

What We Do

We introduce teenage boys to wilderness adventure, teaching them outdoor skills and discussing Christian masculinity through the following trips:

  • Wilderness canoeing in Boundary Waters, Minnesota
  • Deer hunting in Colorado
  • Winter adventure/survival skills in northern Minnesota

On these trips, biblically-based discussions are held to help these young men begin to answer the following questions:

  • What does it mean to be a man?
  • How do I become one?
  • What are the right things that a woman needs from a godly man?
  • How do I become truly alive?

Who We Serve

We’re seeking boys ages 12-17 with an active Christian life (such as regularly attending a Christian church, youth group, youth camps, etc.) who are one of the following:

  • Boys without an active father figure in their life
  • Boys who do have a father figure but the man needs help teaching the boy outdoor skills or discussing Christian masculinity

men gather round a harvested doe

man ice fishes

Our Principles and Core Beliefs

  • Outdoor skills result in increased confidence and capability
  • Mentorship – Boys need a guide in the journey to manhood
  • Masculinity is bestowed by a man or a group of men (from the book, “Wild At Heart” by John Eldredge)
  • Men have God-ordained roles (from the book, “4 Pillars of A Man’s Heart” by Stu Weber)


The journey to manhood is fraught with mistaken information, values, and actions. On any wilderness experience that’s new, having a guide to show the way is critical. Our trips pair each teen with a mentor. Mentors preferably are the teen’s father figure, be they biological or family friend. Teens needing a mentor will be provided one (please contact us for information on the detailed background check/vetting process used in selecting mentors).

How Your Financial Support is Used

Of Mountains & Men is dedicated to making your donations directly impact the young men in need. Your tax-deductible contribution is gratefully used in several ways:

  • Equipment purchases (canoes, tents, portage packs, muzzleloaders, heaters, snowshoes, etc.)
  • Permits/campgrounds
  • Food

Of Mountains & Men is an IRS-certified 501c3. Our Board of Directors adheres to the organization’s By Laws.

Joel Tuning
Youth Group Outreach

Joel’s the father of 6 children, including three foster kids whom he and his wife Amy felt the Lord calling them to adopt. He’s a career firefighter with many years of hunting and fishing experience, including several adventurous years in Alaska. Joel’s guided youth to success on previous ministry hunts and is passionate about serving youth.

Paul Woodard

Paul and his wife Megan have two young children. Paul served his country in the US Army as an Infantryman, including a combat tour in Afghanistan. A veteran of several Boundary Waters canoe and hunting trips, Paul recently graduated with a degree in Forestry.

Joel Ruse
Strategic Outreach

Joel, a husband to Molly, father to two boys and follower of Jesus, thrives on spending time in God’s great outdoors where he finds refreshment while hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and gardening. Joel has spent a great deal of his life serving children and youth through various ministries and church groups. Joel believes that God created humans with a deep need for adventure but we must fight to make the time for it.

Jesse Simmons
Prayer Lead/Special Projects

Jesse and his wife Hannah have dedicated their lives to helping others. Hannah’s a midwife and Jesse specializes in taking care of the elderly with physical and mental challenges. The father of 3 young children, Jesse’s the veteran of several wilderness canoeing trips.

Mark Denooy
Board Member

Mark DeNooy and his wife Nance have 3 adult children and 3 grandchildren.  Mark serves as the Adult Discipleship Pastor at Grace Chapel in Englewood, Co.  He grew up camping, backpacking and hiking in the Mountains of Colorado and has been an avid big game and waterfowl hunter for many years.   Mark and Nance both love being out in creation, not to worship it, but instead to get a bigger glimpse, appreciation, and understanding of The Creator Himself!  Revelation 5:13