Built for More is paced for real life. After a month-long Preparation Period, you’ll reserve a week at both the beginning and the end for an outdoor immersion. In between these two expeditions, the online modules take only a few hours a month. Still, this work sticks with you—you’ll find yourself pondering the topics during downtime and discussing with the rest of your cohort in between lessons.
Phase 1: Initial Fishing Experience
Wherever you are in life, the Initial Fishing Experience (FX) gives you a break from it—and that strengthens you to make meaningful changes. In this weeklong journey, nature inspires, recreation grants perspective, and newfound comrades buoy your spirits, solidifying intentions and recruiting accountability buddies for the road ahead
Learn a new skill that provides a safe haven for your mind and spirit—for life
Find even deeper meaning in your service, and consider the future with distance and new perspective
Discover or renew your relationship to nature as a source of relaxation and clarity
Grow trust and spark lifelong, mutually supportive healthy friendships
Phase 2: Discovery Phase
Invigorated from the Initial Fishing Experience (FX), you’ll begin the Discovery Phase. Over six to twelve months online, you’ll video conference with your small cohort and facilitator, working together through concepts geared to recalibrate your life’s trajectory. Informed by experts and supported by your cohort, you’ll follow our structured process to build your version of a better life from the ground up.
Cement habits to improve your health in every area—mind, body, and spirit
Refine strategies to meet and exceed your basic needs so you can focus on personal growth
Build deeper community within your cohort, creating a support team for ongoing improvement
Identify your meaningful purpose and create a plan to actualize it
Phase 3: Capstone Fishing Experience (FX)
Once again, your cohort unites—and in each other, you’ll see the changes. More alive, more grounded, and more connected to what (and who) matters most, transformed Warriors gather in nature to honor the journey and commit wholly to the path ahead. It’s the last phase of Built for More—and the first phase of your recalibrated life.
Reunite with your cohort face to face, solidifying your new second family of support
Relax into nature, refreshing your sense of possibility
Sharpen your skills for maintaining healthy outdoor pursuits at home
Celebrate the hard work and the big changes together, growing your conviction to keep leveling up
Outlined below are the phases of Built for More.
In a monthlong online Preparation Period, you’ll meet your facilitator and cohort, take a deeper look at the program ahead, learn the ropes of the format, and engage with introductory content.
After arriving in Bozeman, Montana, on Day One, you’ll travel to Quiet Waters Ranch for a top-of-the-line outfitting from Simms Fishing (yours to keep) and meet your fellow Warriors in person. On Day Two, you’ll begin building skills on a private pond, working up to Montana’s stunning trout streams on Day Three and Four. After each rewarding day, you’ll feel your shoulders relax over home-cooked meals with plenty of downtime (and a small kickoff to the Discovery Phase) before leaving on Day Five as a member of the Warrior family.
The Discovery Phase takes place online, with monthly video conferences that cover a six-step process to moving beyond current challenges and into fresh fulfilling ones. While the time commitment is small—just a few hours a month—the work is transformative. At every meeting, you’ll find yourself evolving alongside your cohort, each building on individual journeys. You’ll have plenty of support through this, from both other Warriors going through similar struggles, and your facilitator.
The biggest difference between the Initial FX and the Capstone FX? You. At this five-day outdoor immersion, you’ll re-meet your cohort, celebrating the healthy changes and committing to the ones ahead. Meanwhile, you’ll hone fly-fishing skills, sharpening them for a lifetime of soul-quieting outdoor recreation. While there’s a Sayonara dinner, this isn’t goodbye—Warriors are welcomed back for alumni programs and volunteering opportunities.
Yes, Quiet Waters Ranch is accessible for people with disabilities. We work to accommodate all disabilities to the fullest extent possible. Our staff, guides, and volunteers are well-versed at accommodating various types of disabilities and conditions (including those who are visually and audibly impaired) to ensure a positive and rewarding experience.
Applications to apply for one of these programs will be available winter of 2022. Historically, Warrior Alumni have been able to email our program team, and we ask that you use this application for all future programs.
Yes. WQW has a service dog acknowledgment and agreement that allows service dogs to go fishing with participants.
Built for More is our foundation now—a richer, fuller program that can foster even more powerful results than our shorter outdoor immersions. Once you’ve gone through Built for More, you can take part in shorter alumni programs, but first time Warriors must complete Built for More first.
Nature, respite, and camaraderie are key motivators in making the big changes this program encourages, so the in-person outdoor excursions are required. Many of us are veterans ourselves and understand hesitation to travel for various reasons. Please reach out so we can do whatever is in our power to make this trip possible for you.
Yes! Everything from clothing to equipment is yours to keep. Our goal is to set you up with everything you need so you can continue to tap into your new skills independently without gear as a barrier.
No, you DO NOT have to be a Purple Heart recipient to qualify for our programs.
Let us be the judge—we have many years of experience carefully choosing participants who we predict can get the most out of our programs. We also have multiple Built for Mores happening at the same time and enable hundreds of participants to complete our programs each year
First—are you a post-911 combat veteran who deployed to a combat theater and engaged with or were engaged by enemy forces in the post-9/11 era? Secondly, do you feel stuck or ready to make a major change in your life—even if you don’t know what it is? If the answer to both is yes, apply. Our program is designed to meet you where you are in every sense, even if it’s different from where others in your cohort may be.
Currently, we get more applications than we can accept, and we choose those who we think can benefit most from our programs. Good fits who aren’t chosen this round will be waitlisted for future programs. These applicants will be the first to hear when there are new openings.
WQW has an active zero alcohol policy on all experiences.
Built for More discusses spiritual fitness, not religion. Essentially, there’s space in our program to incorporate any spiritual practices that contribute to your growth. We do not take or encourage any particular religious stance (including being religious at all), and we ask that you respect religious differences across your cohort.
Absolutely. WQW strives to build long-term relationships with our participants and we are always looking to have you return for more experiences or as a volunteer. However, Warriors who attend their first experience are not guaranteed an invitation to return for future programs.
Yes, there is wifi and cell phone service at the ranch so that participants can connect with their loved ones as needed while they’re away. However, the ranch is an ideal place to take a break from your devices and reconnect with yourself and your community. We highly recommend being fully present as much as possible for this one-of-a-kind experience.
While we relied on experts to develop our program, it is completely non-clinical and non-medical. That said, we support Warriors in getting all the care they need, and you’ll continue your existing care during the program. If therapy or psychiatric care is something you choose to start during the program, we’re happy to make recommendations for veteran-focused organizations.
The program is designed to be challenging in the right ways, at a reasonable pace. If you can commit to the two weeks of travel and six months to a year of spending a few hours a month on yourself, you can do this.
If you’re facing something exceptionally tough, please let us know in the application. In many cases, we’ve worked through it before. Sometimes, we know another organization that could be a better resource.
These proven expeditions are still the bookends to Built for More—but now, there’s an essential new program in between. Over the years, Warriors were impressed with how these reflective outdoor adventures could serve as a turning point in their lives but requested more guidance for making long term changes. Built for More answers that call with a structured, expert-driven program that still relies heavily on those original excursions.
There are still a number of shorter specialty programs for alumni, but all first-time Warriors now start with Built for More.
Built for More is a program we developed ourselves, rooted in in-depth research, evidence-based expertise in wellness and psychology, and our own years of experience. It’s structured to be challenging, but not overwhelming, as you dive into self-exploration, identify areas of growth, and develop healthy habits. You can expect elements of video, facilitated group discussion, reflection, and skill development exercises.
WQW programs are at no cost to the participant including paid-for air travel to Montana, comfortable lodging and home-cooked meals, professional instruction, and gear for trip’s activities.
Built for More programs launch throughout the year and are timed around the best outdoor conditions. When you apply, we’ll work with you to figure out where you fit in best. Sometimes, this means the program moves more quickly over six months, or a bit more slowly over a year. In every case, it’s doable.
For this proof-of-concept run of Hunt for Purpose, WQW opened applications to WQW program alumni in January 2022. Five participants were selected for the first cohort of Hunt for Purpose. Applications will open again in winter of 2022 for the second cohort of this new program.
All applications and service documents are thoroughly reviewed for qualifying criteria by our Program Team.
Selection for a WQW program is NOT GUARANTEED even if all program criteria are met. Selection is at WQW’s discretion and we appreciate your understanding.
Our experiences are for post-9/11 combat veterans and their loved ones who are looking for a new way to connect, grow, explore purpose, and thrive.
While our application is open to all post-9/11 combat veterans, our selection process strives to select and place applicants with the greatest need. Even if all selection criteria are met, selection for our programs (first-time and Alumni programs) is solely at the discretion of Warriors & Quiet Waters. Requirements for selection include:
Must be a Post-9/11 Combat Veteran
Must provide a DD214 Member-4 copy and current photos
If active duty, current service record will be requested
If you are a caregiver, we require the above information on your care recipient
Must be committed to positive growth
Must be willing to engage in a supportive group environment
Currently, we’re focused on making our programs richer and more effective for the same number of veterans annually. For now, we aim to grow in impact, not size, working hard to offer transformative experiences to roughly 300 veterans a year.