Friday, October 9 – Monday, October 12 2020
You are welcome to arrive on Friday any time AFTER 3 pm.
Who We Are: Mainely Men has been holding weekend Gatherings for men twice a year since 1981. Through meetings, workshops, ritual, music, discussion groups, food, sports, one-on-one conversations, films, shared work and lectures, we explore both traditional and changing views of masculinity as well as other issues we face as men.
We strive to provide a safe and open environment where we can tell our stories, clarify our goals for our careers, family and relationships and share our problems. We talk about health, jobs, our families, our significant others and children at levels that are not usually available to us in our daily lives. We develop trust and gain a stronger awareness of ourselves and others.
We welcome men of all ages 18 and over of all races, sexual orientations and economic levels and men of all religions or none, from Maine or from away. At Mainely Men you can nurture and be nurtured, heal and be healed, teach and be taught, expand your limits and take risks. Mainely Men offers a supportive place to explore, recognize and celebrate our diversity as men and our uniqueness as individuals.
Facilities: Mainely Men meets at Pilgrim Lodge, a beautiful, secluded and rustic 100-acre setting in West Gardiner, Maine. Cabins sleeping 6-12 men extend along a scenic boardwalk by the shore of Cobbosseecontee Lake. All cabins have screened porches, bunks with mattresses, a wood stove, and bathrooms with hot-water showers. The Old Lodge features large and small meeting rooms, craft room, stone fireplaces, wood stoves, library and a porch with great views of the lake. The lodge and grounds are not totally barrier-free; please ask the Registrar if you have questions about accessibility. We do our best to accommodate men of all abilities.
Registration: Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. We encourage you to register online as early as possible to assist us in our planning. Retreat fees cover the cost of everything we do. If you cannot attend the entire weekend contact the Registrar (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss what options may be available. We will confirm your registration via e-mail.
Newcomers: We provide a special welcome at registration where newcomers can get to know the organization and meet the other participants. Upon arrival look for the welcome desk in the main room of the lodge where you will be greeted by a volunteer who will answer your questions and help you find a cabin. After dinner you are invited to the New Men’s Orientation meeting which will give you an overview of the weekend.
Volunteer Spirit: All the work which makes the weekend happen is done by volunteers. Each participant is encouraged to volunteer for work details (fire wood fetching, clean-up, etc.).
Schedule: All registrants will receive a weekend schedule by e-mail. Also, look for any last-minute updates which will be posted in the lodge.
What to Bring: Warm sleeping bag or bedding, a pillow, warm clothing, shaving kit, towels and a snack to share. You may also want to bring sports equipment, swimwear, musical instruments, sheet music, tapes & CDs, books and articles related to men’s issues, a camera, binoculars, natural history guides and rain gear.
What Not to Bring: Alcohol, drugs, children under 18, and pets other than service animals.
Meals: Hearty meals are prepared by the Pilgrim Lodge staff and are served from dinner on Friday evening through lunch the last day. Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free and other special dietary needs should be indicated on your registration form and we will try to accommodate them. Coffee, tea and snacks are available throughout the weekend.
Opening/Closing Circles: Through introductions and ceremony at opening circle you will learn about the theme of the weekend and get to know something about the other men. Closing circle is your opportunity to share what you’ve learned, say good-bye and network for on-going support in your home area.
Workshops: All workshops are led by participants; we encourage the involvement of any participant as a facilitator. Past workshops have included sweat lodges, divorced dads, photography, knife sharpening, political discussions, acappella singing, men’s health issues and other topics related to men’s lives. If you would like to lead a workshop please indicate that on your registration form with a short description.
Affinity Groups: In addition to scheduled workshops, men often organize informal affinity groups. Past topics have included 12-step work, survivors of abuse, hiking and bird watching. Meet wherever/whenever you like.
Entertainment: On the last evening of the gathering you are invited to a warm, hilarious, sometimes serious evening of entertainment. Any participant may perform a short song, dance, story, skit, musical piece, poetry reading or anything of entertainment value. You are welcome just to sit and enjoy, but if you’ve never performed here’s your chance; you are not likely to have a more receptive, appreciative or supportive audience. At intermission you can enjoy refreshments, take time out for conversation and meet the performers.
Wall of Interests: This is an opportunity to bring something of interest to you that are passionate about when away from Mainely Men. It can be part of a collection, photos, sculpture or any item that would let the men know more about who you are. Please do not bring anything too fragile or valuable as these items will be on display throughout the weekend and we have no way of securing your items overnight.
Music Jam/Dance: After the formal entertainment, men are invited to stay as long as they want for an informal night of drumming, music and dancing. We’ll provide the space if you bring the music and instruments.
Spirituality: The grounds feature a labyrinth in a hemlock forest where you can walk and reflect at any time during the weekend.
Sports and Recreation: The lodge offers athletic fields, hiking trails, volleyball, fishing, Ping-Pong, swimming and canoeing. Bring the gear you need and organize any games you enjoy.
Attendance fees cover all expenses for the weekend and are based on a sliding scale. If this is your first time attending Mainely Men take advantage of our 50% introductory discount.
There are also a limited number of partial scholarships available for returnees; inquire in advance with our Registrar, Bill Walsh at email@example.com .
Please register early to give us a count to plan for our gathering. At the end of the online registration form you may pay on-line or choose to mail in your fee.
If you’re ready to register, let’s go! Register now!