Meeting 4-2
Focus: Planning a Trip together

The basic structure of this meeting is the same as Meeting 1.1 - refer back for more information.

Some issues may have come up during check-in that the group may wish to spend more time on rather than moving straight into the 'focus'; or perhaps some issue is still to be dealt with from the previous week. When it is appropriate the leader moves the group into the main focus for this meeting.


The focus for this meeting is to explore planning a trip together

At some point, someone in the group will think it's a good idea for the men to consider planning a trip together, and may even have a particular idea in mind. This can be an excellent way for the men in the group to get to know each other better (and themselves).

For the group to reach this point, it will probably be fairly comfortably established, the men will be used to each other, and perhaps won't be 'stretching' themselves very much in their regular meetings. It is quite easy to wear a 'mask' for 2 or 3 hours once a week, ie modify our behaviour to fit the expected standard (we all do this as a coping mechanism in any environment we enter, unless we are aware enough to see ourselves doing this, and confront that behaviour, and are strong enough to chart our own course in spite of what others expect…). However, over a longer period of time (a trip together) there is the real possibility of the real man leaking through and the masks coming off - as the tension builds internally to say what you really think and are experiencing/feeling.

On a trip together, not only do we have the shared experience (and hopefully some fun!), but we also have the opportunity to go deeper into self-knowledge and self-revelation, and probably conflict-resolution!

Exercises

  1. Are we ready to plan a trip together?
  2. Do we want to start small, then build from there? ie an evening trip (same evening as meeting or another night that is convenient for all?) - perhaps a specific event - a lecture/workshop - or social or sporting event?
  3. Is there a special event that someone would like to 'promote' as a good group opportunity?
  4. Is there a cost involved? Is it restrictive for some men? How can we finance it?
  5. What about a day-long 'adventure' type event eg river rafting? What are risks involved?
  6. What about week-end or 3-day retreat? - Perhaps a men's gathering. Is one happening soon? Who's putting it on? Perhaps you can find your own facilitator?
  7. Maybe it starts by finding a secluded spot on a beach, or in a wood, or somewhere in nature? Does someone know a place? What about going looking for one - and making it happen?
  8. Who is open to it? Who is a maybe? Who is out? Is it something we can/want to all do together? What are the restrictions? Risk? Time? Money? Other obligations? How can we make it happen?

Follow-up Exercises after a trip together

  1. Share your experiences and feelings you had during the trip. What did you learn?
  2. Is there any correspondence to past trips you have had? Any insights?
  3. Are you able to own what came up for you? Did any other man experience it that way?
  4. How much of what came up for you was a judgement of another man? Why? Did it remind you of a past experience?
  5. How much of that trip were you being spontaneously you? How much did you just let yourself go? - Why? - How did it feel? What did you stop yourself from doing? - Why? - How did that feel?