Retreat FAQs

Retreat FAQs

COURTING EROS: LOVE, LUST, AND LONELINESS, February 21-23, 2020, Camp Whittier, Santa Barbara, CA

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW DO I GET TO CAMP WHITTIER?

Directions to Camp Whittier

  • Please note that a GPS does not give good directions using the camp address.
  • Entering “Camp Whittier” in google maps will take you to correct location

From 101 South of Santa Barbara: 

Take 154 (to Lake Cachuma) – travel 17 miles then turn left (the turn is after you see the brown Lake Cachuma Recreation Area sign) – there is a small left turn lane – go to the right of the mailboxes – continue straight and turn right at the T – go up the hill and veer to the left to go straight to the office for check-in.

From 101 North of Santa Barbara: 

Take 154 – from traffic circle at 246/154 intersection, travel approx. 7 miles then turn right (the turn is after the Lake Cachuma Recreation Area) – go to the right of the mailboxes – continue straight and turn right at the T – go up the hill and veer to the left to go straight to the office for check-in.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS RETREAT?

We have been on this journey from boy to man to elder for a long time. We have been addressing the boy’s wounds, seeking to live into sturdy male identity, and reaching for the elder that we all have the potential to become.

Now we want to celebrate the work we have done and invite new brothers into the fold. We offer to those men who will join us the opportunity to deepen into the most beautiful aspects of themselves and celebrate them with a group of full-hearted brothers.

This retreat will dwell in the sacred energy of Eros, an energy that is filled with beauty, imagination, and emotion.  We intend to explore what brings us into relationships, what keeps us in them, and what happens when relationships fall apart and end.  We are excited to embark on this exploration and hope that the men who join us will share their experience of the mystery of longing for and being involved with a loved one.

WHO ARE TOM MCGEE AND RICHARD PALMER?

Tom McGee and Richard Palmer are dedicated to helping men develop the wisdom and maturity that is their potential. We have been working with men in groups and individually for several decades, assisting them in growing into healthy relationships and fulfilling lives. “Voyage into Masculine Soul” is the culmination of all of our work.

Tom is a skilled psychotherapist known for his compassion and creativity in helping people through dream work, men’s work, and post-trauma work. His life-changing retreats for men are transformational not only for the men who attend, but for the very special women in their lives.

Richard has also touched many lives as a counselor and minister for the past twenty years. He is very committed to supporting the spiritual needs of men, and has re-introduced the tradition of initiation to many groups to facilitate personal, family, and community healing.

WHAT IS YOUR FEE AND CANCELLATION POLICY?

The retreat fee is $575 for the weekend. This includes food and lodging. We ask that you commit to the retreat by paying a minimum of a $175.00 non-refundable deposit if you are registering before 1/25/20. The remainder of the registration fee of $575.00 is due by 2/14/20. If you cancel before 1/25/20, all fees except the $175.00 deposit may be returned. After 1/25/20, there are no refunds if you cancel. If the retreat is cancelled, we will refund all payments, minus a $25 administrative fee.

SCHOLARSHIPS:
Scholarships are given on a case by case basis. If you want to request a scholarship, please contact Tom McGee or Richard Palmer.

WHO MAY ATTEND THIS RETREAT?

Any man over 18 years old with a desire to grow more fully into his manhood, develop his abilities in dealing with emotions, and participate in relating to other men with similar interests.

HOW MANY MEN WILL BE THERE?

The group will be kept to a maximum of 25. We will not hold the retreat unless there are at least 15 participants.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN DURING THE RETREAT WEEKEND?

This retreat continues the work entitled, “Voyage into Masculine Soul.” Together we will:

Celebrate the experiences and feelings we hold in common. We will leaven this experience with poetry, storytelling, guided exercises, discussion, and ceremony. We will work to bring out the best in each man and have it honored by the other men. There will be comeraderie, support, humor, and deepening. We will reach toward brotherhood and community throughout the weekend.

IS THERE CONFIDENTIALITY AT THIS RETREAT? WILL MY PRIVACY BE RESPECTED?

Each man at the retreat is required to keep confidentiality. Nothing said or done by others at the retreat is to be reported elsewhere out of respect for each participant’s privacy.

WHEN DOES THE MEN’S RETREAT START AND END?

Please arrive at Camp Whittier at 5:00 pm on Friday, February 21.  Dinner will be at 6 pm.  The retreat will begin promptly at 7:30 pm. We will end at noon on Sunday, February 23.

IS THERE A SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES?

The schedule is ROUGHLY as follows:

FRIDAY

5:00 pm – arrive at Camp Whittier

6:00 pm–dinner

7:30 pm – retreat begins – introductory remarks

8:00 pm – introductions

8:30 pm – group process

10:00 pm – close for the night, bedtime

SATURDAY

8:00 am – breakfast

9:30 am – group progress

12:00 pm – lunch

1:30 pm –group process

4:00 pm – alone time to ponder, reflect, and prepare for evening ceremony,

6:00 pm – dinner

6:30 pm – ceremony – courting Eros

8:00 pm – feast and toasting

11:00 pm – bedtime

SUNDAY

8:00 am – breakfast

9:30 am – group process

11:00 am – group honoring and blessing

12:00 N – closing and departure

ARE MEALS PROVIDED?

We will provide dinner on Friday, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday. There will be non-meat alternatives. Please let us know if you have any special food requirements.

WHAT ABOUT ALCOHOL?

Alcohol is not to be brought or consumed during the retreat. An exception is during the feast on Saturday night. A small amount of wine will be provided for toasting. Non-alcohol alternatives will be offered to those who wish to participate in the toasting but do not want to consume any alcohol.

WHAT ABOUT DRUGS?

No drugs will be used or consumed other than participants’ prescription medication that they bring with them.

ARE THERE SHOWERS AT THE RETREAT CENTER?

Showers are available. Please bring your own soap, shampoo, and towel.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE RETREAT?

Please bring clothes for both warm and cool weather. We plan to be outdoors some of the time, including Friday and Saturday night.

Please bring a flashlight for walking on the grounds at night in case you need it during activities or to go to your car for something.

Also, please bring the following items:

Sleeping bag and pillow. We will be sleeping on bunks in rustic cabins.
Snacks that do not need to be refrigerated.
Water bottle.
Journal or notebook and pen.

A drum might come in handy.  If you have one, feel free to bring it.

I LIVE IN SANTA BARBARA . DO I HAVE TO SLEEP AT THE RETREAT CENTER?

We feel it is important to sleep at the retreat center to keep the energy of all the men at the retreat on site. Going home to family, tasks, and “the other world” in between sessions disrupts the continuity of the retreat.  If you have a special reason to sleep away from the retreat center, please contact us.

WHAT IS CAMP WHITTIER?

Camp Whittier is a retreat center on 55 acres of wooded land. It is a nonsectarian camp operated by United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County. It offers bunk house style accommodations and meals created by an on-site chef. For further information about Camp Whittier, go to www.campwhittier.org.

WHERE IS CAMP WHITTIER?

Camp Whittier is located in the mountains behind Santa Barbara, CA on Highway 154

ONCE I GET TO THE RETREAT CENTER, WHERE DO I PARK?

There is a parking area right outside the office.  You will come to it when you follow the road into Camp Whittier from Highway 154.

WHAT IF I CAN’T FIND THE RETREAT CENTER?

If you have trouble finding us, call

Tom McGee at 805-312-2398 or

Richard Palmer at 805-428-0393.

If you have any questions or need further information please contact one of us:

Richard Palmer — 805-428-0393

Tom McGee – 805-648-5574 tom@tommcgee.com

Looking forward to seeing you.

For further information about registration, contact Tom McGee at 805-648-5574
tom@tommcgee.com
or
Richard Palmer at 805-428-0393

 

 

 

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During the time we are sheltering in place due to the Covid 19 crisis, I am offering remote sessions via telephone and video conferencing. Please contact me if you have any questions.