Another mentor and I went up to Greenfield to see the first matinee showing of YSP's The Tempest. Two Journeymen perform in the production! Two shows today and two tomorrow. Find the details here: http://youngshakespeareplayerseast.org/upcoming-events/
BTMNE of Western MA met today, 12/13/15, in Greenfield. We played around a bit outside before checking in. We also watched the movie Freedom Writers. It provoked a great conversation about a number of topics, including race and violence. We could have talked for a lot longer than we had time for!
Hi. On 11/15/15, our groups met together at the new Hadley meeting place in South Deerfield. We circled up and checked in. From there we set off on foot (with a couple canine companions) to search out three local geocaches (items hidden in the woods that we tracked down by GPS). After we found those, we mounted up (OK, got in the cars) and headed afield to search out a more difficult cache. We trekked uphill in Sunderland to find a the cache called "Into the Earth's Crust," which was located in a very cool cave. Lot's of fun!
We met for a joint Jgroup at North Star in Hadley.
We feasted on (un)healthy snacks for a while. Interestingly, this was raised by a Jman in check in circle. He really missed the way we have traditionally done check in first and this sparked a discussion...but before that I set some context around being respectful of the building and other parties that might be renting the premises concurrent with us. I also expressed how I want to be and how I want the circle to be respectful of all voices so that everyone can be heard. This got a bit of talk going and I felt was generally well received and accepted. Then the jman raised the point about snack and check in, which the group talked about for a bit, hearing from a number of jmen and mentors. We agreed to revisit it at the end to see where we were and how we wanted to start the next group.
The check in, after all that talk, felt tight and powerful to me. One mentor offered the idea of a "laser" check in, where you get right to your truth without much story. He was able to model that and that further set the tone and intention for check in--while allowing that you might not know what you have to say and that is OK.
After that, the boys got right back to the snacks! No surprise I guess. Then we broke into smaller groups to play cards or check out youtube or what have you. About 30-45 minutes later than we should have, we acknowledged an energy build up and a bunch of us went outside to horse around. There was some king of the mountain on a handy snow pile and some throwing balls around. After that we went back in to check out.
We had to hold our focus while another group started up next door--we could hear some pretty funny/distracting stuff. This gave us a bit of struggle, but we managed to revisit our check in/snack discussion and resolve to check in next time 15 minutes after the start time. If you are there on time and need to snack, you have some time, but there is a known and limited amount of time before the check in. A few other issues surfaced and were noted such that hopefully everyone felt heard and that all needs will be met going forward.
Sam and I also announced the RTF dates and that we would like to hear from Jmen that want to staff. I expressly stated that we are looking for a commitment and contribution from the Jmen toward making it a productive weekend. Before I even did that, one of the Jmen who has staffed in the passed said it himself! "This is not ROPA!" he told them, "this is serious stuff," and, "there is not much time to fool around." Several remained interested and will be following up with me or Sam.
11 Jmen (including three relatively new boys, 2 from Greenfield, 1 Hadley)
Western MA met together at North Star. We had a big check in circle, a little smaller as three people arrived late (2 Jmen did a check in/check out at the end of the group).
After our circle, the group split, with 4 Jmen and 2 mentors heading into Northampton for some sledding, and the rest staying at North Star to hang out--and eat.
Sledding was fun (big hill, lots of space, not too cold), no serious injuries! and colorful conversation.
Once the sledders returned, there was time for a bit more hanging out before the check out circle.
And I got home in time to stack wood and watch the Patriots win!
ERROR: Date was 01/18/2015
We met jointly at North Star in Hadley. We hung out talking in groups for about 45 minutes while we waited for everyone we were expecting to arrive. People were delayed as a result of the weather...
We had a check in circle that each person seemed to do their own thing with. Some were light and some were a bit deeper.
After check in a small group went out in search of sustenance while the rest stayed in. There was some card playing, some bonding around the computer screen and some conversation. The return of food was welcomed by all.
In no time it was time to check out and brave the roads again. There were many attestations of fun!
- Grant Bialek
Mentors from an earlier time:3
Jmen from an earlier time:3
We took advantage of college vacation time to have a reunion of sorts which turned out great!
We also had 2 brothers, 12 and 14 years old, join us for the first time as well as a potential mentor.
We didn't actually "do" much. We had introductions and a very long check in, at which everyone was attentive and patient. We snacked and broke into spontaneous circles, reconnected and laughed a lot until we checked out.
The new boys seemed to fit in well and I expect to see them back.
Seeing some of the young men who I've been in Jgroup for 5 years, and how they have grown and are finding their own paths is rewarding in so many ways.
- Sam Rodgers
Happy new year!
+1 visiting boy
We feasted on pizza in honor of a Jman's birthday (full disclosure: we often feast on pizza, this time we had an excuse), then we had a check in circle. This circle included some explanation by a Jman and mentors about what a check in is as we were explaining it to a visiting boy who came as a friend of one of the Jmen. (I do think he'll be back.) I felt there was some meaningful sharing from many members of the circle.
After our circle there was birthday cake with relighting candles! (We don't usually have cake...)
We hung out, playing a crazy monster "King of New York" board game and cards. Also there was some computer use and music listening, followed by a closing check out circle.
For me, the time flew right by. We plan to meet again in two weeks.