Get off the Concrete
The gathering is a place to reconnect with yourself, be inspired, relax, dream, share skills, develop friendships, come from the heart, share strength, connect with the earth, promote social action, explore creativity and be your authentic self in the company of men.
Gathering set up
A beautiful extension of the gathering is meeting beforehand on the land to create the site. Let us know when registering if you can attend part or all of the gathering set up, starting 11am Saturday and continuing until the main gathering starts on Wednesday afternoon. Family members are welcome on the Saturday/Sunday, but men only from Monday 10am. Come and share the joy of working hard in a group of men as we prepare the camp.
Getting things done
The gathering is a co-created experience where we all contribute. There is no service team to take care of us. Processes have been established during previous GOTCs for us all to take on roles that keep the gathering running smoothly on both the practical and cultural levels. We will all be involved in culinary miracles. A highlight of GOTC is the chai tent – a place to hang out anytime day or night with a cuppa and good company.
Beginnings and endings mark time and respect. We will start with an opening ceremony at 5.00 pm and ask you to arrive anytime Wednesday afternoon, well before 4.30pm. You’ll need plenty of time to erect your tent, settle in, connect with friends and unwind. The gathering runs until 2.30 pm Sunday and we request participants to commit to being present for the whole time (the process of building community is weakened by random arrivals and departures). The entire gathering including set up is alcohol and drug free. By attending you agree to this. We have found ways of being together in community (Tikanga). Our Tikanga applies to the entire gathering including set up.
How we will meet
We will come together in conversation in morning dialogue circles, daily “home” groups, a sharing circle, and a rich night-time celebration of our identity as men. The rest of the time we will use “open space” ways of meeting, which means we will co-create the programme out of the talents of the men present. Open space is an engaging, edgy and spontaneous way of being together - awake to moments of utter nonsense and deep sacred grace. There will be a forum where we offer spontaneous workshops and interest groups, so come prepared to be spoiled for choice, and consider offering a workshop or activity yourself. Get Off the Concrete offers a depth of sharing and openness that brings out a spirit of awakening, creativity and authenticity.
Who's it for?
This gathering is open to members of the Essentially Men network, and to members of other organisations or groups doing men’s personal growth work. It is not for men who are new to men’s work. We have found that the first stage for a man to establish trust with other men is best done in a structured programme and there are more appropriate forums for this.
Been to an Essentially Men workshop but not yet the Summer Gathering? - this is a unique opportunity to live the values you experienced on the EM workshop while continuing your personal growth journey in the company of good men. “First timers”: join us in fun and learning.
Men from kindred organisations - this is the perfect place to support and inspire each other as we forge connections and share ideas with men from diverse yet aligned networks. All men who are members of organisations or groups doing men’s personal growth work are welcome.
Bring your young men - you are invited to bring your young men along and include them in the world of men’s work and play. There will be organised activities for the young men, sometimes with their group of fathers and mentors, sometimes with other men from our community. Additionally, secondary school aged young men are welcome to attend with (and under the care of) their father or mentor.
A time for men to celebrate authentic connection, re-create, and grow community
Celebrate your personal and community achievements, taking the time to reflect on your journey, sharing what’s good about your life as well as your challenges with men who care.
Take a break and recharge - do nothing at all, away from electronic devices, news headlines, and information overload. Nourish your spirit instead as you connect or reconnect with noble men; meditate at sunrise on the beach, share poetry under the stars, let your spirit roam free...
Dates for 2022:
Pre-gathering: Friday 18th February
Family members attending pre-gathering must leave by 10am Monday 21st February
Gathering Starts : Wednesday 23rd February
The gathering takes place at a magical location right on the water in its own secluded bay, just three hours north of Auckland. This is the third year we have met at this site - A member of the Essentially Men community with a very big heart has offered to make his piece of land near Whananaki the new home of GOTC. Embraced by a beautiful valley, we meet outdoors, sleep in tents or even under the stars, while enjoying everything this spectacular setting has to offer.
The site is north-east of Whangarei and 3 hours drive from Auckland. Come and enjoy camping right next to the beach, on a beautiful Pohutukawa coast, in the company of noble men. Please note NO DOGS as the site is a wildlife refuge.
All meals are included with vegetarian and non vegetarian options available. Unfortunately we are not able to cater to all dietary requirements. If you require a specific diet, please ensure you have food that can be supplemented by the food offered.