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.
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