Mainely Men is a twice-yearly weekend conference where men gather in a quiet, rustic lakeside settling in central Maine.

Located in West Gardiner, Maine, ten miles southwest of Augusta, the lodge is located on the east shore of Lake Cobbosseecontee.

Men sleep in simple cabins with simple accommodations, most with hot running water for showers. There is also a large central lodge where men assemble for meals and meetings.

During the weekend each man may develop new friendships, participate in programs or workshops related to men’s issues, become involved in a talent show, relax, enjoy the woods and learn more about themselves.

Mainely Men provides a comfortable environment in which men may examine traditional male roles and explore what it means to assume alternative roles. Workshops may focus on such issues as:

  • Improving relationships with fathers, sons, women, children, co-workers or partners
  • Developing relationships and friendships with other men
  • Nurturing self and others in massage workshops, crafts or dance
  • Enjoying spontaneous games or chats
  • Recognizing and reducing homophobia through gay-straight discussion
  • Coping with life challenges such as divorce, aging, loss
  • Learning how to be a better father to sons and daughters
  • Discovering mythic connections through rituals

Many workshops are just plain fun-designing, building, writing and painting, hiking the trails, going canoeing or playing volleyball. We have campfires and sweat lodges some weekends. We have many traditions such as opening circle and closing circle that are the common threads that bring all men together.

We provide an orientation to all new participants. Mainely Men has sustained itself as a safe, diverse, accepting organization for over three decades because it renews itself through the infusion of new participants and keeps its continuity through the many men who return year after year.