Vikings are floating on the sea on Drakkar with mountains on the


Building Brotherhood and Community:

Antidote to Isolation and Shame

A Men's Retreat with Tom McGee and Richard Palmer


April 13-15, 2018

Friday, April 13, 5 pm


Sunday, April 15, 12 noon

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Camp Whittier 
2400 Highway 154
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Driving Directions 


If you would like to provide support to this work and to men who need financial aid to attend,




Tom McGee


Richard Palmer



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Men's Healing Work


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Voyage Into Masculine Soul Community



Dinner on Friday

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner on Saturday

Breakfast on Sunday


Bring sleeping bag and pillow.



"What Does Masculinism Hold for Us?"






The group will be limited to 25 men to allow for maximum participation and interaction.  We encourage early registration to ensure a spot at the retreat and to access the lower early registration fee.

RETREAT FEES:                                       

STANDARD RETREAT FEE: $575--Full payment by April 6, 2018

DEPOSIT: $175; holds your spot; full payment due by April 6, 2018

LATE REGISTRATION: $675; after April 6, 2018; final registration deadline is April 10, 2018

This retreat continues the work in the Voyage into Masculine Soul. Together we will:
  • Confront the dark forces of isolation and shame which prey on our true, good natures
  • Approach this work through poetry, storytelling, guided exercises, discussion, and ceremony.  
  • Endeavor to bring out the best in each man and have it honored by the other men.  

This retreat will be held at Camp Whittier in the mountains behind Santa Barbara, CA.  We will be on 55 acres of land populated by oaks and deer, not far from Lake Cachuma.  Camp Whittier provides bunk style accomodations and meals prepared by their on-site chef.  We will have access to a wood-paneled lodge and outdoor fire pits.  This promises to be an ideal setting for open, honest communication in an environment of physical and emotional safety.

 RETREAT FAQS: for more details on the site and the retreat

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 over twenty years, assisting them in growing into healthy relationships and fulfilling lives. This retreat is a continuation of the "Healing the Boy, Strengthening the Man" retreats that is the culmination of all of our work.  In this retreat, we will be focusing almost exclusively on the Man, who is growing into his full masculine identity.

It has been recognized that isolation is more dangerous to men than smoking or obesity.  (Billy Baker, “The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity.  It’s loneliness.”  Boston Globe, March 9, 2017.)  There are dark forces that chew on our shame when we are in isolation.  These forces carry a voice that whispers, “Want nothing, risk nothing, and never, ever enter the circle.”

The antidote to isolation is the sacredness of life, experienced within community.  We find community in direct experience of nature: in trees, rocks, oceans, animals, and with humans.  When we are touched by another, physically or emotionally, we find health and well-being.  Wendell Berry said, “Everything turns on affection."

Please join us for this restorative weekend, during which we will face the demons of the dark forces and bolster our experience of brotherhood and community.


This poem conveys the essence of this retreat:


Until I feel the weight and the clench
of where you stand,
and how you stand here,
I cannot trust you

I need to feel the insurgence of your devotion!
I need to feel what it is
you are willing to wrestle to the ground,
and even die for!

and while we are talking like this.......
man to man-soul to soul,
I need to feel your heart-
breaking open,
on the ground, in the dirt,
for our women, for the children, for the trees,
for all the little wiggly things of the world

down here, in the dirt,
the heft and the howl,
the bones and the stones

your hand in mine,
my brother,
my comrade,
my beloved friend


Richard Palmer

from “The Moan Insided of Things”