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Men's Cultural Program

in the Goodenough Community

Our Men’s Culture provides an excellent introduction to community as a context for personal and social transformation.  Our culture has a special role to fill in the development of boys and young men. We value our sons, welcome them to our retreats, and provide a curriculum for them appropriate for their ages.

The Men's Culture offers the following and is open to all men:

1. We are a circle of men friends old & new who gather for work parties, occasional weekends & have been doing so for over 25 years.

2. Our circle is open to any man who is attracted to and finds enjoyment and value in a culture such as ours.

3. Our circle was initiated by and is infused with the vision and energy of John L. Hoff, a friend and mentor to many men.

4. Our purpose is multifaceted;

  • We come together to learn practical skills of being a good man and to support each other in the underlying personal growth that enables the abilities and attitudes of these practical skills. (e.g., relating with emotional intelligence). 

  • We strive to honor and recognize eldership amongst our circle and the stages of male development. 

  • We are activists on behalf of good men everywhere. 

  • We have and continue to study "The Men's Movement" in its many aspects, seeking to integrate the best thinking and practices and network with other men's groups.

5. We have a story that is full of joys and sorrows for the sometimes painful and sometimes triumphant experiences of our group and its individuals. It is our intent to learn from our own stories.

For more information, contact: Norm Peck.

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Thoughts from our Men's Culture Leader Norm Peck

Alvin Toffler pointed out in the book Future Shock that the rate of change in culture and technology is increasing. I find that a bit intimidating, reflecting on the fact that my grandfather was born three years before the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk, and saw men land and walk on the moon half a decade before he died. some of us have noticed that men and women are different, though it is more a continuum than a sharp divide. The cultural, social and occupational expectations of men have changed drastically during my lifetime. More men and women migrated to cities and urban areas, many fewer now live day-to-day with the land; in some ways many of us have lost touch with our connection to the natural world and its patterns and rhythms.

John Hoff pointed out in earlier renditions of the GEC Men's Culture that while women feel quite free to talk about their feelings, each other and men, men seemed reticent to do the same, an at times even had (have) difficulty staying current with their feelings in the moment. It is in a circle of men that we can grant each other those freedoms and support each other in our personal growth and development. As the world changes around us, together we have more power to decide individually and together how to remain honorable men in the process. For a time we studied the traditional myth structure around men's lives and explored our feelings about them, and in what ways they might or might not be metaphors for our own lives.

There are times of change in the lives of men that are not as obvious in many cases of those for women, though they are no less needful of being recognized and celebrated. There is at least for me some satisfaction in being recognized by other men that is different and more powerful that other settings offer. Note that doesn't mean they are not all important, just different. I feel great responsibility to hold that space for men to gather in freedom and feeling for this time, to acknowledge who and how we each are as men, as I also look for another man to whom to pass the torch.


Love, Norm

For more information, contact: Norm Peck.

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