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  • image1 Since 1979 the GAYLA Conference was established at Ferry Beach as one of the earliest communities of gay brotherhood.
  • image2 The spirit of GAYLA brotherhood continues to be a very important personal touchstone in the growth of all the men who have attended.
  • image3 We come to the beach to rekindle friendships, renew our gay spirituality, find love, and experience the brotherhood.

During a week at GAYLA you will be given opportunities to discover your true nature as you share your experiences, expand your horizons, have fun, and learn from your brothers. You will have the opportunity to participate in our conferee-initiated Free Time afternoon sessions, GAYLA Men‘s Chorus performances, Morning Chapel in the Grove, Talent/No Talent show, hitting the beach, creating and wearing fabulous outfits, playing sports (esp. volleyball) and participating in thematic evening activities.

Some activities are planned solely for GAYLA brothers (G), while others are sponsored by Ferry Beach (FB) and will include other FB conferees. Of course, if and when you need to decompress, you will always have the option of just sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the beach amidst the waves and scenic sand dunes or on Quillen porch with the refreshing ocean breezes and beautiful Maine scenery serving as a backdrop for fellowship. Choose what works for you!

SUNRISE CIRCLE: If you enjoy (or need) a spiritual connection and a little stretch before breakfast, a Sunrise Circle gathers on the volleyball court at 7:00. This includes a set of simple movements from Qigong and Paneurhythmy disciplines, for connection to energy meridians of the body and the Earth. Instructions are offered on Sunday and Monday; on following days the Circle simply begins at 7:00. No prior experience needed. FB & G

MEALS: GAYLA shares the DeWolfe Dining Hall with all other FB conferees during the week. Breakfast is available from 7:30-8:30 AM; Lunch, from 12 Noon-1 PM; Dinner, from 6-7 PM. FB & G

DAILY CHAPEL: A worship service is conducted each morning at the outdoor chapel in the pines beyond the Grove clearing. The service is led by the Minister of the Week, and some GAYLA brothers participate in the choir. Ferry Beach is Unitarian Universalist affiliated, but GAYLA includes men of various, as well as no faiths. FB & G

SCHEDULED WORKSHOPS are offered each morning after chapel Monday through Friday (except Wednesday/Free Day) and in the afternoon Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. The Scheduled Workshops are for the most part led by GAYLA brothers. Each leader determines whether his Workshop involves a four-day participation commitment and whether advance sign-up on Sunday is required. This year’s workshops will focus on spirituality, art, music, massage, ecology, choral singing, sports, knitting, and drag. G

CHECK-IN CIRCLES form a central aspect of GAYLA, and they are among the ways we build community. These are small confidential discussion groups which meet daily for one hour after lunch. Your Circle provides a useful connection with others in a secure and personal setting. In the Circles we share our joys of the day, express any concerns, and get to know our brothers. Confidentiality is key: What is said in the Circle stays in the Circle.

IMPROMPTU WORKSHOPS & ACTIVITIES may occur during Free Time, 3:30-5:00: Want to organize and lead an activity or workshop that’s not on the planned schedule? Free Time is your opportunity for any impromptu (unplanned) workshops/activities you may want to conduct. These will be organized and led by the person proposing them, and should be posted in the Dining Hall lobby in advance of the activity. G

AFTERNOON MOVIES: On Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday afternoons during Free Time, movies will be shown in the Murray Room in Rowland Hall. An effort will be made to post the titles in advance. G

DEWOLFE GATHERING: Each afternoon at 5:00 PM, GAYLA brothers are welcome to join the entire Ferry Beach community on the DeWolfe Porch for non-alcoholic beverages and munchies, and you may BYOB. FB & G

TWELVE-STEP MEETING: GAYLA honors a long tradition of supporting brothers in recovery. Each afternoon during the DeWolfe Gathering, an open meeting inclusive of all 12-Step programs assembles in the Ziegler Room, Rowland Hall. G

FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE: Meet with brothers, the Ferry Beach community and the Minister on the beach after dinner each evening for a brief circle of fellowship and reflection before the evening events. FB & G

EVENING ACTIVITES: GAYLA sponsors some great time-honored evening activities: some for reflection, others for fun and entertainment. Some are open to the entire Beach community as well as GAYLA; others are reserved for GAYLA alone. This year we’ll be sponsoring a Trivia Night (G), Movie Night: Sing along with Hairspray (FB & G), the Kit-Kat Cabaret Club (G), and a Talent/No Talent Show (FB & G), to name a few.

QUIET HOURS: In consideration of our neighbors both on and off campus, Ferry Beach designates 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM as quiet time. FB & G