Victories blog banner

BreakThrough FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Who attends the BreakThrough Weekend?

This weekend is attended by men from all backgrounds regardless of race, age, religion, sexual orientation, or economic status. The ages of the men who attend typically range from the late 20’s to the 70’s. The minimum age is 21.

What happens at the BreakThrough Weekend?

All activities occur in the context of a group of approximately 22-28 men, consisting of about 18 participants and 10 staff. The weekend incorporates communication exercises, journaling, role-playing, and discussions.

What are the advantages of participating in the BreakThrough Weekend?

Exploring important issues as part of a group deepens one’s experience and personal growth. Men are particularly susceptible to isolating themselves and embracing the belief that “I am the only one who is experiencing this.” This weekend provides the validation and healing that comes from the realization that one’s concerns and stories are shared and accepted by others. Helping and supporting other men is empowering, providing for personal growth.

Is it normal to feel nervous before attending a weekend?

You are going off to meet a group of strangers and to talk about your life and your feelings. For many, this is not a “normal” way to spend the weekend. Apprehension is a normal and healthy response to the unknown. Over the weekend, men access their own inner strength in a safe place, under the guidance of other men, and with the powerful support of new friends. By Sunday, men often feel very different emotions – accomplishment, confidence, and hope.

Will I be pushed into sharing what I don't want to?

We encourage all men to participate fully in the weekend, which includes sharing your own life experiences and emotions. Your participation in any of our processes is voluntary, and we will always respect your decision about participation without undue pressure or shame.

Are accommodations and meals included?

The BreakThrough weekend is held at a camp in Illinois or Wisconsin. Sleeping and bathing accommodations are provided in heated cabins that accommodate 10 to 20 men each. There are no private rooms, and men are encouraged to bring ear plugs. Electricity is available for men who need to bring CPAP machines. Men bring their own towels and may need to bring their own bedding. Dress is very casual. Men should bring indoor and outdoor clothing and shoes. Saturday and Sunday meals and snacks are provided, and meals are taken communally. Dietary needs can be accommodated if communicated to the Victories office in advance.

What happens after the weekend?

One way to continue the work of the weekend is to join the Personal Growth Group. Victories will provide trained facilitators for the first six months to help start the group.

How will I know if I am ready to attend this weekend?

Men are ready for this weekend when they decide to make an important change in their lives and/or desire to accelerate their personal growth.

Does Victories require men to subscribe to any particular set of beliefs? Does it have a religious component or affiliation?

Victories is a secular organization and has no religious component or affiliation. We welcome men of all religious, spiritual, and secular persuasions.

Is this weekend safe for Gay and Trans men?

Yes. All men are welcome on this program.

Is financial assistance and/or payment plans available to attend the weekend?

Victories does not want financial obstacles to stand in the way of a man who is ready and willing to do a weekend. We invite men to ask for the assistance they need. Financial assistance and payment plans are available. Interested participants should contact the Victories Office for more details.

Is this therapy?

No.

I am in a 12 step program. Is this weekend right for me?

Victories does not offer professional psychological or psychiatric services or addiction counseling, nor are its programs specifically designed to address the issue of addiction. This weekend is not appropriate for men who are working to manage active addiction. However, men who are in a 12 step program and/or consistently working with a therapist or counselor will find the weekend to be an additional space of compassion and support.

Who staffs the weekend?

Each leadership team is composed of two senior leaders and up to eight other staff. Everyone on the team has attended our weekend programs and received training in the group processes. Men are chosen for leadership based on their own personal growth, integrity, compassion, and commitment.

What is the weekend schedule?

We ask men to arrive by 6:30 PM on Friday. No dinner is provided that night, unless they make arrangements with us in advance. Sunday’s program concludes no later than 2:00 PM. We allow enough time in the evening for a good night’s sleep.

Are there any rules or expectations that I should know about?

We believe that the weekend experience is enhanced when men take a break from the cares of the everyday world and focus on themselves.

  • Upon arrival, men are asked to put away their watches, cell phones, and other communication devices for the entire weekend, unless there is an emergency or health concern.
  • To keep men focused on themselves, we ask them not to talk about their jobs, politics, religion, or sports.
  • Smoking is not allowed indoors, and alcohol and other intoxicants are prohibited on the weekend
  • For the emotional and physical safety of weekend staff and participants, all items that might be considered weapons (guns, pocket knives, etc.) are not permitted on the weekend or on camp grounds.

Want to help us reach more men and communities?

Donate