We have compiled answers to some frequently asked questions by conference attendees below.
Do you have to be a gay man to attend?
Yes. This is part of the rarity of the weekend & we feel that creating this inch wide platform allows for connections a mile deep in a community historically starved for such. But please reach out using the form below if you have concerns about whether or not you qualify to attend. Acceptance & inclusivity are big priorities for us here at GCA.
How will this benefit my coaching career?
How won’t it benefit your coaching career?! This is an intimate weekend of connection & learning designed to help add tools to your toolbox while also bringing awareness to the tools you already have. Our job as coaches is to fill the cups of our clients but we can’t do that without a full cup ourselves. This weekend is a rare and beautiful opportunity for fulfillment amongst a community of fellow gay coaches. Plus, you’ll be educated on tips to manage and expand a thriving business.
Can I get ICF continuing educations credits?
Yes. There will be an ICF facilitator on site who can sign off on these for you.
Do I need to be an experienced coach to attend?
Absolutely not. If you’re passionate about helping others & ready to learn about what it is you have to offer, this is the place for you.
What can I expect outside of the sessions?
As will be reflected on your itinerary, the conference provides some unique opportunities to network with other like-minded, gay, & professional men. Most of these “extracurricular” activities take place in the morning or the evening (before or after the bulk of the conference) & are entirely optional.
The programming is designed around freeing one’s self up for connection with others. The activities include but are not limited to games, yoga, group massage, meditation, fun times in Easton Mountain’s drag closet & an evening of live music. Additionally, the conference’s structure allows for “unconference sessions” in which attendees can design and partake in their own programming during time provided; the goal being to give each attendee ownership of their experience & what they’d like to get out of it.
What’s the difference between the pre-conference & the conference?
The pre-conference occurs as an optional one-day extension at the start of the conference & contains programming from some of the top coaches in the Alliance. It’s the equivalent of a sports team scheduling a pre-season practice for the big game. In this case, the conference is the big game & the pre-conference is a helpful additive for those looking to get a little more out of the experience. That said, you won’t get kicked off the team for not showing up & we’re confident you’ll leave the conference with a full set of skills & strategies no matter.
What is the accommodation like & what should I pack?
Easton Mountain is an escape from everyday life. While they provide some basic essentials, here’s a small packing list that will help support your time there.
- Toiletries: toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, soap, deoderant, shaving supplies - Essentially everything you’d normall bring. Outside of toilet paper & towels, you should rely on your own supply for personal maintenance.
- Housing will be in in Easton Mountain’s guest house offering two room options; 1 containing two beds & the other containing 2 bunk beds. Both styled rooms have in-suite bathrooms with shower access & (spotty) wifi. Ear plugs are available in each room but these are shared living quarters & it definitely couldn’t hurt to bring your own “good night’s sleep” aids if you’re a light sleeper.
- Socks! “The Great Room” is the main activity room & has a shoes off policy.
- Snacks, if you’d like. Easton Mountain’s meal service is an array of home-cooked deliciousness with plenty of options for all eating preferences. Additionally, there is a small selection of snacking items available at all times but if you’re looking for some extra sustenance, you’re definitely welcome to store some munchies in your room.
There is a shop on site off of the “The Spa Area.” In addition to some souvenier items & collectibles, you can purchase some last-minute needs if you forget anything. The selection is good, but not entirely dependable for all needs.
- Clothing: whatever you feel comfortable wearing. The conference has a very informal atmosphere so smart clothese are not needed, unless this is how you prefer to dress.
- A bathing suit. There is a “Outdoor Pool” available in warmer months, a hot tub available year-round, & “The Sauna” - an octagonal, wood-burning, freestanding sauna in the woods that is available year-round. It can accommodate up to 20 people.
- The conference is jam-packed but there is a very small amount of downtime if you want to pack anything to fill that time with such as a book or hiking shoes. The grounds of the retreat center are gorgeous and a perfect setting for a long walk up the mountain nearby or some light reading in “The Sunroom.”
- A way to take notes, whatever your preference is for that. Be prepared to absorb a lot of helpful & valuable information.
- No need to bring a yoga mat, there are plenty on site!
For more information about Easton Mountain, please click here or submit a question using the form.
How do I get there?
There are several options for getting to Easton Mountain!
Easton Mountain is located in the Hudson Valley approximately 30 miles North of Albany, New York and conveniently located within a three-hour drive of Boston, New York City, and Montreal. See below for turn by turn directions.
To set up your GPS, use the following address: 391 Herrington Hill Road, Greenwich, NY 12834
You can fly into the Albany airport, take the Megabus or AMTRAK to Albany (Rensselaer Station), or take the Greyhound/Trailways to Albany.
If you need a ride from Albany, here are some options:
Steve's Classic Taxi - 518 677 2503
Note: Easton Mountain does not officially provide pickups from the airport, train or bus. If an individual volunteer or resident agrees to pick you up, you are making an agreement with them directly. Please be mindful of their time and gas expenses and be as generous as you can.
Is there wi-fi/cell service?
Yes, but spotty. The best service is near the main facilities off the lake and scarcity grows as you distance yourself from that spot.
Who organizes the Gay Coaches Conference?
The Gay Coaches Alliance, a professional association of gay male coaches working together to empower our vibrant practices & inspire each other to do creative impactful work. For more on this organization, click here.
Do I need to be a member of Gay Coaches Alliance to attend?
No - however membership is beneficial to netwrok with other members before the conference and throughout the year. Some booking categories are only available to members. To learn more aout GCA membership options, click here.
How do I get involved or present at the coneference?
If you’d like to take on a larger role at the conference such as as a presenter, you should reach out to our Head of Programming, Peter Simmonds. We are sure you have a great deal of talent to offer & share & if you think your work & contributions support our theme (listed below) we highly encourage you to submit your ideas.
The theme for this year’s conference is Building Bridges:
- Making connections between gay coaches
- Overcoming personal and professional roadblocks
- Moving your business forward
How much does the conference cost & do I qualify for a discount or scholarship?
If you have any other questions, please submit them using the form here & we will get back to you shortly. Hope to see you at the conference!