Encompassing more than just reading a book each month, Tough Guy Book Club has challenges for members. This started with a yearly reminder to get a blood pressure test and some fundraising activities for men’s health initiatives, over time, these challenges have evolved and become a staple each month. Each task focuses on things important to every goon in the club and members are encouraged to get involved and share their experiences in the Facebook ‘Pool Hall’. Some of the challenges focus on things that blokes are generally not good at, such as looking after ourselves and getting check-ups, others involve sampling tasty beverages or even just visiting the local library.
Participating in the challenges each month has helped build greater connection between goons. The club has been expanding rapidly and opening chapters all over – while a shared love of reading unites the members, these motivations also bring us together. In giving members something to achieve during the month, we have a shared experience. This has allowed reflection and the opportunity to give or seek advice. Not only can this be a help to the goon themselves, they are a wonderful source of great discussion during monthly meets.
One of the goals of Tough Guy Book Club is to give blokes a place to turn up and talk about interesting topics through questions about a book. These challenges can allow a goon to make some positive impacts as it often requires members to look outside of themselves. As with all parts of Tough Guy Book Club, the challenges are an invitation. Some goons will go above and beyond and take the challenge to a place many would never even think of. These challenges are not a requirement for membership to the club, but we hope they are easy enough for everyone to get involved, take a picture and upload it to the Pool Hall.
Gavin Baumber(Redlands Chapter)