The 2019 Communities Conference

by Raven (with help from Rejoice) 

The Communities Conference nearly didn’t happen this year. In late May, Julia sent out an email to several communards wondering if we should have the Conference this year. It was late and most of the usual organizers were busy elsewhere. Fortunately, a bunch of people stepped up to the plate. 

The principle organizing team this year was Alexis, Wes, Rejoice, Maximus, Hayley, Anna, Gabby, and Brooke. In record time they helped pull together the longest-running of the three August gatherings at Twin Oaks.  And as a result of their work, the Communities Conference happened.  

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Julia (who didn’t organize but managed the site)
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Rejoice 
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Maximus 
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Wes
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Alexis 
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Anna 
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Brooke 

There were many similarities to previous Conferences.  The meals were great, there were workshops, “Meet the Communities” happened on Saturday morning, and there was lots of networking and connections.  There were tours of Twin Oaks and of Cambia, a dance party Saturday night at ZK at Twin Oaks, and hang out dinners at Acorn and Living Energy Farm on Sunday night.   But there were also differences.

Most of the food this year was dumpstered. There was no printed workshop schedule and all the workshops were created at the Conference. A lot of the Conference was created at the Conference. And it all worked out and worked out well. 

Hopefully next year the Communities Conference will be planned out well ahead of time. But this year’s Conference showed what a bunch of motivated communards could do.  We can build communities and we can build conferences.

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My favorite outhouse at the Conference site 

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Thanks for reading! This post was made possible by our patrons on Patreon. The Commune Life team works hard to bring you these stories about our lives in community, and that work couldn’t happen without support from our audience. So if you liked this article, and want to help us make more like it, head on over to https://www.patreon.com/communelife to join us! 

Deep gratitude to all of our patrons:  

Communities

  • Acorn Community
  • Compersia Community
  • Cotyledon Community
  • East Brook Community Farm
  • The Federation of Egalitarian Communities
  • Twin Oaks Community

Communards 

  • Aaron Michels
  • Brenda Thompson
  • Cathy Loyd
  • Em Stiles
  • Jenn Morgan
  • Jonathan Thaler
  • Julia Elizabeth Evans
  • Kai Koru
  • Kathleen Brooks
  • Laurel Baez
  • Lynette Shaw
  • Magda schonfeld
  • Michael Hobson
  • Nance & Jack Williford
  • Peter Chinman
  • Sumner Nichols
  • Tobin Moore
  • Warren Kunce
  • William Croft
  • William Kadish

Thanks! 

 

The 2019 Communities Conference

Instagrams from the Communities Conference

 

from the Commune Life Instagram account

Instagrams from the Communities Conference

Organizing?

How 8 communards organized a conference but failed to build a geodesic dome:

How do you organize a conference with no one in charge?

Organizing in community is not a linear process.  Mistakes are part of the process. Multiple people work in parallel. Sometimes there’s conflict. But eventually, the work gets done, and the result is something that could not have been made in any other way. Process over product.

Organizing?

Strange Sights at Twin Oaks

by Raven Cotyledon

I was recently down visiting Twin Oaks and noticed a bunch of what I thought were unusual things and I thought that I would share them, just because I thought that they were interesting. (This is not the best introduction to Twin Oaks, but if you are familiar with the place, you may find this amusing.  We have a lot better information about the community if you look around the site.)

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These tanks were near the dining hall. I had never seen them before.  I was told that they were for the waste produced in the tofu manufacturing.  No one seemed to know what the ‘OOS’ on the sides stood for. I had lots of silly guesses.  Someone thought that it might be ‘500’ upside down, but the tanks did not look upside down to me.

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These signs were in the midst of a bamboo thicket near one of the Twin Oaks parking lots and all but invisible and inaccessible unless you were pretty determined.  I couldn’t read what most of them said but one of them clearly gives the distance from the moon.

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This is the Emergency Bell at Bozo Beach, there, I assume, in case anyone is drowning.  I wondered how often it has been rung. (This is by a pond at Twin Oaks.)

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A statue near Bozo Beach.

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A group of statues meditating near Morningstar, a residence at Twin Oaks

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I saw this sitting right outside ZK, the dining hall.  I don’t know what it’s for or if they even still use it but it certainly looks intriguing.

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This is the Sewage Treatment Plant at Twin Oaks, sometimes called STP.  Yes, Twin Oaks has their own sewage treatment plant.

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The Poop Deck is a humanure toilet with two seats.  The sign adjusts that way in case you want company while you do your business.

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Many people come to the Twin Oaks Communities Conference (or the Women’s Gathering or the Queer Gathering) in the summer.  This is what the site looks like on a warm winter day, barely recognizable to anyone who remembers it from the summer.

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An outhouse at the Conference site, visible through the bare trees.

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Thanks for reading! This post was made possible by our patrons on Patreon. The Commune Life team works hard to bring you these stories about our lives in community, and that work couldn’t happen without support from our audience. So if you liked this article, and want to help us make more like it, head on over to https://www.patreon.com/communelife to join us!

Deep gratitude to all of our patrons:  

Communities

  • Acorn Community
  • Compersia Community
  • Cotyledon Community
  • East Brook Community Farm
  • The Federation of Egalitarian Communities
  • Twin Oaks Community

Communards

  • Tobin Moore
  • Kai Koru
  • Jenn Morgan
  • Jonathan Thaler
  • Nance & Jack Williford
  • Julia Evans
  • William Croft
  • Aaron Michels
  • Cathy Loyd
  • Laurel Baez
  • Magda schonfeld
  • Michael Hobson
  • Sasha Daucus
  • William Kadish

Thanks!

Strange Sights at Twin Oaks