What is an “Exploring Member”?
Once we are “landed”, we will be looking for future friends and villagers to join us in building an ecovillage using sustainable design and construction, as well as exploring new ways to live cooperatively and intentionally. As a dues-paying Exploring member, you will have opportunities to take part in discussions and activities that shape our goals, and to get a taste of community life to help you decide if our community is your community.
Membership guidelines are listed below. The suggested reading on Ecovillages is valuable, that you might contribute more effectively at meetings. It is also important to look over the consensus process that we use to arrive at decisions – it’s easy and really effective (more below).
At some point, Exploring Members will choose to deepen their commitment to Odonata by becoming Equity Members, or will decide that their interests are elsewhere. We really welcome the exploration! Exploring Members are invited to participate in discussions and are informed of progress. While they do not have a direct vote in the use of equity, they may influence decision-makers with their wisdom and experience.
How Do I Become an Exploring Member?
It’s easy to join the Odonata adventure, as someone who is interested and involved. We want to make sure that new people learn about our history; support our vision and mission; share our core values; are ready to participate with willing heart and mind; and have a basic education in community living as practiced in ecovillages and cohousing communities around the world.
So plan on a couple of months getting to know us, and us getting to know you. Here are the steps in becoming an Exploring Member of Odonata:
- Attend an introductory Exploring Members meeting
- Attend a minimum of two monthly Odonata Circle Meetings
- Get involved! Join one of our activity groups to help Odonata toward fruition
- Read one or more of the following (or equivalent):
- Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities, Diana Leafe Christian, New Society Publishers, 2003
- The Cohousing Handbook: Building a Place for Community, Chris ScottHanson, New Society Publishers, 2005
- Joyfully Together, The Art of Building a Harmonious Community, Thich Naht Hahn, Parallax Press, 2003
- Agree to learn and practice the consensus process and conscious communication skills used at Odonata Village
- Embrace the Odonata Mission and Vision Statements, and accept all agreements previously reached by member consensus
“Exploring Membership” Process
Any person or family who has fulfilled the requirements for membership may become an Exploring Member. Any member who has concerns about an applicant may raise those concerns and request a meeting of the membership to review the application. Applicants are encouraged to request a meeting time if they have particular membership concerns.
To become Exploring Members, applicants pay a non-refundable fee of $100.00 and agree to pay monthly dues – the cost is $30.00 per month for individuals, and $50.00 per month for families. Dues are non-refundable, and payable through the duration of membership. Your dues help cover general operating costs – such as printing, mailing, legal, consulting or other fees. Exploring Members whose dues are in arrears for two or more months may forfeit their place in Odonata Circle meetings until outstanding dues are paid.
Decisions at Odonata Ecovillage are made through consensus, using a tried and tested model developed by the Winslow Cohousing community. The model uses colored consensus cards to organize thoughts and aid communication. We also are committed to learning conscious communication skills and to helping each other grow more mindful in relationship and community.
Absent members agree to accept consensus decisions made during their leave of absence, and are responsible for being current with the progress of the initiative upon returning to full participation.
As a member, regular attendance at monthly community meeting is required, and involvement in the process of building community is expected. Conference calls and additional meetings may be scheduled as needed. Communications through e-mail are expected to be read and responded to periodically. A member may take a leave of absence, during which period dues would still be required.
If a person or household wishes to end their exploration of membership, current dues and any other financial obligations undertaken by consensus are expected to be honored. Current project commitments, when possible, should be completed.