RE: Managing initial public meetings
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 11:51:30 -0500
I would always offer babysittng if your goal is to attract families with kids. 
Weird and creepy people exist, and can be easily separated by just not 
inviting them to an actual membership meeting. Get a list, and call who you 
want to invite them to the next meeting.  I would also include food, not just 
cookies and tea either, but real good stuff like fondue or fruit plate, salmon 
patte, etc. You can make a good spread for $15. 

However, be careful on the criteria you use to screen weird and creepy as that 
on occaision has been used to describe me. I once had just returned from a 
three day solo backpack trip in the Olympics, had an incredable set of 
experiences, and then went to a social dinner (after catching a quick shower). 
I was told later, my eyes glowed manicailly and I verbally trashed a 
logger/redneck who was making ignorant statements about wilderness. My hair 
was wild, my beard long, and I did not fit in to this gig. 

I have never heard of a heckler at a cohousing meeting yet, but it may have 
happened. Its hard to make a presentation with somebody giving you grief, and 
you can simply say that to them, maybe they will back off. It's worked for me 
in other circumstances.

Rob Sandelin
Cedar Village Permaculture Retreat Center

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