Re: community-wide retreats
From: Ellen Keyne Seebacher (
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 20:26:30 -0700 (PDT)
> I would also love to hear about retreats that communities have gone
> on, before move-in.  Cost, where did you go, what did you do, did
> most people come?

Mosaic Commons -- still a couple of months from move-in -- held a
couple of retreats at a retreat center / youth hostel in east-central
Massachusetts (which I'll leave unnamed for reasons that will be clear
in a moment).  It was the only place that fit all our requirements at
the time, which included (quoting one of the organizers):

     Approx 30 adults and 12 kids
     Cooking for ourselves
     Under $100/day per adult, all inclusive
     under 2 hours from Marlboro [our usual meeting place]

It was a good choice in many ways, being an old farmhouse/barn with
extensive outdoor grounds -- much like a sprawling rural common house,
only with more sleeping space -- but not so good in others.

The second year, the retreat organizers gave us stern warnings about
riding herd on children at all times, which meant that parents were
expected to be on kidcare duty fourteen hours a day -- during a snowy
winter -- and had very little time to relax and interact with
non-parents.  (Supervising children is reasonable, but being in the
same room at all times?  When you have multiple children in a family
of varying ages and interests?  No.  And aside from the kitchen, it
was a fairly kid-friendly space!)  Also, some of us were rather
disturbed to realize that the owners' requests to remake the beds 
when we left so that they looked "like new" indicated that bedding 
was being shared between succeeding guests.  Ew.

Anyway, there's a datapoint of what we were looking for, where we went,
and how it worked out. :}

        Ellen Seebacher

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