Re: Community-building activities prior to move-in
From: Mac Thomson (
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2009 08:11:16 -0800 (PST)

Congratulations on your upcoming move-in!

The things I remember as being most valuable and that I'd recommend are:
- training in communication, conflict resolution, and consensus decision making
 - regularly scheduled meetings to share feelings

I'd guess that every group schedules regular business meetings, where feelings are sometimes shared, but these other meetings are intended specifically for emotional sharing. We call ours the Meeting of the Hearts. (We just had a particularly rich one last night.) They are a great way to connect with each other at a deeper level. The deeper connection is what community is all about and makes it easier to work together later on when the road might get bumpy with tough decisions and conflict.


Mac Thomson

Heartwood Cohousing
Southwest Colorado

"A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."
     - Dave Barry

On Feb 3, 2009, at 4:16 AM, cohousing-l-request [at] wrote:

Date: Sun, 01 Feb 2009 12:05:47 -0800
From: Susana Michaelis <susana [at]>
Subject: [C-L]_ Community-building activities prior to move-in
To: cohousing-l [at]
Message-ID: <4986009B.6090104 [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

Hello cohousers,

Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community in Nanaimo, BC Canada is 3 months
away from our target completion date at the end of April. Yahoo! We
still have a great mix of unit sizes, so check out our website if you
want to move to beautiful Vancouver Island.

I am looking for suggestions of community-building activities that we
could be doing now, in preparation for enjoying each other's company
once we move in. A Vancouver Island University student is wanting to use
us as a case study for the next 4 months to observe how we create
community now and then transition into using our common amenities.

I am really excited as this is a perfect time for us to ramp up the
current connectedness that we already have in our meetings and committee
work.  Currently we have a monthly potluck with a theme, speaker or
activity. These have been a lot of fun, educational, and involved
wonderful food!

As individuals and in small groups our members are highly involved in
the local community and represent a huge range of interests and
activities. We invite each other to events, clubs, hikes and dinner
parties as part of our increasing friendship amongst members.

I am seeking suggestions for activities that help build cohesiveness and
ease the transition to living in community:

1) Activities that your cohousing group did prior to move-in
2) Activities that you wish you had done
3) Activities that continued or started once you were using your common
4) Activities that attracted new members
5) Activities that attracted families with children
6) How to keep connected during the busy move-in and adjustment period
7) Any other suggestions for us, during this pre-completion time

I am really looking forward to hearing from our greater cohousing community,
Thanking you in advance!

Susana Michaelis
"Where friends become neighbours, and neighbours become friends"

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