We are considering new applications for membership candidates right now. Before being a membership candidate you would come to Acorn as a Visitor. Please refer to the information below the questionnaire as to our whole membership process.
Please answer these questions and send them to Acorncommunity@gmail.com if you are interested in coming to Acorn as a Visitor. The emails are checked everyday, but there is a lot to sort through and respond to, so please forgive us if we are late in our response. Thank you.
Do you have children? Do you expect them to come with you?
Do you have pets? Do you expect them to come with you?
Are there any particular needs that we should know about? Disabilities? Serious health conditions? Allergies? Dietary needs/preferences?
Needs around living spaces, like being close to a bathroom? None of these will disqualify you from visiting.
Are you comfortable living in dormitory space/shared rooms?
How long would you like to visit for?
What is your interest level? Just wanting something to do for the summer? Interested in membership? Want to check things out first?
What is your exit plan? If you are asked to leave early would you be able to do that on short notice?
Who is your emergency contact?
Why are you interested in Acorn Community?
Do you have community experience?
Have you ever been to Acorn before? If yes, how did it go? Did you leave on good terms?
What are your areas of interests?
What skills do you possess and at what level?
What are your aspirations and goals?
What’s something that you’ve created, taken care of, or been responsible for?
What is something that you are passionate about creating, taking care of, or being responsible for in the future at Acorn?
Are you a self starter? Or do you prefer to be given tasks?
What is your personal approach and style in regard to communication, conflict, and sharing self- reflectivity?
What labor areas do you anticipate spending time in?
Please feel free to write anything else about yourself.
Note: A “Clearness” is essentially an interview between two individuals and an important component of our membership process.
Note: Membership at Acorn may seem confusing at first, that is why everyone is assigned a Process Shepard.
Our membership decision making mechanism will be termed a “test for excitement” and will consist of members answering either “excited”, “accept”, or “have reservations” about a particular decision. A threshold of 50% of the members who were asked need to have answered “excited” for the decision to pass. An answer of “have reservations” will cancel out one “excited” answer. Any one member can also block the decision. In membership decisions where clearnessses are required, a block or “have reservations” answer will not count if the clearness did not happen and the member is at fault for not getting clear. The member is not at fault if they scheduled and showed up for two clearnesses. Blocks and answers of “excited” or “have reservations” will only be accepted from members who have attended all discussions. If a member is not able to attend a meeting but has a strong desire to block or have their answer counted, they can request that the discussion be delayed for up to two weeks until they return. The answers of individual members are confidential and should not be shared with the person who the decision is about, or any other non-members.
The discussions about membership decisions should at minimum consist of a go-around where everyone present at the meeting has a chance to speak. Space should be made for popcorn discussion to process anything that might have come up in the go around. If no one feels that there are any unresolved issues, then the test for excitement will be held. As long as anyone feels that something is unresolved, discussion will continue for up to one hour after the go-around. For visitor period extension and invitation decisions, the test for excitement will be held at the end of this discussion, regardless of whether there are still unresolved issues. For provisional and full member decisions, if there are still unresolved issues at the end of the one hour period, the discussion will be tabled until the next meeting, where another go-around and discussion will be held. Regardless of whether there are still unresolved issues, the test for excitement will be held at the end of this second discussion, which can go for a maximum of two hours.
Visitors can stay for up to six months. At one month and three months, the membership will evaluate how the visitor period is going and decide if we would like to extend it. At these points, the visitor’s process shepherd should put their visitor period as a topic for the member meeting. After a discussion, a test for excitement should be conducted with the members present. If we decline to extend a visitor period, the visitor will have some amount of time to get their next move figured out before they have to leave. During their first month, they will have one week to leave, and any time after that they will have two weeks. This time is not guaranteed and can be shortened by the group if there are concerns for safety or discomfort. Members are encouraged to give feedback to people whose visits have been cut short, but they are not obligated to do so.
Any time up to five months into their visitor period, the visitor can make a request to be considered a membership candidate by writing it on the member meeting agenda. The process shepherd should print out the interview questions to give to the visitor, to be filled out and put in the file folder with the rest of the member interviews before the meeting. At the next member meeting, there will be a discussion and a test for excitement among the members present on whether to invite that visitor to be a membership candidate. If we do not invite them, they will have two weeks to leave. This time is can be shortened or extended by the group. If they are invited, the membership candidate will then have until the end of their visitor period to complete a round of clearnesses. After the clearnesses are complete, the process shepherd should put the membership discussion on the member meeting agenda. At the meeting, there will be a discussion of what came up in the clearnesses and how people feel about making the visitor a provisional member. A test for excitement should be held at the end of the meeting, or be tabled for the next meeting if there are unresolved issues.
Provisional members can apply for full membership no less than a year after being invited to be a membership candidate (and after having been a provisional member for at least six months), and no more than two years after becoming a provisional member. Time off the farm such as for LEX or family emergencies will not count towards these time limits. During provisional membership, a round of clearnesses should be conducted every six months on the farm. The member should discuss their intention to apply for full membership in the clearness preceding their application. After they have completed their clearnesses, they should put their full membership discussion as a topic on the member meeting agenda. At the meeting, there will be a discussion of what came up in the clearnesses and how people feel about making them a full member. A test for excitement should be held at the end of the meeting, or be tabled for the next meeting if there are unresolved issues.
If the provisional member has not completed a round of clearnesses after one year, or two years has passed without applying for full membership, a test for excitement will be conducted and a decision made regardless.