At various times, we at Daybreak Cohousing have felt the strain of so much work to do in developing our future home. We realized early on that we needed to be especially conscious of building in pure social time as a balance to all our work, and to ensure that our extended family relationships grow along with the infrastructure.
Our Sharing Suppers were started to give us planned and very flexible social time together. The sharing suppers are scheduled, twice monthly affairs. We set the dates ahead of time, attempting to place them such that they are not too close to other community activities. And then ask for a volunteer host.
Hosting is a very open concept. You just take responsibility for organizing the Sharing Supper. Your involvement can be as light as offering your home and asking people to bring food potluck-style to doing major portions of the cooking yourself (perhaps inviting people to come over and help cook). Hosts can limit the guest count, if needed, to fit their table. We’ve had many creative food themes, a game night, and a sing-along. And invitations to meet at a restaurant with the host making the reservations! You could organize a picnic if you like. The key thing is for people to share food and fun together, and not be doing the work.
We’ve had good success with these gatherings, whether 5 people attend or 25. As with most other Daybreak activities, we also invite our prospective members to participate. After all, this is a good way for them to get to know us socially (and vice versa) and helps them to make a good decision about whether we are the right community for them.
by Sterling Newberry of Daybreak Cohousing