Exploring membership at Sirius can mean as little as attending our neighborhood parties and coffeehouses, or participating in our community meal program and bulk foods buying coop. It can also mean becoming a fully active participant, living on the land and working side by side with other members in governance and day to day operations.
One may apply for the designation of Exploring Member to pursue this latter option, spending up to a year trying the status out. This includes sixteen hours of classroom-type instruction along with participating in all other aspects of normal membership:
- At least 4 hours per week of community work
- Attending Thursday night community meetings
- Participating in the consensus decision making process on various community agenda items
Many members have outside main jobs and work only part-time on the land. Saturday is Work Day, when most pitch in together on various projects and chores. The shared task might be processing a bulk mailing, preserving a store of food, or working in the garden. It could be felling trees, milling lumber, installing photovoltaic banks, or chopping/storing firewood for the winter. Sometimes the community will travel offsite on Work Day, donating the collective labor to some other organization. We have, for instance, built a deck for the town around the recycling dumpsters.
Sirius offers opportunity for a rich family life, whether referring to parents with young children or the extended family: an intergenerational village of all ages. Children are brought into many group activities, as well as having those needed that are set aside for them alone. Some members homeschool; others send their kids to either private or public schools. There are designated playing areas for children, and cooperatives spring up both within the community and immediate neighborhood as needed to provide childcare for working parents.