Community Living Agreements

The Community Living Agreements and Site Rules (CLAs) are our agreements for living together at Lost Valley.  They are not dogmas or judgments.   They are the architecture by which we can peaceably and creatively co-author our lives together.  As in any healthy relationship, there is freedom and there are boundaries.  Boundaries create a safe space for all of us learn, grow, and stay present with our experience, for without a sense of safety, it is challenging to nurture the positive qualities that are emergent in all of us.  Boundaries also provide a mirror for our own habits of mind and body, and as we bump up against them, we are given the opportunity to consider these habit’s value in our person.   Boundaries do not stifle freedom, so much as give us a framework upon which to be creative.   At Lost Valley, this document is our intention to know and state the boundaries of our community, within which there are a multitude of personal expressions.  If you enter into the following agreements, you understand the intention behind clear agreements and comply with their content. Come reap their benefits.   Thank you!

 Community Living Agreements and Site Rules for Lost Valley Center

I agree to make the following commitments as a person living at Lost Valley:
•    Align with and support the Lost Valley Community Vision, Mission, and Goals.
•    Be aware that we are living in and supported by Lost Valley Education and Event Center, and cooperate with all departments of the Center in accomplishing the non-profit’s mission.
•    Follow all policies, guidelines, and procedures established by the non-profit and community, and willingly accept the consequences of non-compliance for oneself and one’s guests.
•    Actively participate to the best of my ability in meetings and community governance positions, such as elected representative and operational leader.
•    Conduct myself with honesty and integrity when communicating and interacting with other community members and the community as a whole.
•    Pursue some path(s) of personal awareness and development, and take responsibility for my emotions, ideas, beliefs, and behaviors and their effects on others.
•    Practice non-violence towards others through respectful action and speech and maintain clear, open, and honest relationships with all community members.
•    Proactively work to resolve conflicts and misunderstandings: I will make the effort to work out interpersonal problems through mediation when deemed appropriate by a majority of involved parties.
•    When faced with conflict, misunderstanding, or challenges, with the community or an individual, I will willingly and openly look at my own role, patterns, reactions, and motivations.
•    If/when I am accepted into one or all of the Resident Programs providing discounted rates for meal plans and/or site use fees (Community Cooking Program and HIVE Program), I agree to participate fully in the manner agreed upon, including paying fines if/when I demonstrate non-compliance with the rules as judged by the Kitchen Manager, HIVE Coordinator, or other key staff.
•    Represent my work contributions and resource uses accurately when submitting HIVE reports, claiming kitchen credits, filing time cards, purchasing meals, doing laundry, etc.
•    Inform the community of situations in my life that I believe may pose a risk to Lost Valley and its residents.
•    Be cordial and welcoming to guests, visitors, and non-profit program participants.
•    Not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, religion, social class, economic status, “disability” or sexual orientation, with regard to offering membership or inclusion in community activities.
•    Treat children with love and respect.
•    Clean up after myself, my children, and pets, leaving things in better condition than I found them.
•    Treat all plants, animals, and fungi with reverence and respect.  Acknowledge the beings that we cannot see that are integral to the health of the land and thus our community and the planet.

Life in an Education and Event Center – Lost Valley is an Education and Event Center that needs the support and compliance of those who live here to carry out its educational mission. This support manifests in the following ways:
•    Maintain the facilities and grounds in an appealing and clean fashion so that guests, visitors and clients have a pleasant experience (this is nice for us too!).
•    Allow staff to accomplish their work by not interrupting to discuss community matters during their work day (if the matter is not related to their work).
•    Keep ALL Lost Valley office equipment, instructional materials, tools, cleaning supplies, bedding, heaters, food preparation items, etc. where they belong with awareness that they are Lost Valley resources and several people are accountable to their placement and use.
•    Use or create a sign-out sheet whenever possible for tools that are loaned out in the case of ON-SITE day-use.
•    During events, courses or conferences, help our visitors find the people that can best meet their needs.
•    Fraternizing with course participants or conference guests in ways that distract them from their activities while here (especially involving the use of mind-altering substances) is prohibited.
•    Help maintain the health of residents and participants by washing hands before meals as well as each trip to the buffet table and consciously keeping your ailments to yourself well after your symptoms have sub-sided.
If I own a vehicle or a business, I will get a P.O. Box instead of using Lost Valley’s mailing address as my own.  I understand that I am UNABLE to change my address with the post office once I have listed my address as 81868 Lost Valley Lane.   This means, if I leave, LV will still continue to receive junk or other mail for me and feel compelled to use staff time to sort it, forward it or return to sender.  I will respect the property’s mail load by being aware of this and renting a P.O. Box to use as my address instead of LV if I am unsure how long I will live at LV.

Rental Prices: The Site Manager has a chart with housing costs and associated fees/deposits.
Who gets to live where? Housing is delegated on a seniority basis, favoring existing residents on good terms with the community before introducing brand-new people.  I will request a change of residence to the Site Manager in writing if I want to move to a new space, signing a new lease and accompanying docucments. Certain housing is set aside for the use of volunteers and sometimes visitors. Other space may be reserved for program participants or guest instructors, contract workers, or other guests.
Landscaping: I will check with the Land Steward before starting any land-altering project.
Exteriors: I will take responsibility for keeping relevant porch and deck areas that are visible to the general public tidy and free of clutter.


Hot Tub:
•    Use tub or operate stove only with a resident who has been given an orientation and knows how to operate the stove and maintain the water level. If I am the last trained community resident in the tub, especially if I am with interns or guests, *I* am responsible for what happens to that water level and fire! I am to make sure we don’t melt down the stove (which is what happens when the water gets too low and there is a fire in the box).
•    Everyone must shower or bathe before getting into the hot tub.
•    I will not dunk my head, unless I’ve just washed my hair.
•    No glass or alcohol at tub.
•    I will stay out if I am contagious with anything or if I have open wounds (small nicks or scratches are fine).
•    I will clean up after myself (personal items, towels, wood chips, etc.)

•    Sauna may be used by community residents or conference guests, with prior permission and wood stove use instructions.
•    Do not take any glass bottles in the sauna.
•    Make sure not to overheat the stove.
•    Water may be poured on the rocks on the stove to make steam. Please invite others to use the heat of the sauna (either with me you or following my your use) in order to maximize our use of wood energy.

•    Laundry facilities are located in the dorm bath house as well as next to the lodge bathrooms.
•    Washer and dryer are either coin operated or honor box operated. Please read the signs.
•    Clothes lines are available during summer months when rain is sparse.
•    Either the Hospitality Manager, HIVE Coordinator, or book keeper can help you make change.

Use of Community property: (i.e. bikes, tools, cleaning equipment, etc.)
•    If using property of Lost Valley, I will keep it clean and in good working order.  I will return it to the location it came from in the condition in which I lent borrowed it unless otherwise communicated with Head of Infrastructure, Head of Maintenance, Shop Keep, or Property Manager.
•    If something is broken or lost, I will notify LV Staff immediately.
•    If loss or damage of Lost Valley property is due to my negligence, I may be asked to compensate in some way.
Individual property:
•    If I choose to share my personal property with the community by leaving it in shared space or a space where others might be tempted to use it or remove it, I will label it with my name and other appropriate information.
•    I am aware that items I open to community use may be rendered unusable in a very short time.
•    I may also choose to donate responsibly to the community or the non-profit.  I will not leave my undesired junk here and consider it a gift or donation.

•    I acknowledge that the roads are shared with pedestrians, bikes, garden carts, elders, children, ducks, chickens, and other occasional livestock.
•    I will help keep bikes and other small vehicles out of the roads and pathways when not in use
•    I will observe a speed LIMIT of 7 MPH on Lost Valley driveways unless posted otherwise.

•    When the lunch/dinner bell is rung repeatedly, I will drop whatever I am doing and come to the lodge immediately! If I am the first responder, I will call 911.
•    I will be aware of Emergency Exits and Evacuation Routes at all times.
•    Emergency Planning binders are available in the shop, infirmary, and corner office.
•    There are fire hoses around the property. Each resident will be oriented in the use of them during fire drills in case of emergency.

Water- A Sacred Resource:
Water coming from our wells is filtered twice before it is sent to the rest of campus.  The blue taps in the Lodge and Kitchen, and the filter in the Men’s bathroom at the office remove both chlorine and other particulates.  I will use this water for drinking and food preparation.

I will be very conscious of excessive use of water for cleaning or watering plants, as fresh water is a precious and diminishing resource, and we currently use grid-tie electricity for pumping and filtering.

•    Energy Usage: I will turn off lights/appliances when not in use.
•    Heat use: I will keep electric heaters on timers or be conscious of limiting heater use.
•    Laundry: I will hang laundry on the line or over a wood stove whenever weather permits. I will add Lost Valley laundry to personal laundry to create full loads, if appropriate.
•    Compost: I will sort food scraps into the appropriate compost bins – orange for items that can be fed to the chickens, white for all other items.
•    Recycling: I will CLEAN and sort my recyclables correctly in bins behind the kitchen, by paying attention to the signs!
•    Waste: When cans are ¾ of the way full, I will tie them up and take them to the trash shack behind the kitchen. I will line the trash can with a new bag.
•    Toilets: I will wash my hands every time I use the toilet.  I will flush with rain water when available.  I will consider using/creating an appropriate composting system for pee and poop (as approved by Land Steward).

Food and Community Kitchens:
If I am a new resident I will obtain my Oregon Food Handlers card and participate in a kitchen orientation before utilizing one of the meal plan options.  The Kitchen Manager(s) acts as manager for all kitchen shifts and matters of stocking and ordering food, plus kitchen appliances and supplies. I will leave the cooking utensils and food preparation equipment in the kitchen so that they can be used to prepare meals.
If I use a communal kitchen, I will remember that we are ALL SHARING THE SPACE. I will clean up myyour dishes or other messes immediately. The Kitchen Manager may restrict access to the Lodge Kitchen during the conference season or if the residents prove unwilling to respect the space and keep it clean and functional.

Meat, fish and other foods Preparation: I will cook meat and fish in the Guest House kitchen, outdoor kitchen or personal kitchens, and keep them out of the Lodge kitchen. I will not put meat scraps or dairy in the regular compost.
I will not use a cell phone in the Lodge, Sacred Yurt, Kitchen, or in other spaces when people are present who are not involved in my conversation.

Email Etiquette or “Netiquette”:
1.    I will use Lost Valley email primarily to communicate functional information, and to confirm agreements that are made verbally.
2.    If I have doubts as to whether or not my email is appropriate I will refer to a friend, staff, or community council member about its content or style BEFORE sending.  If I still have any doubts after several hours I will schedule a face to face meeting with the recipient(s) or arrange a mediated meeting from a community council member.
3.    I will talk to people in person regarding topics where either or both parties are feeling heightened emotions.  If I believe that it is essential to communicate negative feelings by email I will use non-violent communication strategies.
4.    I will respect the confidentiality of information by sending emails to relevant parties only.  Campus is not an appropriate target for sensitive topics.
5.    If someone sends me something I think is inappropriate, or addresses a larger audience than I think needs to be involved I will schedule a time to talk to the person about this concern.  If that conversation doesn’t solve my concern I will ask the Community Council for help. I will not use email to argue back.
6.    I will write using normal capitalization, in order to assume a calm textual “voice.”  I will use the words URGENT and IMPORTANT cautiously.
7.    I will not make any libelous, sexist or racially discriminating comments in emails, even if they are meant to be a joke.  I will not forward emails that contain any of this content unless it is to report a violation of agreement(s).

Personal Guests and Visitors:
Guests are people whom residents have invited to spend time with us here for personal reasons. Visitors are those who pass through via a staff member because they are participating in a tour or other service provided by Lost Valley.
Anyone who spends time on LV property that is not a resident through an educational program, as a staff member, or renter must have a host who is a current resident.
Guests: I will notify other residents of my guests in advance of their stay using the chalk  board in the Lodge near the “communication station” and/or “campus-email.”  I will announce names of individual guests, where they will stay, who they are with, and how long they will be here. I will see the most updated Guest Policy (as held by the Site Manager) for charges and other rules associated with guests.
Visitors: Typically the Visitor Coordinator handles tours and overnight accommodations for visitors. Overnight visitors will have a nametag and may be announced via email.
Unannounced or Uninvited Visitors: From time to time Lost Valley has people come on property without notifying us beforehand. Some of these people may wish to take things from us or use the land in a way that does not accord with our agreements and needs.  It is important that we kindly investigate when we see new faces. I will use the following protocol for uninvited guests or visitors:

Handling encounters with people whom I do not know or are suspicious of:
1.    See – See the person, make eye contact, note their appearance
2.    Contact – Contact them in a casual manner. “Hi, have we met?”
3.    Ask – Ask if they need assistance “Can I help you find anything?” “Are you looking for someone in particular?”
4.    Notify – Notify others that you greeted the unfamiliar face and ask for help if appropriate
We also may use the campus email group for noting the date, appearance and other relevant information about encounters with suspicious or malicious persons. I WILL USE IT IF I HAVE SUCH AN ENCOUNTER, and alert the community to my experience so we know what to look out for.

We ask parents to be proactive and honest with the rest of the community about their expectations for interactions between the children and community residents, and the ways in which the parent(s) are expecting support from the community.
Children and parents will pick up toys and dishes left in the Lodge and on the property and put them away in agreed upon places. Parents must be extra vigilant of the ways that their children are leaving spaces, treating Lost Valley or others’ personal property, or affecting community gatherings, business meetings or events that we are hosting.
No bikes, wagons, or other toys will be left on the pathways, as they create a potential hazard in the dark. Kid’s space in public areas will be left in relative order after children have been playing there.
*Quiet time during meals for 45 minutes starting when the meal starts. No loud voices, running, roughhousing, or utilizing the toy vehicles during this time.*

Quiet Hours:
County Ordinance specifies quiet hours beginning at 10 pm every night of the week.  To the best of my control, I will help ensure that neighbors, on their property or in their homes, will not hear anything from LV’s property between the hours of 10pm and 7am.  In addition, I will respect my Lost Valley neighbors by honoring campus quiet hours 10pm to 7am.
Community Residents wishing to have semi-quiet hours from 10pm to 11pm on a Friday or Saturday (for example, guitar-playing and singing around the meadow fire circle) need to check-in with those community residents that may be affected before continuing the fun past 10pm.  A proposal to the Community Petal is appropriate. No drumming past 10 pm.

Pets and Animals:
•    Dogs can frighten and injure wildlife and sometimes behave unpredictably around the large number of conference guests, including children or other pets who regularly flow through Lost Valley.  They also poop on bare ground.
•    Cats can have a severe impact on the native small mammals and birds.
•    Small indoor animals, such as parakeets, hamsters, and goldfish are unlikely to present a problem.
•    Any prospective new pets (excluding service animals) have a “trial period” to determine if they will be a good fit with the community.   *I will keep my dog on a leash until the community approves this dog to be off-leash.
•    If I am interested in introducing an animal to Lost Valley I must agree to and abide by the pet policy in writing.  I will sign the pet policy which is available from the Site Manager, and on the website:
•    I will pay a pet deposit for animals I keep on campus as my pet.
•    Exotic or particularly aggressive or large pets will require special arrangement.

Alcohol and Criminalized Drug Use:
I will not use alcohol in shared/common spaces without prior approval by the Community Petal.
I will not mis-use or abuse drugs, prescription or otherwise while a resident on this campus.  I understand the consequences of drug mis-use and abuse extend beyond the personal and into the realms of: legal consequences for Lost Valley, community relations, and potential danger for children, smaller animals, the elderly.
*Anyone whose behavior appears to be affecting their relationships within the community as a result of drug or alcohol use may be confronted by individuals or by the whole community to determine any needed course of action.

Marijuana Cultivation:
As an educational site for youth, Lost Valley Center prohibits the cultivation of marijuana on its property.

Marijuana Smoking:
Although marijuana is now legal in Oregon, Lost Valley maintains its own policy regarding areas where marijuana may be used. I agree to smoke marijuana only in the designated smoking zone at the basketball court, or in my private space (such as cabin, apartment, or personal dorm room) in such a way that others are not exposed to secondhand smoke or otherwise affected or bothered by it. At Lost Valley, we agree that the air space of common areas (such as dorm hallways, libraries, lodge, outdoors, etc.) should not be impacted by marijuana smoke and any feedback that the odor of smoke from marijuana use is affecting someone else negatively must be honored and accompanied by better containment of such activity. I/We support each person’s right to breathe air free of tobacco or marijuana smoke (or odor) when in shared spaces at Lost Valley, with the exception of the designated smoking zone at the basketball court.

I will not smoke inside any Lost Valley property or facilities except the basketball court.   I will dispose of my tobacco waste in the proper containers, and I will never toss any waste on the bare ground (lit or otherwise.) On the rare occasion that a conference rents the basketball court, I will utilitze the alternative smoking space (firepit) and will be sure to extinguish any embers with water.
We do not consider swearing appropriate behavior as an everyday language pattern, especially if it is done in an angry or threatening way.  I will choose appropriate language, especially in shared spaces like the lodge kitchen.

Both existing community members/staff and new resident arrivals are strongly encouraged to wait at least 30 days after an individual’s arrival before initiating any new sexual relationships. This allows new arrivals to get their feet on the ground, establish friendships and connections in the larger community, and get a more realistic sense of the people and situation here, before entering into the potential intensity of a new sexual relationship. It also helps lessen the unequal power dynamics between new arrivals and existing residents, which, without awareness, can initially be very lopsided.

We are committed to a nonviolent way of life through our speech, thoughts, and actions. We strive to learn the skills to better embody nonviolence in all of our communication and interactions—whether with ourselves, others, property, or the environment–and to help others do the same. We do not support energetic, emotional, or psychological violence, and also recognize that it can be unconscious, unintentional, and open to interpretation. We work to address instances of perceived non-physical violence through conflict resolution and mediation, often with the assistance of Community Council, and through ongoing efforts to learn the arts of nonviolence.

Lost Valley has a zero-tolerance policy toward physical violence (including credible threats of physical violence) against other residents or visitors. Acts of willful physical violence, once verified by Community Council and/or the Site Manager, Executive Director, or Board of Directors, are grounds for automatic expulsion from Lost Valley by any of those bodies. A decision to expel a resident for these reasons may be overturned or suspended only through a consent decision of the full community (at Community Petal or in special session), in which case other ways of addressing the violence (for example, counseling and/or anger management sessions) will be required. Specific timelines for eviction and/or other consequences for violent acts or threats are decided on a case-by-case basis, depending on the circumstances of the incident and the immediate threat judged to be posed by the individual’s continued presence on campus.

Policy Infraction Resolution Process (PIRP):
The Community Council is a small group of people elected by the community of resident staff and students at Lost Valley existing to help resolve conflicts and/or policy infractions that need special attention.  First is a written warning delivered by council member(s).  Repeated misconduct or complaints results in additional written warnings, and a wisdom circle with the whole council.  Outstanding conflict beyond steps one and two is resolved by the council’s recommendation to the appropriate body for remediation of said issue.
If I am reported as having been in violation of any part of this agreement, another resident may enter me into the resolution process facilitated by Community Council.  I recognize that I have the same right to request reasonable help from the Community Council.  If I cause distress with multiple people on-site, enough such that Community Council cannot foreseeably resolve community tensions, the Council may recommend an end to my residency to the Site Manager.
I agree to maintain healthy relationships with other residents and visitors to the best of my ability.
I will proactively work to resolve any conflicts and/or misunderstandings in a timely manner. This includes making a good faith effort to work out interpersonal problems through third-party mediation, as appropriate, and as determined by Community Council. I agree to make myself available for a scheduled mediation within two weeks after a request from Community Council. An extension may be granted under extenuating circumstances. Noncompliance with a Community Council request for timely participation in mediation may lead to a larger community circle or other measures, including a possible recommendation for end of residency.

About Living Here

Comments are closed