Story/Theme and Teacher Selection Process

The Continuity Committee (CC)Ice in the labyrinth

The continuity committee facilitates the theme or story, and teacher selection process for each year of camp.  It is made up of 3-4 members:

  • Community members serve for 3 years with 1 year overlapping with the next community member.
  • One weaver serves on the committee for 2 of their 3 years of weaver service.
  • Each continuity teacher serves on the committee for 2 of their 3 years of teacher service.

The committee is small for ease of meeting and flexibility of process.  One early learning was that large numbers of members slowed the consensus process too much for camp planning.

Selection of CC members:

  • An open call to community will go out when a new community member is needed.  The new member will be selected by the CC and reviewed by weavers before camp starts.
  • The oncoming continuity teacher will shadow the all-camp theme/story meeting in their first year and replace the outgoing continuity teacher in their second year.
  • When a weaver has served two years on the committee, the weavers will select a new weaver to replace the outgoing weaver, and the new weaver member will be mentored through the transition by the outgoing weaver.

Qualities of committee members include:

  • Has been to WWC more than once, and has an ongoing commitment to the WWC community
  • Familiarity and commitment to the Reclaiming Principles of Unity
  • Works effectively and inclusively in groups
  • Able to work creatively and effectively with diverse points of view
  • Reliable and follows through on commitments
  • Able to attend a face-to-face meeting in April
  • Willing to participate in self-directed independent review of teacher candidates
  • Able to make a commitment to the position
  • Able to hold confidentiality
  • Has a working knowledge of consensus process
  • In addition, we call to the gifts you have, or might like to develop; such as gifts of community leadership, experience with Reclaiming camps or teachers, and gifts of community work or organizing.

Here is a visual of the committee membership over time:

Continuity Team Membership Flow

Theme and/or Story Selection

The CC creates a full day theme and story selection event that happens about 2 weeks after camp.  Anyone who has ever attended winter witchcamp is free to participate.  Electronic participation will be made available for community members who are not local to the meeting location. This will be open process for ideas and feedback prior to the event, as well as live audio and video participation at the event.  The process aims for maximum community access and shaping of the magic.

At the end of this refinement process, the CC will decide if there is any further crafting needed.  If this happens, they will gather a small group of spinners for final updates and crafting.  This is completed in March.

The CC sends the finalized theme and/or story to the weavers for final review.  Updates are made if the weavers give feedback about issues with the story/theme fit into the overall web of camp.  This will be very rare.

The theme/story is sent to the community, and becomes part of the call for teachers.

Teacher Selection

Once a story/theme has been finalized, the CC sends out a call for teachers.  The call includes the year’s theme/story and goes out to the larger Reclaiming communities, and may also be targeted to pools of teachers who have expressed interest in teaching at Winter Witchcamp (WWC) or who are part of the WWC community already.  The CC is working to improve the “library” of teachers with interest in WWC.

In April, the CC will meet face-to-face in a process to review all teachers who have said they were interested.

The CC will provide a proposed list of teachers to the weavers for final review.  Weavers and CC will determine the process and options if weavers feel that there are issues with the fit of the teaching team into the overall web of camp.  This will be very rare.

The CC will contact teachers to ensure they are still available and interested, and will confirm readiness for teaching.

The teaching team will be defined and approved no later than July 1.

Continuity Teacher Selection

Continuity teachers will be selected from the same pool of teachers, except that they must have taught at Winter Witchcamp at least once.  The continuity teacher is chosen for 3 years of service to ensure smooth flow of the magic, story, and culture of camp over multiple years.  The CC provides a proposed new continuity teacher to the weavers no later than September.  Weavers and CC will determine the process and options if weavers feel that there are issues with the fit of the continuity teacher into the overall web of the next 3 camps.

Qualities of Continuity Teachers:

  • Deeply committed to Winter Witchcamp
  • Has been a teacher at least once for Winter Witchcamp.
  • Ideally has taught at 2 or more Witch Camps.
  • Actively teaching in home community (examples: work within one’s own local coven, volunteering in a soup kitchen, offering workshops, organizing local events, etc.).
  • Strong leadership skills.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Willing to make 3-year commitment to Winter Witchcamp.
  • Willing to use email, phone and face-to-face meetings to interface.
  • Ability and willingness to continue the magic of Winter Witchcamp from year to year.
  • Will not serve as a Continuity Teacher at any other Witch Camp during their 3 years of serving as Winter Witchcamp Continuity Teacher.

Schedule for Continuity Teachers
Year 1: the new CT is mentored by the current CT while both on the Camp’s teaching team.
Year 2: the CT is solo and helps select the next year’s team and the upcoming CT.
Year 3: the existing CT mentors the new CT coming on board while both on the Camp’s teaching team.

CC Transparency and Confidentiality

The CC will always publish information on the theme/story process along with the story for the year.

Teacher and continuity teacher selection is a balance between confidential discussions, and ensuring enough visibility for community trust of the process.  Confidentiality honors and respects all who apply, as well as the ability to have frank and important conversation about the balance of each team, strengths and weaknesses of individuals, and teacher matches to the themes, stories, and longer magical arcs of camp.  The CC and weavers are in an ongoing process to increase the transparency of the process without harm to teachers or the process.

Development of the Process:

March 20, 2016 Update

Our new story selection process has been completed for 2017 and was a success! The new story will be posted online very soon. The story selection meeting was open to the whole Winter Witchcamp community and held in Minneapolis on Sunday, Feb 28. Fifteen people attended. A team of 3 story spinners, with support from our Continuity Teacher, collaboratively wrote the story for 2017 Camp.

Jan 27, 2016 – Message to community

Beloved WWC community, as many of you already know, our processes are always evolving as we learn from and are inspired by each other’s brilliance and experiences. The weavers and continuity teachers have reviewed the process of story and teacher selection and have decided to make some changes, starting from this year, 2016. We are open to feedback once we have gone through this process after camp and, as ever, we will continue to review our practices as needed. The story and theme selection process will now be open to any community members interested in becoming involved, following a model similar to the one we saw working well for BC Witchcamp. The teachers selection process will be under the purview of a smaller committee consisting of a community member, continuity teacher(s) and a weaver. This will be a committee with rotating leadership, as all our committees. The intention of the updates to this process are to work cooperatively to recommend a story (and theme, if desired) to the Weavers. This process puts the magical work of Winter Witchcamp even more solidly in the hands of the community as a whole, opens time at camp, and we hope it will be more accessible for those who cannot attend camp, as it had been requested by several community members.

Two weeks after camp, on Sunday February 28th 2016 this year, from 11am-4pm,  there will be a meeting open to anyone in community. This meeting will be facilitated by the people serving on the teacher selection committee, which will now be called the Continuity Committee (CC). Many groups, of course, work on continuity at camp, including the weavers, spinners, continuity teachers, Hearth team, and the Bower priestesses. The name is just to distinguish it from the previous group, known as Teacher and Theme Selection Committee (TTSC), which has now been dissolved.

This meeting is open to all community members who have ever come to WWC, and will allow for a remote (call-in) option for those who cannot attend face to face.  Community members are encouraged to share their story ideas before the meeting on the WWC yahoolist and Facebook page.  The CC facilitates an open process of idea gathering, dropped and open, idea refinement and story selection.  One story is chosen at this meeting and, if needed, a group of spinners (volunteers) are gathered to polish and complete the story by no later than March 21st. We recommend that this group of spinners be no larger than 3. By March 21st, the finished story is sent to the CC, who will send to weavers for final approval,  and it is then published on the camp’s website as soon as possible after that. The CC will then send a call out for teachers and meet in April to select teachers for the following camp. Attached to this email, is a much more complete document describing the process. We invite community to try out the process this year and then send us feedback after they have participated, that is after the story selection process for 2017 has been completed. If you have any urgent questions, you can contact Alex Iantaffi as incoming continuity teacher at alex.iantaffi@gmail.com

In love and community process,

Alex, Jennifer, and the Weavers (Kari, Carey, Chuck, Harper, and Max)

_______________________________________________________________________________

Intent of the New Story and Theme Selection Process

The intention of the updates to this process is to work cooperatively to recommend a story (and theme, if desired) to the Weavers. This process puts the magical work of Winter Witchcamp even more solidly in the hands of the community as a whole, opens time at camp, and we hope it will be more accessible for those who cannot attend camp, as has been requested by several community members. 

The story and theme selection process will be distinct and separate from the teaching team selection process in this model. The teaching team will still be selected by a committee operating  by consensus, composed of a community member, a weaver and the continuity teacher(s). As in all our working groups, there will be rotating leadership. We suggest rotating this every two years for the community member and weaver roles. The continuity teacher role is one that rotates every three years, and this will give an opportunity for the  outgoing continuity teacher to mentor the incoming CT into the process. The teaching team selection committee will be called the Continuity Committee. Many groups, of course, work on continuity at camp, including the weavers, spinners, continuity teachers, Hearth team, and the Bower priestesses. The name is just to distinguish it from the previous group, known as Teacher and Theme Selection Committee (TTSC), which has now been dissolved.

WWC Story Selection Process 2016/17

The Continuity Committee (CC)  is responsible for hosting and facilitating the story and theme selection meeting.  This meeting shall be held no later than two weeks after camp, with the date being announced before camp (as early as possible).  This meeting is open to all community members who have ever come to WWC, and should allow for a remote (call-in) option for those who cannot attend face to face (f2f).  Community members are encouraged to share their story and theme ideas before the meeting on the yahoolist and Facebook page.  The CC facilitates an open process of idea gathering, dropped and open, idea refinement and story selection.  One story is chosen at this meeting and, if needed, a group of spinners (volunteers) are gathered to polish the story no later than March 21st .  We recommend that this group of spinners be no larger than 3.

By March 21st, the finished story is sent to the CC, sent to weavers for final approval,  and it is then published on the camp’s website as soon as possible after that.

WWC Teacher Selection Process 2016/17

The Continuity Committee (CC) will consist of 3-4 members (depending on where the continuity teachers are in the rotating cycle).   Members consist of:

  • Community member (1) – A call to community will be posted when this role is open and is approved by the Weavers.  
  • Weaver (1)
  • Continuity Teacher(s) (1 or 2) – In the overlap years, there will be two CTs on the committee.

The community member and weaver serve on this committee for two years.

Qualifications of a CC Member:

  • Has been to WWC more than once, and has an ongoing commitment to the WWC community
  • Familiarity and commitment to the Reclaiming Principles of Unity
  • Works effectively and inclusively in groups
  • Able to work creatively and effectively with diverse points of view
  • Reliable and follows through on commitments
  • Able to attend a face-to-face meeting in April
  • Willing to participate in self-directed independent review of teacher candidates
  • Able to make a commitment to the position
  • Able to hold confidentiality
  • Has a working knowledge of consensus process
  • In addition, we call to the gifts you have, or might like to develop; such as gifts of community leadership, experience with Reclaiming camps or teachers, and gifts of community work or organizing.

The Weaver and the outgoing Continuity Teacher will be the co-organizers and facilitators of this committee.

Members need to be able to attend a face-to-face meeting in April, when the teaching team is selected. Members also need to be able to discuss via email any Teacher Selection business beginning in late February, through the end of the process, no later than July 1.

Continuity Teacher Selection

Current Continuity Teacher and Continuity Committee (CC) members nominate the new Continuity Teacher (CT) to the Weavers as a whole before camp so that the new CT can be announced at camp. Weavers consider this nomination in a timely manner and approve this selection or ask for a new nominee with specific guidance about a new nominee.

Criteria for Continuity Teacher:

1) Deeply committed to Winter Camp and its values.

2) Has attended at least one Winter Camp as teacher.

3) Ideally has taught at 2 or more witchcamps.

4) Actively teaching in home community (examples: work within one’s own local coven, volunteering in a soup kitchen, offering workshops, organizing local events, etc.).

5) Strong leadership skills.

6) Excellent communication skills.

7) Willing to make 3 year commitment to Winter Camp.

8) Willing to use email, video-conferencing, phone and face-to -face meetings to interface.

9) Ability and willingness to continue the magic of winter camp from year to year.

Schedule for Continuity Teachers

Year 1: the new CT is mentored by the current CT while both on the camp’s teaching team.

Year 2: the CT is solo and helps select the next year’s team and the upcoming CT. (Ideally, the new CT is on the teaching team at camp this year, and can be present when they are announced at the end of camp).

Year 3: the existing CT mentors the new CT coming on board while both on the camp’s teaching team.

The exiting Continuity Teacher may choose to stay on the Continuity Committee after their last camp as CT to help choose the next camp’s theme and teaching team.

Teaching Team Selection Timeline

February – Continuity teacher is confirmed for the following year’s camp. After camp, when needed, the call for a new CC member is sent.

March – New committee member is appointed. The Weaver who will co-chair the committee is appointed and contacts the Continuity teacher to go over CC schedule and agenda. Weaver co-chair will ensure that all policies and documents are up to date in the file section of the CC  group. Outdated files will either be deleted or stored in an “Outdated” section of the files. Committee members sign up for the CC e-list or group. All members are sent this document [WWC Story/Theme and Teacher Selection Process] to familiarize themselves with the process. CC begins to discuss online:

  •  Soliciting more input from community via the Winter Witchcamp yahoogroup and Facebook page. A community member who is not on the CC can be asked to spin (volunteer for) this role.
  •  Feedback forms are compiled by the Weavers (or a Spinner) and posted to CC files.
  •  Story/Theme information is compiled by the CT(s) and posted to CC files.
  •  The CC Schedules a face-to-face (f2f) meeting for April

March through f2f meeting – Committee continues discussion online what type of teachers we’d like to have. Every effort is made to reserve discussing individual teachers until the f2f meeting. Before f2f, committee members read: 1) the finished story, 2) all applications of applying teachers, 3) the feedback information, and 4) all communication from community members. So that members can be as informed as possible before the meeting occurs, in the month before the f2f meeting, committee members will make themselves available to phone conversations, held in confidence, to answer questions about possible teachers. Agenda and timing for f2f is proposed online and approved by consensus.

April – The f2f meeting occurs. Committee presents proposed teaching team to Weavers. Weavers review and finalize the teaching team.  Continue doing follow-up phone calls to prospective teachers until teaching team is finalized. The Weaver Co-Facilitator or a person designated by the CC shall send thank-you emails to teachers who applied to our camp but were not selected before the Teaching Team is announced to the community. Let community know via yahoolist and Facebook about the team. Weavers will post information on Web site.

CC E-group – Members of the CC will begin communication on the CC yahoolist˜ as soon as possible after the committee membership is finalized and all members are signed up for the list. Immediate discussion should include: setting a date for the f2f meeting, assigning people to solicit information from community about the teaching team, discussion about what type of teachers we are looking for, what skills and values we are looking for, how to select a balanced team, etc.

Face-to-face meeting:

A full day is set aside. If fundraising for travel expenses is planned, that event has been scheduled during the same weekend. See CC Meeting Notes in Files section of CC yahoolist for agenda and process used for the 2010 camp.

Important components of meeting:

  • Discussion of last camp and feedback.
  • Discussion of Story and Theme chosen and created by community.
  • Discussion of values for selecting teachers and balanced teaching team. List the skills desired in the teaching team.
  • Path ideas from feedback forms.

Selecting the team

Process:  Each committee member proposes a Dream Team of teachers (excluding the Continuity Teachers) and alternates, not to exceed 10 people in total. These names are compiled with other committee members to form a pool of teachers from which a team and alternates are selected. A list of skills that are needed both individually and for the Teaching Team as a whole are provided and considered. This list has been compiled during online discussion and from previous CC meetings.

Some additional things to consider:

  • Developing new teachers from the Winter camp community and in our region.
  • Who will best relate to the story/theme or paths that we’d like to have?
  • Balance between areas of country/world, and cross pollination with other Reclaiming communities. Diversity of teaching team.
  • Who works well together, and can work well with the Weavers?
  • Budget considerations like teaching fee and travel expenses.
  • A team is proposed with a set of alternates.
  • Phone calls are made to proposed teachers and they are asked if they are interested and available. About the phone calls: Prospective teachers are told about the story/theme, the pay, other potential teachers on the team, the time they will be required to be at camp and the pre-work leading up to camp including monthly video-conferences and email communication. The phone calls are to be conducted in a respectful manner. Prospective teachers must be informed that the offer is pending approval by the Weavers and that they should hold the information in confidence until they hear back from the CC.
  • If any teachers can not be reached or need to get back to CC, then the CC will continue to check in by email until the Weavers have approved a team.

Wrapping it up. An email is sent thanking all applicants. We may also want to have voice communication with those applying to camp who are from the community or who we want to encourage to develop their skills or experience and apply again. The Teacher Liaison for the Weavers will invite teachers to the Teachers e-list and give them information on deadlines for bios and path descriptions for website.