As part of our celebration of women in our community, we spoke to Joan H about what it means to be a ‘Camphiller’, what role women play in our community and what the future might hold.
CH: What’s your name and what’s your role in the community?
JH: I’m a Senior Co-worker, and my role involves general cultural input through music, eurythmy, festivals and garden beautifying.
CH: How long you have been involved with the community?
JH: I became involved in September 1995.
CH: What’s your most memorable experience in the community?
JH: Facilitating plays/musicals with residents, co-workers and staff.
CH: How important do you think women are to this community?
JH: Very important! Women have most frequently carried the houses as coordinators and are probably more likely to have conversations which connect people.
CH: Do you think women’s influence has changed over time in the community?
JH: Yes and no. Historically the male chief founder here had the strongest influence on decisions and directions taken. Now there are many females in the office titled roles but there is still a male CEO (however he seems quite well balanced in his male/femaleness!) and a largely male Trustees group.
CH: What’s your expectation of yourself and the community for the future?
JH: I expect to continue to bring a supportive presence and energy to building community – in these days of challenges to maintain that and at the same time meeting all the requirements to give good care provision. I hope the community will continue to strengthen in new ways – taking a broader definition – as it has already done to include staff and management – and defining the chief ideals which can help do that.
CH: Who in your opinion is a hero of Camphill?
JH: Maria Simon. She ventured away from her home country, stayed here and supported her children to have more opportunities, has consistently taken on responsibilities as a co-worker and house coordinator and has continued to improve her baking skills to a master’s level. She is deeply committed spiritually although not vaunting religiosity. She is very supportive of the community events and also very sociable in general – keeping up contact with former co-workers and residents. She is always dependable, thoughtful, hard-working and generous.
CH: What is your favourite thing to do outside the community?
JH: Reading and facilitating small singing groups.