In May 2023 the leadership team travelled through the US to different Camphill communities. We took part in several meetings and conferences, enjoyed the guided tours in communities and workplaces and had many inspiring conversations with colleagues about future developments and possible collaborations.
Our ‘Camphill tour’ started in New Orleans, the lively city at the wide Mississippi river. Here we were invited to the regional Camphill Community members’ convention, that was hosted by Camphill Raphael Village. Camphill Raphael Village started in a diversity church downtown and still has the vibrancy of the pioneer phase. It was interesting to see how the initiative grew in the context of the transition from industrial activities into cultural initiatives. Camphill School and Raphael Village work together in old factory buildings and brand new workshops and café. They offer a transition program which is called the Guild program. 25 young people are involved in learning skills for life and work in crafts workshops and in the vegetable garden, bakery and coffee shop. We saw how they recycle plastic bags into beautiful woven colorful bags and enjoyed the evening meals in the Dragonfly coffee shop.
At the convention the study of the unpublished lectures from Karl König to a Dutch youth group in 1948 were introduced to inspire and deepen the work. The themes became alive in the exchange of questions and contributions in well held conversations. Karl König’s reflections on the beings Anthroposophia, the Anthroposophical Society and the Goetheanum in relationship with the Camphill impulse were inspiring as a preparation for the 100 years celebration of the Anthroposophical Society.
The next days we were invited to the meeting of the Camphill Association of North-America. The meeting opened with artistic contributions from the students. Colleagues from Camphill Raphael Village took us on a ‘Songtrail’ through the warm humid air in the old park and along the river: a great way to get to know the ‘genius loci’ and the roots of the cultural life! We sang together and listened to poetry and stories about the history of New Orleans. The water element flew through the whole story about the different cultural streams of peoples who over the years came together here.
Our contributions in the meetings with eurythmy and a talk about how to work with the Foundation Stone Meditation were well received. We also spoke about the Council and invited for the conferences and for collaboration in our delegates meetings. The quote “Let it be easy” came up several times and we reflected on “be-coming”: to be authentic and to let come from the future.