Participation Guidelines

  • Differences in experience, culture, and belief are welcome – tolerance is expected.
  • Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, and the like are not welcome – talking about experiencing these things is okay, expressing them is not.
  • Being judgemental on religious or spiritual (for or against) grounds will be watched closely – people have strong opinions on matters of faith and about faith-based organisations. Talking about this is okay, talking about your experience is okay, but this is not a therapy group; not because nobody cares but because therapy requires specific skills to be done well and this is not that forum.
  • No person attending a campfire is likely to be someone who “speaks for” an organisation – we recognise that each person is bringing their own perspective and experience to the conversation – not “answering for” or “explaining” something for any group they identify with or you perceive them to be part of.
  • Proselytising is not welcome, sharing what you think is not the same as trying to convince others to your way of thinking.
  • Be kind in any questions – people do not owe you answers or explanations.
  • Assume miscommunication over malice.
  • Silence is okay – particularly in open topic events.
    The pauses can give people time to think about what has been shared, what if anything they want to say, and usually feel companionable rather than awkward.
  • Events that have listed topics may not stay on that topic for the entire event – campfire conversations are organic and there is no script that needs to be “gotten back to”. A posted topic may turn out to be a starting point, it may end up being only discussed in part because the group got caught up in some part of the larger idea posted. This is not a classroom, there are no goalposts that must be reached by the end of the event. The discussion goes where those who wish to speak take it.
  • The host will keep track of who speaks next in open topic events, but is not a “facilitator” or “discussion leader”. They will remove anyone not abiding by the Participation Guidelines from any type of event, but other than tracking who speaks next and keeping an eye on the event time for open topic events, the host is free to participate (or not) in the discussion in the manner of any other campfire companion.