The Summer House Crew Confirmation / Code of Conduct
Public times for event Thursday 18th August 4pm - Mon 22nd August 9am
Team on site from Tuesday 18th August morning to end of Monday 24th August
Thank you for being part of The Summer House Weekend
You’re receiving this because we have you on our list of providers, crew, performers and volunteers. Thank you for taking part - it’s great to have you on board!
Because the ethos is just as important to us as the practical stuff, you’ll find all the logistical information here alongside a lot of stuff about our values and how we expect our collaborators to behave. Forgive us if it sounds a bit preachy or obvious at times, but it's based on experiences over the past few years and our desire to make a safe and enjoyable weekend for everyone.
Please ensure all of your team reads this confirmation document; you might also want to read the guest confirmation document (password: mercury) that we sent out to guests. And you can read the programme / advice zine which we'll be giving out to all guests upon arrival.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We will be making changes to this document based on any questions that team members ask.
A brief history of The Summer House Weekend
In August 2012 a group of friends led by Tobias met to celebrate their birthdays across a sun-drenched summer weekend. Over those days The Summer House was born: a place to encounter old acquaintances and meet new ones; to forge intimate connections that may be fleeting or eternal; and to explore the sensual, the spiritual and the skeptical in a fun and respectful environment. Numerous new friendships began that weekend and continue to this day; The Summer House is now in its fifth year and has grown to several days of workshops and activities (see our programme here). On the Friday night we invite guests to cut a birthday cake in celebration. If it’s your birthday too, we encourage you to take part!
Guests from a wide range of communities
The Summer House is not only a great party but also a place to make meaningful and lasting connections. When you come to The Summer House you're more than just a guest: you're part of an extended family of friends-of-friends, drawn from a variety of communities including Kinky Salon, After Pandora, 5 Rhythms, Irreverent Dance, Rumpus, Morning Glory, White Mischief / the dressup and vintage scene, Burning Man/Nowhere, the UK festival scene etc. We believe in inclusivity, respect and community-building - because we want everyone to feel equally free to participate and express themselves, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, disability etc. Paradoxically, to make a place that feels so free requires quite a lot of boundary-setting. But trust us, it’s worth it in the end. We are grateful for your collaboration in making this happen!
We ask you to model the behaviour we expect to see in our community
For one weekend, The Summer House provides an opportunity for people to explore parts of themselves that may be new or challenging. For some that might be partner dancing or singing in a choir, for others it might be tantra or rope bondage. Some are exploring alternative relationship styles for the first time; some are just here to get naked and hang out in the hot tubs. In a bid to hold a safer space where all of these different motivations can sit side by side, we have a strict code of conduct - called the Eight Values - that we ask all guests to abide by.
Of course we expect all crew, performers and volunteers to abide by the code of conduct themselves. But more than that, we ask that with your exemplary behaviour you are ambassadors for the caring ethos we wish to promote. Guests arriving at The Summer House on Thursday and Friday should walk into a world where our values are clearly being modelled by everyone already on site.
We encourage active listening, courtesy at all times, cooperation with each other, and celebrating our differences. While you may not agree with everyone all the time and might even meet people whose lifestyle and attitudes are completely counter to your own, we encourage everyone to respect the views and lived experience of others.
Bearing in mind the diverse nature of our community there will be some guests who are vulnerable or easily triggered. Some of our guests are more sensitive than you might be used to when it comes to things that cause offence. Steer clear of any conversation, imagery or content that could be interpreted as sexist / racist / ableist / homophobic / transphobic / classist. Even if you think it’s just a joke, there will potentially be someone in our community who finds it upsetting, and that's the opposite of what we're trying to achieve. Whether you’re a workshop host, a performer or any kind of contributor, comb your content for anything that might break this rule. While it’s impossible to be 100% perfect, we want everyone to make the maximum effort to be inclusive. If you are performing (eg singing a song, doing a reading) please avoid any kind of political material, stuff that is "edgy" or mentions things like rape, disabled folk etc. This isn't the place.
We’re aiming to hold a space that is considerate around gender and, as much as possible, inclusive to all, which includes our numerous trans guests. Our toilets are gender neutral, as are the vast majority of activities. Workshop hosts and anyone in contact with guests, please be thoughtful before falling into assumptions around gender and try to avoid doing anything like splitting the room into “men” and “women” (we have non-binary guests who don’t identify as either.) Avoid making assumptions on what someone’s gender might be - allow them to suggest it themselves. If in doubt, ask the person what their pronoun is (eg he, she, they etc) Avoid referring to groups with phrases like "guys", "ladies" etc. as that assumes particular genders. Expressions like "folk", "friends", "people" etc. are more neutral.
Go for the consensual approach in all situations. So if you’re joining a group at the dinner table, ask if you may join them. If you want to engage someone in conversation, ask if it’s okay. Touching anyone without permission, needless to say, is completely out of bounds.
Be prepared to support others, both amongst your own group of friends / team-mates and also in our wider community. We want a community of equals, not an “us and them” culture where some people are working/volunteering and other people are partying. Please don’t get so intoxicated that you become a liability and cannot be part of our mutual support network.
CONSENT GUIDELINES FOR FACILITATORS, ORGANISERS, CREW, PERFORMERS ETC
In addition to the code of conduct, we have composed guidelines for facilitators, organisers, community leaders and others to utilise as a framework for consensual behaviour. These guidelines provide an overview of some of the key things to be mindful of once you have taken on such a role. The basic message is: the very act of being part of our crew, or a facilitator, or performing on stage, is likely to put you on a pedestal in certain guests' eyes. Even if you don't feel particularly special, be aware of the power and responsibility you hold, and please do not abuse it.
We explicitly request any one taking on a facilitator / workshop leader / organising role at The Summer House Weekend reads the consent guidelines ahead of the event. They have been written by a group of experienced event organisers and kink-affirmative therapists / educators.
All guests will be aware of these guidelines as we are publishing them in the programme/advice zine.
Leave your inter-personal issues at the door
Now that The Summer House Weekend is in its fifth year we have seen that it can be a tremendous amount of fun for all concerned to work alongside such a brilliant group of people. We know that most of the crew get along with each other and with the guests. But there are always a few cases of people who for whatever reason don't gel so well. This is perhaps more apparent than usual in an environment like The Summer House where some workshops put relationship issues under the microscope. It’s even possible that some of you will know people you've fallen out with or fallen out of love with who are present at the event.
Please do not allow any interpersonal issues to play out during the event. If you know people, whom you don’t get on with, are at the event it’s up to you to stay out of their way or to resolve your issues with them before / outside of the event. If you need to take a brief time out because something gets too emotional that's fine; everyone will understand. But unless there is a clear breach of our code of conduct, please do not ask organisers or team members to intervene in your personal, private matters during the event. We need to concentrate on providing the safest possible environment to cater to our guests’ needs. If, as a result of something personal that comes up at The Summer House, you desire an in-depth discussion (or you believe it could be resolved via mediation with a team member or guest), please approach Tobias after the event and he will attempt to address it after the post-event dust has settled.
Respect the House and the environment
The Summer House is hosted in the real life home of a private individual. Understandably they care about their garden and the local wildlife, and they want to maintain a positive relationship with the local community. Please do not make any noise (the campsite is a quiet space all the time and a totally silent space after 9pm). This is a Leave No Trace event so we expect you to clear up after yourself and pack out any trash when you go, as well as assisting us in separating out recyclables. Please respect the House's requests, including ending no later than the specific times listed on the programme, and making sure that none of your team is noisy / naked outside the specific areas agreed and that no-one pees on the hedges!
We love the enthusiasm and positivity of all our volunteers, performers and crew. Just occasionally a crew member or volunteer gets a bit over-enthusiastic and says or does something that generates complaints from our guests. Please don’t be that person! Remember that it reflects badly on all of us when one of the team does something reckless or offends another guests...this is particularly the case around the Saturday night play party where we expect everyone to be on their best behaviour.
We also request your assistance around any workshop that may be over-subscribed. Although we have several workshops a day, one of which is hosted in the big marquee that can take nearly everyone, there may be times when a workshop is so busy that the workshop host asks people with crew wristbands to hang back. This is to give priority to our paying guests, who have first dibs on entry to workshops.
We want to keep the specifics of this event on the down-low, to protect the privacy of the venue and the guests. Please do not reveal any specific details about the house or its address to anyone. You're fine to tell friends about the event (see below) but just not the details of where it is. Keep your wristband completely covered if you need to venture outside the house. Do not talk about the event to local residents and please dress discreetly when outside the house. We describe this as a birthday party and we don't tell neighbours the specifics. Absolutely no passing on of personal information or gossip about other guests. Do not take photos of anyone without the explicit consent of everyone in the frame.
Your help spreading the word to people who will like this
How do we square the circle of discretion while also finding new people to join our community? With your help. The Summer House Weekend is largely a word-of-mouth thing. So guests and crew members tell their friends. As long as you're thoughtful about the wording - we like phrases such as "The Summer House Weekend is a country retreat exploring intimacy, connection, community and self-expression" - then we positively encourage you to tell people about it. If you have a Facebook page or a Twitter account feel free to mention in our public Facebook page and our Twitter profile. In return we can spread the word about your events or activities now and in future via our social media.
How to let our guests know what you're up to
Are you hosting a workshop or giving a talk or performing or running an activity? Or something else that people need to know about? We have several ways of informing people. The first is via the programme , so if you're not yet in there please supply us with your info. The second is that we can make you an editor on our public Facebook page so you can put your own promo posts (ask Tobias to be made an admin and please keep the posts family-friendly) or you can mention the Facebook page or mention us in a tweet (@summerhouseWKND) and we will retweet it. Finally we have a secret Facebook group where the unexpurgated stuff can go...to be made a member of the group please contact Tobias.
Entrance times / when are you arriving and leaving?
We will be at the house from 9am Tuesday 16th August until 5pm on Monday 22nd August. We absolutely must all be off site by 5pm on Monday. We will have volunteers packing down from early Monday morning - if you need help from our team please ask. You are welcome to camp with us from that time as long as you do so respectfully and are willing to help with setup!
During the weekend itself our gate is open during daylight hours (full details of this on the main confirmation document for guests).
Bring photo ID to get checked in via the crew list
Upon arriving at the House you will be able to check your name off the crew list (please bring valid photo ID e.g., driving licence / passport) and get your wristband. If you are here with a partner or PAL (someone who vouches for you) then we will write your names on each others’ wristbands. If you’re here as part of a working crew, or if you’re on your own but working in some capacity, then we will put your crew / team / group name on the wristband.
No kids or pets
Just to be 100% clear, this is not an event suitable for people under 18. While a lot of our content is tame, even rather fluffy, there is a fair bit of material in our workshops and elsewhere that explores issues of alternative relationships, sexuality, spirituality and kink that is only suitable for over 18s. You may see some nudity and on Saturday night we have a play party for consenting adults. Please do not bring kids or teens on site at any time during setup or takedown or during the event....unless you have our explicit permission in advance. For different reasons, no pets without our express permission!
Camping AND CAMPERVANS
Please use the designated crew camping area. And please consult us about where to park campervans as we have very limited space. Camp considerately as we need to fit a lot of crew in over the course of the weekend. If it fills up please alert Santi or another member of the team as we may be able to find overflow space. Please note that the camping area is a quiet area all day and a totally silent area from 9pm. No shouting, no instruments, no disturbance of any kind and definitely no peeing or pooing anywhere other than the toilets. One of the residents of the house lives permanently in the gardens, and a neighbour is at the bottom of the garden, so it could jeopardise the event if there’s any hassle. Please do not be naked in the campsite!
Toilets and showers
We will have our own toilet and shower trailers from Thursday to Monday morning. Outside those times there are outdoor toilets in the camping areas and some limited toilet / bathroom access inside the house. Please bring towel / shower gel etc. and please keep the area spotlessly clean when in the house.
No deliveries without permission
If you need goods delivered please check in with us in advance. We will need to give security permission to allow items in. Please do not get booze delivered as it causes us various complications (licensing, glass and financial).
House has no public wi-fi and only limited mobile coverage
Wi-fi at the house is terrible so it will be limited to management related stuff only - sorry about this. There is only very limited mobile coverage (the House people use Vodafone which they claim is the best) so please bear in mind that it may be difficult to do data / internet stuff on your phones.
Food (not everyone gets it for free, sorry!)
We have a limited amount of crew food so not everyone gets it for free. If you are scheduled for crew food then your curator / host will already have made this clear to you. If in doubt please speak to your curator / the person who booked you now, as we will not be able to help on the weekend itself.
Transport (we will not reimburse transport beyond what’s agreed!)
Your curator / whoever booked you will already have talked to you about transport. In most cases we do not cover transport costs, and where we do they will have been specifically agreed in advance. We will not pay for anything not agreed in advance. We are running a shuttle bus from Etchingham, the local station, as taxis in the area are so limited. If you need this please let us know in advance as we will not reimburse taxi fares.
Where applicable please provide your insurance/risk assessments/ fire info
This won’t apply to most volunteers, but circus performers and those crew responsible for any installation with a health and safety implication will likely already have insurance, risk assessment, fire information, method statements and so on. Please send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please DO NOT enter via the Glebe Farm entrance, it is the wrong place and they will get upset. DO NOT rely on your satnav or mobile to get there as there is limited mobile coverage and it's quite likely you'll be taken to the wrong place.....PLEASE DO MAKE SURE YOU READ OUR FULL DIRECTIONS DOCUMENT (password hansel)
CONTACTS FOR PRODUCTION MANAGERS
Data and phone on site is pretty patchy so don't rely on this, but if you need to contact our production managers you will find Santi on 07881 588457 a
Many thanks again for your involvement and we hope you have fun! You are here because we’re excited about what you do. Your energy and creativity are what makes The Summer House Weekend an amazing experience for all of us and we can’t wait to get started. Thank you for being part of this.
With love and joy, Tobias and The Summer Housemates