Austin "Auz" Lawrence
|Austin, sometimes known as "Auz," is one of the Stewards of Raven's Knoll. Auz has a Master's degree in Anthropology, which has lead to a full time career that he does alongside the "hobby" of running Raven's Knoll and the Kaleidoscope Gathering with his wife, Maryanne Pearce. Austin is a Heathen who is an oathed gođi associated with the American Vinland Association, since 2008. Auz is interested in Medieval Martial Arts and all things Old Norse. Auz is also a former Stag King of the Kaleidoscope Gathering.
Maryanne "MA" Pearce
|Maryanne, sometimes known as "MA," is one of the Stewards of Raven's Knoll. Maryanne has a Master's degree in Anthropology, and a background in Women's Studies. She has a full time career, and is pursuing a Doctorate of Law at the University of Ottawa, as well as running Raven's Knoll and the Kaleidoscope Gathering with her husband, Austin Lawrence. Maryanne is of Mohawk and Celtic ancestry, whose spirituality is grounded in the Mother Earth. Maryanne is involved with Great Pyrenees rescue, does the taxes for all of the women's shelters in Ottawa, and is on the board of Minwaashin Lodge.
Brendan "the Handy" Roche
|Brendan Roche is also called "Brendan the Handy" because he is often around other people named Brendan, but more importantly because he is a Mr. Fix-It. He is the Groundskeeper of Raven's Knoll, living at the property and keeping everything in order and running. He makes sure everyone in the surrounding area is connected to cyberspace by risking his life climbing tall towers for Bonnechere Community Internet. For years, he has been a dedicated maintenance volunteer behind the scenes at many Pagan events, in particular the Kaleidoscope Gathering.
The Stewards (Auz and MA) and Groundskeeper (Brendan the Handy) of Raven's Knoll host Work Weekends where people volunteer to help contribute to the upkeep of Raven's Knoll or assist with any number of our projects. Volunteers get basic camping for free in exchange for sweat and labour, camaraderie is had by all and our community is built! (All parents of teens and teens take note: we sign for high school co-op and volunteer hours. We are also pleased to act as references for teens, should you wish it.)
Following a survey of volunteers in the Winter of 2012, Work Weekends will be run slightly differently this year. By popular request, work weekends will begin at 9:00 a.m. following breakfast. On Saturdays we will end around 5:00 to 5:30 p.m., on Sundays we will end around 4:00 p.m.
Most people arrive on Friday evenings. We will either do up assignments on Friday night or Saturday morning. Others may do a day trips rather than stay the whole weekend.
The fire is generally the evening on Friday nights. For Saturday evenings, we will be having a variety of different events: movie night in the Rookery, card games, mini-Bardic, hot tub night in the House, archery or axe throwing (nothing says relaxing like throwing axes after a day of manual labour!), etc. Some volunteers may be asked to take on the planning of these events.
We offer an optional food plan run by volunteers for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sundays. The cost is just what is required to cover the costs of the food and is $5 for breakfast, $5 for lunch, $8 for dinner, which includes HST. Children under 12 who are with a volunteer that is on the meal plan will eat for free. Coffee and tea are provided for all.
Unless there is an event at the same time, all meals will be at the Rookery. If you do not wish to join the meal plan, you are welcome to bring your own food and join us. We will be having some type of short ritual / ceremony / toast before every Feast.
Our main volunteer Kitchen Witch, Gwen, has food sensitivities herself and is easily able to adjust meals for most limitations without prior notice. If you are vegan or unable to eat eggs, please do give us a few extra days’ notice (firstname.lastname@example.org). Gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy-free, sugar-free, etc. can easily be accommodated. Don’t forget that we need volunteers in the kitchen to clean, cook, deliver and prepare the food.
Indoor accommodation in the Nest (Cabin) or trailers is available, especially for early work weekends! Please contact MA (email@example.com) to secure your spot.
What to bring:
- Ditty bag containing bowl, plate, cup, utensils
- Travel coffee mug
- Travel water bottle
- Towels (shower and swimming)
- Bedding (like a sleeping bag and pillow)
- Tent & related camping gear (if not indoors)
Indoor accommodation in the Nest (Cabin) or trailers is available, especially for early work weekends! Please contact MA at firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your spot.
Children are welcome to attend. Depending on the ages and numbers, a child wrangler may be available from among the volunteers. For those with small children or babes in arms, as well as those with physical limitations, we will happily find work that is suitable for your needs. Pets are also welcome, but they must be on-leash. In addition, please be sure your pet has shade, water and food, and is not left to bark.
Schedule of Work Weekends
Coordination is done through the Raven's Knoll Work Weekends Facebook page.
Click here to go to the Volunteer/Donation Form