Our name is Friends Lake Cooperative Community. The emphasis is on all four words.
The reflection below, from longtime FLCC member Barbara Brodsky, captures the essence of FLCC.
Since many of the original members were Quakers, members of the Society of Friends, this was the lead term for our name. We have far fewer Quakers in our membership today, and in fact encourage and appreciate diversity, but “Friends” also has the meaning of friendship. This means that we relate to each other with mutual respect and appreciation of the value of each person, gathered here in friendship.
Founders sought a lake site and found this beautiful piece of land on Long Lake, a spring fed lake with relatively quiet shores and wooded surroundings. Through the years, we and our lakeshore neighbors have strived to keep this lake clean and beautiful, working together to keep the lake and surrounding land free of invasive species that could eventually turn our lake into a marsh. This takes work, such as the annual raking the beach, and pulling of invasive weeds that choke the boat and swim area.
The founding vision was one in which we would all share the work to maintain our land, lake and structures. Right through to today, we have no paid employees. If we want a lovely environment, we must make it so. It is OUR lake, OUR land. Since year one, we have had work parties, where we can work and play together, doing what is needed with joy and fellowship. Without such care, we cannot continue.
Community members don’t have to all think alike; we do hold shared values of preservation of this lake and acreage and our community trails and structures, and hold the value of mutual respect. A community is a place for sharing; for coming together in joy and fellowship, and in quiet and solitude. We trust each other enough to hear each person’s vision and understand how it completes the whole. As each generation gathers here, each will have to explore “community” to understand what it means for that generation. But we are connected through our membership and commitment to make this a place that fits us all as best as is possible, and by honoring the original vision of our founders to the degree that is appropriate.