So, in the first generation of stirring towards intentional community life, please understand that that entire first generation will be bedeviled by the absence of the lived experience to inform your project. It’s the second generation that gets the chance to live the possibility.

But the generation that gathered together will not taste the fruits of its labor. Do you have the stomach for that work? Are you coming together so you can taste the fruit of this labor of village making even though you don’t know how to make a village? And the entire first generation will be nothing but examples of how not to do it.

But the children born in that circumstance.. they will taste two things. Yes, the mayhem of all your experimentation, sure. But what else? The ongoing willingness to experiment and get it wrong will become their early life encounter with guess what? An attempt toward village mindedness. The very thing you grew up without. So you see what the whole proposition demands from us. The generation that gets together to make a difference will not get a chance to live the difference.”
— Stephen Jenkinson,

Wilder Waters community guiding principles

These principles are listed in no particular order.  They are all important, and the numbers applied to them do not indicate a hierarchical role in community formation and maintenance. 

These are goals to guide one particular community and may not be applicable to all communities around the world. Additionally, these principles are subject to change and be added to based on the community member's collective minds. 


1. Participation.  This is opposed to production.  It involves being part of the ecology of place, rather than actively modifying place to produce goods.  It is an eco-centered mindset, rather than ego-centered one.  Participation involves relying on the Earth’s abundance and using natural (i.e., ecological) methods of interaction, rather than solely trying to elevate the land’s ability to produce.  While agriculture and animal husbandry may be a key part of the community’s ability to produce some of its food, this is not to be the sole way nourishment, medicine, fabric, and other important needs are obtained.


2. Egalitarianism.  All people in the community (and beyond) are equal.  This involves equality amongst the genders, ages, and roles within the community.  Related to this is that all people in the community are sovereign.


3. Consensual decision making.  Because all people are equal, all people have a say in the decision-making.  Of course, with topics that are well-known and well-studied by some people it would, for the advantage of all involved, benefit from having those people speak to the issues and nuances involved.  Elders do not govern, they adjust consensus.


4. Reciprocal gift economy.  This involves the sharing of food, medicine, and material items among community members.  Such an “economy” does not necessarily involve A gives to B and B gives back to A (C or D may eventually give to A).  It does involve a complex web of sharing (especially harvest sharing) among the members so that all are provided for.  This is not to say that there will not be personal items that are private and kept to each person.  Reciprocal gift economy can include the gift of fiat currency to help those in need.


5. Personal work.  This relates to making effort toward improving our physical, emotional, and spiritual selves.  We recognize that our upbringing and immersion within an unwell society has created issues that need to be addressed.  A community cannot be healthy if the individuals are unhealthy.  We must be good listeners and compassionate speakers.  We must also have some personal resilience so that minor issues don’t become large problems.


6. Ceremony.  A healthful community engages in ceremony, rites of passage, and expressions of gratitude.  These range from daily rituals to once-in-a-lifetime events to recognize and honor our human and natural communities.


7. Shared goals and fate.  The community is bound by a sense of common purpose.  The knowledge that all work for the same goal creates unity and inspiration.  The community is also linked by a common fate.  Members who have contributed will not be abandoned due to health issues and the like.  This is not business networking, but caring for each other throughout our lives.  It also involves some sharing of necessary financial commitments (e.g., property taxes, communal propane, road maintenance, etc.)


8. Village and population.  The community will only be comprised of a certain number of households that will ensure that the land is not overworked.  Low population density is a key trait of eco-centered communities and allows for private space when needed.


9. Self-reliance.  Part of successfully reaching community sovereignty is understanding that items required for living need to be obtained and crafted from the local landscape.  When this is not feasible, obtaining raw materials from as nearby as possible is considered the next best choice.  The community will always have interest in moving as far back on the industrial chain as possible (e.g., if fabric for clothing cannot be made, then purchasing fabric produced in an eco-conscientious method is preferable to purchasing completed clothing).  Such a goal necessitates knowledge of primitive and traditional technologies.


10. Land held in common.   The land is the most important item that is held in common (through some method) by all the people of the community.  We need to cherish our land and create our own stories and songs for the land.


11. Peacemaking.  Problem resolution and a return to the previous relationship is the stated goal of peacemaking.  This stands in contradiction to the methods employed by contemporary society, which is an assignment of blame and payment of damages (and the resulting destruction of the relationship).


12. Generational sustainability. The community is forward thinking and evaluates the impact of various practices on future generations.  This necessitates special attention be given to the care and education used to prepare the youth and the adults for an eco-centered living.  It also is an important consideration when the community interacts with the world and economy that lies beyond.  Those material goods that must be purchased from other parts of the world should be produced in the softest manner possible using green technologies and honest social accounting.

our Current Members


There are currently 4 people residing at Wilder Waters Community— Arthur, Samara, Sara, & Tom.

Our time together is spent harvesting wild food, cooking meals, learning about a shared topic of interest, working together on the Wilder Waters Non-profit, working at the same time on individual projects and spending time with the village youth. There is currently one 6-year-old child.

Interested in joining?

First, read the FAQ

Please understand we are a transitional community.

At this time, we do not live full time as hunter gatherers and we cannot avoid things like property taxes on our land, purchasing propane to cook with and buying a large portion of our food (just to name a few).

Our goals are to create a sustainable, self-sufficient community for our children and all future Wilder Waters populations.

We are seeking individuals with skills that will aid in the betterment of the community.

Unfortunately we do not have time to meet everyone who applies. Please consider attending an event so we can meet faster and easier.

Please fill out the entirety of this form:

You will need some sort of income while living at our community. There are living expenses (propane, snow plowing, firewood, etc.) as well as the cost of purchased food. Canton, Maine is a very rural town without many job options. Nearby job options include working at Nezinscot Organic Farm, Ricker Hill Orchard, Caldwell Farm, or commuting to Lewiston/Auburn for various work (massage therapy, yoga studio, restaurant, etc.). Having the ability to work online is ideal for this location.
We are omnivores. Anyone who is practicing a vegetarian, vegan, or strictly raw diet would likely be unable to share in communal meals and should consider a different living location or change their diet.
If you are experiencing depression and extremely low energy levels, please consider reaching out to our community when we are larger with many hands available for healing and can support this type of ailment. Or please reach out to us when you are feeling an increase in your energy. Right now, we are only a few people who are attempting to harvest our food, work 9-5 jobs, raise children, and purchase land. This means we are quite busy and exhausted and at this time, we do not have the time or energy to support additional dependents. We need community members who are fully ready and energized to contribute to the cause.
We are not accepting new dogs or cats into our community. If you have pets other than very small pets who do not scare away wildlife, ex: a fish, please consider reaching out to us when you no longer have pets.
The current community may not fully benefit from the foundation we are building here. We are attempting to build a place so that our children and their children may one day experience human and nature connection the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors may have. The foundational members of this community must work quite hard to re-learn communal living skills, accept true responsibility of shared childcare and shared harvest, and purchase and protect enough forestland for the future community to function. With that said, do not expect a retreat from the hard work that is life but do expect very meaningful and fulfilling life work that will leave you feeling healthy, resilient, likely a bit annoyed at times, but hopefully, truly cared for by your other community members.
Some skills we could really use as we build the foundation of our community: hunting, fishing, carpentry/building residences, & grant writing.