A Letter to our Fellows and Community

Better Selves Fellowship 2020 and Covid 19


This is a highly unusual year, one when all of our lives have already been shaped by Covid-19.   

Many of the Better Selves Fellows likely need this healing time in nature more than ever before and we want the fellowship to be here for them. We also know that other fellows may no longer be able to travel, or feel comfortable traveling anywhere this summer. To meet the different needs of our fellows, Knoll Farm is offering the Better Selves Fellowships this summer in a very different way that provides these hard-working leaders with a much-needed refuge in nature, and does everything we can to protect the health of all fellows, our farm and our community. 

With these realities, we are offering all accepted fellows the choice of attending the fellowship in 2020, or deferring to 2021. We know we have something very important to offer in this fellowship, and we also fully respect what a challenging and uncertain time this is around health, travel and sharing any space in community.    

Some measures we are taking:

  • Reducing the fellowship group by 50% to maintain groups of 10 or less.
  • Providing private, single accommodations for every participant.
  • Putting health protocols in place around the use of shared spaces such as the dining hall and bathrooms. 
  • Closely monitoring and adhering to travel guidelines and restrictions in reference to interstate travel.

For a full account of the safety protocols we have put in place, please visit our Covid-19 Response page.

The easiest, most straightforward and expected choice for us would have been to cancel the fellowship this summer. But in this extraordinary time, we feel strongly that we want to be responsive to the needs of our fellows, and to offer what we can in a responsible, common-sense way that is safe for everyone.  Knoll Farm is a 160-acre farm where social distancing is the norm and where nature and organic, local food is healing and abundant.  Vermonters have worked diligently to slow the spread of the Coronavirus and our Governor expects the state to resume some activities, including small groups coming together, after June 15th.  These are all factors in our decision to offer a scaled back Better Selves Fellowship this year. 

However, while we know what Vermont is like, we also know that you and your community may have had a very different experience. We know that this is an evolving situation everywhere. We will move forward with the fellowships only if the best available public health information allows us to do so.  We expect to be able to make that final determination by June 15th

Thank you again for your work in the world.

Warm regards,

Peter Forbes

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