Ashram Guidelines for Children
CHILDREN under age 12 must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times. Youth age 12 and over should check in periodically with an adult caregiver. The best place for children to play is either on the playground or in the grassy area of the back field behind the kitchen and porch. Children are not allowed on the farm without adult supervision.
AREAS OF SPECIAL CONCERN:
Please be advised that the playground slide can get very hot on hot days. Test the slide temperature before allowing your child to play on it. Cold water, available in the kitchen, can be poured over the hot slide to cool it.
The ashram cows graze in areas surrounded by an electric fence. It will shock you! Please keep children at a safe distance from the fence and the cows at all times. They are large animals. Please use common sense and caution.
Peacocks are beautiful to look at but need to be kept at a safe distance. They have beaks and claws which are very sharp. Please make sure that children do not chase, feed or harass the peacocks. Observe them from at least 5 feet away.
The acequias, or irrigation ditches running across the ashram are a vital part of our cultural history and are used by many landowners throughout the neighborhood. DO NOT ALLOW CHILDREN TO PLAY IN OR AROUND THE IRRIGATION DITCHES. If rocks or sticks are thrown into the ditches, the water is blocked for other users. There is also a drowning hazard for small children.
The ashram pond is off-limits to anyone except ashram staff members or designated sevaks who are performing seva at the pond. PLEASE DO NOT GO INSIDE THE POND FENCE FOR ANY REASON. The pond is a serious drowning hazard for unattended children in both winter and summer seasons. The iced-over pond is not safe for walking on under any circumstances. The pond filled with water is over 6 feet deep with a sticky, muddy bottom which could trap small feet. The clay layer lining the pond is critical for holding water and could be damaged by people walking on it. PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE POND.
While we welcome participation by children and youth in cooking a cleaning projects, busy days like Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays are times when very young children or children playing or running through the kitchen and outdoor cooking areas are not allowed. If you are participating in kitchen seva on the weekends, please make adequate childcare arrangements for your children so that they may be properly supervised in another area of the ashram while you concentrate on preparing prasad.
TEMPLE ROOM AND SUNROOM
The temple room and sunroom are sacred spaces. Please teach your children to respect the altars and the food offerings by only taking one piece of prasad and not touching all of the pieces. The musical instruments in the temple room are costly and invaluable to our community. They are not playthings. Children can use the drums and percussion instruments with supervision but should not touch the harmonium. Please use your discernment about whether your children are disrupting the experience in the temple room for others and guide them accordingly. Running in the sunroom is not allowed.