Big Question I am asking: If I can only come by bringing my 4 year old, would I still be welcome and provided opportunity to work as much as I am able?
My husband is incredibly encouraging of me coming to the Build for at least one week this year. We have been working on "self sustainability" very gradually for a decade, made complicated by adding kids #3 and #4. I have been homeschooling, pooless, organic, gardening for 5 years now. My youngest child is four. I am aware that anyone trying to do "two jobs at the same time" is not going to get the full benefit of either. I would bring my 15 year old who chops wood for fun who will be fully engaged in providing assistance to the Green House Build (we are thinking of trying something similar for our local food bank as his Eagle Scout Project next year). So we would bring a net benefit to the Build.
BUT: If having a four year old is an unsafe and unrealistic expectation, I will find alternate arrangements and then ask: is it worth my coming out if we can only be there for 3 or 4 days? I have never been away from my kids for this long, and although my husband is fully capable he is still tied to his desk-job.
We have had people with kids here and it has worked great. And we have had people with kids here and it was a mess. So I guess it thoroughly depends on you and your kids.
The first element to figure out: With one person, there is 1 unit of work and 1 unit of resources consumed. With a couple with three kids, there is one unit of work and 5 units of resources consumed. We did have a lovely family of five here last year, and it worked great. The deal they worked out was that they would provide all of the food for all five people. The parents took really good care of the kids and the kids were super respectful.
And we have had people that thought my house was "unsupervised child storage" and the children would destroy my house and the parents would say "yeah, kids do that - you should child proof your house."
So it sounds like you are bringing two kids. One is 4 and one is 15. So at the very least, you or the 15 year old can entertain the 4 year old while one person is doing bootcamp stuff. But it is possible that you and the 15 year old will do booty stuff while the 4 year old does micro booty stuff. Or can be self entertained with a mud puddle or something.
We just can't tell until we are hip deep in the experience.
So the starting point is for me to ask you the question: what do you propose?
I propose that I come with both my kids on Monday, and enough food for us for a week. That way we will be pretty self-sufficient (except for water and time needing to train us). My four year oldis the type to self-entertain with a pit of mud and a shovel, but does occasionally throw fits when he is exhausted. If you or others express concerns about my son or my inability to parent/work appropriately, I am willing to leave and open space for others. The timing - of this week and next - works amazingly well for my family of 6.
I want to be a positive contribution, and I believe that my 15 year old and I will bring more benefits than my four year old will detract. we are NOT like the latter-family described. I never expect other people to change their environments for my children (with the caveat of the no drugs allowed =) and we will respect your property. I can't promise my son won't make a mistake, but I will always attempt to educate him and we fix what we mess up.
If it works well for a week, I may stay for up to two weeks. If it works for two or three days and then falls apart, a least I know what to expect.