Become a group leader in Germany

You like to work in groups and maybe already have participated in one or more international volunteering projects? Then take the next step and lead an international workcamp in Germany!

As a team leader, you engage with the whole group in a voluntary work project, taking responsibility and learning new skills at the same time. You coordinate your group's life and work: When do you work? Who cooks? Who cleans? What leisure options are there? At the beginning of the project you initiate introductory games, mediate in case of conflicts and keep an eye on everybody being involved and satisfied. In advance, you get in touch with the project partner on site and with the international group and collect first ideas for leisure activities.

Experience in working with youth groups is an advantage, but not a requirement for leading an international workcamp.

How can I become a group leader?

You engage in up to 30 hours in a voluntary work project - usually the group works six hours a day. When exactly you start, how many breaks you take and how many hours you work on which day, you can discuss in advance with the project partner. Most groups start working at eight or nine in the morning and then work, with a lunch break, into the early afternoon. The work project is coordinated and guided by a professional instructor - so you do not have to bring any specialist knowledge!

After work you can go on excursions, meet with the local youth or simply spend the evening together in the accommodation - for example with campfires or games. There does not have to be a recreational program every day: Use the time to get to know each other and learn more about each other's cultures. On weekends you will often have time to take trips to more distant places. Part of your job as a group leader is to coordinate the group life: Who cleans? Who goes grocery shopping? Who is cooking today? You are also responsible for the budget that is provided for leisure activities and meals, and should pay attention to the social life: Is everybody involved? Is everybody satisfied?

Usually you will work together with another group leader. In most cases, someone else signs up for the project and we share your and their contact details so you can get in touch; but you can also ask friends and bring someone. Of course, he or she should also attend a preparatory training. For some work camps, we only look for a single group leader because the group is small. If you do not speak any German, we will always try to find a German speaking group leader to work with you.

As group leader, you decide together with the group what you would like to do in your free time. You are not an entertainer and not a kindergarten teacher. Of course, as a group leader, you often have more knowledge and can inform yourself better beforehand about the recreational opportunities available in the project location and the surrounding area. You can also contact the project partners - who are often the mayors or other persons in certain administrative positions in the municipalities - in advance. Overall, it's good to bring along a few ideas and suggestions so that you can coordinate the program with the group.

In most cases, the participants are all of legal age. Of course, the group should pay attention to each other, but you can not be held liable for any accidents / damages by the participants.

You live in the same accommodation, work as well and, of course, also get to enjoy the leisure time activities and the common intercultural experience.

You want to lead an international workcamp, but would like to gradually approach the experience as a leader? That's why we created the role of camp leader trainee. As a trainee, you support the camp leader team with all tasks and can learn from experienced group leaders at the same time.

Just like the group leaders, you work together with all the volunteers in the work project, but you also support the group leaders in coordinating working hours, everyday life in the camp and leisure activities.

You should be able to communicate well in English (and possibly German).

You must be at least 18 years old to lead an international workcamp.

Our preparatory training for group leaders deals with the following question: How do I manage a group? We prepare you to work with group processes, deal with conflicts and consider your individual leadership style. We highly recommend you take part in one of the trainings, because they clarify many unanswered questions, convey a good picture of a typical work camp project and allow us to get to know each other personally. If you cannot attend any of the trainings, this is not a dealbreaker, however. Just contact us anyway, then we can prepare you individually according to your needs.

No. A driver's license is usually helpful, but not always necessary. But if you have your own car and want to bring it with you, that is often a relief. In this case we can also get you a special insurance for the car.

You will receive an allowance of 100 €/week from IBG for leading an international workcamp. For leaders of teenager camps, this is 150€/week.

As a camp leader trainee, you will not receive any allowance, but you will not have to pay any participation fee for the camp.

We will also reimburse the travel expenses for camp leaders as well as camp leader trainees: You will receive a lump sum of 200€ (up to 250€ if you lead two or more projects) to cover your travel and other additional costs. Accommodation and a budget for food are provided during the project.

After you finish the project you will receive a confirmation from us, if you would like to have one. Whether or not the project can be accredited in the context of your studies or similar, however, you will have to agree with the respective coordinators at your school / university.

Places are filled on a "first come, first serve" basis. That means that as long as the project is still listed under "Looking for a group leader", the place is still open. This can sometimes be very short-term. Generally speaking, it is much easier for you and for us,if you apply as early as possible.

For all questions concerning the work project and the accommodation, you have a contact person on site (our project partner). If there are questions about the budget, problems in the group, illnesses, etc. you can always contact us at the office as well. You will receive our private mobile number along with the camp file and in case of emergency you can of course also call in the evening / on weekends.

Your tasks before the work camp include: Contacting the project partner, clarifying open questions and making initial arrangements; getting in touch with the international participants, asking for leisure time ideas, allergies, etc.; researching possible leisure activities. In addition, you should arrive to the project site one day before the camp begins, so you are there before any of the participants, can make a first grocery shopping trip and prepare the accommodation.

After the project ends, you will send back the camp file with the receipts for money spent, as well as some photos and a camp report.

Every year at the end of September / beginning of October we organise the IBG Volunteers' Weekend. This weekend is your opportunity to evaluate your work camp experience and reflect on what you have learned during this time. You can talk to other group leaders, as well as participants and other volunteers, and learn more about IBG - and of course, have fun together!

Forest School Indelhausen
Forest School Indelhausen
When? 02.03.2024-15.03.2024 Group size 12 volunteers incl. 1-2 camp leaders Help prepare new workshops for the Forest School and learn more about the Swabian Alb Biosphere Reserve. This project is...
Peatland Protection in Kell
Peatland Protection in Kell
When? 21.04.2024-04.05.2024 Group size 10 volunteers incl. 1-2 camp leaders Active for climate protection and biodiversity – save the peatlands in the Hunsrück area!  You will actively contribute to...

Group Leader Trainings

In 2024 we will again offer two on-site training courses.

In addition to on-site trainings, there will continue to be regular online training for (future) group leaders. We will start another round in autumn.

Read more about dates, conditions of participation and registration for the trainings here.