29. June 2020

What advice would you give to someone who is going to a workcamp for the first time?

Especially for those who are traveling alone for the first time to take part in an international workcamp, this can be a real challenge and adventure.

The Access 4 All Working Group of our international network ALLIANCE is committed to making access to work camps as easy as possible for everyone. In a blog, the group collects personal stories from volunteers from very different projects. Here are the best tips from workcampers who were in an international camp for the first time:

1) Make the right choice on the topic of your workcamp.

Pick a project that really interests you. Then the work is the most fun, you can learn exciting new things and very likely meet people who share your interests.

2) Fears are normal, but don't let them distract you from your plans.

Face your fears and concerns, don't be afraid of the unknown just because it's unknown and be realistic with your expectations. This experience is quite useful to find out who you really are.

3) Forget your prejudices, be open and allow yourself to experience new things.

The time in the workcamp is like a new life, a new world, very different from your everyday life. You will surely experience one or two surprises or have to get involved in completely new habits. And you will definitely take something away from the experience; you won't be the same person after the camp.

4) It doesn't matter if you don't speak the language well.

Nobody will mind if you say something wrong and others will help you: just relax and keep trying. And don't be afraid to open yourself up to the group and just enjoy the experience.

5) Address problems directly.

Just as in your everyday life, remeber for your workcamp; most likely your fellow human beings cannot read your mind. So if you have a problem, if you do not like something or are not feeling well, speak to the group leader or other workcampers with whom you get along well.

6) If you are in a wheelchair or otherwise have limited mobility, inform yourself well in advance.

Speak directly to the coordinators of your sending organization and your group leaders so that they can support you with the planning and, for example, give you more information about the accommodation or the job.

7) Be ready to cook for 15 people and also have a vegetarian option for your favorite dish.

In most workcamps you will have to cook yourself. You don't need to have much experience, but it doesn't hurt to pick out a recipe or two in advance that you could make for a group. More practical tips: You should pack your student ID if you are a student to get discounts in some places. And don't forget suitable work clothes, such as safety shoes or at least clothes that can also get dirty.

8) Propose ideas, take the initiative and don't forget to laugh.

A workcamp is the perfect place to share ideas and skills, try new things and work together in a group. And don't forget: You are stronger than you think.

You are not yet registered for a camp, but have some free time this summer? You can find great workcamps in Germany and Europe currently still looking for volunteers, here. For all workcamps this summer and autumn, we can refund the full placement fee if you cancel before the start of the camp.

Lukas will be happy to answer any questions you may have about work camps and individual support:

Send an email: outgoing@ibg-workcamps.org
Call: 06022/279 38 51
Write via messenger (Signal, Telegram & WhatsApp): +49 1520 2185131