Camphill as a longterm way of life - Joining community in later life
While many people, who volunteer in the Bridge Communities are in their early twenties and take a year out before going to university some are deciding to come to Camphill later in life as part of a career break.
Older co-workers often decide to stay for longer and become a very important part of the life of the Bridge Community.
They are usually able to take responsibility for others and can contribute their life experience to the different work areas in the community. While such a jump into the community in later life can initially take some adjustments those that continue and persevere often find that it is the kind of lifestyle they were looking for. Community can offer a lot that has become scarce in the world at large. It is a meaningful lifestyle with a strong sense of purpose and a shared striving for doing the good, sometimes intense, sometimes funny but rarely booring.
When people decide to stay longer they are usually joining our longterm group and become part of carrying the life in our community and the responsibilities involved.
There is many a story of people in Camphill who came for a year and enjoyed their stay so much that they decided to stay for longer, sometimes for 2-3 years, sometimes for 10-20 years or more.
This is often a gradual process of connecting to Camphill and of course depends on the individual.
Volunteering as a family lifestyle choice
Families form the heart and life of many house communities - Couples or single people and their children can really help in creating an atmosphere that is homely and engenders life.
I remember when my children were small and Justine, a girl with down syndrom used to play with them sometimes for several hours while I was doing other things around the house like trying to put a sunday dinner for 12 people on the table. My children grew up in this environment where there were always people around that they could relate to and where their social context was so much larger than just their Mom and Dad.
Many of the people with special needs appreciate the fact that there are children around and it helps people to connect to something that is more important than their own woes and troubles.
Yet we would be able to have three meals a day together with our children, something that many people who commute to work every day can only dream of.
Sometimes people ask me whether we think that our own family suffers living together with a house of many other people.
It is important to create moments in everyday when we are just our smaller family but that does not necessarily have to become a polarity.
I feel that it has enriched our family life and helped our children to be open-minded and tolerant and good communicators. They were able to grow up with a lot of space outside where they could run and be in a safe environment and if they wanted to they could quickly pop into wherever it was I was working and say hello or help a bit and get involved
Mischa (houseparent in the Bridge Community)
Why not contact us and we will gladly answer your questions about volunteering as a family...
Specific Needs for Workmasters
The following are openings and needs for live-in volunteers who are a little bit older (at least 25) who would like to take responsibility for a workshop with People with Special Needs and involve themselves in the life of the community on a more ongoing basis