About your project
information if you already applied to an IBG workcamp
How do I travel to my workcamp?
You will organise your trip yourself. The information in the sheet you were given about your camp only concerns the last part of your travel - from the nearest airport/train station to your accommodation. You will find more information about reaching your workcamp at the end of the sheet. More information about trains and buses in Germany can be found at www.bahn.de.
What do I need to bring to my workcamp?
IBG provides food, accommodation and some spare time activities free of charge. However, spare time activities need to be paid from your camp budget. If you decide to do something expensive you need to pay for it yourself. You should definitely plan to bring some pocket money, how much you need depends entirely on you. The most important things to bring are a sleeping bag and if you are an EU citizen the “European Health Card”. Other useful things are a swim suit, a rain jacket, warm jumpers and long pants. You will also need suitable clothes for your work.
It would also be nice if you brought music that you like, photos, recipes, information about the town or country that you come from, and if you play a (portable) instrument – take it with you as well. Apart from that, motivation and fun are always good things to have!
What is the language spoken in the workcamp?
The language spoken in IBG-workcamps is usually English. It is important that you speak at least basic English. The Camp Leaders typically speak good German, so don't be afraid to ask them for any help with translating!
Do I need insurance?
EU citizens MUST bring the European Health Card or certificates. To visit a doctor you need to pay a fee of 10 Euro. IBG insures you against personal accident and injury to third parties.
Non EU citizens are insured against illness, personal accident and injury to third parties. Insurance is only provided within the official camp dates. We strongly recommend organising your own insurance (personal health, accident and travel) before leaving your home country.
How is the work organised?
Usually you will work about 30 hours a week (for example, six hours a day for about five days a week). Remember that you are a volunteer, so you will not be paid for your work. The nature of the work done varies greatly between different workcamps. What all projects have in common is that they serve the local community. It is important that you are motivated to do voluntary work. If you are not motivated for the work, you will not have much pleasure in a workcamp. If you are motivated it will be a great experience. BUT: If you are highly motivated please do not expect a perfectly organised working project. It can happen that there is not always the same amount of work to do – sometimes more and sometimes less. Conditions and tasks may change so we ask you to be flexible and to be prepared to work on different tasks when required.
Where do I live?
In most of the workcamps the accommodation will be in a school, gym hall, in a youth centre, in a cabin, in a hiker’s lodge or something similar. In some cases you will sleep and/or live in tents. The accommodation will be basic, but always suitable for a group to stay for some weeks. Do not expect luxurious housing. Beds or mats will be provided in almost all cases, otherwise it will be mentioned below. Mostly it is not possible to split the group and girls and boys will share the same room.
How does our everyday life look like?
Food will usually be prepared by two members of the camp on any given day. Everyone will take turns cooking, so you should think about recipes from your home country before you leave for your workcamp. It will be a good opportunity to taste food from a lot of different countries. In a workcamp there will usually be three meals a day, of which one will be a warm meal. Lunch or dinner might be a cold meal. All volunteers will be expected to share the domestic tasks such as cooking, cleaning the accommodation, going shopping or doing the dishes. The German variety of bread is famous and for breakfast and dinner typically you just have bread and cold cheeses and meat or jams. To drink alcohol is quite accepted but no other drugs are permitted.
Who are my campleaders?
There will always be one or two campleaders. They will support you in organising free time activities and they keep the money for food and free time activities. They generally have more responsibility (concerning budget and contacts to IBG and the local partners) in the camp but apart from that they are volunteers just like you. If you have any problems they will try to help you. You will receive their contact information a few weeks before your camp starts in the information sheet about your camp.
What does the group life look like?
Everyone should participate in group life, bring their own ideas and help each other. You will get to know other cultures and other ways of life and therefore you should arrive with a lot of tolerance and an open mind. You will have a lot of fun together and will learn a lot from each other. Everyone should take part in all the cleaning and cooking tasks the group has. If everybody feels responsible for the workcamp, it will be a very worthwhile experience.
Do I have free time? What can I do?
How you spend your free time depends on what you and the other members of the group make out of it. It depends also on where the camp is and what the possibilities in the area are. There is not a set program of leisure activities. All volunteers are asked to participate in decision making processes about the group’s leisure activities. Bring ideas! It is always possible to go for walks, make campfires, sing, talk, play, do sports and so on. In addition to that you can make some excursions to see local things of interest, or go sightseeing to towns or museums, which are close to the camp. Internet access will not be provided by IBG.
In most camps you will have contact with the local population through work. Often the youth in villages will have a very different life from yours. Getting to know the local population can be as exciting as getting to know your fellow volunteers. Please note that the level and intensity of contact with the local population/ youth depends entirely on the local possibilities (for example in a very isolated place, there might not be any contact whatsoever) and on your involvement.