The first camp was in Lukovistia, in the south-east of Slovakia. The aim of this camp was to renovate the former school of the village to turn it into a cultural center in a few years. It was a soft start for me because I was there as a volunteer, so it was the opportunity to see how a workcamp works before leading one! The group of volunteers was quite small but so great! I really enjoyed spending time with them.
About the work, it was physical but so satisfying and motivating to help the local partner achieve his goal. He is so passionate that it made me want to find a passion or a job in which I'm as fulfilled as he is!
During this week, I also slept for the first time in a tent for so long and it was quite pleasant… Except when it was raining and our mattresses got wet! But it’s part of the experience, I guess :-).
And because "après l'effort, le réconfort", we did a lot of free time activities! My favorites were the fire camp and the paddle board on a lake (that's why I redid these 2 activities in my 2 other workcamps :-D).
Let’s go for my second workcamp, located even more in the east, near the border with Ukraine.
It was my longest camp of the summer because it lasted 15 days. And also, the biggest group of volunteers; 9 people, and we were 2 leaders. It was quite an unusual camp because we spent one week in the village of Podhoroď, and the second one, in the village of Turňa nad Bodvou (about 2 hours by car from the first camp site). In both places, it was remote villages and it was for the renovation of castles.
I would say that the highlight of this camp was the local people, we had a more than warm welcome and those people will stay in my memory forever… it's so rewarding to volunteer in this kind of place, where you feel like illuminating the lives of people who don't see many people, even less from all over Europe! We got so many gifts during this camp… the whole group felt useful and thanked.
During this camp, I’ve also forged links with 2 girls, one French and one Polish, with whom I am still in contact and probably will be for a long time. And I think, it is one of the big advantages of this experience and also why everyone should do a workcamp at least once in their life. It gives you the chance to meet people you wouldn't have met in your «normal life» and I am more than thankful for that!
Finally, my last workcamp has arrived. I must admit that I was quite tired and not really ready to start a new camp… buuut here we go again! This time, I was the only leader, with a small group of 5 people.
The aim of this camp was also to renovate a castle, in the village of Brekov. I think now I am an expert for picking up stones!
The group was really wonderful, it clearly gave me a boost and strength. There was a connection between all of us and it was incredible. I enjoyed leading this camp so much! And for the very first time, I slept outside… watching the sky for the night of the shouting stars… really amazing!
And again, I'm sure that some of the people in this camp will stay in my life forever.
After participating in 3 workcamps in Slovakia, I feel really grateful for everything I’ve learned about people, personalities, countries, cultures and also about myself. It made me discover some of my areas of improvement but also some strengths. For sure, it will have an impact on my whole life and on my future plans. I can only encourage people to try at least once.