Living & Working in Camphill
Everyone in Camphill contributes to the sustaining of the community according to his or her ability, striking a balance between personal interest and community need. This may mean working together with people with developmental and other disabilities in a craft workshop producing a beautiful woven fabric or wooden toys; working in the community store and cafe; producing bread, baked goods and preserved foods for community households, for the café, and for distribution to shops and outlets; working on the farm with the animals, pastures, chickens, orchards, crops; and landscape gardening, maintaining and beautifying the property.
Camphill staff, called coworkers, live and work alongside people with developmental and other disabilities in one of twelve Camphill communities in North America. Coworkers come from around the globe, and from diverse backgrounds. Individuals and families alike join our communities to share their lives together, working alongside each other towards a common goal and building lasting friendships. Members of each house community are responsible for the care, beauty, maintaining and running of the home. They support each other in the daily work and create a unique social culture, which includes a focus on communal meals. Coworkers are responsible for the health and care needs of the people they live with.
Being a coworker in Camphill requires stamina, perseverance and an openness to learn. For those excited by this challenge, the rewards are manifold: personal satisfaction, friendships, discovering new interests and capacities, developing skills, making a difference, being part of a community effort for world healing. The selection process tends to give priority to those who are able to contribute more to the community and the people Camphill serves than they require personal support and healing for themselves.
How are Coworkers Supported?
Our communities create environments where every person and every aspect of the natural world can be appreciated, valued and learned from. All coworkers are supported in Camphill under arrangements that provide for their living needs, including full room and board, medical insurance (depending on the community), vacation time, a modest stipend for personal needs, Waldorf education for long-term coworker children (if there is a Waldorf School nearby) and formal and on-the-job training in. Training includes providing human support, empowerment and caregiving (social therapy), educating children with disabilities (curative education), organic and biodynamic agriculture, the healing arts and therapies, and crafts.
We have a FAQ page which addresses many common questions about life in our communities, you can access that page here.
Individuals with developmental disabilities come to live and work in our communities and share their abilities and gifts. Living in a Camphill community is an opportunity for anyone to live, work, grow and find happiness and meaning in their lives. If you know an individual with developmental disabilities who has an interest in living in community, engaging in a rich cultural life and taking part in meaningful work we encourage you to contact the community of your interest to learn more about their admissions process. We have all of those contacts listed on our admissions page.
Opportunities for Study in Our Communities
Through the Camphill Academy, resident coworkers in Camphill communities across North America can pursue full-time practice-integrated studies leading to a Certificate of Foundation Studies or a Diploma in Curative Education or Social Therapy. Professional certification programs are recognized by the International Curative Education and Social Therapy Council.
The Camphill Academy is also a member of the University of the State of New York’s National Program on Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction (National PONSI) and students can earn college credit for most of its learning experiences, which can be applied towards suitable BA completion programs.