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Old 22.03.2011, 11:20
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Bergwald Projekt? Volunteer in the mountains

Does anyone know if you are able to volunteer for Bergwald Projekt as an English speaker? (limited German) Any personal experiences or insight is welcome!

http://www.bergwaldprojekt.ch/en/index.php
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Old 22.03.2011, 14:24
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Re: Bergwald Projekt? Volunteer in the mountains

Yes and No.

The majority of it is German lead - and most of the people who will go to it are German speakers. HOWEVER some of the organisers do speak reasonable English (IE better than my German) - as well as Spanish, French, Italian etc etc

The guy we had had run projects in South American - and so was pretty fluent in Spanish and English. The Forestry guys though tend not to have a higher level of English - so don't expect much conversation.

Don't expect much in the way of a health and safety briefing. They'll say whether the surface is steep, they'll say to pay attention to your surroundings - and they'll point at helmets and ear defenders. They'll allow you to decide whether and when to use them.

As for whether it is worthwhile?? If as a foreigner living in Switzerland you enjoy that side of the country IE the mountains and forests - it is one of the best ways you can give something back.

I have only ever done a 1 day trip - it was superb fun, it was hard work, we had every possible type of weather, we had great simple food and we smiled - a lot!!
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Old 22.03.2011, 14:32
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Re: Bergwald Projekt? Volunteer in the mountains

I've done this twice. The last guy spoke english, previous one I can't remember. The nature of the work doesn't require much speaking in any case.

If you're interested, I'm joining a third project soon and can provide details if you want to join.
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Old 22.03.2011, 14:59
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Re: Bergwald Projekt? Volunteer in the mountains

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... I have only ever done a 1 day trip...
It seems that the only trips available are whole week trips:
Quote:
...Workcamp last from Sunday afternoon to Saturday morning....
Also on the language issue:
Quote:
Language
Projects will be held in German. The projects in Champéry, Trient and Blonay are in French.
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Old 22.03.2011, 18:07
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Re: Bergwald Projekt? Volunteer in the mountains

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It seems that the only trips available are whole week trips
They also organise corporate days
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Old 22.03.2011, 20:35
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Re: Bergwald Projekt? Volunteer in the mountains

You may also be interested in the International Conservation Holidays organised by BTCV.

They have similar projects to this in many countries. All have English speaking leaders. They don't have anything in Switzerland but have projects in Italy, France, Germany and England among others.

I have led many of the English projects in the past.
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Old 22.03.2011, 20:46
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Re: Bergwald Projekt? Volunteer in the mountains

At least once a year, I volunteer as I believe one should give back to the community as much as one can.

Over the last 3 years, I have done the Bergwald Project and every time it has been very enriching and rewarding. My company has corporate days so it was only one day though I have done in it the italian speaking side, the east and west CH.

I would not worry about the language too much if your main goal is to help preserve nature and spend some time outdoors. I am sure if the instructor does not have much English, someone in the group could help...like what was mentioned before, at the end, the activities does not require much english.

Enjoy!
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