What is Camphill?

Camphill's main endeavour is to shape a community in such a way that all those living there can realise their full potential, in as many realms of life as is possible.
- That everyone can gain the certainty that he or she is needed, in some way or other.

This is a fundamental need for any human being, regardless if he or she is in need of special care or not.

A help towards this goal has since the beginning of Camphill been the idea of the threefold social order:

  • A spiritual life based on the individual freedom of all
  • A social life where all are equal
  • And an economy based on a brotherly way of caring for each other’s needs

Background

The Camphill Movement was founded in 1940 in Camphill, an estate in Aberdeen, Scotland. This is where a group of Jewish war refugees, with the Austrian physician Karl König in the lead, founded a school for children with special needs ­— for care and education. When the children had finished school, the first Camphill Village was created. Now it was no longer teaching and education that was the aim, but to create a way of life for adults.

Inspired by Anthroposophy

The work in Camphill villages is inspired by Anthroposophy, based on the work of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). The awareness of all people's equality and the spiritual perspective of human existence is central in this. In a Camphill village everyone has the same right to meaningful work, and a rich life.

Camphill started up in Norway in 1966

The first Norwegian village for adults needing special care, because of disabilities or other factors, was started at Vidaråsen in Vestfold in 1966. Today there are six villages in Norway.

A global movement

There are over 100 Camphill villages and schools on several continents. Most are located in Europe and North America, but there are also villages in Africa, as well as some small buds in Asia.

 

Whether it's a desire for a lifelong commitment or just a temporary stay to acquire the necessary skills the villages provide care, quality of life and opportunities for development.

Living in a village means to find one’s place in a community in everyday life and festive occasions, in leisure and in work. Through human closeness and mutual concern for the life in the village, a safe and stimulating atmosphere is formed. Here there arises a living environment that encourages the individual to take responsibility for oneself and for others.

A house-community with villagers and staff

Together, the villagers and staff form the house-community. Most meals are common and are important meeting points for conversation, or just for being together. A beautifully laid table, and tasty food gives satisfaction and joy to all. Frequently the farm's own products form the main part of the menu, which means both tasty and healthy food.

Ecological awareness characterizes all aspects of village life: food, agriculture, building materials, energy-management and recycling.

A living and humane architecture is characteristic of many of the buildings in the villages. Much emphasis is laid on colour and quality of materials. There are houses in various sizes, from small one-family houses to large households with space for 10-12 people. Small flats can also be offered at some locations.

Working side by side

Work is an essential aspect of village life and villagers and employees stand side by side in many of the tasks in the village. It was therefore clear from the outset that the villages would not consider salaries in relation to work.

And the consequence of this is that most of the employees are not paid a wage in the usual sense, but handle the catering to individual needs together. 

The villagers themselves handle their disability-grant in consultation with their provisional guardian.

Both villagers and employees pay for board and lodging to the Village Trust.

Everyone has a job to go to

Most Camphill villages are built around an organic farm with animals. We grow vegetables and fruits, mainly for our own use but in times of surplus we also offer our produce for sale. The necessary animal fodder is also grown on the farm. Many of the tasks in the village are associated with the care of the animals and the cultivation of the soil.

There are a multitude of different tasks to be done and each individual can find his or her task adapted to abilities and needs. Fresh air, a hot horse flank, snorting pigs, vegetables growing, spring work and wood-chopping, all this is the life and work in a Camphill village.

Some villages, near to the fjord or lake, also have an opportunity for fishing. Nearness to nature and tasks that are stimulating are given priority when new jobs are created.

In addition to farming, each village has a variety of workshops, such as a carpentry-shop, a weavery, or food-processing setup. As often as possible, one tries to arrange it so that people with different functional levels work side by side. Several of the villages have their own shop where both food and craft items are sold.

Housework is an essential part of the village. The houses must be cleaned and meals prepared. People are hungry after a good day's work. 

It is a goal that everyone has duties to perform that meet real needs in the village, workshop or local neighbourhood and that all perform their work according to their abilities and possibilities.

The celebration of the seasonal festivals of the year are cultural and social highlights of village life.

Education/training:

It is possible to take a four-year block-course leading to a Bachelor’s degree in Social Pedagogy at the Rudolf Steiner University College in Oslo, while working in one of Camphill villages.

Here comes a short description of our six villages: 

Vidaråsen landsby

Vidaråsen is the oldest and largest of the villages in Norway and is located at Andebu, in Vestfold. Today there is about 150 people living here. The village is peacefully situated in a hilly landscape surrounded by forests and agricultural land. Vidaråsen operates, in addition to the farm, a bakery, a dairy, a wood workshop, a doll’s workshop, a weavery, a herbal shop, and a grocery/gift shop. There is a chapel and a large hall where concerts are held, theatrical performances, lectures and village meetings. Vidaråsen also has a care home for those who need extra care.

Enquiries: Vidaråsen Landsby, 3158 Andebu
Phone:+47  33 44 41 00 (9-12 AM, Mon.-Fri.)
E-mailoffice@vidaraasen.no

 

Camphill Solborg

Situated near Jevnaker lies Solborg. Approximately 50 people live here. From Solborg there is a beautiful view of Norefjell — miles off, towards the west. Behind the village begins the forests that border the Oslo area. In addition to our farm and market garden, the village has a carpentry workshop, a weavery, a bakery and a forestry-group.

Enquiries: Solborg, 3520 Jevnaker
Phone: +47 32 13 24 80 (9-12AM, Mon.-Fri.)
E-mailsolborg@camphill.no

 

Hogganvik landsby

Hogganvik is located in a typical fjord-landscape in Vindafjord in Ryfylke. The village overlooks the fjords and mountains. Work on the farm and and in the forest provide jobs for most people. There is also a dairy, weavery and a small wood workshop. 45-50 people live in Hogganvik.

Enquiries: Hogganvik Village, 5583 Vikedal
Phone: +47 52 76 01 11 (9-12AM, Mon.-Fri.)
E-mailhogganvik@camphill.no

 

Jøssåsen landsby

Jøssåsen is located in Malvik commune in Trøndelag. The village is located deep in the forest by Jøssåstjernet, a lake. Circa 50 people live here. In addition, around 10-12 persons from the local community also come in to work. Besides farming, the village has a weavery, a book- and paper-workshop, a wood workshop and a pottery - a group of people have the important task of making firewood.

Enquiries: Jøssåsen Country, 7550 Hommelvik
Phone: +47 73 97 12 22
E-mailoffice@jossasen.no 
E-mail: (applications): application@jossasen.no

 

Vallersund Gård

Vallersund Gård is located on the west coast of the Fosen peninsula, open to the sea. Here there are islands, the ocean and fanciful rock formations as far as the eye can see. Vallersund is an old coastal trading-center which has now become a Camphill village. The farm, bakery, the weavery and store give a variety of possibilities for work. There is about 40 people living in the village.

Enquiries: Vallersund gård, 7167 Vallersund
Phone: +47 72 52 70 80 (9-12AM, Mon.-Thu.)
E-mailvallersund-gaard@camphill.no

 

Camphill Rotvoll

We are a small Camphill Community with people who have special needs, situated on the old Rotvoll estate. It is right at the edge of the fjord, a 10 minutes' drive east of the city of Trondheim.

Camphill Rotvoll is very different from the other villages in Norway, as it is located in a typical residential area. About 25 people live in our 3 houses, with space for 10 adults who need help in daily life. At Rotvoll we have a large garden where we grow biodynamic vegetables and herbs, both outdoor and in our large greenhouse. We also keep a few sheep, together with our next-door neighbours: Rotvoll Waldorf School. We run a number of workshops: a large weavery, a juice- and jam-factory, a bakery and a small general store. Camphill Rotvoll also offers suitable work for people who do not live here, but come in on a day-basis.

Enquiries: Camphill Rotvoll, Hans Collins veg 5, 7053 Ranheim
Phone: +47 73 82 68 50 (9-12AM, Mon.-Fri.)
Fax: +47 73 82 68 51
E-mail: velkommen@camphill-rotvoll.no