Work with us! Volunteer Coworkers and AmeriCorps members support people with special needs in our residential and day programs.
Camphill Soltane offers life-changing work opportunities for coworkers (residential volunteer supporters).
Coworkers support people with special needs in our residential houses, classes, and work areas. Coworkers do not receive a salary for their work, but receive room, board, medical insurance, and a modest stipend for personal expenses. They either live in houses together with students or residents with special needs, or close by in separate housing.
Coworkers make a one-year commitment to serve at Camphill Soltane. Many choose to stay longer than a year to deepen their relationships with people, take on greater responsibility, or develop their skills in a particular area of work life. Some of these coworkers have identified their work at Camphill Soltane as their vocation, and they live and work here on a long-term, open-ended basis. Many of these coworkers choose to start or raise their families here, as well. These long-term coworkers carry multiple responsibilities in the community for residential and program life, and many have strong connections with Camphill Soltane’s underlying spiritual foundation of anthroposophy.
Camphill Soltane also employs a number of paid staff to support in residential houses, lead classes or work areas, or perform administrative functions. Depending on the position, staff may live in housing provided by Camphill Soltane or in their own residence. To view staff openings, visit our Available Positions page.
Training & Support
For those coworkers who join Camphill Soltane at the end of August, a week-long orientation is provided before students, postgraduates and residents return from their summer break.
New coworkers and paid residential support staff attend an Introductory Course one half day a week throughout their first year of service. Topics include Positive Approaches, trauma, mental health, autism, sexuality and relationships, and an introduction to anthroposophy. The Introductory Course allows time for people to connect and share about their living and working experiences, and to receive guidance on specific issues. Training on other topics, including CQL’s Personal Outcomes Measures, is also provided throughout the year.
In addition to formal trainings, coworkers receive on-the-job coaching from experienced coworkers and staff in their houses, classrooms or work areas.
Continuing studies are available from a coworker’s second year of service and beyond, provided either by Camphill Soltane, Camphill Special School or other organizations.
Finally, a Peer Mentor Program connects an experienced Soltane volunteer or staff member with each coworker. Through monthly conversations, mentors help coworkers build their internal capacities for the work and life at Camphill Soltane.
We believe that people who serve at Camphill Soltane will become the leaders of tomorrow, with a natural ability to transform society with the insights gained through service. Our investment in our coworkers begins with challenging admissions requirements, and continues with the support and training that we provide to coworkers throughout their service.
Prospective co-workers must be in good physical and mental health, and be at least 21 years old. They must have a full grasp of the English language and be able to communicate well. Camphill Soltane welcomes applications from individuals from any country worldwide, although it is difficult to obtain visas for service from some countries. Couples and families may apply for coworker positions; however, each adult individual must complete their own application. Because we depend on coworkers to take people to off-site locations for activities, etc., we require all coworkers to come with a valid driver's license.
Personal qualities and characteristics are an important part of the admissions process. In general, we are looking for highly motivated and capable people who are ready and able to take on responsibility for others besides themselves. Additionally, we look for people with a real interest in community living, an interest in people with disabilities, and a desire to develop their own personal and professional capacities. We occasionally have needs for people with a specific set of skills, to take on leadership in particular areas; these needs are listed on our Available Positions page.
Our program year runs from late August through the end of July every year, and we prefer that coworkers make a commitment for this entire length of service. Coworkers may extend their time at Camphill Soltane past the initial service year, with agreement from the larger community. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis, beginning in late January for positions beginning at the end of August.
To apply for a coworker position, start by accessing our online application and choosing an available position. The application has three parts - an application form, a Health Questionnaire, and 3 references. Following an initial review of your application, we may contact you for an interview. An admissions decision will then follow shortly thereafter. Should you be invited to Camphill Soltane as a coworker, you would be required to submit additional supporting materials: certificates of medical and dental health, a background check, fingerprints, proof of First Aid/CPR training, and proof of health insurance for the first 3 months of your service. You will receive instructions on how to collect and submit these supporting materials in your invitation package. Do not submit these materials as part of your initial application, as they are only required AFTER an invitation has been issued. Once coworkers are accepted they must finance or arrange their own transportation to and from Soltane.
Please contact Staff and Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator Kelsey Schwenk with any questions or for additional information about the admissions process.
Coworkers receive a modest monthly stipend to help cover personal expenses and vacation needs. Room and board, basic medical insurance (after three months), and a private room with a shared bath are provided to all coworkers. Householding couples or families are given a larger monthly stipend and tuition is provided for any children at the Kimberton Waldorf School. Coworkers provide support in houses, classrooms and/or work areas approximately 60 hours per week, with at least two nights when they are not “on call." During the year, coworkers are given vacation time for winter and spring holidays, for about a week each time.