Young coworker Jessica Heilbrunn, photo by Ted Sickels
In August 2012 Jessica Heilbrunn joined the Village as a short-term coworker. Jessica comes to the village from Boulder, Colorado and was introduced to the village through her high school, Shining Mountain Waldorf School. As part of her senior year Jessica came to volunteer at the Village for three weeks. Jessica had a wonderful experience and decided that she wanted to spend her gap year as a young coworker in the Village.
Here is a short interview with Jessica about life as a young coworker in the Village:
Q: Where do you live in the Village?
JH: Since coming to the village I have lived in three houses, Rock Maple, Arbutus, and now I live in Orchard House and am attached to Capella.
Q: What have you enjoyed about one of the houses that you have lived in?
JH: I really enjoyed living in Arbutus. It is a team house, so all of the work is really equal, and because of this you have a fuller sense of what is done in the house. In Arbutus we decided everything together and shared all of the work. As coworkers we worked with all of the villagers equally, depending on their needs. Living in Arbutus I felt really at home; it felt like my house because of the equality between everyone.
Every house in the Village is really different. All houses have a different rhythm and atmosphere to them. House life in the Village has a really big impact on you and is a big part of life here.
Farm Crew, photo by Ted Sickels
Q: Where do you work in the Village?
JH: I work on the farm full-time.
Q: What do you enjoy about working on the farm?
JH: I love working with the animals on the farm and being outside and active all day. The farm has a really great crew of coworkers and villagers. We spend a lot of time together and have a lot of fun with our work. The farm is on a different schedule from the rest of the Village, which can be really nice.
Q: What do the Villagers bring to life at Camphill Village for you?
JH: When you are living in the Village for one year your views about the villagers are constantly changing. Your approach to the villagers change over time. The longer you stay the more you see and realize that the villagers are the ones in the community who keep the village functioning and moving. We [coworkers] do things that they [villagers] can’t do because they have difficulties with it; we facilitate their work. But they [villagers] are the driving force of everyday life in the village.
Q: What is rewarding about living and working in Camphill Village?
JH: When someone you work or live with does something really well or you see improvement, it is really rewarding. As an example, I lived with someone who doesn’t speak very much and when he communicates more and learns new words it is really exciting and rewarding!
Farm Crew, photo by Ted Sickels
Q: What do you you give to the villagers?
JH: We as coworkers facilitate their work. We are new faces in the community and new people for the villagers to get to know. I think they enjoy this and it is important to have new people with different experiences in the village.
Q: What has been the best part of this experience for you?
JH: The social aspect. It is a small community where you interact with the same people all the time, which can be challenging at times. But there is a great group of other young coworkers and we have become very close; this is really great as we are there for each other. Also, getting to know the villagers has been great. They are amazing people and really fun to work with.
Jessica Heilbrunn hard at work, photo by Ted Sickels
Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking about volunteering at Camphill Village for a year?
JH: While living and working at the Village you need to be very committed, as there will sometimes be difficult times. But, being here is very rewarding. You will make friends in the Village that you will keep and will have memories that stay with you forever. Before coming to the Village you will not understand entirely what it is like until you live here. Come and take it day by day. Be open to surprises. You will like it!