Gesundheit Institute is ready to present the new schedule for volunteer opportunities and workshops on the land in West Virginia.
We need kitchen helpers (3 or 4) during the months of July, August and September 2012, so if you think you can cook for big groups we will be thankful for joyful service.
During the same months, plus October, we are also looking for volunteers (2 or 3) who can help outside: contruction, gardening, manteinance, cleaning, painting outside jobs.
If you wish to apply to volunteer, scroll down to find the application form to print out and send in via snail mail to the address below. Please specify which of the jobs listed here you would like to offer.
If you are looking for the social experience of Gesundheit on the land and learning about our philosophy, doing clowning, workshops and community outreach, then you will have to apply to the ON THE LAND workshop we will propose for May, and August.
These workshops will be posted on this web site.
ON THE LAND WORKSHOPS DATES
Thank you for your interest in the Gesundheit Institute! Here, we want to introduce you to what invigorates us, and to how we work together.
A community experiment, the Gesundheit! Institute invites the practice of thoughtful, intimate relationship towards making community, family and personal well being come alive.
Though it is our clear intention to build our envisioned hospital, we must emphasize that:
We have not yet begun any hospital construction. We will not see patients or offer health care on the land in West Virginia until we have finished Phases IV and V of our building, which will include an outpatient clinic with a clinic staff residential component.
In West Virginia there are currently three on-site land-caretakers, Wildman, Elisa and their daughter Annamaria. They live on the land full time and doing community outreach (like clowning and giving classes), gardening and preservation, writing, buildings and grounds maintenance, basic administration, and work with volunteers.
The Workshop is the first structure built by Gesundheit! It is a beautifully situated multipurpose space with plenty of room including a large wood working facility; costume closet; art, craft and sewing area; multipurpose room for workshops, play, dance parties, theater in the round, yoga, etc. The top floor also has three cubbies for break out sessions or additional sleeping space, and a toilet. There is a complete bathroom facility including shower on the Workshop’s first floor. The workshop is situated near the lake, a short walk from the Farmhouse. The Workshop is always open.
The Farmhouse is a major hub of activity; we consider it to be our group living room. The Farmhouse holds our pantry and root cellar and is right next to the garden, so we cook vegetarian food and eat here. In addition, it houses our small library, which also serves as a volunteer Internet access site and lounge. You’ll also find a sound system and a small TV/VCR for your use. The Farmhouse is always open.
In the summertime, two Yurts and the Egal Dorm house volunteers and special program participants such as those attending School for Designing a Society. The Egal Dorm has space to sleep up to 12 people, the larger Yurt houses up to 10 and the smaller Yurt sleeps up to 8. Sleeping is on bunk beds built in the Workshop by volunteers. The land space currently occupied by these structures is the future site for the Patch Adams Teaching Center. The Yurts have been moved closer to the Farmhouse. The Egal Dorm will be moved eventually.
The dacha is an architectural delight. Designed by Dave Sellers as staff housing, the dacha houses staff, and frequently, volunteers and special program participants throughout the year. In winter, two showers are available; three in summer when the outside upper porch shower is functional. Three of the six indoor toilets on the land are in the dacha. Because the dacha is used primarily for sleeping and very quiet activities; we ask that people observe the 10:00 p.m. - 7 a.m. Quiet hours while in the dacha and use library voices during those hours. The lowest level and the first floor are always open to people on the land.
Our built environments are stimulating; still, the natural environment in which the buildings are cradled is even more inspiring. With more than two miles of established trails, a three-acre lake, two waterfalls, numerous springs, small and vast meadows and many acres of forest, your stay will be filled with connection and reconnection with natural patterns.
We Gesundheit! volunteers and staff take our play as seriously as our work, which helps us keep our work as outrageous as our play—aiming to get a lot done while at the same time getting along. If you’re serious about volunteering, prepare yourself for a little crazy, a little zany, and a process that respects the eclectic flow of diverse needs.
Everyone is responsible for their own delight. In other words, you create your own experiences here within a context where group decisions are made by consensus. Please ask questions or voice your concerns as the need pops up. Communication is the most important ingredient in the Gesundheit! soup we co-create.
In this environment, a lot of healing can happen. At the same time, our program and projects are not ones that offer sanctuary or retreat as a primary focus. We expect our volunteers to dive into what can be the demanding work of living in close community. We will stimulate dialogue, expose people to new ideas, listen intently to each other's dreams, drink up each task, sing and ponder, find our fun and run, be ourselves, and promote a sense of service in ourselves and others.
If you are in crisis or are in need of a lot of nurturing, the volunteer program is not appropriate for you at this time.
Please be aware that Gesundheit! is drug free.
We host volunteer work groups.
We ask that volunteers be at least 18 years old or be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Volunteers contribute 35 hours per week of work in exchange for room and board. We will host a several work camps, several volunteer weekends and seek to fill specific volunteer positions. All long term volunteer positions require an initial interview visit of 3-4 days. Occasionally, we have need of a short term volunteer with building, carpentry, woodworking or house painting experience.
Each day at the Gesundheit! Institute in West Virginia is as unique as each person here. Thus we can't define the typical G!I day, but in general we work with the land and actively contribute in our local community. Expect to find the lines between work and play blur and disappear during your stay here, and experience time speeding up and slowing down simultaneously. As the present slips into a memory a new now is born. Expect to work on a variety of projects.
Here are some descriptions of work projects that individual volunteers and groups have done before. Your experience may have some of these elements, or may be completely different. In addition to projects like these below, everyone will participate in cooking and cleaning on a meal team, answering the phone, household cleaning, laundry, chopping wood and carrying water.
Organic Garden Work Volunteers have been a big help in garden fencing, bringing in new beds and amending existing raised beds the last three years. they have also planted seeds, transplanted starts, and nurtured perennial and annual food crops by watering, weeding, harvesting and foraging! you’ll help fill our bellies (and those of future volunteers) while you learn more about organic gardening! Long term volunteers may be asked to help guide activities with short-term volunteers. This position also offers experience in permaculture, biodynamics, and bioregionalism. Gardening experience is helpful, a passion for learning about growing food is more important. We are also looking for helpers in the garden.
Grounds Maintenance Be the muscle behind the simple methods we use to maintain our forests, meadows, trails, springs and lawns. Help with exotic invasive removal, making hay, brush hogging, weed whacking, springhouse maintenance, and mowing. Long-term volunteers may be asked to help guide activities with short-term volunteers.
Kitchen Coordinator Coordinate the kitchen, pantry, and food preservation efforts. This vital position organizes meal sign-ups, coaches meal prep for those that need coaching, orders from our food coop, local baker and grocer, supervises cleanups, interfaces with the garden and the cooks, and provides direction in our kitchen and farmhouse, the hub of activity here on the land.
Cooking Staff During the School for Designing a Society in July, we need a dedicated cooking team of 9-12 volunteers to prepare vegetarian lunch and supper meals for approximately 40 people. If you like to cook and can commit to being here from the last week in june through late-july, this might be a good volunteer position for you.
Please also let us know if you have skills you would like to use in the following areas:
Volunteer Weekends Are times for people who want to check out the land, contribute to the project, and do some work prior to making major time commitments. To help defray costs and contribute to the building fund please consider making a monetary donation for these weekends. Complete the volunteer application and write the weekend dates you wish to attend in the space for dates you are available. Note: application deadline for volunteer weekends is 30 days prior to first day of weekend.
Does this sound like the place for you? Please print and fill out the first part of the “How can I Help?” form, and spend some time responding to the prompts on the second part.
The more complete your answers, the better chance you have of being selected as a volunteer.
Please send the completed application to:
I Wanna Volunteer! Applicant
HC 64 Box 167
Hillsboro WV 24946 USA
If you wish to apply as a volunteer along with someone else, please send in the applications together.
Typically, all of our volunteer places are filled by early July.
Once we’ve received your response, we’ll follow up with you as soon as we can.