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Reflection on Camphill

nbarker's picture

I'm so much more excited for our trip to Camphill now that we have visited. Initially, my main expectation had been that it would be quite a bit larger than the reality--more people, and a different structure. My image of farming towns has always been, also, othat they are flat, not on hilly terrain such as that at Camphill! This is probably my midwestern upbringing talking, however...

The structure of the housing was fascinating--and also that only about a third of the residents were Villagers, the people primarily served in the community. I'm not entirely surprised, though, upon reflection, that so much of the population there is essentially support staff. The saying "it takes a village" comes to mind. What surprised me about the organization of the space is just how close together all the buildings were. It really mimics a common pattern of agrarian villages seen over time: everyone lives in a central village, which is ringed by fields and other places of work with smaller gardens, just like Camphill's herb garden, interspersed between the houses. I was also surprised to learn just how much of the staff is volunteer, the vast majority. It does make me have some questions as to how much the staff can care for the Villagers. Yes, many are indeed trained, but I would wonder what sort of medical care they would be able to offer. It would be interesting to see how they stack up compared to other group homes of this sort, on what their policies and such are.  I'm also excited that we will be able to spend time working alongside the residents in their occupations--it may well be a wonderful way to get to know our portrait subjects better! I'm also going to be looking forward to the change of scene, as I think it will provide a different head-space for us to contextualize our work in.