Family camp in the South of France!
Take part in the development of a green tourism project in the South of France with your family and experience the French lifestyle!
This programme has a focus on cultural exchange, it is a fantastic volunteer opportunity for the whole family to experience collective life in a French environment.
Through your daily work and interactions with other families, you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people and practise your French.
Spend a week holiday with your family in the beautiful area of the Southern Limestone of the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
Every morning, you will contribute to the progress of a local green project. In the afternoon, you will enjoy the rich nature of this region through ecological activities such as hiking to the Cirque de Navacelles, trekking with donkeys, swimming in the Gorges de l’Hérault or the Gorges de la Vis, visit of Saint-Guilhem Le Désert, etc…
Forest of 3 hectares, donkey farm activities on about 200 hectares, donkey trekking, donkey therapy, farm animals, wood housing construction, local cuisine restaurant in progress…
A green tourist centre is currently being built in the forest by a local family. The site is located just outside of the village of la Vacquerie.
The main activity of the family is to offer donkey trekking. They also have a self-catering cottage in the village with room for 16.
The green project aims to provide a tourism that respects the environment.
The idea is to build wooden mobile homes and treehouses around an activity centre with a small local restaurant.
Visitors stay in the wilderness and enjoy the rich nature of this region through ecological activities such as hiking, trekking with donkeys, horse-riding.
The purpose is to enable as many people as possible to discover this beautiful part of France while contributing to the local development of the region.
Who can apply?
This programme is open to any family (French and international). Children are welcome from 4 years old but must remain under the care of their parents during both work and leisure time.
We will pay attention when you apply to mix French and international families so that you are sure to speak French during your stay.
Dates & length: 7 days / 6 nights. From 15 to 21 July and from 19 to 25 August 2018
Families will arrive on Sunday and will leave on the following Saturday.
Families will work every morning taking part in the development of the green project.
Tasks will vary according to the needs of the site when you are there. However, the work will be adapted to families and will not require any particular skills.
The work can be:
- Feeding the animals/animal care
- Donkey training, donkey trekking to collect fruit or work on surrounding trails
- Clearing, pruning
- Work in the garden / make jam
- Decorating the site with natural and local materials (land art)
- Building birdhouses, platforms for bird watching, fences…
- Cheese making
The host family who lives on the site will provide training and full support.
In the afternoon, you will be free to enjoy the richness of the area (cultural visits, trekking, swimming in the river…). According to your preferences, you will be able to plan your free time with the other families.
Fun activities are available on or near the site, such as:
- Horse riding: 35 euros/adult for 2 hours.
- Rock and tree climbing: 15 euros/person
- Create and fly a kite: 4 euros /person
- Donkey trekking with picnic in the forest: 45 euros per donkey (1 donkey for 4 persons)
Accommodation and living conditions :
You will be lodged in a wood cottage in the village at about 200 meters from the site.
The cottage can welcome 16 persons, 3 to 4 families according to the family composition.
The cottage has private rooms that can accommodate 2 to 6 persons with private bathrooms.
Meals are collective. A cooking team is organised to prepare meals each day as you will share in the tasks of daily life at the centre: cooking, washing dishes..
2 special nights with a campfire will be organised during the week.
Many animals live on the site and will delight the children: 2 dogs, 1 cat, hens, peacocks, donkeys...
Internet is available on site and upon request.
Location: The project takes place in the village of La Vacquerie, 18 km from the city of Lodève and about 50 km North-West of Montpellier in the Southern Limestone of the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
A transfer can be organised from the Lodève bus station or from Montpellier Train station/airport.
La Vacquerie has wonderful surroundings such as the incredible cirque de Navacelles, The village of Saint-Guilhem Le Désert, the Gorges de l’Hérault, the Gorges de la Vis with its waterfalls…
Whether for you or for your children, the benefits of this family voluntourism programme are important:
- A real cultural exchange
- Experience collective life
- Participate in a useful local project
- Practise French and experience French life style
- A low cost holiday for the whole family
- An introduction to the techniques to work in various fields (working with wood, gardening, etc..)
- Discover a region full of wonderful sights
And so much more… !
To apply, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fees in Euros :
Membership fees & Registration fee to organise and follow up the placement: 250 € per family
Participation fees for accommodation (full board 6 nights /7 days): 95 € per teen/adult - 65 € per child (- 10 years old)
Participation fees for meals: 60 € per person
A 2 way transfer can be organised from Lodeve Bus station to La Vacquerie for 30 € per family.
« C'est la première fois que nous participions à des vacances différentes du mobil-home/plage et cela a été nos meilleures vacances. Nos 3 enfants de 4, 7 et 12 ans étaient enchantés et tristes de devoir quitter les familles rencontrées. Le lieu en pleine nature et la région étaient magnifiques, nous avons eu un superbe temps toute la semaine. Merci infiniment à la famille de Rachel et Bruno pour leur accueil, leur bonne humeur et le temps qu'ils ont passé avec nous. Merci également à la famille américaine exceptionnelle que nous espérons aller voir très vite ! »
"Nous gardons un excellent souvenir de cette semaine partagée, la formule de chantier en famille est excellente pour les parents qui souhaitent des vacances autrement, participatives, dans un esprit de partage et de convivialité, et pour enfants qui y trouvent leur compte en vivant dans un espace avec beaucoup de liberté, entourés d'animaux, avec des responsabilités propres dans la participation aux travaux. Nous avons aimé : le lieu magnifique, la famille, sa simplicité, son ouverture, ses enfants extrêmement débrouillards et sympa, la convivialité, les repas partagés, la cuisine au feu de bois, avec les produits de la ferme et du potager, la rencontre avec d'autres familles, la vie entourée d'animaux en demi liberté, le sentiment d'espace pour les enfants, le gîte très bien arrangé, le travail en équipe dans une bonne ambiance, le partage de la vie d'une ferme et d'une famille, de manière participative et non touristique, l'authenticité des relations."
« Nos deux filles ados n'étaient pas très emballées par notre projet de vacances de chantier familial et au final, nous parlent déjà de vouloir y retourner l'année prochaine ! Ce chantier familial nous a fait rencontrer des gens charmants et travailler ensemble à créer des liens amicaux.Expérience à renouveler ! »
"My family spent a week in La Vacqueries, France contributing to the many projects Bruno and Rachel have underway at their donkey trekking business SherpAnes. We enjoyed working alongside another family in the mornings and playing with them in the afternoons. Bruno and Rachel create an environment where it is hard not to become friends and become excited by the vision they are manifesting. We were comfortable in the gite and found the work enjoyable and hope we made a worthy contribution in exchange for the kindness we received.
This was a wonderful and affordable way to be in France and practice French as well as teach my kids that people all over the world are wonderful and worth getting to know. "