AWO children’s free time at Hasenloch: How 63 children and the new management team brave the heat in Giengen

The 35th AWO children’s camp at Naturfreundehaus Hasenloch has been in full swing since Monday, and it’s the first time for organizers Simon Eberhardt and Jennifer Roscher. The social educators employed by the AWO district association have previously been involved in the holiday camp in Heidenheim, but according to them, that cannot be compared. In Giengen there are different structures and processes and the big difference is that you don’t move on your own terms, but “rent” from nature lovers. The fact that we can already speak of a successful premiere for Roscher and Eberhardt is also due to the conscientious handover of their predecessors Inge Stoch and Udo Fehrle from the AWO local association Giengen, who for many years have organized leisure on a voluntary basis. . “We kept in touch very often. Because there were details that we couldn’t even know,” says Jennifer Roscher.

Supervision from 8.00 to 17.30

The 26-year-old admits that she was “positively excited” just before the start. Experience has shown that unexpected problems would arise on the first day. In fact, everything would have worked smoothly so far. Nevertheless: “You can’t say the word ‘stress-free’ in a sentence with ‘children’s free time’ and certainly not with ‘first day of children’s free time'”, says Simon Eberhardt with a laugh. A working day lasts only 12 hours plus. The children are present from Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 17:30, but must be cleaned up before the end of the day, discussed in the team and prepared for the next day.

A well-established team: Jennifer Roscher and Simon Eberhardt run the children’s camp in Giengen for the first time.
© Photo: Markus Brandhuber

Good news: already on the second day, some children signed up for next week. This year, for the first time, it was possible to register for just one week. “But most of them are there both weeks,” says Roscher. This week there are 63 children, from Monday there will also be around 60.

Weather and food concerns

In the run-up to the free time, the young organizers worried about the weather and the food. The catering service, which supplies the BSH canteen and since the beginning also the AWO children’s free time, would initially have accepted this year, but then canceled again due to staff shortages. To everyone’s relief, the caterer was able to make it possible.

The weather, on the other hand, meant it was almost too good with the sunshine and temperatures. “We can consider ourselves lucky to be here at Hasenloch, where it is certainly a few degrees cooler than in, for example, the center of Giengen, and where the many trees provide shade,” says the 31-year-old. The AWO team regularly reminds the boys and girls to wear sunscreen and drink and insists on wearing a hat. “If you don’t have one with you, we’ll give you one.” The good: In the heat, the children would voluntarily stay in the shade, and if the drinking was turned into a competition, enough liquid would be consumed.

Water games to cool down

That afternoon, with temperatures well over 30 degrees, water games are on the agenda, but it’s just too hot for football or action games. At the prospect of cooling, cheers break out in the crowd of children, but a few “Oh no” can also be heard. The children, who don’t like the wet element so much, can “chill” in the shade instead.

“The beauty of the children’s free time is that the young people can do whatever they want.” The supervision team could fancy a program – so they recently organized a full-day workshop on batik, cress head making and juggling ball making – but if the children are after something completely different, just reschedule.

Roscher and Eberhardt receive active support from volunteer tutors. In order to give them security, they received educational and, above all, legal training in advance. What is actually meant by duty of care? How do you handle younger and older children? Above all, it is important to know that this event is not primarily about education, but about fun.

Parents afternoon next week

There should be plenty of that next week, for example at the popular parents’ afternoon on Thursday. The organizers are looking forward to talking to parents and giving them the opportunity to meet the people who look after their children. On Monday, there was only time for a short introduction round.

The news overview for the district of Heidenheim on Friday, August 5, 2022

Simon Eberhardt and Jennifer Roscher are the new management team

It is not yet clear whether the Roscher/Eberhardt duo will be in charge of the children’s camp at Hasenloch next year. The employees of AWO are also involved in other projects. But what they can say for sure, assuming Corona and the world situation allows it, is that the 36th edition will take place in 2023.

Simon Eberhardt and Jennifer Roscher are the new management team

Walked in great footsteps

For the past 20 years, Inge Stoch, chairman of the local association AWO in Giengen, has organized the children’s camp at Hasenloch. For about half of this long time, she could count on the help of her deputy Udo Fehrle, who took over the pedagogical part as a teacher.

Leave a Comment