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Volunteer Staff (Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr)

The Scout and Guide Castle Rieneck is the international training and meeting centre of the Christian Guide and Scout Association (Verband Christlicher Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder VCP), and offers programmes connected with the European Scout Office's Eurosteps program. The Castle's buildings are open to guest groups (parishes, school classes, societies and last but not least Scout and Guide groups) all year round and offer accommodation and workspace for 134 people (on average there are 25,000 overnight stays per year).

In addition, we offer many different programs to the guests that convey the scout philosophy “Learning by doing”. We have a Campground which is open from June until September and available to Scout and Guide groups of up to 100.

The house is run by twelve permanent employees (Castle manager, Housekeeper, Janitor, Secretary, Cook, Domestic staff) and as many as six young volunteer staff members. We are always seeking to improve our facilities, in order to attract more and more young people (especially Scouts and Guides) from Germany and abroad. Therefore, Rieneck Castle offers Scouts and Guides who are of age the opportunity to work as part of our international staff.


We are looking for several

Volunteer Staff (Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr)

How can you benefit from working at the castle?

 You will have a high amount of personal responsibility. You will also have the opportunity to try new things, as well as make mistakes.

  • You will learn how to handle yourself in an occupational setting; learn to react flexibly and to show commitment.
  • You will improve your social skills by working with people of different age groups, nationalities, and backgrounds.
  •  You will share a flat with other young staff members and participate in spontaneous activities, as well as share the responsibilities of cleaning.
  •  You will live in a beautiful scenic forest and have a chance to really allow nature into your life.
  •  You will become a part of the castle, a host of a piece of history, and you will be able to experience the allure of the castle as no one else can.

Your choice

Between three different areas of work

  •  In the Maintenance area,
  •  In the Programme area,
  • Or in the Kitchen/Housekeeping area

Your responsibilities in the Maintenance area

  •  You will help with repair, renovation, and construction projects. You will also be responsible for the upkeep of the buildings, materials and the castle grounds.
  • You will have a chance to work on many types of projects, from building an addition onto a building to splitting wood to mowing the grass.
  •  You will learn the proper use and care of the many tools of the castle.
  • Depending on your skills and interests you can learn more about a specific type of work that you could but to use later in your life. Our current maintenance man is a “jack of all trades” and he can teach you many tricks of the trade.

Your responsibilities in the Programme area

  •  You will mostly be working with child and teenage groups that are visiting the castle as school, scout, or conformation groups. You will either lead workshops (arts, crafts, or games) yourself or you will explain the workshops to the group leaders, who will then lead the workshop. By doing this, you will not only learn how to handle groups of teenagers or children, but you will also learn how to handle yourself in the roll of a teacher or group leader.
  • You will be responsible for the condition of the programme materials, as well as the lending out of sports equipment.
  • You will advise group leaders in planning of days out and activities outside of the castle, as well as suggest other programme that could be booked spontaneously.
  • You will also have the chance to come up with your own programme ideas, or improve existing ones.

Your responsibilities in the Kitchen/Housekeeping area

  • You will help with the preparation of meals, and learn from a chef the basic skills of cooking and baking, that you could use later in life.
    You will help with the planning and execution of special events such as feasts and parties, and learn how to decorate rooms and tables.
  • You will learn more about laundry and taking care of flowers.
  • You will help in the cleaning of the kitchen and the castle, and learn how to use cleaning supplies and machines more effectively.

Your responsibilities as Staff

  •  You will welcome the guests to the castle and the campgrounds and explain the house rules.
  • You will answer any questions the groups might have.
  • You will run our Kiosk (shop with souvenirs, candy, and drinks), make orders, receive deliveries, and sell to the guests.
  •  You will prepare materials and the rooms for the groups, and make sure everything is left as it was before.
  • You will check the rooms or campsites that were occupied when the groups leave for any damages.
  • You will help take out the trash that the groups or kitchen have made.
  • You will transport guests’ luggage with our tractor.
  •  You will be responsible to lead groups through the castles keep and recount tales of the life and legends of the Middle Ages.
  •  In time when there are no guests at the castle you will help with maintenance work such as painting.

Your working schedule

Normally you will work for 10 days at a time and then you have 4 days off. For the early shift the work day starts after breakfast and ends in the afternoon at around four o’clock. The late shift starts in the afternoon and ends later in the evening. Sometimes there will be exceptions when we are very busy, and you may have to work somewhat longer than planned. This time will be made up by the times when we are not busy and you can stop working a bit earlier.

It is often necessary to work at unusual hours. The utmost flexibility will sometimes be required of you. We are dependent on your enthusiasm and commitment if we want our guests to feel comfortable and keep coming back. We are the hosts and it is our responsibility to give our guests the best service possible. If you take this to heart you will benefit greatly from your time working at the castle, and go home with great memories.

All employees are insured by the castle against accident and in certain circumstances against illness (within Germany). Details can be obtained form the castle. Nevertheless, we recommend in all cases that you take out your own health insurance.

You are responsible for travelling to Rieneck. We will be happy to provide information on the cheapest routes and means of transport. We regret that we cannot cover travel expenses. The European Scout Voluntary Programme provides some financial support for foreign staff who are members of WOSM. You can obtain an application form from the Castle.


The requirements

  • You must be at least 18 years old and an adult in your own country.
  •  You must have a drivers licence.
  • You must be able to bring your own ideas and be ready for anything.
  •  You must be very determined.
  • You must be able to communicate in English, and any experience with German is advantageous.
  • You should have some experience with working with children, preferably through a scouting programme.
  •  You posses an aptitude for working with your hands (especially for the Maintenance area)
  • You enjoy playing, talking, and making crafts with children and teenagers. (Especially for the Programme area
  • You enjoy cooking, baking, and decorating. (especially for the Kitchen/Housekeeping area)

As soon as we have received your application, we will send you a notification. Shortly thereafter we will set up an interview with you on the telephone or over Skype, to get an initial impression as well as answer any questions that you may have


Please send your completed application with resume, references, provide names of two people (referees) who can be contacted to give a character reference, photo, which position you would like to apply for, what programme you would like to work through (FSJ, Short term staff) , and when you would like to start working.

Pfadfinderburg Rieneck,
Schlossberg 1
D-97794 Rieneck

Tel: +49 9354 902317
Email:  info(at)

Application form


Facts about Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr (Volunteer Social Year)

  • It is for 18 to 27 year olds.
  • It normally lasts 12 months (6, 18, and 24 month terms are also possible)
  • If you work one year, you will receive 25 days of seminar and 26 days of vacation
  •  You will receive full room and board from the castle, as well as your own room, bathroom, and use of our laundry facilities.
  •  You will receive 200€ pocket money per month
  •  You will receive a qualified letter of recommendation at the end of your time here


Facts about Short Term Staff

  • You will receive full room and board from the castle, as well as your own room, bathroom, and use of our laundry facilities.
  • The castle will pay for your sickness and accident insurance.
  • You must spend at least six weeks (preferably three months) at the Castle. Voluntary staff positions are available between April and the end of October
  • You must be a citizen of the European Union
  • As a rule, these positions are not paid. An exception is made for long-term employees, who work at the castle for over 3 months. It is possible, depending on the circumstances and after discussion with the Castle manager for longer-term jobs in the areas of programme, maintenance, cleaning, kitchen, or office. Anyone who "signs on" for more than three months at the castle will receive reasonable pocket money.