What makes social workers flinch

Learning camp instead of jungle camp

"It is a worksheet where you can test in a few minutes how well you understand a text. Understand the task? Then I wish you every success - and off you go."

Teacher Conny Moras has eleven students in her morning group. German, English and maths are practiced - not in the still widespread classroom teaching, but quite easily in small study groups.

"The sense is to read this text now and to understand it. And text understanding is always a bit difficult with schoolchildren, so you have to practice it a lot. There was already mathematics today, where we did stations, area calculation, percentage calculation."

Just the word mathematics makes Jannes flinch at the next table. The 14-year-old comes from Zwickau, is in 8th grade like everyone else here in the camp and has an unpleasant note on his half-year report card: at risk of transfer. That's why he's here at Camp Plus, voluntarily - like the other 50 young people.

"I want to improve my math, because I slipped quite a bit in math lately. My class teacher came up to me and asked if I wanted to take part. At first I wasn't that enthusiastic, but now I think it's really cool and I'm happy that I came with you. "

Jannes has been here for four days in the school camp, which is idyllically located by a small lake on the outskirts of Schneeberg. His study group begins immediately after breakfast, of which there are five in total. Each has its own supervisor: teachers, social workers, recreational educators. A good two hours are learned in the morning, then after noon the project work begins: cooking, music, media group, stage and theater.

Jannes works in the wood workshop and is building musical instruments with the others for the final concert in a few days. For team leader Andreas Edhofer, this project work is almost even more important than learning in the morning.

"If we try to give them a perspective on what they are learning, they have to gain the desire and motivation to learn. And that is only possible through a holistic claim, our project work. We don't see the free time separately, but that's part of the concept With it and even the conversations between the door and the hinge, on hikes, etc. are important because we can solve blockages much better. "

Solve learning blocks, look for strengths and weaknesses and find ways in which private and school problems can be addressed. Andreas Edhofer calls this making educational agreements - the students formulate clear goals about what they want to change in the future and how they can do it.

"Most problems lie in the concentration, in the persistence to cope with things. For many, school is no longer an issue, they want to get out into the job, want to do something different. And that is why they get into difficulties and do not understand that they are defining something Knowledge content has to learn. And we have to give them a perspective of what they are learning for. "

What the young people here, who increasingly come from socially disadvantaged families, lack above all is a positive self-esteem - says project manager Sabine Haimann.

"If you are at risk of transfer, you have already had a lot of failures. So you see yourself as a loser. Our first priority is to change our self-concept. That means having confidence in ourselves again. Because that is the basic requirement, again To have success. "

Camp Plus has been running in Saxony for four years, every six months - and costs a good 500 thousand euros for around 150 participating students. The money is not only spent on the two-week camp, but mainly on intensive support afterwards. Because teachers and social workers continue to look after the students until the summer school reports - talk to parents if necessary or, in exceptional cases, to the youth welfare office. In the end, 80 percent of young people at risk of transfer make the jump to grade 9. For team leader Enrico Damme, this is a success with a future.

"In any case, it makes sense to invest in these young people in particular. Because if we lose them and don't get them, and now there is still a chance in 8th grade, we should actually start a little earlier; that is, so to speak the people who will be sitting on the Hartz IV waiting bench tomorrow. And that's why we're fighting for everyone who fits in better with the school system. "

Like Jannes, who has just immortalized "Barca", his favorite club, Barcelona, ​​in a hollow block with a hammer and chisel. And what is better now: project work here or go to school at home? The 14-year-old doesn't have to think twice.

"I think it's more fun to work in a practical way. Working in a team is different. We've become really good friends, so I think it's good here."