FAQ

Getting to Camp

You can find directions to Camp here.

Spiritual Orientation

Do I need to have experience with meditation and/or spiritual practice?

No! We start with where you are, and the teachers and guides will help you learn what you need.

Do I need to be religious or belong to some Religion, to be accepted?

The answer is “No.” The camp is, however, a part of the Inayati Order and many of the people that come are students of this path.

Hazrat Inayat Khan was asked this question about religion often, and this was his response: “No, it is to help bring together the different organs of one body which are meant to be united and not thrown apart. How do we bring about such reconciliation? By realizing in ourselves that the essence of all religions is one, is wisdom, and by considering that wisdom to be our religion, regardless of our form.”

Will there be an attempt to convert me to Sufi path?

No, there will be no attempt to convert you. In fact on this path we do not proselytize.

Planning Your Stay

What should I pack?

Weather in the mountains is always likely to offer some surprises. We recommend that you bring the following:

  • A warm sleeping bag and mat—the nights can be pretty cold.
  • Your own waterproof tent (or rent one of ours—see the Accommodation page for more information).
  • Light and loose clothing for meditation, yoga, and to relax in.
  • Meditation cushion, backjack, or seat and a blanket, fur, or mat to sit on during the meditation sessions.
  • Clothes and accessories for hot weather: T-shirts, shorts, sunscreen, sunglasses, and hat.
  • Rain gear.
  • For rainy weather and mountain hikes: solid mountain boots with a good sole and a good warm jacket.
  • The best way to handle the often-changing weather is to dress “onion-style” by wearing several thin layers that can be removed or added to as you need.
  • Also a flashlight is absolutely essential and should not be forgotten. It can be very dark at night in the mountains. 

What are the toilets and hygienic facilities like?

The toilets are basic camping toilets that are specially built every year, and we use water and toilet paper. They are located in a separate area from the main part of Camp, and they are cleaned throughout the day.

For body washing we have a common wash-tent, with separate areas for men and women. The wash-tent has a cold-water tap and we provide large plastic bowls. In the small hotel in Campra, a short trip by foot (15 minutes) or by the Camp bus, there are warm showers.

What is the terrain like?

The campground is quite rough; there are small paths in the mountain meadows but these are not on flat ground and easily become slippery in rainy weather, so we strongly advise you to bring good shoes, Wellington boots, or hiking/mountain shoes. If you are walking-impaired or have other physical limitations, please check with us beforehand.

What’s the altitude at Camp?

Those who have sensitivity to high altitudes should note that the altitude at the campsite is approx. 1,500 m (5,000 ft).

Can I park my car at the campsite?

No! There are designated parking lots, and we run a shuttle service for you and your luggage from the parking area to the main camp.

May I change programmes if the one I registered for is not what I expected?

Sure, but we ask that you do that in the first two days to respect the group process. If you decide to change, then you will need to come tell us in the Secretariat/Information tent.

Do I have to be part of the programme all the time?

You are of course free to take time out if you need. We do, however, encourage you to discuss that with the teacher who is leading the retreat/seminar so that they are aware of what your movements are and can also help in case you need assistance. We also ask that you respect the other members in your group if you decide not to be there all the time.

If you don’t want to attend any workshop, though, there will be no reduction of price.

Where do I find help while I’m at the Camp, if I need something or if I have questions?

There are Camp guides who you will be introduced to in the information-circle at the beginning of the week. You can get support from the people in the Information tent for help with your stay and organizational issues, and we have spiritual guides to help with any emotional or mental issues that may come up during your week. Also, the workshop teachers will help you, if needed.

We also have a beautiful and cosy Tea Tent and this is a special place where you can ask for help. Camp is home to a wonderful community and our regular attendees are very willing to help you settle in and answer questions.

How can I get to the next village/town?

The closest town to Campra is Olivone. Here, you will find a bank, post office, pharmacy, several restaurants, and two gelaterias.

The bus to Olivone leaves 4 times every day at: 09.00h, 11.11h, 15.34h and 17.19h. The drive takes approx.15 minutes. The bus comes back from Olivone to Campra Centro Nordico at 09.47h, 14.47h, and 16.35h.

For further travel information, visit the Swiss Travel information website.

Is there medical help on site? A hospital/clinic close by?

There is a good pharmacy and a general doctor in Olivone (about 15 minutes by car from Camp). The cantonal hospitals are in Aquarossa and Bellinzona (45 minutes and 1 hour from Camp, respectively). Both facilities have a very good emergency departments, where the medical staff has treated the more difficult cases. In the Camp itself, we have a good first aid kit for initial help and small injuries like cuts, bruises, and sprains. Also there are usually several alternative healers present at Camp, and they often have very effective treatments for various ailments.

Am I allowed to use my cell/mobile phone or handy?

To maintain a calm and serene environment, we ask that you use cell/mobile phones only in the main camp area or in Campra. Your cooperation helps to maintain a peaceful atmosphere for all participants.

Can I show up and join as a “walk-in” for any of the programs?

No. You must pre-register so that we can organize everything for a smooth start to our weekly programmes and make sure that all your needs, especially regarding food and accommodation, are met.