First time at the Camp?


People who are thinking of coming to the Camp for the first time often have questions about the camp. We hope this guide will answer all of your questions 
Should you have any further questions, please contact us at:
secr@zenithinstitute.com

 

Getting to the camp

Please have a look for directions here on our website.

Where or how can I find a lift? Or offer one?
We can only offer lifts for leaving the Camp: there is an information board and we also share both the need for rides and people that can offer rides in the meal circles towards the end of each week.

 

Planning your Stay

What should I pack?
Weather in the mountains is always likely to offer some surprises. We therefore 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: accommodation)
  • Light and loose clothing for meditation, yoga and to relax in.
  • Meditation cushion, backjack or seat and a blanket, fur, mat to sit on in the meditation sessions
  • Clothes for hot weather: t-shirts, shorts, sun-blocker and hat.
  • Rain gear
  • For rainy weather and mountain hikes: solid mountain boots with a good sole profile and a good warm jacket.
  • The best way to handle the often-changing weather is to dress "onion-style", several thin layers, that can be removed or added to as you need.
  • Also a flashlight has many, many advantages and should not be forgotten, it can be very dark at night.

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 with a profile, wellington boots or hiking/mountain shoes.
If you are walking-impaired or have other physical limitations, please check with us beforehand.

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 a simple "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 are asked not to proselytize.

When can I arrive?
Each programme/week starts on Monday morning with an Early Morning Meditation at 6.30 am. Day of arrival is the Sunday before the programme starts so please arrive on Sunday, not on Friday or Saturday. This is very important for us, as we would like to have a harmonious closing of the seminars/retreats and also to ensure that we are ready to welcome and feed you.

 

 

Once you arrived

Where do I go when I arrive?
Please come to the Information tent and register upon arrival.

Can I park my car at the campsite?
Sorry no! There are designated parking lots and we run a shuttle service for you and your luggage.

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 so as to respect the group process. If you decide to change, then you will need to come and tell us in the secretariat/information tent.

Do I have to be part of the programme all the time?
You are off course free to take time out if you need. We do however encourage you to discuss that with the teacher that is leading the retreat/seminar so that they are aware of what your movements are and can also help in case you need it. 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 there, while I´m at the Camp, if I need some or if I have questions?
There are camp guides that you will be introduced to in the information-circle before each meal. You can get support from the people in the Info-Tent for help with your stay and organizational things, and we have spiritual guides to help with any emotional or mental issues that may come up during your week. Also the teachers of the workshops 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. The camp is home to a wonderful community and regular visitors 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, Postoffice, Pharmacy, several restaurants and two gelaterias.
The bus to Olivone leaves 4 times per day at: 09:00h, 11.11h, 15.34h and 17.19h. The drive takes approx.15min. It comes back from Olivone to Campra Centro Nordico at 09.47, 14.47 and 16.35
For further travel information look at the Swiss Travelinformation.

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

There is a good pharmacy and a general doctor in Olivone (about 15 minutes by car from the Camp). The cantonal hospitals are in Aquarossa and Bellinzona (3/4 of an hour/1 hour from Camp), they have a very good first aid department, where they have also treated more difficult cases. In the Camp itself, we have a good first aid box for initial help and small injuries, like cuts, bruises and sprains. Also there are alternative healers around.

What are the toilets and hygienic facilities like?

The toilets are basic camping-toilets which are specially built every year and we use water and toilet paper. They are located in a separate area. They are cleaned 2 to 5 times a day.
For body washing we have a common wash-tent, separate for men and women with plastic bowls and a cold-water tap. In the little hotel in Campra which is 15 minutes by foot or you can get the camp bus, there are warm showers for which you have to pay a small fee.

May I bring my dog/pet with me?
Sorry, dogs and other pets are not allowed on the Camp area itself (we are camping on a nature reserve with many wild animals like marmots, who shouldn´t be hunted) or in the dormitories. If you come with a trailer or camping car, you are welcome to look after your pet in there, but please remember they cannot come to the main camp area.

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.

Regarding food...
We offer simple nutritious vegetarian food with a vegan variation always available. Our chefs announce the menu in the circle before each meal.

We strongly advise you to pre-register as it allows us to organize everything for a smooth start into the week and make sure that all your needs, especially regarding food and accommodation are met.

 

 

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION


  • Participation in the camp happens at your own risk.
    Zenith Institute cannot be held responsible for any illnesses, injuries or their implications occurred during your stay here, your participation, or your voluntary help in the camp.
    Therefore it's important that you take out your own medical insurance. (travel health insurance - travel accident insurance)
  • Each program/week starts on Monday morning with an Early Morning Meditation at 6.30 am. Day of arrival is the Sunday before. Please, if possible, do arrive on Sunday, not on Friday or Saturday, unless your travel situation makes you arrive earlier. This is very important for the harmonious closing of the running program and also to keep our schedules running.
    This particularly applies to the very first week, but also all the following weeks of the camp.
    Thank you very much in advance for respecting this rule!
  • Participants under the age of 18 need a legal guardian with them during their stay.
  • The campground is quite rough; if you are walking-impaired or have other physical limitations, please check with us beforehand.
  • Parents are responsible for their children.
  • Zenith Institute reserves the right to change the programme without prior notice, and cancel or change programmes if we don’t have a sufficient number of pre-registrations.
  • Please register upon arrival. If you need special arrangements, please write to us beforehand.
  • Please do not bring your car up to the campsite, but leave it at the designated parking lots. We run a shuttle service for you and your luggage.
  • Please pre-register, as it helps us to organize and make sure your needs are met.
  • Please leave your pets at home (absolutely no dogs!).