Summer Camp 2023

International Democratic Summer Camp

9-15th August 2023 in The Netherlands

The buzz of making new friends. The fun of sharing values, cultures and experiences in a spirit of friendship and collaboration.

There will be some organised activities like outdoor adventure, day trips to Amsterdam and Utrecht and workshops but a lot of time is for you to decide to do whatever you want with everybody else in our democratic community.

Organised by Hebden Bridge Learning Community, The Learning Circle and De Ruimte School, Netherlands.

Who is the camp for?

Students aged 12-18yrs from democratic schools/learning communities around the world. Together we create a democratic community for a week. 

Where is it?

It’s a residential camp held at De Ruimte School, Insingerstraat 39, NL-3766 MA Soest, The Netherlands.

Where do we sleep?

In tents. If you are coming by car please bring tents with you. If you are flying or coming by train we can provide you with a tent and a mattress just let us know on your registration form. Everyone will need a sleeping bag,  or sheets!

What does it cost?

360 pounds (about 390 euros) including food and accommodation6


By plane:

The closest airport is Schiphol (AMS) and there will be one of us there on 9th August at 15:00 to help you to get to the school by public transport so you will need money for the train ticket. The meet up place is Burger King (not the healthiest option but the easiest to find and very central). See the picture. We will also accompany a group of  students  back to the airport at the end of the camp where they will get to the airport for 10am. You can also travel to other Dutch airports: Eindhoven airport (EIN) or Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM). From the airport travel to Utrecht CS or Amersfoort CS by train and follow the instructions below.

By train:

When traveling to the Netherland internationally by train, you also travel to Utrecht CS or Amersfoort CS. 

From Utrecht CS: You take the train to Baarn that stops in Soest Zuid. This train will go every hour or half hour depending of day and time and will take you tot Soest-Zuid in about 20 minutes. From Soest-Zuid it is about 20 minutes walk to the school. 

From Amersfoort CS: Walk over to the Bus station next to the train station and take bus 70 to Soest (see below)

By bus:

If you travel by bus internationally, travel to Utrecht or Amersfoort.

From Utrecht: Use route above by train from Utrecht CS

From Amersfoort: You take line 70 from the bus station Amerfoort (“streekbussen”) to Soest. You get out at “Choristenpad”. From there it is a good 10 minutes walk to school. 

From Soest Zuid: Line 70 also stops next to the train station, you can get on it at the station and save about 10 minutes walking, by using the bus to get to “Choristenpad” (see above)

By Ferry:

From the UK you can travel by Ferry. From Harwich in the UK you travel to Hoek van Holland in the Netherlands.

From Hoek van Holland you travel by Metro to train station Rotterdam Alexander and take the train to Utrecht CS and follow the instructions from Utrecht CS see above. 

Or if you brought your car travel to Utrecht on the A12 and follow the instructions below.

By Car: 

Drive to Utrecht along the A2 from the South or A12 from the West or Southeast. From there Follow the A28 till exit 4 Soesterberg and take the N413 to Soest. Input the address for the school into your navigation or Google maps or call us when you get to Soest. 

Or Drive to Amersfoort from the Northeast. and take the A1 until exit 10 Soest and follow the N221 to Soest Input the address for the school into your navigation or Google maps or call us when you get to Soest. 

Address of the school:

De Ruimte Soest

Insingerstraat 39

3766 MA Soest

For more information and queries contact us at

The Programme

We have lots of free time which we will decide together how to use. In previous camps we have organised many activities including: Water sports, Creative writing, Yoga, Art, Hiking, Dungeons and Dragons, Story-telling, Film night, Cooking, Baking, Music, Swimming, Basketball, Football and Performances.

We’ll have a democratic meeting every morning at 10am. 

Staff Bios

We have experienced staff members who will support the students. 

Anil founded Hebden Bridge Learning Community in 2016 and The Learning Circle in 2020 with his partner Zoe out of a shared love for learning, teaching, children, nature, yoga and meditation.

The idea for these International Democratic Summer Camps came out of a workshop he held at the Paris EUDEC conference in 2018 and he has been involved in organising them all since then.

Anil has previously been a Spanish and Italian teacher, yoga and meditation instructor and shiatsu therapist. He has been involved in international educational projects for more than 20 years and has launched and directed two languages schools in Spain and in the UK. as well as a primary school in India. He speaks five languages and is the father of three children.

Hi, My name is Reinier. I am 41 and I have been a staff member at democratic schools in the Netherlands for 16 years. I have been part of the organisation or staff team of the Summer camp for the last two camps. This year it is going to take place in my home country so that will make it easier to organize for me. I have been on camping trips with students of democratic schools many times already and what I most like is the “doing it together” part. Discuss and decide together what we do, what we like and what rules we need to make for the group. Of course there are always some stuff that cannot be discussed, because of laws or where we rent a place and in that case I like to explain the reasons and get understanding for both the needed rule and also the irritation it may cause with people. I like to connect with people by just talking or doing chores together and I like to play all sorts of games. In my spare time I play Dungeons & Dragons and like to walk or visit friends and most of the time play games. I am looking forward to meeting new awesome people and build a new camp community for this week in the summer.

Hi all, I’m Megan, 21 years old (when the camp starts I’ll be 22) and I live in The Netherlands. I have been organising these camps since the very beginning in 2018. This year will be a very special one for me since we will have the camp at my old school De Ruimte where I have spent 10 years of my life. I am very excited about it!

Other than organising this camp I like to read, spend time outside and play board games. I hope to see you in Soest in 2023 😀

Hi I’m Iki,
I’m 24 years old and from the Netherlands. I went to a democratic school when I was younger myself. Currently I follow the BA teacher training course in Leiden, The Netherlands. It’s not a regular training as it is specifically designed for teaching in New types of schools, such as democratic schools! Alongside this training I do my internship at democratic school De Ruimte and work at democratic school De Vallei. In my free time I like to read (I also work part time in a bookstore, more like a candy store to me though), climb/boulder, watch movies and be creative.
I look forward to the summer camp,
See you all there!

Hi, I’m Maya. I grew up in a very artistic environment, and started studying art and photography from a young age. I went to the University Complutense of Madrid where I studied Fine Arts and realised I wanted to have a more technological and modern approach to my art. I studied film-making and mastered in film editing and animation. I am also passionate about Education and I have been working as a teacher for many years, with students of different ages. I have worked on Summer schools with Hebden Bridge Learning Community  and I have taught film and photography at The Learning Circle and I combine my teaching work work with freelance film-making. 

THE CAMP IS NOW FULL! We don’t have any spaces left