The school camp consists of different buildings in the center of Gersheim next to the church:
- An old farmhouse ("Spohns Haus") that remained unchanged on the outside, but was modernized on the inside. About 70 children can stay there in dormitories with bunk beds.
- A former school building with a later extension. It houses classrooms that can also be used for games and handicrafts. In addition, another 12 children and teachers can stay overnight here. The administration is also located in this building.
- An old original Polish wooden farmhouse. It was dismantled in Poland and rebuilt true to the original in the courtyard of the school building. Once the interior has been completed, it will offer a further 12 beds for children.
- A former barn open on two sides in the courtyard of the farmhouse. It serves as weather protection at festivals and other events.
- In several open spaces around the houses, the children have plenty of space to play and run around. There is also a brick oven and a grill fireplace.
Spohns Haus is a central institution for environmental education in Saarland , as defined and anchored in the Saarland Nature Conservation Act. Its guiding principle is education for sustainable development (ESD), the pedagogical concept consists in the implementation of ESD. To this end, innovative projects and practical offers are developed and tested. An in-house environmental education team uses specific topics to impart skills and competencies for the responsible design of the future. In addition to traditional class stays, youth camps and international youth workshops are also offered, as well as family-related activities (e.g. “cooking with the whole family”).
Spohns Haus has meanwhile further developed its offer: short and recreational vacation for the family, night hostel for pilgrims on the Way of St. James , company and family celebrations, rehearsal site for several days of work for choirs as well as music and theater associations, event location for seminars, training courses and conferences of all kinds Another focus of work is the presentation of various kinds of cultural events.
Spohns Haus is supported by the “Association for European Environmental Education and Environmental Education”. V. "(VEUBE). Financing is primarily provided by financial support from the Saarland Ministry of the Environment, own funds generated and grants from numerous sponsors . The first chairman of the sponsoring association and head of the house is the pedagogue and musician Hans Bollinger (as of 2013).
Spohns Haus places particular emphasis on promoting cross-border contacts between young people; the focus is on a European orientation, especially on German-Polish-French encounters. In all of its activities, the house attaches great importance to its integration into the Bliesgau UNESCO biosphere reserve , in the core of which it is located.
- Spohns Haus has already received the award of the Official Project of the UN World Decade of Education for Sustainable Development four times (2005, 2007/08, 2009, 2011/12). It is awarded by the German UNESCO Commission and the National Committee on Education for Sustainable Development.
This makes the house the only German school camp that has already received four awards.
- Awarded the quality badge of the German School Camping Association 2007
- Certification according to the "Quality Guide" of the "Association of German School Camps" (2011)
- The head of Spohn's house, Hans Bollinger , received the 2011 honorary title of “Dobry Sasiad / Good Neighbor” (award from the German-Polish Youth Office ) from the then Federal President Christian Wulff and State President Bronisław Komorowski (Poland).
The individual publications of "Edition Spohns Haus", published by the Saarland Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Transport, deal with sustainability-related topics such as: B. water, forest, biosphere, climate or nutrition. The respective teaching modules relate to the Saarland curricula of lower secondary level and are therefore suitable for school lessons. They are also used in extracurricular learning locations such as Spohn's house, where they are implemented in an adventure program for school classes. The following subject areas were published in Edition Spohns Haus:
- Biosphere - nature and people in harmony
- Nutrition - man is (s) t nature too
- Forest - reservoir of life
- Water - food for the world
- Climate - Provision for our planet
- Bees - biodiversity and economic performance
- Wolfgang Degott: New life in old walls - Spohn's house in Gersheim . In: Saarpfalz calendar . Ed .: Saarpfalz-Kreis. Vol. 1999. Homburg 1999, pp. 93-96, Ill.
- Spohn's house receives UNESCO seal of approval for the fourth time . In: Saar Report (online magazine for Saarland and its neighbors) of November 29, 2010, accessed on May 27, 2011
- Katharina Ellrich: Wherever you speak European . ( Memento of April 26, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In: Forum - the weekly magazine of April 21, 2011, pp. 46-50, accessed on May 27, 2011
- Joachim Schickert: A lighthouse in the Bliesgau biosphere. The ecological school camp "Spohns Haus". In: Saarbrücker Zeitung (St. Wendel edition) of June 24, 2015, p. C8
- Spohn's house as a model for a nationwide initiative? In: Saarbrücker Zeitung (regional association edition) from June 20, 2007
- Learn how a radio play is made in Spohn's house . In: Saarbrücker Zeitung (St. Ingbert edition) of March 29, 2007
- Christiane de Zalewski: New team for Spohn's house . In: Saarbrücker Zeitung (regional association edition) of April 2, 2008
- Joachim Schickert: "Ritterschlag" for Spohn's house . In: Saarbrücker Zeitung (St. Ingbert edition) from December 1, 2010
- Photo of the award ceremony (see picture bar at the bottom right)
- Gersheim ecological school camp receives plaque. In: Saarbrücker Zeitung (St. Ingbert edition) from June 20, 2007
- Homepage German-Polish Youth Office (DPJW)