ACCOUNTS

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Armande (34 years old)

Volunteer, training course worksite, Le Bec-Hellouin, 2020

" Just like a water spring in the forest, the silence of the workshop is only filled with the steady clatter of the cisors shaping the stone. As I am standing on front of my stone, shaping it is the only thing I am focused on. During the worksite CHAM's staff taught me techniques and movements I fully dedicated to for two weeks. Such an experience is irreplaceable ! Physical effort and mastering the gestures despite tiredness and anxiety are part of the game. 

I would like to thank Thomas, Aurélie and Célia who shared with us their knowledge and sense of devotion for the restoration of the Saint Nicolas tower, as well as my worksite mates for their stimulating company !

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Clara (18 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksite, Le Lude, 2020

I wanted to participate to a C.H.A.M worksite because of my curiosity about historical monuments. I can say that I was absolutely not disappointed by this experience! According to me, these three weeks as a volunteer on the Lude worksite were extremely rewarding. I have learned how to use a concrete mixer, remove and apply plaster. Moreover, we have participated to some “theory explanations” in order to complete our knowledge in architectural vocabulary.

 

I also can say that this experience offered me the occasion to make me some great friends that I have planned to see in Paris. I loved the weekend activities and the things that we used to do on the evening after diner.

 

I highly recommend C.H.A.M worksites, it is a great experience on several levels.

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Clothilde (21 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksites, Liré and Le Lude, 2020

I took part in two worksites this summer with C.H.A.M. The first one was in the small town of Liré, and the second one was near the Lude castle. I did theses worksites because of my studies (I have to do an internship to pass my year). This experience allowed me to discover many techniques used to restore historical monuments such as removing old plaster. I have to admit that doing this worksite also allowed to meet many incredible people, to participate to some cool activities on the week-end and to laugh a lot with my new friends!

 

I can conclude by saying that participate to a C.H.A.M worksite was totally a beautiful life experience for me!

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Agathe (16 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksites, Liré, 2018, 2019, 2020, Le Bec-Hellouin 2020

« I took part in the worksite of Liré in 2018, 2019 and 2020 and it was probably the coolest thing of my summers. The atmosphere was incredible and the people were just lovely ! As to the worksite itself, what an experience ! »

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inès (19 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksite, Montépilloy, 2019

« Montépilloy worksite was a very enriching experience for me, both on a technical and human points of view. I spend a lot of time on my computer so I discovered the association on the Internet ; I was looking for a nice occupation for August and I already had volunteering actions for heritage in mind so I ended up finding CHAM association. I was allured right away by the easyness of the subscription. On all other sites I had searched the form was unclear whereas it is all well explained on CHAM website.

 

While I had no experience of collective life and camping I surprisingly enjoyed this way of life. I have met nice persons during the stay, some of them I am still in touch with today.

For all these good things I will not hesitate to go to another worksite as soon as I get the occasion, with the same staff if it is possible !

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Victor (23 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksite, Montépilloy, 2019

« A very enriching experience on the cultural and social points of view ; everything went well with a unified team and very pedagogic staff members. I recommend this experience. »

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élora (19 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksite, Montépilloy, 2019

« Montépilloy worksite was a first for me given the unbelievable experience it is ; it will certainly not be my last worksite with the CHAM ! I knew nothing about construction or restoration techniques on medieval buildings so I went there with a slight apprehension but the staff team stopped my doubts right away. Indeed they were always present and patient to explain us how to do and we learnt a lot of things ; it made me want to keep participating to heritage conservation in the future ! Besides, community life went very well and we had great times during the activities on weekends or evenings after the worksite. This experience also allowed to stay in touch with people I met there and whom I really love now. Thanks a lot to the association for it allowed me to live a very enriching experience, n both technical and human aspects. »

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ULRIC (28 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksite, Liré and Le Bec-Hellouin, 2019

« This summer I participated to my two first volunteers worksites, in Liré and Le Bec-Hellouin. They were very different worksites so they were very enriching to me. In Liré I discovered how to wihdraw joints and how to make a coating with natural lime, to restore the castle's little chapel as it used to be done. I also learnt measurement surveying on a façade and masonry on a law wall. In Le Bec-Hellouin I discovered covering techniques on a small building of the abbey and reproduced some activities from Liré in a different context. Working for medieval heritage restoration is very rewarding, we fell we are doing something useful and lasting. Besides, I really enjoyed respecting old techniques as far as possible. Moreover, teamworking makes all activities very lively. Camp life is nice, we cook and wash the dishes (less funny!) together, we play games and make visits on free time. You musn't be incomfortable with heat on the worksite and you should also have a good sleeping bag to resist cold nights..but it is part of the experience ! Anyway, I don't regret it. »

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Armonie (17 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksite, Liré, 2019

« I participated to Liré volunteers worksite and I really enjoyed the experience. I can hardly find anything negative with a wonderful ambience that was present from the moment I arrived and during my two weeks, without getting any weaker along the worksite. I have been welcomed with big smiles righ away and it was easy for me to fit in. I liked the autonomy and independence we are given during the stay, both on the worksite and on the camp. What I remember of the stay is that it is an experience that is to be done and done again...if you are ready to give it all on the worksite of course. As to the staff, it is good, it was extraordinary indeed. They were funny (really very funny) and they really showed and transmitted to us their passion for heritage and good work. But they were also there for us to help us when needed. Conclusion it was AWESOME (completely objectively of course). »

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Clémence (19 ans)

Bénévole, chantier de bénévoles, Lille, 2018

This experience has been very enriching ! I learnt about different professions : stone cutting, masonry... It was very gratifying to participate to the restoration of a historical monument. 

The staff was very nice. They taught me a lot about the citadel's history and about their jobs. It was a real human and professional experience ! Thanks again to C.H.A.M for making me discover the world of historical restoration.

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Dominic (26 ans)

Bénévole, chantier de bénévoles, Lille, 2018

The worksite was simply great, very instructive. It gives a real practical experience in restoration and a good look into conservation issues. It is an irreplaceable experience including in the field of art history. Proposing a practical training course is particularly attractive as it lacks in many formations. 

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émilien (18 ans)

Bénévole, chantier de bénévoles, Albas, 2018

From the9th to the 27th of July I participated to the "Historical Monuments" worksite of Albas (Occitanie region). It was my first participation with this association and I don't regret it. In a pleasant place and with a limited but united group... an unforgettable time ! I had already participated to worksites with other associations and I can confirm that it is a formative time. 

Whether you are keen on history or just want to volunteer, I would advise to anyone who is motivated to participate to a worksite.