GreatBaikalTrail.org
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Questions - Answers

Who are volunteers?
Volunteer (from French "volontaire" - volunteer) is a person participating in various socially significant programs and providing all possible assistance in them. Volunteering allows a person to supplement life with a very significant part - to realize a sense of personal civic responsibility for what is happening. Volunteers are not only altruists, they work to gain experience, special skills and knowledge, and establish personal contacts. Volunteering is often a direct path to paid work, always an opportunity to show and prove oneself. In many organizations, a person begins to work as a volunteer. Over time, many begin to create their own organizations and implement their own copyright projects. In addition to all of the above, for a non-profit public organization, volunteering is an indicator of its relevance in society.
We are always glad to volunteers, we always find work for them.
Our organization keeps and works thanks to volunteers, we have a huge space for their activities, it is encouraged and welcomed in every way, we are very grateful to all our voluntary assistants.

Where do volunteers work?
The main areas of volunteer activity:
  • environmental projects - conducting and participating in projects for the arrangement and reconstruction of paths (the construction of paths, bridges and bridges, serpentines and other necessary structures, the arrangement of parking lots, the identification of illegal felling of trees and shrubs, garbage collection, etc.);
  • office assistance (recruitment of volunteers for projects, correspondence with Russian and foreign volunteers, assistance in finding new contacts, working with the BBT youth club, collecting and organizing information, translating texts from foreign languages, etc.);
  • participation in educational work and educational programs (conducting classes in schools, developing and conducting BBT seminars, participating in exhibitions, conferences, round tables, etc.);
  • carrying out their projects, writing grants;
  • participation in other projects (tree planting, garbage collection, etc.).
What are volunteers doing on the projects of the Great Baikal Trail?
BBT projects are physical work in nature. Most projects last 2 weeks, but there are also shorter projects. Volunteers not only build the trail itself, but also improve the already prepared trails, equip parking areas (make bonfires, awnings, tables, etc.), or develop materials for environmental education on the trail (stands, billboards, signs). In some cases, volunteers work near roads and settlements, sometimes projects take place in the most remote and wildest places. Usually these are international groups where volunteers have the opportunity of intercultural communication.
Is participation in this project for me?
Projects of the Interregional public organization "Big Baikal Trail" for those who like to relax actively. We try to ensure that certain hours of work on the trail alternate with other activities that allow you to enjoy the local nature and culture. The volunteer should be prepared for adventures in nature and easily adapt to rapidly changing conditions. We do not sell you a finished tour on Lake Baikal. We invite you to become a part of our family in building a sustainable trail system here in Siberia. Working with people of different nationalities and local residents can bring you a lot of pleasure. You will meet new people, make new friends, master new skills and change our world a little - all this in two weeks!
Do I need any special skills?
Not. Our team leaders are specially trained to work with volunteers, they will teach you everything you need. Nevertheless, each volunteer can bring their knowledge and experience in the process of creating the trail.
Do I need to know foreign languages?
The official languages for BBT projects are Russian and English. You will get more pleasure from the project if you own one of them. Also, it is necessary for your safety on the trail.
I have some health problems, can I still participate in the project?
Our projects of varying degrees of complexity. We have projects where, in addition to working on the trail, you need to go every day and carry a backpack with your own and public equipment. Such projects are not recommended to you. Contact us and we will try to find the best option for you.
Can you provide special meals for the project?
Most nutritional requests are satisfied (vegetarianism, for example). When work takes place in remote places, our menu is quite fixed and a bit limited, as the constant delivery of certain products becomes problematic. Please discuss your dietary preferences with us before arriving at the project.
What is the age threshold for participation in the project?
We are recruiting as a volunteer from 18 to 60 years old
Who else will be on my team?
We are planning international teams, but it is difficult to predict who and in what quantity will sign up specifically for your chosen project.
Many volunteers return next summer. All participants of different ages and life experiences. The ratio of men and women usually for some reason is 40% to 60%. Most BBT volunteers, after participating, keep in touch with us and become our friends for life.
How many people are on the team?
From 8 to 20 people can take part in the project, including a team leader and translator.
How do volunteers get to the venue? Most of them ride alone?
We ask volunteers to get to a specially designated meeting place on their own (each BBT project has its own place and time for a meeting - we can meet you at the airport or train station when you arrive in a city if you need it). Many volunteers travel on their own. But we can also help you find other volunteers who are traveling at the same time so that you can travel together and make friends before starting work. When work on the trail begins, you will nevertheless be "doomed" to be all together for two weeks! The group leaves for the project itself together.
What will be the placement on the project?
You will live in tents in nature, often sharing it with other members of the group. BBT provides tents, but you need to bring a sleeping bag and rug with you.
What else should I know about living in the field?
In good weather, you will work on the trail 5 days a week, 6 hours a day. If it is raining, we also have an interesting program for this. Each project has its own schedule. The team leader has the right to make an individual work schedule in connection with weather conditions, etc. Typically, volunteers get up around 8:00 in the morning, have breakfast at 9:00 and start working at 10:00, lunch at 14:00, after lunch - a 2-3 hour break and work until 19:00. After work - free time: you can swim, read a book, take a walk or chat with new friends. Dinner is usually at 19.30-20.00, after which - the general meeting of the group, discussion of the day. Then the people just sit by the fire, sing songs with a guitar, teach each other languages, play games. The daily routine may vary depending on the location of the camp, the mood of the group (someone likes to get up later, someone earlier) and weather (if there is intense heat, it is better to work early in the morning and / or after 16.00)

During the weekend you will have the chance to go to the museum, take a steam bath, or meet interesting people from a neighboring village, go hiking in the mountains and visit a hot spring, or sunbathe on a local beach. You can read your rest option in the project description.

There is no shower in the camp, and no hot water (until you boil it for yourself!).
Teams prepare for themselves - this gives all participants a chance to share their favorite recipes (for which you can bring your own ingredients, if you can).
What should I bring with me?
When you sign up to participate in our project, you will be sent a list of everything you need. In general, most projects require good trousers, T-shirts and warm, waterproof clothing for rainy weather, and you will also need good boots.
Where are the BBT projects?
BBT teams work in the most amazing and beautiful place in Siberia - in the basin of Lake Baikal. We work in national nature reserves, on state and tribal lands, in national parks and other historical places. The landscapes are very diverse: from the steppes to mountain ranges, from the tundra to the shore of the lake, from taiga to alpine meadows.
What kind of food is provided on the project?
We purchase products in advance and import them together with the group to the project site. The foreman makes a schedule of who cooks and who does the dishes. The project must have hot food - three times a day, which is necessary for good physical work. In the evening, a lot of tea is drunk by the fire. On some projects you will have a chance to try wild berries, pine nuts, mushrooms. The menu of the camp includes simple but nutritious food. We will not be able to organize a high "restaurant" level of food in the field. Drinking alcohol on projects is prohibited.
Will I have time for photographing?
Of course! Take pictures as you like! When photographing people, always ask them for permission. Share photos with us, sign them on the back and with your permission we will be able to share them with other people interested in our activities!
How do I become a member of the project?
From the list of projects you can choose a project that suits you in time and interests and fill out our profile on the site.
What will I have to pay for?
For Russians: each participant pays a fee, which includes travel to the project venue and back, meals for the project, a cultural program for the weekend (bathhouse, museum, etc. - depending on the project) and administrative expenses.