Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. –Mark 10:43-45
Jesus has called each of us a life of servanthood. The primary focus of the Summer of Service program is to culture a servant’s heart in each of the students as they serve to meet the practical needs of our guests. There are six major departments of service, each with their own unique schedules and responsibilities. SoS students are expected to serve eight hours each day, six days per week. Some Castle duties are less desirable than others are; a true servant’s heart is to meet the greatest need, even when those needs are less than appealing. Before serving, it is important to have already counted the costs and made a commitment to submit to leadership God has placed over the SoS team.
The housekeeping service is crucial to providing a clean and comfortable environment for our guests. This team is responsible for maintaining all of the Castle’s facilities and guestrooms. Housekeeping duties include vacuuming, dusting, turndown service, cleaning restrooms, mopping, cleaning windows, and waxing floors.
Grounds & Maintenance
The grounds and maintenance team is challenged with keeping the Castle campus looking and operating at its best. Daily you will be faced with a wide variety of tasks such as landscaping, splitting firewood, painting, and woodworking. One of the best things about serving in this department is that you have the opportunity to work outside and enjoy the beautiful Austrian summer.
The dish crew is the part of the kitchen team that is responsible for cleaning and sanitizing all the dinnerware and flatware. This team works in three shifts daily after each meal, which allows for extended break times throughout the day between shifts. Working in this fast-paced environment lends itself to a close-knit team.
The coffee shop is the social hub of the Castle and therefore is a very fast-paced working environment as our guests pour in after each session. The coffee shop provides the guests with a special place to fellowship, share, relax, and have some fun. Coffee shop servants work the most unsocial hours and have the latest nights but also have lots of fun along the way!
The dining room team blesses our guests by setting the breakfast spread, serving their meals, and meeting all of the dining needs. With three mealtime shifts throughout the day, there is break time left over for mid-day study, hiking, or relaxing. Foreign language and food service skills are a plus as this team interacts with our guests.
It’s Little Italy in the kitchen! Our Sicilian chefs Massimo and Elisa are in need of some extra kitchen hands to help prepare high quality meals for our guests. Duties include working with knives, graders, high cooking heat, and commercial kitchen equipment. Food preparation experience and Italian language is a strong plus.
While at SoS students will attend Calvary Chapel Spittal every Sunday. Services are conducted in English with German translation. Students are strongly encouraged to get involved and serve at their home away from home church.
Approach God’s Word with expectancy for Him to speak to you; come prepared to take notes. Students are required to take notes every time God’s Word is taught (excluding corporate devotions).
Each week we set aside time to review and discuss Sunday’s church teaching. This is an opportunity to ask questions, share insight, and dig deep into the passage’s application.
Mid-week bible studies topics include: Depression, Discerning the Voice of God, Life-dominating Sins, Cure for Worry, Christian Liberties, Biblical Finances, Romantic Relationships, Anger and Bitterness, Making Disciples, Marriage and Ministry, Parent-child Relationships, Holy Spirit, and more!
All believers are called to pray on the behalf of others. We will practice this often overlooked disciple with a new topic each week. Students are provided with a list of prayer points to help facilitate prayer [see example]. Additional time is set aside for personal prayer needs.
Each weekday students will begin their day early with a personal devotional time, including assigned daily scripture reading. All students are reading the same reading plan. We set aside time each morning to discuss and respond to our scripture reading together.
You’ll have the opportunity to share your own encouraging personal experience with coming to know of the God of the Bible as your Lord and Savior. For this exercise the duration of your oral testimony is limited to 4-5 minutes.
Worshiping our Lord and Savior lakeside around a bonfire roasting s’mores! You’ll have an opportunity to use your musical gifts and talents leading or assisting with worship nights.
Each weekday students meet after breakfast for corporate devotions. This time includes discussion of the daily scripture reading, worship songs, and a 15 minute student-led devotional.
Passport & Visa
Austria is a member of the Schengen Area and citizens of many countries may visit Austria for up to 90 days without applying for an entry visa. If your period of service will be longer than 90 days then you must first contact us to discuss the visa implications. Regardless of your duration of service, all students will need a passport with an expiration date three months beyond the length of your stay. If you are a citizen of a country without a visa waiver agreement with Austria then we regret that you are not eligible to attend our Summer of Service Program. We are unable to assist with obtaining a visa for you.
The only commonly accepted currency in Austria is euro. If you need to convert to euro from a different currency the recommended method is by use of ATM. This requires a debit bank card with a PIN, EMV chip cards will have the greatest compatibility in virtually all ATMs. If possible it would be advised to have a small amount of cash in euro (€20) on your person during your initial travel to the Castle.
Car & Train
By car Schloss Heroldeck is about 10 minutes off the A10 autobahn, just beyond the town of Millstatt on the B98. The closest train station is “Spittal an der Drau” which is 15 minutes to the Schloss by car; with prior arrangement we can pick you up from the Spittal an der Drau train station free of charge. If part of your transportation is by train, consider purchasing tickets in advance online at Bahn or ÖBB.
Salzburg (SZG) is the recommended destination airport. You may choose between an €80 driver charge (one-way), or you may take the train from SZG into Spittal-Millstättersee. The train takes 2-3 hours and cost around €30 (one-way). Klagenfurt (KLU) is the closest airport but has difficult train access. If you choose KLU then there is a mandatory €50 driver charge (one-way). Munich (MUC) is the closest major airport hub and usually has the most inexpensive flight costs. There is not an option for a driver pickup, you must take the train from MUC to Spittal-Millstättersee; that journey takes 4+ hours and costs around €80 (one-way).
Our goal is to provide each student with one full day off per week. Everyone is required to work each Saturday for ‘turnaround’, the busiest day of the week and attend church on Sundays. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate requests of several days off in a row. If you would like additional vacation time, it is recommended to make those allowances before or after your SoS commitment.
While the SoS environment encourages the development of meaningful friendships, it is not intended for romantic relationships: hand-holding, back rubs, and other affectionate gestures are not permitted. This season is reserved for spiritual growth in your relationship with Jesus, be intentional to remove anything that hinders that growth in yourself or others.
When the day’s responsibilities are completed there is still plenty of time to relax and enjoy yourself around the Castle or in the local town of Millstatt. Many students enjoy gathering together on the lakeside dock, swimming, and playing sports. Weekly there is an organized evening of games, events, and themed parties. On days off, students may want to simply relax or join an organized day-trip adventure led by a Castle staff member.
Sharing a dorm room in harmony requires respect and an others-centered attitude. There is a zero tolerance policy for rebellion and rude conduct. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. -Philippians 2:3-4
The SoS season is a block of time set apart for focusing on the eternal. It is imperative to lay aside anything that will distract from that focus. For this reason the Castle is an unplugged campus. Smartphones, tablets, and other IoT devices may only be used on your day off. Students will have access to a communal computer and telephone during the entire week.
Beyond your travel expenses and SoS contribution there are no other required expenses for SoS. Some extra spending money is highly recommended as there are frequent outings in the evenings and other organized day excursions. How much spending money to bring varies greatly depending on your personal spending habits.