Taking on Responsibility for Others

The Services at Schule Schloss Salem

Taking responsiblity for others is part of the core of a Salem education. To help those weaker or in need requires not only a willingness, but also particular skills. The founder of our school, Kurt Hahn, developed the concept of performing active services during his years of exil in Scotland and thus created an essential element of the pedagogical precepts at Salem and in all Round Square schools around the world.

Contact person

Boris Kaiser
Service Coordinator

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Take on Responsibility

Our Salem Services

Our students acquire not only practical and technical skills, but also emotional competencies such as dependability, team spirit and endurance.

We offer the following service activities from year 9 to 12 (except Nature Conservation Service):

Fire Brigade

The school’s fire brigade is Salem’s oldest emergency service. It was founded in 1947 and since 1952 is an officially accredited private fire department. Since 2007 the school's fire brigade is a nationally accredited “Junior Fire Brigade". 

During their year-long training, students learn the fundamentals of fire brigade services one afternoon per week. These include knot tying, familiarity with vehicles and equipment, fire-fighting techniques, rescue techniques, and the basics of radio transmitting.

During the school week members of the Fire Brigade provide support in case of an emergency alarm (search or fire alarm) and provide technical assistance at school events, such as the traditional annual Mud Fight. As a part of their service training students can earn up to three official junior fire-fighter badges. In Years 11 and 12 it is possible to complete regular fire-fighter training and, at a certain age, to take part in the regular duties of the volunteer fire brigade in Überlingen.

The fire brigade service during an exercise at Salem Castle
The fire brigade during an exercise


The fire brigade service with oxygen tanks


The fire brigade service of Schule Schloss Salem in action



Nature Conservation Service (only in years 9/10)

In keeping with the Round Square IDEALS environmental protection and nature conservation are an integral part of the pedagogical program of all Round Square schools. In cooperation with the Salem chapter of the German conservation association BUND, the service helps maintain local biotope areas and also works with the Heinz Sielmann Foundation. In addition, on-campus projects are undertaken to promote biodiversity and the preservation of species in Salem. The service attempts to raise awareness among other students for topics such as sustainability, environmental protection and organic farming.

Impressions from the Day of Biodiversity, 22 May 19
Locating bats in Spetzgarter Tobel


Two boys inspecting bats


Birdwatching at Spetzgart Castle


Nautical Service

Sun, Lake and Lifesaving

Nautical Service

Salem's own boat harbour serves as an official support base for the local chapter of the German Life Saving Association (DLRG) in Sipplingen. All members acquire the following skills and accreditations: Life Saver Swimming Certificates (bronze to gold), recreational sailing licenses, and sailing skills. 
Among the duties of the Nautical Service are, aside from the extensive training in water rescue at the Spetzgart harbour and the Schlosssee in Salem, supervision of the habour and participation in regional exercises. Every year we also visit the naval cutter regatta (Kiel Week). 

Round Square Service

The task of the Round Square service is to maintain the Round Square IDEALS. One of these elements is the area "Internationality." Students assist guest and exchange students from other countries and conduct cultural awareness projects. Moreover the service is particularly active in fundraising activies for RSIS assistance projects and school projects. With the proceeds of their collections it is possible to provide school scholarships in Kenia and support work in a home for the handicapped in Russia in cooperation with the the MIR association and the "Perspektivy“ organisation.

Emergency First Aid Service

The First Aid Service is an official partner of the German Red Cross and has cooperation agreements with the local Red Cross branches in the Salem valley region, in Überlingen and in Markdorf.

At the weekly meetings on Monday afternoons service students acquire basic training as first-aid givers and reinforce their skills through repetition and realistic practice scenarios. Basic knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, characteristics of illnesses and injuries, rescue and transport techniques, systematic patient anamnesis, trauma recognition, measuring blood pressure applying automatic external defibrillators, applying bandages, advanced first aid measures, setting up medical tents as treatment areas, using a German BOS radio belong to the general areas of training. In Year 11 school first-aid givers complete the written and practical examinations of the German Red Cross.

Among the duties of the First Aid Service are performing stand-by duty at school events, assisting donors at regional blood donation drives, and, when requested, providing reinforcement to the local Red Cross chapters during public events. In addition, students regularly participate in official Red Cross competitions. Upon reaching a certain age it is possible to become a certified paramedic within the rapid response team of the Überlingen chapter of the Red Cross.

The Social Outreach Service

Being There for Others

The Social Outreach Service

The tasks of the Social Outreach service are very diverse. Salem students provide help with school homework to primary school children, visit kindergartens to teach English through playing, help out at schools for the handicapped, offer playgroups and computer courses at a local primary school, visit residents at a nearby senior citizens' home or organise outings with them, and assist the children of refugee families. Once a year the service conducts a week-long activity programme for children of socially disadvantaged families.

Technical Emergency Relief Service (THW)

Not Only for Technical Experts

Technical Emergency Relief Service (THW)

Germany's Technical Emergency Relief Service (THW) for civil protection and disaster control is unique worldwide. The school's service group is an official youth chapter of Germany's national 
organisation  and closely cooperates with the Überlingen branch. It is an official member of the THW Juniors association and receives material support from the Friends Association of the Salem/Spetzgart THW.

During their THW service students learn the basics of technical relief service. This includes learning how to handle various types of equipment, including saber saws, disc grinders, demolition hammers, hydraulic shears and spreaders, puller hoists, winches, scaffolding systems, and much more. In addition, students acquire knowledge of rescue and recovery techniques with the help of ladder lifts, rope ladders, jack stands, dragging baskets, etc.
Basic techniques for using wood, metal and stone complete the program.

The THW service regularly takes part in competitions with other junior chapters and prepares students for earning THW badges in bronze and silver. Within the school the service members provide necessary technical and organisational support at all major school events.

The THW service during an exercise at Salem Castle





Exclusively for Years 11 & 12

The Services at Salem College

We offer the following services only in the Upper School at Schloss Spetzgart and on the Campus Härlen:

Kaffee Hahn

The Café for Good Causes

Kaffee Hahn

The Kaffee Hahn Team runs a fair trade coffee bar in the lobby of Salem International College. Throughout the school week members serve drinks and snacks to students and staff during the mid-morning break and after lunch. Each student works at least two shifts and is also required to serve at public events such as evening concerts and theatre productions, many of which occur over the weekend. On these occasions the service members may serve more than 400 customers in a short space of time.

Kaffee Hahn is run as a charitable project and all profits are donated to a variety of good causes. These include the College Theatre, Botanical Service, Sustainability Service, Round Square Service projects such as the Prince Alexander fund, and Peterhof in St. Petersburg, Russia. It also supports institutions such as "JugendRettet," an emergency rescue project for refugees in the Mediterranean, and aid organizations which operate in crisis situations such as natural catastrophes and famine.

The Photo Service

In a Favourable Light

The Photo Service

One of the Photo Service's main jobs is taking the student photos for Student IDs. Another important function of the service is supporting the Upper School's annual yearbook. Throughout the school year photos are taken of students, teachers, staff and mentors in their different individual and group functions and activities. As a major provider of material for the "Chronik", members need to take a professional approach in performing their service activity.

Global Action Network

Raising Awareness

The Global ActionNetwork

Global Action Network holds working meetings that focus on international issues, be they cultural, social, economic and political. Its aim is to inform the school community about important events outside the boarding school. In school assemblies presentations are given, handouts are  distributed in the dining halls, and action days with public debates and awareness campaigns are organised.

As the name implies, the service strives to take action, not just talk. For this reason members collect and donate funds to humanitarian projects such as  World AIDS Day. The service is also a co-organizer of the annual youth meeting on environmental issues, the Salem International College Youth Conference.

The Global Action Network takes responsibility for organizing and coordinating the annual recycling project. Clothing, furniture and other unwanted items that the graduating class doesn't need is sorted and donated to local charities or sold to other interested parties. 

The Music Service

Striking the Right Note

The Music Service

Musically talented students in the upper school take on the responsibility of scheduling concerts at various venues for different audiences and thereby also gather experience in musical event management. The music service program consists of

  • Weekly chamber orchestra rehearsals 
  • Concerts at school and in the surrounding region, e.g., charity concerts, musical interludes for public events, or concerts in social service institutions 
  • Organization and coordination of school-intern musical competitions
  • Organization and coordination of the ABRSM music examinations
The Environmental Service

Protecting our Natural Resources

The Sustainability Service

The Environmental Service encompasses a wide range of themes, ranging from energy consumption to global warming.

It is important to promote sustainable behaviour. This includes the development of concrete ideas that will improve the sustainability balance of Salem International College. The service aims to provide simple, but effective ideas that can make life in the boarding school more environmentally friendly.

For a number of years the Environmental Service has organized a youth meeting called Salem International College Youth Conference (SICYC) together with Global Action Network. Conducting this complex project involves enormous dedication and close cooperation. Students and teachers from different schools around Europe visit Salem International College for one weekend to learn about, discuss and find solutions to current environmental issues. The program includes talks by guest speakers, debates conducted in small groups, and field trips to nearby sites of interest. 
Once a year the service organizes a Sustainability Day. On this day students hold debates about sustainability policies and participate in different workshops devoted to topics such as urban gardening, sustainable cooking, sustainable consumption, energy saving options 

Other year-round projects include maintaining bee-feeding stations in cooperation with the German conservation association, “Netzwerk blühende Landschaften,” building insect houses to enhance biodiversity and collecting deposit bottles in order to finance further sustainability projects. Additionally the group promotes sustainable strategies within the school's daily operations.

The School Bus Service

On the Road…

The School Bus Service

When public transportation is not available the team of school bus drivers provides shuttle services between the school campuses  so that fellow students can arrive on time at their afternoon and evening activities.  Equally important are the weekly shuttle trips for the social outreach service groups to the off-campus locations. On a rotation system each school bus driver also offers weekend shuttle trips. During the school year the student drivers complete a driver safety training course, in order to guarantee the safety of their passengers.