In 2022, some camps are organising camp experiences for you to participate in. We are hopeful that they will be able to go ahead. Camps will follow the local conditions closely, and may have to cancel activities if the local COVID-19 situation forces them to do so. If you have already signed up for a camp-activity you will be informed when this happens. We will update the website also, when such decisions are taken. Please check your own local authority travel advisory to see if you can travel to or return from the camp after the activity. At all times, when at camps, please observe it’s COVID-19 policy (such as wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, etc). 

Pine Ridge Village, South Dakota, USA

Camp OLCERI’s (Oglala Lakota Cultural and Economic Revitalization Initiative)  home site in Slim Buttes is currently in the development phase of becoming  a fully off-grid Eco-Ranch that represents a “Garden of Eden” model. This concept is designed  to provide access to affordable, simple, and often fun solutions to the 5 basic needs for the community on Pine Ridge Reservation. 

We are experimenting with off-grid technologies like biodiesel, rocket stoves, natural building, earthship-style buildings, vegetable gardens, swale systems, and earthen greenhouses called “walipinis.” Lakota culture is central to our work, and we include artwork and graffiti to reflect this tradition. An equine facility and small farm animals including pigs, goats, chickens and sheep also make up part of our work.

Our project

Who is needed

Volunteers with interest and experience in natural building, construction, gardening, landscaping, homesteading, earthship style construction, and alternative energy technologies are especially welcome to join us. Familiarity with power tools or an interest to learn is important. Remote or in-person volunteers who are interested in documenting our work (written or photography), or organizing activities and workshops are also encouraged to contact us with their interests and skills.

Camper opportunities

Volunteers are welcome to coordinate a visit to OLCERI directly with the camp manager depending on volunteer skills and time available.  Potential housing or camp sites may be available for individuals or small groups.  

Vision and socio economic context

The Lakota teach that the five basic needs of life are: food, fire, water, shelter, and earth. These basic needs are what must be met for an individual to actualize by finding self, and spirit, the final two which make up our seven core tenants at OLCERI.

Without these basic needs met, individuals are stuck in perpetual states of insecurity, poverty, and scarcity – making it harder for them to do good by themselves and others, and often leads to various types of psychiatric, physical, and spiritual problems.

Today on Pine Ridge Reservation, these needs are not being met.  

  • The average life expectancy on Pine Ridge is 66.81 years, the lowest in the United States. 
  • Per capita income for American Indians living on Pine Ridge is $7,773. The average for all reservations is $10,543. Mean income in the United States is $25,332.
  • The officially reported poverty rate for American Indians living on Pine Ridge is 53.75%. The United States average is 13.4%
  • If we can provide the first 5 basic needs for families and households across the Reservation through ecosystem restoration and restoration of livelihoods, then our indigenous communities will be able to actualize their own self & spirit to heal generational trauma, enrich the community, and bring about a new wave of cultural revitalization for the Oglala Lakota Nation.

Acheivements to date

Camp OLCERI has started hosting annual gatherings

Cost to stay and what's included

Costs or exchange value will be determined by the camp manager. Contact Camp for more information.

established camp

Seedling Camp

Organising partners


Camping (basic) – bring your own tent
Camping (advanced)
Sanitation (basic)
Cellphone/mobile signal
Kitchen (basic)
Local river for swimming

Restoration activities

Water retention
Tree planting
Soil restoration
Regenerative Entrepreneurialism
Food planting
Community building
Erosion prevention
Natural building
Fire prevention
Livelihood development

Latest News From The Camp

How to apply

Please complete the form below to express your interest in joining the team at Camp OLCERI.

What you must do to ensure your own safety at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp

Your safety is very important to us. Most camps are in locations that are completely safe for you to travel to. Some camps are in locations where there is civil unrest, higher levels of crime, or in areas where there could be severe nature events (earthquakes, tornados, vulcanic eruptions). We strongly advise you to check with your national authority’s travel advisory service to see if there are specific travel advisories for the region you are travelling to. We strongly advise you to comply with that travel advisory. If there is a negative travel advisory for the area you plan to go to, we want to impress on you that it is your decision to not heed the warnings and go. ERC can then not be liable in that situation if something happens to you.

Work at camps is usually safe. The camp coordinators make your safety their highest priority too. But you will be working with tools and sometimes even (heavy) machinery. Sometimes the terrain can be slightly treacherous. Heat or cold can become a problem for people at work that do not take the necessary measures to prevent injury from weather conditions. Especially in remote locations, all people at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp will need to watch out for eachother’s safety. For this reason we ask you to also sign our Code of Conduct, through which you commit to contributing to a safe environment at camps for all that are there with you. Take yours and all other camper’s safety seriously! Together, while watching over eachother, we can restore our ecosystems safely and successfully.

Contact us:

Stichting Ecosystem Restoration Foundation /
Ecosystem Restoration Camps 2020

Joppelaan 77
7215 AD Joppe
The Netherlands

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