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IMWe is an annual Scouting and Guiding event run by the German Scout Association Verband Christlicher Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder (VCP). IMWe stands for Internationale Musische Werkstatt (International Creative Workshop). It takes place annually, usually at Rieneck Castle, near Würzburg in Germany. The aim of IMWe is to give leaders of Guide and Scout groups the opportunity to explore their creative talents in a setting free of their usual responsibilities, within a set theme. IMWe is prepared on behalf of the German VCP by an international group of scouts who meet several times a year to organize the workshop, which is always held around Easter each year. The workshop lasts for 8 or 9 days and always has a certain theme. All Guides and Scouts of 17 years plus are welcome at IMWe.


IMWe started out more than 50 years ago as a training workshop for group leaders of Verband Christlicher Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder, a German Protestant Scout Association, designed to encourage the leaders to bring creativeness into scouting. After a while people from other countries started to show up at IMWe, wanting to take part of this artistic event. The organizers of IMWe, known as teamers, are currently a group of scouts from Germany, Austria, Norway, Britain, Slovenia, Hungary and Iceland.


The programme varies from year to year but here are some of the highlights listed:


To set an extraordinary atmosphere every IMWe has a theme and a story-line and are participants asked to dress up in costumes based on the themes. The teamers make up a plot and the theme is involved in several programme activities with each teamer having to act one character in the story-line. The participants themselves are active observers, although they manage to influence the plot as the week passes. Themes used on IMWe include:

  • 2000: the Millennium Bug
  • 2001: the India Express
  • 2002: the Gold Rush
  • 2004: the Hanseatic league
  • 2005: the Cucumber King
  • 2006: the Body from within
  • 2007: Sherlock Holmes murdered?
  • 2008: Bazaar in Al-Mashewa
  • 2009: The Final Curtain - Intrigue at the Opera (The Opera House in Vienna)
  • 2010: Expedition Lost - Secrets of the Forgotten Diary (Jungle & Indiana Jones)
  • 2011: Mission Supernova (space)


At each year at IMWe several workshops are offered to the participants in which they will spend their entire morning. The workshops differ from year to year but always focus on creativeness, such as painting, acting, making music, inventing things, telling stories, and dancing. Throughout the week the workshops prepare something and set up a show at the final evening, displaying the creative work of the week. The teamers make effort in inventing new and special workshops every year so that one can go as often to IMWe as he desires and still always learn something new. Last few years have featured workshops like bookbinding, Flying Objects, UV-Theatre, puppet making, storytelling, cooking etc.

Interest Groups

Interest Groups or IGs as they are commonly called are short activities prepared and organized by the participants themselves. Everyone participating in IMWe is offered to teach the others any special talent of his, some customs of his nation or just anything that comes to mind.

The Day Out

One day during the middle of the week is called the Day Out, where the scouts go to a nearby town and bring scouting to the world by fulfilling tasks made by the teamers. This encourages the scouts to share their culture and scouting experience with local Germans, and makes them work together regardless of their nationality.

European Evening

This is usually one of the first evenings of the week when participants of each nation prepare a table displaying some goods or pictures from their country; Icelanders provide shark and liquorices, Norwegians show pictures of trolls, the Austrians present the newest Yodeling CD from the Alps, the Slovenians offer Honey and Potica (a nut cake) and the Germans show up with various sorts of beer and a sip of Butzelmann.

Dream Time

Each day there is a specific Dream time after lunch, where participants can relax after the hard work of their workshop and the events of the night. Dream time usually takes place in the basement which is supplied with blankets and pillows and each day the teamers provide, or ask participants to provide, different soothing sounds, for example a story is read in Hungarian, natural sounds are played on a CD or a musician plays the exhausted participants to sleep.

Recent years there has also been the offer of Alternative Dream Time which, instead of having soothing sounds some heavier music is played.

Chatting Time

Each day also features chatting time where participants are offered tea and biscuits and actually, participants themselves often bring some kind of pastry from their country. Mail from the castle's postbox is delivered but participants often send mail to their secret friends in connection to the secret angel game. Chatting time is the ideal for integration and mingling.

Secret Angel's Game

Each year each participant receives a name of another participant and is therefore obliged to be especially kind to that participant. It's popular to send candy or kind words to one's secret friend but some secret angels (what the person who sends gifts to his secret friend is called) are more original, sending paintings or riddles to their friends.

Information on who is whose secret angel is kept a secret until the last night when each angel confesses to his friend that he is the secret angel.


IMWe aims to bring together scout leaders from Europe

  • for an uplifting experience
  • for new motivation and ideas for the work at home
  • to exchange ideas, experiences and skills
  • to establish international connections (for future exchange projects, international activities etc.)
  • to practise intercultural communication and living
  • to stimulate awareness of their own and other cultures
  • to reflect and present the own cultural background
  • to train soft skills: communication, team work, presentation
  • to learn traditional skills
  • to promote creative work, arts, crafts and music in scout groups as cultural learning
  • to train methods of theme-oriented youth work

Previous IMWe's

IMWe 2009

IMWe 2009 was held in Rieneck Castle. The theme was The Opera House in Vienna and participants were requested to dress up as employees of the Opera House in Vienna in modern time.

IMWe 2008

IMWe 2008 was held in Rieneck Castle. The theme was Bazaar in Al-Mashewa and participants were requested to dress up in an Arabic style.

IMWe 2007

IMWe 2007 was held in Rieneck Castle from 1.4. to 9.4.2007. The theme was Sherlock Holmes murdered? and participants were requested to dress up as 19th century Londoners. Workshops offered were Mystery Story Book making an interactive detective story, 19th Century Stage Composition doing everything concerned with a stage play, The Times making a newspaper for the citizens of the Empire, The Lego film club making a stop motion film with lego bricks, The Songwriters Club composing and performing various songs, Experimental Science Foundation doing tests and experiments and The Booker's Club producing books from the scratch.

IMWe 2006

IMWe 2006 was held in Rieneck Castle from 10.04. to 17.04.2006. The theme was The Body from within and participants were requested to dress up as cells or microorganisms. Workshops offered were Bactobusters making soaps and perfumes, Heart Beat Records recording music and making a CD, Body Language making scenes by miming, Magical Eyes making kaleidoscopes, Woodwork making things from wood, Orchestral Body composing music, From within making cameras out of cardboard boxes and Brain Train making up boardgames.

IMWe 2005

This time IMWe was held in Mansfeld Castle. The theme was The Cucumber King and participants were requested to dress up as characters from various fairy-tales. Workshops offered were UV Theater where participants used a blacklight to make plays or scenes in a darkened room, Game on making up boardgames, Muffin Man's Lab making up stories, Printing making stamps and printing on T-shirts, Art with the artist where participants made a big painting of everything that had happened with a help from a local artist, Art is everything painting paintings, Magic Lantern making lanterns and lamps

Next IMWe

Next IMWe will be held in Rieneck 05.04.-13.04.2009. The theme will be the Intrigue at the opera - The final curtain.


External links