Basic Information

"Nine Life Values" was conceived by Alfred Aeppli to begin a discussion in Swiss politics about common basic values. It explores the question of how a positive co-existence can be guaranteed - despite the ever-increasing variety of people in our society and despite different world views, religions and denominations. In doing so, he proposes nine basic values that should enable respectful, peaceful and sustainable co-existence.

Further Information

Life Values briefly explained

I say what I do and I do what I say.

We pay attention to credibility, honesty, transparency and reliability. I say what I do and do what I say. I am authentic and refrain from tactical intrigues. I can stand by what I stand for. That creates trust in the long term.


I am responsible for what I do. I look out for my fellow man.

Responsibility shows itself in dealing with myself, my fellow human beings and my descendants, and with natural resources. Creation as a totality of people, animals, plants and the environment is a good entrusted to me. Whoever sees himself as a steward is accountable to the principal. Therefore, I can stand up for my actions.


I know my limits and show consideration for others.

Self-restraint means being able to renounce, to share one's own power and to be considerate of others. I know my limits, reconcile myself with them and am aware of my fallibility. I know that I depend on my fellow human beings and on their complement.


I appreciate every person with their strengths and weaknesses.

Appreciation means accepting every human being in his or her individuality. For me, the dignity of a person is not dependent on his or her performance, position or origin. Charity and humanity follow from this.


I stand up for the rights of my fellow human beings.

Justice has a universal perspective and applies equally to all people. Justice requires that I work unselfishly for the right of my fellow man. This includes the protection of life and limb, health and freedom in the sense of human rights. Without a social and economic balance and the sustainable use of the earth, there is no justice.


I make the concerns of others my concerns.

Solidarity is focused on the common good. As a person in solidarity, I also support those who do not belong to my own person. I am therefore prepared to put up with my fellow human beings with their idiosyncrasies and to share in their burden. For this I need tolerance and the readiness to renounce. I do not have to have everything, and not everything immediately.


I preserve the environment for generations to come.

Sustainability requires rules and orders that are also sustainable in the future. My goal is not short-term profit, but long-term benefit, not material profit, but comprehensive well-being for future generations as well.


I know what I want. I work towards it.

Goal orientation helps to persevere even in the face of external resistance. When I know my goals, I gain an inner strength that is not dependent on the favor of the moment. However, I pursue my goal carefully and with a sense of proportion.



I seek reconciliation with God, with myself, with my fellow human beings.

Peace unites reconciliation in all areas of life: with oneself, with God, with all creatures. For this, I must be able to address conflicts, admit my own mistakes and forgive the other person.

Use of Life Values

Focus is placed on one of the life values each day. This leads to a deeper understanding of it. The participants hear three inputs throughout the day as a way to help stimulate contemplation, understanding and conversation about the topic. In general there is a tension between the building process, the experiences gained, and reflection discussions. The building process and experiences throughout the day often lead to deeper reflection about the topic.

Three Inputs

  1. In the morning after breakfast the topic is introduced. This happens without saying what the value is called – often with a short sketch, small task, an experiment, or a question to think about. The participants have room to talk during the building time directly afterward. The input is said directly after the meal and the announcements while the participants are still seated. This should take a maximum of 5 minutes.
  2. After lunch a leader talks about the life value again. This happens through a story, song, and/or their own interactions with the topic. The question from the first input can also be asked again and further developed. A connection to a biblical text can be made at the end. The input is said directly after the meal and the announcements while the participants are still seated. This should take a maximum of 15 minutes.
  3. In a group of no more than 13 people the participants receive the third input. This group remains constant throughout the camp and may choose where they want to meet each time. There can be up to 3 leaders and 10 students. The leaders lead the group towards openness and honesty and help maintain a caring and friendly environment. Depending on the methods used, Bible verses are read and questions about the value are asked. Generally this is a place where the group can get into deeper discussions. To close, the group can pray together. The length of the third input is at least 30 minutes. If fitting, it can be lengthened to an hour.

In addition to the very concrete implementation of these values in the everyday life of a treehouse camp, the teaching of the Nine Life Values stimulates good discussions, constructive exchange and critical reflection on one's own thoughts and actions. The long-term goal is to transfer the life values into the personal everyday life of the participants beyond the Treehousecamp.


CVJM-Akademie gGmbH
Institut für Erlebnispädagogik
Im Dru­sel­tal 8
34131 Kassel

Tele­fon: + 49 (0) 561 30 87–506
Fax: +49 (0) 561 30 87–501

Funded by Erasmus+ "Youth in Action"

The website and the content was developed in the project "Treehouse Camps - a Method to Strengthen Key Competences and Integration in Youth Work".

Project duration: September 2018 - August 2021